InStyle - The 14 Best Plus-Size Bras for All Day Comfort and Support
Best for Workouts: Enell Sport High Impact Bra
"Looking for a supportive sports bra? Check out Ashley Graham's favorite for the gym. "Enell bras are so supportive. It's like armor if you're a runner. I have one in pretty much every color," Graham once told InStyle... "
WWD - 20 Best Bras for Large Busts
Best Exercise Bra for Large Busts: Enell Sport High Impact Bra
“Featuring front hook-and-eye closures, this easy-to-put-on sports bra is made for high-impact exercises and activities. The moisture-wicking fabric is breathable and helps prevent sweating, while the compression fit ensures breasts are held in and supported. This one is wirefree and features double-layered cups for support..."
Women's Health - Here Are The Best Sports Bras For Every Boob Size, According To Editors
Best High-Impact Sports Bra For Bigger Boobs: Enell Sport High Impact Bra
“The Enell sports bra is not sexy—just being honest here!—but it is literally the only sports bra that supports my 34F boobs through everything from high intensity workouts to marathon training..."
SELF Certified Activewear Awards: The 10 Best Sports Bras for 2022
Best Maximum Support High-Impact Bra: Enell Sport High Impact Bra
"When it comes to Enell, if you know, you know. The sports bra brand has won awards from us previously—and this year is no different. The Enell Sport Bra is wire-free with a front-hook close for ultimate comfort and easy on and off..."
Shape: These Are the Absolute Best Sports Bras for Large Breasts, According to Customer Reviews
"Ashley Graham called this high-impact pick her "favorite sports bra ever" — and she's not alone. The full-coverage design has earned hundreds of perfect ratings for its bounce-free fit, which prioritizes encapsulation over compression. Described as a trifecta of "support, stability, and security" by the brand, it's made with a nylon and spandex blend that retains its shape wear after wear."
Havre & The Hi-Line Living: Plus-Sized Determination
"If you're just stupid enough to think you can do it, then you can get it done," Havre businesswoman Renelle Braaten said with a laugh about how she grew a sports bra manufacturing business in Havre to a company that sells to retailers in 11 countries."
Women's Health: The Best Sports Bra for Every Boob Size
“The Enell sports bra is not sexy—just being honest here!—but it is literally the only sports bra that supports my 34F boobs through everything from high intensity workouts to marathon training."
SELF: 2020 SELF Certified Sports Bras, Leggings, and Shorts Awards
"While wearing this bra, I can give my all to any movement—cartwheels, jumping jacks, sprints, you name it—and not stop to think about boob placement once. I never thought the feeling of freedom would arrive in sports bra form, but the support this one gives me makes me feel even more capable of meeting my fitness goals."
"Our favorite pick for the ultimate support through runs, high-intensity training, and beyond is the Enell Maximum Control wire-free sports bra. This moisture-wicking bra has a front closure which ensures a snug fit and makes putting it on and taking it off a breeze..."
"Honestly, it's my favorite bra ever for the girls," she said... Graham is a longtime fan of the sportswear brand's bras. Back in 2016, she shared another sweaty selfie video on Instagram, telling "all of [her] big-breasted ladies out there who love to work out and can't find a bra, it's all about the Enell," she said, as she hilariously bounced around to show her followers that "these girls are not going anywhere. Nowhere!"
"To find plus-size workout clothes for women that are both comfortable and supportive, we talked to Jernigan and 11 other cool women in fitness about their favorite leggings, shorts, sports bras, and other activewear that’ll get you through your next yoga livestream (and sometimes even double as loungewear on your rest day). Read on for their favorites at a variety of price points, which we’ve sorted by style of garment and supplemented with some Strategist-approved pieces to round out the list...
Also from our list of the best sports bras for women comes this high-impact sports bra recommended by triathlete Krista Henderson. She told us it’s the most supportive bra she’s worn. “I tried the Enell and that was it — lots of support without any irritation,” she said of the bra. “The sizes range from 32- to 60-inch busts. (I’m a 42-J bra size and wear a 6 in Enell.)”
