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Brava Home > Bra Fitting Room > Sports Bras for Active Women

If your breasts aren’t well supported it can lead to breast sag. Why? Because your breasts are made up of breast tissue, fat and tendons, there is no muscle to rebuild.

If your breasts are not supported with a good sports bra during exercise they will bounce, stretching these tendons. This is irreversible.

sports bras for fuller bust

Has your sports bra been tested?

Many bras on the market are labelled as sports bras, but are not necessarily tested to see if the support level is adequate.


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The Right Sports Bra For You

Finding the right sports bra can be challenging in bigger cup sizes. It’s important to find the most suitable one for your body shape. Some bra manufacturers have endless marketing dollars to convey how effective their sports bras are, but in our experience, just like any other bra, a sports bra can work very differently with different bodies…you be the judge.

Sports Bra Styles

We have chosen not to offer a low-impact sports bra simply because if you have a larger bust, you need all the support you can get. Brava offers a great collection of sports bras including compression and encapsulation. Our sports bra collection accommodates sports such as running, horseback riding and team sports.

Encapsulation Sports Bra - This sports bra design is usually a full coverage bra and separates your bust – it does not compress so it’s particularly good for larger breasted women. It's usually more comfortable as each breast is encapsulated inside it's own cup rather than being compressed. Studies have shown that an encapsulation sports bra is more suited to larger-breasted women because they are more comfortable and are better at reducing breast movement.

Compression Sports Bra - This sports bra style keeps breast motion to a minimum by pressing the breasts firmly to the chest. Although an encapsulation sports bra is generally better for reducing discomfort, many women prefer the compression sports bra as it minimizes their projection.

When to Buy a New Sports Bra

If you wear your sports bra 3-4 times per week you will need to replace it within 6-12 months. Your sports bra needs to be washed after each wear as sweat, body heat and body oils break down the elasticity. You need to replace your sports bra when you notice that your breasts start having a wider range of motion or it has a noticeable looser fit.

Get the right fit

Our sports bra fitting guide and video is on its way but in the meantime the below tips from Moving Comfort will help you to find your correct sports bra size as if we were there with you. If it still doesn't feel quite right then please call us for advice on 1300 4 BRAVA.

Too Small? - Scoop your breasts in the cups so they are centred and level. They should be completely held within the cups. Breast tissue that comes out the top or side indicates the cup is too small.

Too Big? - Fabric should be smooth. Wrinkles or puckers indicate the cup is too big.

Is the fit too loose? - The band should fit more snug than a standard bra and lay straight across your back without riding up. If it rides up, the band may be too loose and / or the straps need to be adjusted. To check band fit, make sure you can comfortably take a deep breath with the bra fastened on the loosest adjustment.

You may need a larger cup. - The underwire should sit on your ribcage below the breast tissue and follow your natural shape. It shouldn’t poke or pinch. The centre panel should lay flat against your breastbone. If it doesn’t, you may need a larger cup. Straps should offer minimal stretch to reduce up and down breast movement. Straps should not slide off or dig into your shoulders. If they do, try adjusting the straps for a more custom fit.

What to expect from a Sports Bra

A good sports bra will minimize the bounce, however you can't expect it to completely stop the bounce. To do this, your sports bra would need to be so tight it completely compresses your bust against your chest wall (which would result in restricted breathing). However you should feel comfortable and supported. As with many products you get what you pay for; however if you are participating in low-impact activities, you can you can achieve a good result for lower cost as the bra does not need to be as structured. If you are a C cup or above and participate in high impact activities, then you will benefit from wearing a high quality, well-structured sports bra.

Brava's top tips

  • With each sports bra you try do the bounce test by jumping up and down, swing your arms and move around. If a bra pokes, constricts your breathing, or bulges, it’s not right for you.
  • It should fit on the first hook; as it loses elasticity over time, you'll need room to tighten it.
  • Although a sports bra alone should provide enough support, research shows that a crop top over the top can add another 15% more support.
  • The most supportive sports bras are usually full in the cup and not pretty, but in the long term they will reduce breast sag. With a sports bra choose support, not the look.
  • Don't buy it if it's uncomfortable, because the comfort level will remain the same when you get home.

