PRODUCT & STYLE
When it comes to your sports bra, we know that finding the one can be pretty hard. That’s why we want to try and make it all a little easier. SJ, our Bra Developer here at TBSW takes us through how to find the perfect sports bra size.
DID YOU KNOW...
80% OF WOMEN ARE WEARING THE WRONG SIZE BRA*.
That means 80% of us aren’t giving our breasts the absolute best. And recent studies suggest it could be having an adverse effect on our training.
FIND THE BEST SPORTS BRA FOR YOU.
Okay, so it's no secret that wearing a sports bra whilst you train is hella important. Wearing the right sports bra size with the correct support level helps to minimize the impact of your chest's movements during exercise, allowing for an easy, pain-free workout.
But there's more to it than just that. Trust us, even if you're a long-serving member of the itty-bitty committee, don't be fooled into thinking you can do without.
. . .
SPORTS BRA SIZING: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GETTING THE BEST SUPPORT FROM YOUR SPORTS BRA
When it comes to your sports bra, we know that finding the one can be hard. Especially finding one that's supportive, reliable, and trustworthy. That’s why we want to try and make it all a little easier. With 17 extra sizes to fit B to F cups and everyone in between, here's what you can find in the ultimate TBSW sports bra sizing guide:
SPORTS BRA SIZING
HOW TO MEASURE FOR YOUR SPORTS BRA SIZE ACCURATELY
What you'll need:
A non-padded and non-wired bra*.
A flexible tape measure.
*Calculating your bra size when wearing a padded bra can add up to 1 or 2 inches to your size, so you want to make sure you're measuring as close to your body as possible for the most accurate reading.
TO ENSURE YOU FIND THE BEST SPORTS BRA SIZE AND FIT AT GYMSHARK, OUR SENIOR BRA DEVELOPER, NICKI HALL, HAS PUT TOGETHER THREE SIMPLE STEPS FOR YOU TO FOLLOW:
Measure your under bust
Measure your bust
Check your measurements against our sports bra size chart
MEASURE YOUR UNDER BUST
To measure your bra band size (the under bust), wrap the tape measure firmly around your back, letting it rest just under your bust. The tape measure shouldn't be touching your breast tissue, so you may need to lift your boobs up to get an accurate measurement. Jot this measurement down for later.
Top Tip: the tape measure should be snug and lie flat against your back.
MEASURE YOUR BUST
To measure your cup size (bust), wrap the tape measure firmly around your back and the fullest part of your bust - this is usually around the centre of the nipples. For the most accurate measurement, ensure the tape measure is level and falls flat against your back. Jot this measurement down for later.
Top Tip: the tape measure should be snug but still loose enough for you to take a deep breath comfortably.
CHECK YOUR MEASUREMENTS AGAINST OUR SPORTS BRA SIZE CHART
Taking your brand-new measurements, scroll down to discover our new and improved sports bra size chart. Here you'll be able to calculate your correct sports bra size so that you can find the best cup for your coin.
Our dual-cup sizing, covers two cup sizes (e.g B/C fits a B or C cup, D/DD fits a D or DD cup etc), so it’s ideal whether you know your size, are in-between sizes or you aren’t 100% sure what size you might be. It’ll also help for those days when you might be fluctuating in size, too.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR SPORTS BRA FITS...
FINDING THE BEST FIT FOR YOU
Take a look at the sports bra you’re currently wearing. Are your boobs spilling out at the top or sides? Is the bra baggy across your chest? Does the underband feel uncomfortably tight or is it riding up your back? All these signs can indicate that you might be wearing a size that’s too small or too big for you, meaning you haven't got the best cup for your coin.
3 WAYS TO TELL IF YOUR SPORTS BRA FITS
When it comes to finding the perfect sports bra size, there's three checkpoints that you can run through to make sure your sports bra is a good fit once it arrives:
Check The Straps
Evaluate The Tightness of the Underband
Assess The Cup Size By Testing Out Exercise Movements
1. CHECK THE STRAPS:
"20% of the support should come from the straps on your sports bra" explains Hall.
As a rule of thumb, you should always be able to place a finger underneath the straps of your sports bra. If you're not able to, we'd recommend loosening your straps ever so slightly (if applicable).
Whilst adjustable straps are a great way to customize the fit of your sports bra, make sure you don't go from one extreme to another - loose straps reduce the amount of breast support offered.
2. EVALUATE THE TIGHTNESS OF THE UNDERBAND:
"80% of the support should come from the under brand of your sports bra - this should be sitting firmly around your ribs (not your breast tissue)", says Hall.
Lift your arms above your head - if your sports bra rides up as you move and doesn't sit flat to your chest, it's likely to be a little too big which could result in chafing during your workout. Try adjusting the straps slightly. If it continues to move, we'd suggest going down a size.
3. ASSESS THE CUP SIZE BY TESTING OUT EXERCISE MOVEMENTS:
"If you’re testing a padded sports bra, your girls should be comfortably sat within the cups. No matter how weird it may look, scoop them on in and do a little jiggle around", notes Hall.
If the cup is too small, or not the right style for your breast shape, you’ll notice that your boob pokes/bulges out slightly, here we’d recommending sizing up, or trying an alternative sports bra design.
If the cup is too big and is feeling a little baggy, saggy, or you have air pockets within the cups of your sports bra, try sizing down.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE A GOOD SPORTS BRA THAT ACTUALLY FITS?
We all need the right amount of support, and our boobs are no different. If you’ve ever run for the bus, down the stairs or even had an especially energetic night on the dance-floor, you’ll know how uncomfortable it can be when they’re not feeling properly supported. Other than the overall discomfort and sometimes pain you might feel in the moment, not wearing the right bra size or style for your chosen activity can actually do a fair amount of long-term damage to your boobs too.
