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Sports bras: Get fit for action

January 05, 2013|By Dana Sullivan Kilroy
  • The Juno bra by Moving Comfort focuses on an encapsulation fit.
The Juno bra by Moving Comfort focuses on an encapsulation fit. (Moving Comfort, Moving…)

Eight out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size sports bra, says Heather Cvitkovic, a product manager at Moving Comfort, the women's fitness clothing company that sells more sports bras than any other brand. But when it comes to choosing a sports bra, size isn't the only thing that matters.

"The style of bra you wear needs to fit the type of activity you're doing in it," she says.

A compression bra, one that presses the breasts against the chest wall to restrict movement, is best for small-breasted women who do low-impact activities like swimming. A bra that combines compression with encapsulation — semi-molded cups — is better for women who have larger breasts and need more support than they will get from compression alone. And an encapsulation bra — a style that "lifts and separates" — is best suited for larger-breasted women who do medium- and high-impact activities such as running or jumping rope.

No matter which style you choose, "the bottom band should fit more snugly than a lingerie bra does because that's where the support comes from," says Cvitkovic. You should be able to take a deep breath without feeling uncomfortable, she adds, but it should feel tight. The bottom band should also lie flat and straight across the back. Here's a look at some of the latest styles:

Champion Sweetheart

Style: compression; pullover/ racer back

Ideal for: low impact/A-B cups

Size: S-XL

Price: $24.99

Where to buy: http://www.Championusa.com

Ibex Wool Balance Support

Style: compression; pullover/racer back with adjustable straps

Ideal for: low-medium impact/A-C cups

Size: S-L

Price: $75

Where to buy: http://www.shopibex.com

Lole Intense

Style: compression/encapsulation; pullover racer back

Ideal for: medium impact/A-C cups

Size: XS-XL

Price: $45

Where to buy: http://www.lolewomen.com

LuluLemon Ta Ta Tamer II

Style: encapsulation; hook-and-eye closure; adjustable straps that lie parallel or cross in an X

Ideal for: medium-high impact/C-D cups

Size: 32C-38D

Price: $58

Where to buy: http://www.shoplululemon.com

Moving Comfort Juno

Style: encapsulation; pullover with hook-and-eye closure; racer back

Ideal for: medium-high impact/B-DD cups

Size: 32B-40DD

Price: $56

Where to buy: http://www.movingcomfort.com

Under Armour Seamless Essential Sports Bra

Style: compression; pullover with adjustable straps; racer back

Ideal for: low impact/A-B cups

Size: XS-XL

Price: $29.99

Where to buy: http://www.underarmour.com

Victoria's Secret Incredible

Style: compression/encapsulation; pullover racer back

Ideal for: medium-high impact/B-DD cups

Size: 32B-38D

Price: $49.50-$56.50

Where to buy: http://www.victoriassecret.com

health@latimes.com

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