"At some point every large-chested runner has probably thought the only true cure for excessive bouncing was wearing two sports bras at the same time. Nope—this ultra-compressive model might be a little hard to get on initially (a row of hook and eye closures lines the front of the bra), but once you’re in it, you get maximum support in one ridiculously powerful layer. The sizing covers everything from a 32- to a 60-inch bust."
NY Magazine / The Strategist
"Best sports bras for high-intensity workouts...
Triathlete Krista Henderson recommends this high-impact sports bra, telling us it’s the only bra she’s tried that’s been big enough (either in cup-size or band-width) or supportive enough to wear for indoor cycling. “I tried the Enell and that was it — lots of support without any irritation,” she says of the bra, which also earned a spot on Oprah’s Favorite Things list. “The sizes range from 32- to 60-inch busts. (I’m a 42-J bra size and wear a 6 in Enell.)”
"Nothing can ruin a good workout quite like an ill-fitting sports bra. Whether it digs in, chafes you, or just isn't supportive enough, it's uniquely distracting and frustrating — sometimes even painful...
Enell, Sport, Women's Full Coverage High Impact Sports BraWhat reviewers think: "Have been using these for years and have found nothing better!" one Amazon review wrote. "The price is high, but probably reflects the work that goes into making them and the fact that they can last for a long time, if looked after. I bought my first one many years ago when I was riding and training horses and having a larger bust, [my breasts] can be uncomfortable and bouncy in most bras, but this is so different! Very structured."
"We’ve previously raved about this bra as one of the best for big boobs, and for good reason. This sports bra is heavy duty — it has ten front hook-and-eye closures and strong fabric for a comfortable fit with little to no bouncing as you work out." Read more
"Sports bras are really hard for me—I'm an H-cup so it's impossible to shop in stores. Enell sports bras are a classic and they're one of my favorites. They're functional—but not super-cute, although they have recently started doing more fun colors." Read more
Ashley Graham is 'feeling flexible & strong' as she works out in a sports bra and leggings after announcing she's pregnant with her first child
“She shared in her baby joy earlier this week after announcing she's pregnant with her first child.
And Ashley Graham was back in the swing of things with her fitness routine as she shared a few videos to her Instagram account on Sunday morning.
The 31-year-old model rocked a lavender colored sports bra with a pair of high-waisted black leggings showing off her growing baby bump for the series posted to her nearly nine million followers.
She started out the routine wearing a black tank top over her light purple ENELL Sports Bra, but removed the top to dive deeper into her flow."
15 Fitness Must-Haves That Plus-Size Athletes Swear By
"When people start their fitness journeys I recommend that they invest in the two most important things: good shoes and a great sports bra. Without the two your workouts can be very uncomfortable. Throughout the years plus-size sport bras have become plentiful but there’s one that really stands out for me, and that is the Enell Sports bra. It will make your workout unshakable (literally)!" Read more.
“That struggle is a real one, and if you can relate, Graham has some solid recommendations. She previously praised the Enell Women's High Impact Sports Bra in an Instagram video. "To all of my big-breasted ladies out there who love to work out and can't find a bra, it's all about the Enell!" she said. "These girls are not going anywhere—nowhere!" she added, shimmying her chest to prove her point."
8 Super Stylish and Supportive Sports Bras Celebrities Can’t Stop Wearing
"Ashley Graham’s sleek black sports bra from Enell is equal parts fashionable and functional. It has a compression fit for optimal support, front hook closures, and is made for high-impact activities like running or spin class." Read more
"If running, HIIT, CrossFit, or kickboxing are your preferred ways to sweat, you know that a supportive sports bra is a non-negotiable part of your workout outfit. And if you've been looking for the perfect one, you’ve come to the right place. For our 2018 SELF Fitness Awards, our editors tested a number of high-impact bras looking for the best options that kept us supported (but not squished!) throughout even the sweatiest workout." Read more
“This is my favorite sports bra because it gives those of us with bigger breasts the chance to run, jump, and do other high-impact sports without discomfort. I’m an H-cup and running was always borderline painful for me no matter which bra I wore, because none of them had enough motion control. This bra changed all that for me and now I wouldn’t consider anything else for running.” - Jill Angie, Not Your Average Runner
"The Enell sports bra is not sexy (just being honest here!), but it is literally the only sports bra that supports my 34F boobs through everything from high-intensity workouts to marathon training. Does it look cute with a racerback top? No. Does it look like something my grandma would wear? Yes. Do I care? Not one bit. I would rather wear a super-ugly sports bra that actually does its job than deal with pain (there is NO reason for your boobs to be sore after a run…) and sagging down the line." — Amanda Woerner, deputy editor"
"Enell repeatedly came up as the best bra for front closure and overall support. Erynn says she thought it was impossible to work out or run without breast pain until she found these bras. I can personally back this up as one of the best sports bras I’ve worn, especially for running. Sizes runs large and there is also the option to get a custom-fit bra."