It's not rocket science! However, because women are made in delightfully different shapes and sizes (and bra manufacturers differ their sizings dramatically), you will not necessarily be the same size every time you have a bra fitting. And then there is... puberty, menopause, pregnancy, weight loss, weight gain... the changes to our size and shape are many, but with a little help they can be managed.

The best thing you can do for your figure and self-esteem is to visit Brava for a professional bra fitting.

Changing age, changing shape

Wearing a sports bra is beneficial, regardless of what age you are. As women age, their breast shape, as well as their breast size change. Posture can sometimes become an issue, too. Therefore, it is crucial to be re-fitted when you are going to purchase a sports bra. 

Sports bras can be extremely helpful in reducing breast bouncing while running or doing other types of active sports. Bouncing during jogging, for example, can actually damage the ligaments inside the breasts. Slight movement of breasts is helpful, because it aids the lymph flow. There is no muscle in the breast and if your breasts are not supported with a good sports bra during exercise they will bounce, stretching the tendons, causing breast sag. This is irreversible. 

Even for a low-impact activity such as walking or yoga, it is important that you are supported, and also comfortable to give you the ability to move freely. 

It’s important to find the most suitable sports bra for your body shape. There is an assortment of wired, wirefree, encapsulation and compression sports bras, often with enticing features such as crossbacks and ipod holders, however nothing is moe important than the actual comfort and support. 

Now for the Nitty Gritty

While sports bras do give breasts support, they do not ultimately prevent breasts from sagging. Gravity will eventually take its effect, we change because of the proportion of fat and tissue in our breasts, and no bra changes that. Sports bras provide support for the breasts while we are wearing them.

It helps when women accept how normal it is to change shape because when we get so brainwashed by the media images of young perky breasts, we no longer know what is normal. In reality it is perfectly NORMAL for adult breasts to be hanging in a lower, relaxed position.

Avoid the Cup of Pain

We all know the sheer relief of taking off a bra that is too tight, or whose straps are digging into shoulders, but the biggest pain relief that comes with good bra fit comes from changing poor posture. A woman who is overly conscious of her bust size or shape will often hunch to make the bust less obvious. But hunching sets you up for shoulder tendonitis, aching neck and headache.

Standing upright, with good posture, the ligaments of the shoulder hold the arm, which is what they are designed to do. Rolling your shoulders forward means the shoulder muscles have to work to hold the arm onto the body. They can fatigue and become vulnerable to rotator cuff tendinitis as a result, which causes pain at the point of the shoulder when you lie on your side. Poking your head forward means muscles have to work to hold it balanced on the neck- they fatigue too, producing pain and headache.

Get the breasts up where they belong and you'll stand taller, less hunched, and avoid hiding a bust you might choose to celebrate instead. So roll your shoulders back and down, draw your head back (you are a woman not an emu) elevate your assets in a good bra, and you'll have less pain. (Extracts taken from 'Cup of Pain - Liz Baker)

Some of our bestselling sports bras include:

Underwire Sports

Medium coverage underwire style with double layered cups for added support.


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Wirefree Sports

Full coverage with inner control from a sewn-in frame.


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Fitter's Comments

We have equal success with the Freya Active sports bras. Freya are one of our best-selling sports bras. Dont't be afraid to try a wire-free sports bra, as these are engineered to provide you with ultimate support without underwires. It really just depends on how you feel when you try each style on and do the 'bounce test'.

Active D+ Classic

Classic wirefree design, with three-dimensional support and moisture-wicking fabric.


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Active Multi Sports

Dual layer sports bra top made from moisture-wicking, high performance fabric


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Fitter's Comments

The Shock Absorber Active D+ Classic Sports Bra offers a similar level of support to the wirefree Freya Active sports bra. The Active Multi Crop is more suited to size 10-14 backs, with a compression style support. Women tend to like the Active Multi Crop bra because it provides a rounded shape and a great sporty look.

Enell Sports Bra

This compression style is made with fabric that wicks moisture and dissipates body heat.


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Elomi Energize

A Sports Bra designed for the fuller figure. It's very full coverage and holds you in well.


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Fitter's Comments

Oprah made this sports bra famous on her marathon. We have great success with Enell on most women, but if you have small shoulders this may not be for you as the shoulder straps do not adjust.

Fitter's Comments

A great sports bra for the fuller figure. The Elomi Energize sports bra goes to a J cup and we offer it to a 22 back. It has very good coverage and support for all activities.

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