I wore these high-impact sports bras during HIIT training – they all excelled

I wore these high-impact sports bras during HIIT training – they all excelled

  • Underband support: It’s believed that 80% of breast support comes from the underband of a sports bra. That means the section that sits beneath the breast needs to be safe and secure, as well as being comfortable.
  • Adjustable features: It’s really hard to design a bra that will sit perfectly on every person, given we all come in different shapes and sizes. Even if the cup size is right for our boobs, some people have shorter torsos while others have smaller ribs, meaning the exact strap length and band size we need will vary. That’s why the best bras should have adjustable features, such as straps, clasp-back bras or removable padding, so you can fit it perfectly to your body.
  • Compression: Compression sports bras are a great option for people who don’t like a lot of faff with their bras. They are designed to press the boobs in to the chest to reduce movement for overall support, though they are also best suited to people with smaller busts. How well a bra compresses breasts is a key thing to look at when testing high-impact sports bras.
  • Encapsulation: The other type of support found in a bra is encapsulation. This is where each breast is contained separately, like in a traditional non-sports bra. It will hold a breast up and still, and can be more supportive than compression styles of high-impact activities and is often preferred by women with bigger chests.

Are high-impact sports bras supposed to be tight?

It makes sense that opting for the tightest high-impact sports can reduce bounce and therefore be safer for your breasts. But super-tight bras are very uncomfortable, which is likely why people are so put off of sports bras. And research from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that tight sports bras also restrict breathing, with athletes taking more frequent but shallower breaths. When they loosened their underbands, their breathing was deeper and slower, which is a good way to conserve energy during tough workouts.

Can you wear a high-impact sports bra all day?

I’m one of the many who like to work from home and lounge around in a sports bra. But when I do this, I opt for a low-impact sports bra that has much more give and is less compressive. That’s because it’s much more comfortable on my body and stops any restriction when breathing and digesting all day long.

So while, in theory, a high-impact sports bra should be comfortable and loose enough to lounge in all day, it’s probably not a great idea in practice.

Scroll for our full edit of the best high-impact sports bras 2024.

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