"Curve model Ashley Graham isn’t afraid to look her best, even after an intense workout.
The 30-year-old supermodel was spotted Monday afternoon leaving a gym in lower Manhattan wearing the one workout essential she’s sworn by for years: her Enell sports bra.
Earlier this week Graham shared a video of a particularly intense sweat session on her Instagram, where she’s once again seen wearing her trusty workout bra."
"Ashley Graham was spotted walking out of one of the toughest workouts in the city- Dogpound gym, wearing a no-nonsense all black workout kit.
The model has her own lingerie collection, but for high impact routines, she went with one of her very favorites- the Full Figure High Impact Sports bra from Enell. It comes in all black with a shimmering finish."
"Enell’s sports bras provide great support and comfort, while eliminating bounce. The brand offers medium- and high-impact bras in sizes up to 52GG."
13 Supportive Sports Bras That Hook In The Front
Huffington Post, May 2, 2018
"With more than 1,500 reviews, this bra has a 4.3-star rating. It has wide straps to distribute weight and reduce shoulder strain. Wide band provides a secure fit and extra comfort, and the cross-strap design provides even more back support and comfort."
The 7 Best Sports Bras to Buy in 2018 for Large Breasts
VerywellFit.com, March 5, 2018
"Our favorite pick for keeping your breasts supported through runs, high-intensity training, and beyond is the Enell Maximum Control wire-free sports bra. This moisture-wicking bra has a front closure which ensures a snug fit and makes putting it on and taking it off easy." Read more.
9 Sports Bras That Plus-Size Athletes Swear By
Self.com, February 2018
“This bra hugs me so well! I feel covered and supported in it, so it’s great to wear for any workout. More importantly, I can wear it under my triathlon top when racing, because it dries quickly with no chafing against the skin. The fact that it comes in a rainbow of colors is just a bonus.” —Krista Henderson, award-winning triathlete and indoor rower, founder of Born to Reign Athletics (a website dedicated to motivating, educating, and celebrating plus-size athletes), and host of the Plus Performance Podcast"
Fit Bottomed Girls
If you’re looking for serious support, look no further than the Enell Sport. Designed specifically for C-cups and above this bra’s encapsulation and compression qualities are second to none. Once you try this front-closure system, you might never want to go back to a back closure ever again — it’s so easy to get on (and better yet) off. The lining and bound edges along the neck and arm make the inside of this bra extra soft on the skin and the solid construction of the wide, non-adjustable straps really help to add to the support level. The sizing on this one is somewhat non-traditional but once you get your measurements and compare them to the Enell size chart, you’ll see that it’s actually a pretty simple and universal sizing system. And the company has just come out with a racer-back style, too.
"The moment put it on, I thought to myself, This is going to work. It fit like a glove with no uncomfortable chafing. I felt secure—there was zero bounce, but I could still move around comfortably. Most importantly, I could run pain-free. I was thrilled when I didn't have to ice down my back and shoulders after my first workout in the Enell. It was truly like magic."
Tame Those Tatas!
Arabian Horse Life, Issue 2, 2017
"This bra not only wraps you in a secure hold from front to back, but has a hook and eye closures on theh front, to ensure the girls never get away. The motion control neckline eliminates up and down movement and the cross-strap design provides posture support. You never need to buy another bra again because this design has everything you could want!"