3 Benefits of Wearing The Correct Sports Bra Size:
Improved sport performance
Helps prevents breast tissue damage
Helps alleviate discomfort
IMPROVED SPORT PERFORMANCE
According to a recent study conducted by Brooks Running Co. in conjunction with the University of Portsmouth, "women can lose up to four centimeters of stride length due to poorly controlled breast movement while running - which, over the length of a marathon, could translate to running an extra mile"
By wearing the correct sports bra size that offers the optimal level of support for the activity you're doing, you're helping to reduce breast bounce, which allows you to put full focus on your training.
Now just imagine what you could do if you wore the right size and style for other sports like weightlifting, soccer, gymnastics...
HELPS PREVENT BREAST TISSUE DAMAGE
Finding the best women's sports bra can also help your boobs stay pretty ✨ perky ✨. Despite the many rumours heard, the breast itself has no actual muscle - it's a lump of tissue that sits in front of the pectoral muscles, but isn't directly attached to it.
This means the only support your boob has (aside from a bra or a sports bra) when you're running after the bus, or over a barbell, is your skin, and your Coopers Ligaments - a thin stretchy structure.
Without the right support from your sports bra, you're placing your skin, and these small ligaments under huge strain, which could actually be causing irreversible damage to your girls and their perkiness.
HELPS ALLEVIATE DISCOMFORT
Discomfort doesn’t just mean sore breasts when it comes to working out. It could be any of the following:
Straps being too tight and digging into your shoulders, or your back.
An underband that is too tight, causing the bra to pinch.
An underband that is too loose, which could cause chafing.
Finding a sports bra size and style that keeps your chest secure and reduces bounce can help alleviate all these pain points.
So how do you actually find the best sports bra for you and your boobs? Nicki Hall, our Senior Bra Developer here at TBSW tells us it all comes down to three things:
Calculating the correct bra size and ensuring the fit is correct.
Identifying what type of activity you'll be doing.
Finding a style that works best for your breast size and shape.
HOW TO IDENTIFY WHICH SPORTS BRA SUPPORT LEVEL IS BEST FOR YOU...
"What style of sports bra is right for me?" It's one of the hardest questions within the boob-sphere. You know how your sports bra should fit, you understand the importance of its support and by now, you're happy to call yourself a veteran of the all-important "bounce test"... but those are just the basics.
“Unknown to many, athletes may require the same amount of breast support during power walking as they do during sprinting, and a lack of support has the potential to cause irreversible damage.” – Professor Joana Wakefield-Scurr, Head of the Research Group in Breast Health.
The support level of your sports bra (available in light, medium and high) is just as important as its fit. With a steady increase in women ditching the workout t-shirt altogether, believe us when we say that the search for a sports bra that is not only suitable for the type of activity we're doing, but also happens to look good and make us feel confident, is high.
Which sports bra support level is right for you falls down to three things:
The type of activity you'll be using the bra for
The size and shape of your breasts
If your bust is soft or firm
Support levels are completely subjective and, depending on your bra size and the firmness of your breasts, you might feel more comfortable in a high-support sports bra even when you’re doing low-impact exercises or running errands at the weekend. We’re just offering you a little insight as a guide. You know what's best!
Following bio-mechanical testing and extensive research undertaken by our Innovation Team and Senior Bra Developer, Nicki Hall here at TBSW, we're proud to introduce a new range of sports bras ready to support you through every movement. Find out more about our sports bras below:
HIGH SUPPORT SPORTS BRAS:
WHAT IS A HIGH SUPPORT SPORTS BRA?
High support sports bras are designed to be worn for activities that incur a large amount of bounce, or movement. (You know those activities that if you were wearing a normal t-shirt bra, you'd be holding your boobs... take for example, running for the bus or up the stairs).
Created to offer maximum support and limit bounce as much as possible, high-impact sports bras are designed to offer the most support due to innovative features such as moulded cups that encapsulate each individual breast, thicker and wider straps to relieve pressure on your shoulders, and adjustable underbands that offer customisable support - for the days you fluctuate in size, or if you have a small band, but larger cup size.
MEDIUM SUPPORT SPORTS BRAS
WHAT IS A MEDIUM SUPPORT SPORTS BRA?
Medium support sports bras are designed to be worn for activities that are slightly more intense than yoga/pilates (otherwise known as low impact activities). In short, if a sports bra isn't worn during a medium impact workout, your boobs will be bouncing up, down and all around.
Medium-impact sports bras are designed to focus on supportive detailing, with many offering an "encapsulation" silhouette (a defined cup structure to encapsulate each breast, rather than squish your boobs together). Padding can often be removed, allowing you to find the perfect fit and style for your workout.
LIGHT SUPPORT SPORTS BRAS:
WHAT IS A LIGHT SUPPORT SPORTS BRA?
Low impact, or light support sports bras are designed to be worn for activities that don't incur a large amount of bounce. Whilst this may mean that their design revolves around inimitable comfort, it does tend to mean that minimal support is offered to your breasts.
Light support sports bras are created with soft and supple fabrics that allow the breasts to move naturally, rather than being encapsulated in a moulded, non-removable cup. Available in a variety of coverage levels, padding options and adaptable styles, it's totally up to you on how you wear the bra.
WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN GET THE PERFECT SPORTS BRA SIZE AND FIT?
Maybe you want to read some real-time reviews on how our sports bras actually perform? Whatever extra bit of information you're after, contact us.
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