Unfortunately, the bounce factor for women with bigger boobs can be an exercise deterrent. Who wants to go for a run or knock out burpees when every hop, skip, and jump leads to pure pain? In fact, we’re pretty sure we all have that friend who’s had to double up on support. What’s more, a larger-breasted woman in the wrong bra can have serious health implications.
“If a sports bra has not been specifically designed and built to carry the weight of larger, heavier breasts, the bra straps may be too narrow and exert extra pressure on your shoulders,” explains LaJean Lawson, PhD, a sports bra researcher at Oregon State University and consultant to the sports bra industry. “If the amount and location of the pressure crosses over an area in the shoulders where nerves and blood vessels exit into the upper arms, a medical condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome can result.” Symptoms of TOS include numbness or tingling in the arms or hands, pain in the neck, shoulder, or hands, and even a weaker grip.)
So what do women with bigger boobs need to look for when shopping for a sports bra? Lawson says, there are three key things:
1. Look for minimal (controlled) stretch throughout the bra in areas like the cups, straps, and band.
2. Forgo the traditional sports bra, which has a single flat panel across the front, and opt for one with two separate cups that will control each breast instead.
3. Choose athletic supporters with more coverage such as a higher neckline, wider straps, and a substantial bottom band.
Armed with Lawson’s tips, we did the leg work for you and found these 10 amazing sports bras that are easy to get on, offer stellar support and, most importantly, are stylish:
Under Amour Amour Bra 2.0
The center mesh panel limits in-between-breast sweat, and the hook-and-eye closure allows for a more customized fit. Sizes: 32-38, C-DD. ($60; amazon.com)
Panache Underwire Sports Bra
With the click of a hook, this bra takes you from regular to racerback.
It also has flexible underwire and three-part-foam-lined cups. Sizes: 30-42, C-DDD. ($79; nordstrom.com)
Freya Active Underwire Molded Sports Bra
This supporter’s molded cups play up your curves instead of smashing them into one unflattering lump. Sizes: 28-40, B-G. ($62; amazon.com)
Enell High Impact Sports Bra
A high neckline provides a sense of security necessary for any type of exercise. Sizes: 00-8. ($59-$67; amazon.com)
Nike Pro Rival Sports Bra
Sick of the chafing caused by stitched straps? The bonded seams on this bra help put an end to skin irritation. Sizes: 30-38, B-E. ($55; nike.com)
Livi Molded Underwire Sports Bra
This bra is great for all types of exercise including running and cross training. With a wide range of sizing and convertible straps, you’re sure to find the perfect fit. Sizes 20-48, C-H. ($44-$60; lanebryant.com)
CW-X StabilityX Running Bra
This running-specific bra offers a five-way support system that cuts down breast movement in all directions. Sizes: 34-40, D-DD. ($70; zappos.com)
Anita Maximum Control Wire-Free Sports Bra
If you’re looking for high-impact support without wires, this is your sports bra. Molded double-layer cups keep you covered with a three-column, 3 `row hook and back closure to keep the girls supported. ($69; barenecessities.com)
Moving Comfort Jubralee Bra
The Velcro straps are surprisingly secure and make it super easy to adjust this supporter on the fly. Sizes: 34-44, B-E. ($55; amazon.com)