Sports Bras Tips

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What are the advantages of zip-front sports bras?

When It's Time For A New Sports Bra

Sports bras may not look worn out, but the support and elasticity eventually give out. Champion, a major manufacturer of sports bras, recommends replacing a sports bra after 100 workouts or 8 months to a year of regular use, whichever comes first. But how do you define a workout? One workout may be a 16-mile run, 30 minutes on the stationary bike, or an hour of step aerobics, so some judgment is called for.

Signs that your sports bra is shot:

-You notice that you're bouncing more; the bra doesn't seem to support your chest as well as it used to.

-The elastic on the straps or bottom band is noticeably stretched out and doesn't seem to fit snugly when you put on the bra.

-The fabric is ripped so that underwires are exposed; this will lead to chafing.

   
How often should I replace my sports bra?

Replace Your Sports Bra Regularly

Sports bras may not look worn out, but the support and elasticity eventually give out. Champion, a major manufacturer of sports bras, recommends replacing a sports bra after 100 workouts or 8 months to a year of regular use, whichever comes first. But how do you define a workout? One workout may be a 16-mile run, 30 minutes on the stationary bike, or an hour of step aerobics, so some judgment is called for.

Signs that your sports bra is shot:

-You notice that you're bouncing more; the bra doesn't seem to support your chest as well as it used to.

-The elastic on the straps or bottom band is noticeably stretched out and doesn't seem to fit snugly when you put on the bra.

-The fabric is ripped so that underwires are exposed; this will lead to chafing.

   
What are full-length bra tops?

Going Long: A Full-Length Bra Top

Women who don't need excessive support (A-C cups, depending on the activity), and who don't want to bare their midriffs while working out may appreciate the full-length bra top. These tops combine a tank top that covers the torso with a bra that has enough support for low-, medium-, or high-impact activities for small or medium cup sizes.

The full-length tops can be a great choice for stretching, yoga, or Pilates because there is no excess fabric to bunch up and get in the way of twisting and stretching. Some women like them for running, but if you like to wipe your face on your sleeve occasionally, you are out of luck with these tops. Because full-length bra tops are fairly fitted, and worn against the skin, look for soft, moisture-wicking fabrics to avoid feeling soggy midway through your workout.

   
What is the difference between compression and cup style bras?

Compression Vs. Cup

In a nutshell, sports bras come in two styles: Compression or Cup

Compression: A compression style bra provides maximum support for all activities for most women with A-C cup sizes, although depending on the shape of your breasts, you may find a cup style more comfortable.

Cups: A cup style sports bra is a great option for women who want a more feminine shape under their workout clothes, or for larger-breasted women. Cup styles are available, including sports bras with underwires, bras that fasten in the front or in the back, and bras that have extra padding in the straps for additional comfort.

   
What sports bras are available for plus-sized women?

Sports Bra Styles Accommodate Plus Sizes

Larger-breasted women used to have to wear two sports bras, one on top of the other, to get enough support, but sports apparel manufacturers now offer bra styles for sizes up to triple D.

Sports bra features of particular interest to plus-sized women include:

-Where the seams are. If chafing is a problem, look for sports bras with seams on the outside, away from the skin.

-Adjustable straps. Many styles for larger breast sizes have adjustable straps so you can customize the fit. Some straps are padded or gel-filled for extra support.

-Back vs. front closure. Front-closure bras can be easier to put on and take off, but be aware that there is a possibility for chafing during high impact activities.

   
What is MCR and how does it correspond to sports?

Get Support For Your Sport

In general, the right size for a sports bra is the same size you wear for an everyday bra, so start with that size. But sizes vary among brands, so be sure to try on a few different sizes if you are buying a style of sports bra that's new to you.

You know you have the right-sized sports bra when the chest band fits snugly around your ribs without feeling uncomfortably tight, the straps feel secure, but not binding, and the fabric lies smoothly without excessive bunching. For high-impact activities such as running, many women prefer a sports bra that feels tighter than their everyday bras.

   
How can I keep my sports bra straps from slipping?

Racerback Sports Bras Eliminate Strap Slippage

If you're concerned about your bra straps slipping during a workout, opt for a racerback style. Racerback styles such as Champion's Action-Tech allow a wide range of motion and a secure fit. Plus-sized or fuller-figured women who want to eliminate strap slippage may find that a T-back sports bra, (a variation on the racerback with a less fabric between the shoulder blades) is more comfortable, such as Champion's Shape Underwire Tank.

   
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