A sports bra is a protective undergarment designed for women to wear during athletic exercise. In addition to providing support for the breasts, it also protects them while the woman exercises. Women with all chest measurements find that a sports bra makes exercising much more comfortable, and for women with larger breasts, a sports bra can greatly increase the freedom of movement needed to exercise. Many department and sports stores carry sports bras designed for various activities and bodies.
In general, a sports bra is designed as a one size garment, meaning that there are no straps to adjust. Therefore, it is crucial to find one which fits properly. Many women do not know their actual bra size, or may be unaware of changes in bra size, and it can help to ask a salesperson for help. A salesperson may also be able to make recommendations for specific athletic activity, and brands which may fit better or be more comfortable on a specific figure.
A sports bra should fit snugly on the chest without feeling restrictive, and the straps should all lie flat and even against the body, with no signs of strain and tugging. Women with larger breasts often benefit from wearing a sports bra with straps which cross in the back, providing extra support. Women who wear underwire bras on a daily basis may also wish to wear underwire in their sports bras.
The fabrics used to make sports bras are usually breathable, allowing the bra to wick moisture away from the body for comfort. In addition, the design usually eliminates seams on the inside of the bra, to eliminate chafing issues. It is important to follow the care directions for a sports bra to ensure that it will not change size or shape, and to replace a sports bra if it loses strength and elasticity. In general, a sports bra should be washed in cool water and hung to dry, and some bras may require hand washing. If you are not clear about the care instructions, ask a salesperson.
In addition to coming in the form of a standalone bra, some sports bras are incorporated into tank tops and other workout wear. These tanks are usually very figure hugging, and are generally designed with smaller figured women in mind. For a women with smaller breasts, a sports bra and tank top combination can be quite comfortable, especially in hot weather, when one wants to wear as few layers as possible while adhering to modesty standards.