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Shopping for an everyday bra is a major challenge if you have big boobs, even more so if you’re looking for a sports bra. Take it from someone who’s busty themselves. Back in high school, I used to wear racerback sports bras over my underwire ones to try and achieve the support I was after. These days, I simply avoid certain exercises altogether, like anything that requires jumping or running. However, it is possible to find that diamond in the rough, if you know what to look for, which is why I reached out to bra-fitting expert Jené Luciani Sena for all of her juicy secrets on how to find the best sports bras for big boobs that are supportive and comfortable.
About the Expert
Featured on NBC, Bravo, and more, Jené Luciani Sena is a seasoned bra fitting expert, empowering women by educating them on how to find the perfect bra to boost their confidence. She’s also the author of the best-selling book, The Bra Book, and host of the Visible Panties podcast.
What To Look For in a Sports Bra if You Have Big Boobs
First things first, it’s important to know that there are two main types of styles when it comes to sports bras, according to Sena: compression and encapsulation. Here’s her quick breakdown on both styles:
- Compression: “This is the common style that women often think of. It comes in one piece, gets pulled over your head, or zips up the front. The idea behind this is that it “compresses” breasts together and to your chest to prevent them from moving.”
- Encapsulation: “This style of sports bra is similar to a regular bra in that it has somewhat separated cups and often a band with a clasp in the back. It “encapsulates” both breasts separately but helps hold them firm to your chest so they don’t move. Sometimes, they even have an underwire for additional support.”
So, if you have big boobs, which style should you opt for? “In the case of sports bras for large breasts,” says Sena, “encapsulation is generally preferred as the compression style can still have movement when the fabric offers too much stretch.” But that doesn’t mean you should avoid compression bras altogether, you’ll just want to consider what activity you’re participating in. For example, if you’re partaking in low-impact activities like yoga or barre, compression sports bras are likely fine. High-impact activities like cycling, running, or HIIT will require more support, so encapsulation sports bras are the way to go.
In terms of features, you should look for “wider and adjustable straps, a wider [adjustable] band, more compression in the fabric (ie higher spandex content), and a racerback is a good feature because it keeps the bra pulled tight and close to the body,” says Sena. Some sports bras even have underwire if you want that extra bit of support.
Overall, you’ll want to ensure that no matter the bra you choose, the fit is just right. “This means snug enough to hold breasts in place without being too tight and constrictive” and that the straps aren’t digging into your shoulders, advises Sena. One foolproof way to ensure that your sports bra will provide enough support, especially during high-impact activities, is what Sena calls the bounce test. “This simply entails jumping up and down in front of a mirror to see whether or not your breasts are moving or staying firm to your chest.”
Whether you’re a yogi, a cycler, a weightlifter, or walker, read on for the best sports bras for big boobs that are worth every penny.