What to Look for in a Sports Bra for Every Kind of Workout

Keep bounce to a minimum, even during HIIT.

Woman in grey and black sports bra stretching.
From Zumba to Pilates, there’s a sports bra for every workout regime.Nathan Cowley, Pexels

If a sore chest and shoulders are derailing your gym time, it’s time to take a closer look at the sports bras you’re wearing. Not all sports bras are created with equal support—what holds you up during yoga won’t necessarily keep you in place during spin. Here’s how to choose the right one so there’s no unnecessary pain while reaching your fitness goals.

Glamorise Women's Full Figure No Bounce Plus Size Camisole Wirefree Back Close Sports Bra #1066
Available in up to a 50J.Glamorise

For larger sized breasts, a supportive sports bra is non-negotiable—especially during high impact workouts such as jogging or aerobics. Look for a sports bra with a back clasp so you can tighten the band to your size and comfort. A well-fitting band keeps the straps from doing all the work, which minimizes stress on your shoulders.

AKAMC 3 Pack Women's Medium Support Cross Back Wirefree Removable Cups Yoga Sport Bra
Soft padding provides a light layer of support.AKAMC

When it comes to activities that are about strength and endurance, a racerback style sports bra takes you to the finish line. By cinching in the back, the straps anchor the bra closer to the body. That holds your breasts in place without feeling constricted—especially during a demanding yoga pose.

Fruit of the Loom Women's Cotton Pullover Sport Bra(Pack of 3)
Light support styles are best for smaller busts.Fruit of the Loom

Pullover style sports bras are a solid option if you focus on upper body movements and strength training. They hold your breasts in without constricting use of your arms whether holding a plank or climbing up a rock wall. To make sure the fit is right, after you pull on the bra, reach your arms overhead—if the band creeps up, it’s too big.