For women, the right sports bra is often the most important piece of gear no matter what sport you do. But because the requirements for running are different than those of yoga, or cycling, or Zumba, it’s hard to find one bra that works for everything you want to do. That’s why I have about 20 sports bras in my closet (I know, I know) and I’m not alone: When I polled my female friends I found that most had somewhere between 3 and 30+ sports bras (no joke!).
But it is possible to cull that number at least a little. LaJean Lawson, PhD, a sports and exercise expert who has consulted sports bra makers for a couple of decades, suggests trying on a sports bra before buying it so you don’t get strapped with a not-quite-right bra. (Ordering several from a shop with a liberal return policy works too!) Before committing, put your over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder through this series of tests:
- The bend over: Lean forward and see if your cleavage spills over the top. This is ultra important in yoga, which has a ton of upside down poses, but spillover can also be an indication that the bra doesn’t fit right and won’t contain your assets during jumping and running.
- The bounce: Jump up and down and watch your reflection in the mirror. If your cleavage moves more than one inch up and down this isn’t the right level or support or size for you.
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