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Finding the right sports bra is now an easier task than ever before. HerRoom has the best sports bra descriptions, and now has The Bounce Test on every high impact sports bra that comes in a D cup size or larger. We offer a large variety of sports bras and athletic lingerie from zip front sport bras styles to plus size sports bras. HerRoom offers low-impact sports bras for low-impact activities like yoga and walking. Medium-impact sports bras which are worn for golf, skiing, and stair climbing. Our high-impact sports bra collection is extensive and accommodates sports such as horseback riding, running, basketball and soccer.
Every active woman really needs a wardrobe of sports bras. This is because one sports bra does not handle all activities. Now, with that statement, you're probably thinking we're simply trying to sell you more sports bras. Actually, we just want you to wear the right sports bra. For example, if you take yoga, run, and get on a stair master, each of these activities has special needs and thus special sports bras. For example, indoor sports require sports bras that breathe and can wick away moisture. They may also need to give the look of outerwear. Outdoor sports, on the other hand, will probably necessitate a sports bra that can be covered up, and is light weight. So, a sportsbra wardrobe is a very real consideration.
Jogbra, the first Sports Bra:
The first sports bra dates back to 1977 when Hinda Miller and Lisa Landahl sewed together a pair of jockstraps. It was marketed as the Jogbra. Today, Champion is the holder of the Jogbra name. The basic characteristics of a sports bra today include an absorbent and stretchable fabric, or a fabric that draws perspiration away from the skin thus reducing irritation. Whereas the early sports bras used an "ace-bandage approach" to keep the breasts from bouncing, sports brassieres today can be classified into either encapsulation brassieres (with molded breast-shaped cups), or compression brassieres that restrict movement by flattening the breasts.
Plus Size Sports Bras:
Different sports exert different amounts of stress to your breasts. If you have larger breasts, these stresses are magnified. Many sports bra manufacturers now categorize their sportsbras not only by sports impact levels - high impact bras, low impact bras - but also by breast size: average size sports bras and plus size sports bras. Low impact sports, such as weight training, requires some breast support, while sports like volleyball require significant breast support. Regardless of the activity, full figure or plus-size breasts are going to need more support. Plus size sports bras, therefore, provide the necessary support to control breast motion and reduce the bounce force in each activity. To further assist you in determining the amount of bounce in a sports bra, HerRoom has videos on all high-impact sports bras (click on video icon just below each image). Our model wears a size 34D high-impact sports bra, and runs in place. You will see a front view and a side view of the model's bounce. We call it The Bounce Test video.
The American Council on Exercise did a study on sports bras and came up with their recommendations for selecting the right sports bra. A good sports bra should minimize or eliminate breast movement. The Council found that harness-style sport bras, which encapsulate each breast, are more suited to larger-breasted women because they are more comfortable and are better at reducing breast bounce.
Enell Sports Bra:
For the ultimate in bounce control and comfort, the Enell sports bra reigns supreme. Oprah made this bra famous by wearing it while training to run in a marathon. Enell is made with a nylon/Lycra® blend and treated with Naturexx - high performance fabric that wicks moisture and dissipates body heat. The Enell sports bra is primarily designed for larger breasted women. It closes in the front with hooks-and-eyes for easy on and off, and has wide shoulder straps. The sizing for Enell sport bras is very unique. Therefore, consult with the sizing chart located on the page before making your size selection. The Enell Sports Bra is the winner of the 2007 Undie Award for Best Full-Figure Sports Bra.
Champion Sports Bras:
Champion considers itself the first designer/manufacturer of sports bra. Champion has now been in the sportsbra business for over 20 years. Today, their assortment is vast and includes new support features and exclusive performance fabrics and finishes. Champion sports bras are particularly popular for wearing during lower impact activities. The Champion 2893 sports bra won the 2007 Undie Award for Favorite Sports Bra for the average figure.
Sports Bra Construction:
Three basic sports bra constructions exist on the market today. Below is an explanation of each. However, in general, encapsulation sports bras are better for reducing discomfort, though many women prefer the compression sports bra design for modesty because it minimizes their projection.
- Compression sports bras - Like an ace-bandage, this sportsbra style keeps breast motion to a minimum by pressing the breasts firmly to the chest. This style is best suited for A and B cup women.
- Encapsulated sports bras - Also called natural shaping sports bras, its design is more like a full coverage bra and provides a more natural breast shape - no uni-boob look. For women with a C cup size or larger, I's more comfortable because each breast sits inside its own pocket rather than being compressed.
- Underwire sports bras - This is the newest sport bra construction. It puts an underwire in an encapsulated sports bra style. This added underwire gives even more support to a plus size sports bra.
- Padded sports bras - This style has yet to hit the market. Women ask for it because they would like modesty without their nipples showing. However, a padded sports bra would not dry quickly, and could feel wet and heavy if worn during an activity with significant perspiration. Therefore, we suggest wearing a sports bra with nipple concealers to achieve your goal.
Style choices among sportsbras are many. Here are just a few:
- Innerwear, outerwear, or underwear - Several sports bras can be worn as outerwear. Of course, color plays a big part here. White traditionally should be covered up. Colored sports bras are considered more acceptable as outerwear.
- Racer back or traditional - A racer back or racerback sports bra is said to give the most support to larger breasted women. However, a racer back sports bra is great for all women because it allows for more unobstructed arm movement. If you prefer a more traditional back, look for one with scoop styling.
- Zip front, front close, back close or no closure - The easiest sports bras to get into are zip front sports bras. The hardest to get into, but feel the best are those no closure sports bras that pull on over your head. Your choice really depends on your level of dexterity.
Today sportsbras come in many different fabrics. Here's a list of the most popular sportsbra fabrics, along with a brief explanation of their benefits.
- Supplex Nylon/Lycra Spandex - Offers soft, luxurious feel and incredible fit, support and shape retention.
- Cotton/Lycra Spandex - Soft, moisture-managing cotton combines with shape-retaining Lycra to create a very comfortable fabric with just the right amount of stretch and support.
- CoolMax Polyester/Lycra Spandex - This high-performance fabric blend delivers you all the moisture-wicking benefits of CoolMax plus the comfort, stretch and shape retention of Lycra.
- Polyester/Cotton/Lycra Spandex - This 3-fiber blend offers polyester and cotton for softness and moisture management while Lycra provides optimal fit and support.
- Polyester/Cotton - Classic blend provides gentle softness and powerful moisture management for all your workouts.
When to Buy a New Sports Bra:
Women who wear a sports bra 3-4 times per week will need to replace her sports bra within 6-12 months - similar to when her running shoes wear out. This is because a sports bra needs to be washed after each wearing. Washing, along with perspiration, body heat and body oils, breaks down the elasticity in a sport bra's support material. Because of the high elastic content in most sports bras, a sport bra that is hand washed and hung dry will typically last longer than one that is machine washed and tumble dried. Here are some signs that your sports bra may need to be replaced:
- A noticeable looser fit
- A "snapping sound" by the fibers when you stretch the sports bra to put it on.
- Your breasts start having a wider range of motion
- Fabric pilling - particularly under the arms.
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