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Your boobs can bounce up to 14cm during a workout, according to research by the University of Portsmouth. That sounds like a good reason to bin those 10-year-old sports bras you’ve been working out in and opt for something more supportive.
Moments after Chloe Kelly ran around the pitch in her Nike crop top, google searches for sports bras jumped by 316%, according to lingerine brand Pour Moi. On social media, people were equally obsessed. Not just because seeing her in her sports bra was empowering, but also because they were in awe of her finding a bra that fit so well as she ran, jumped and scored.
The reality is that most of us don’t own bras as supportive as Kelly’s. That impacts our workouts: wearing the wrong bra has been shown to shorten your stride length by four centimetres, according to research by Brooks and the University of Portsmouth, as well as increase the energy cost of movement and affect breathing mechanics.
There’s no doubt that finding a good bra shouldn’t be as much of a challenge as it is, but we have to admit that there are a lot of boxes they need to tick. As well as keeping you supported while you run, jump and squat, it needs to wick sweat, keep you cool and stay comfy.
Of course, everyone’s bra needs are different depending on the sport they are playing, their chest size and their shape. But these supportive and innovative bras are a good place to start your hunt for the perfect piece of kit.
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Shock Absorber Classic Support Bra, £34
With thick straps and a wide underband, Shock Absorber bras are designed for total boob comfort. When Ayesha Sandhu, Stylist’s events assistant, tried one, she said ” I honestly think this is the best sports bra I have ever worn” thanks to the brilliant fit.
Shop Shock Absorber Classic Support Bra, £34
Nike Dri-Fit Swoosh, £44.95
Make like Kelly in a white Nike bra, complete with a comfortable racerback and innovative adjustable underband for a personalised fit. The compressive style works well for high-impact activity, or loosen the band for gentle support in walks and yoga.
Shop Nike Dri-Fit Swoosh, £44.95
Royce Impact Free Bra, £32
Rebecca Denne, Strong Women contributor, loved this bra for the fact it combines comfort and structure. “I do circuit training sessions in this, with lots of burpees and star jumps, and still feel so supported. I like the fact that it’s designed like a normal bra with a clasp, too,” she says.
Shop the Royce Impact Free Bra, £32
Under Armour Infinity Spots Bra, £34
This bra features the latest ‘figure eight’ design, with padding shaped to the natural movement of your breasts for support where you really need it.
Shop Under Armour Infinity Spots Bra, £34
Maaree High Impact Sports Bra, £64
Another brand that has thrown out the rule book and revolutionised sports bras is Maree. It’s the first to design as overband, as well as an underhand, to limit upward bounce while you train. Designed by a qualified sports bra tester, it also features a clasped racer back for extra support.
Shop Maaree High Impact Sports Bra, £64
Spanx Long Length Medium Impact Sports Bra, £58
For a bra with a little more coverage but full support, this thick strapped and long line bra works like a crop top and bra combined. The non-wired band stops the bra from rolling up or down with optimum comfort, and the sweat and salt-proof material means you can wear it for swimming, cycling and hiking.
Shop Spanx Long Length Medium Impact Sports Bra, £58
Lululemon Like A Cloud Bra, £58
Just because you’re not hitting the ground in low impact sports, it doesn’t mean your boobs aren’t moving. This Lululemon bra’s soft, moulded cups are perfect for yoga and pilates – supple enough for stretchy movement but still supporting your chest.
Shop Lululemon Like A Cloud Bra, £58
Image: Getty/Brands own
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