Ellie Kemper's Gift Ideas for Brand New Moms
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star and mom to 9 month old James shared her gift picks for brand new moms in the May 8, 2017 issue of People Magazine.
"Boobs can get a little funky after pregnancy and nursing, but Enell has got Mom covered. Unshakable!" See the full article here.
Model Candice Huffine on Why We Should All Ignore the Word “Plus-Size”
"Running with breasts—there's a lot to contend with there to figure out what's going to work and keep things in place. I’ve tried a lot and I have to shout from the rooftops, Enell bras are made for bigger chested women. They’re a godsend." - Candice Huffine on Allure, March 2017. See the full article here.
The Fitness Clothing Brands Ashley Graham Swears By
Enell is the sports bra brand for big-busted women. Their high-impact bras feature a front hook closure, moisture-wicking fabric, and wire-free design in a huge range of sizes that extends from 36C to 52DD. See the full article at health.com
A Better Bra
Few sports bras are designed specifically for large-breasted women. Only the Enell ($49) comes in ten sizes, accommodating up to 52DD. Its easy-to-use- hook-and-eye front closure is unique among exercise bras. To order, call 800/828-7661.
Best Bets For the Well-Endowed
Enell Sports Bra, $56
(32C to 44E)
This dependable bra has a cult following among large-breasted women for good reason. Double-layer Lycra with reinforced panels and a full back provide maximum motion control without constricting the torso or uncomfortably compressing breasts. Front hook-and-eye closures eliminate spinal rub and gymnastics required to latch back-closure bras. Enell.com
Best supported actress
To star in the upcoming film Charlie’s Angel, Drew Barrymore knew she’d need more than perfectly feathered hair. Acting out the high-speed scenes would call for real strength and stamina. Drew was never a fan of working out, so when came to me two months ago, we started out simply, walking on the treadmill at 3.5 miles per hour. Then we added 3-pound weights to strengthen her upper body. After a couple of weeks, I tried to get her to jump rope. Her face told me this was the last thing on earth she wanted to do. Later she admitted that high-impact exercises hurt her chest. So I gave her an ENELL sports bra, a tight vest with eyehook fastenings. Drew tried it on and jumped around, and nothing moved. She was so excited. “This thing’s going to change my life,” she said. Did it ever. That day she jumped rope and ran a quarter of a mile. Now she’s comfortable exercising-and she’s fit to battle crime.
Kathy Kaehler is a certified fitness trainer in Los Angeles.
"Once you get yourself hooked into this thing. Believe me-they're not going anywhere." (Enell sports bra, $52; 800-828-7661; www.enell.com)
Bra Worth Every Penny
In reference to "The No-Bounce Bra" (Apr 2003, p.31), I highly recommend finding a good sports bra. I, too, am well endowed, and the problem kept me from running. I went through a lot of styles before I found a bra that was truly "no bounce." Ladies Only Sports carries one called the Enell Serious Support Bra. It's expensive but worth it.
Becky Bauer, Waverly, OH
Learn more about the Enell Serious Support Bra and other support bras for the endowed and active woman by calling toll-free (877) 567-LADY (567-5239), or for a link to the Ladies Only Sports Web site, go to www.prevention.com
As Renelle Braaten sat watching her teammates hustle during a volleyball match, she knew she should be cheering, but she felt like screaming. If only manufacturers made a decent sports bra for large breasted women, I'd be on the court instead of sitting her in pain, she thought. But the best garment she'd been able to find her had thin elastic straps that let her large breasts bounce all over the place. "Just minutes into a game, my back would start spasming," she recalls. "I felt neglected and offended. Did companies think women like me couldn't be physically fit?" When the discomfort disabled her for weeks, causing the pounds to pile, Renelle vowed to make her own bra.
"I played without pain"
Determined, Renelle enlisted the help of her seamstress mom. Together they whipped up a prototype featuring wide nonelastic crisscross straps and a full back. "I wore it to volleyball practice, and when I lasted the entire session I was thrilled. " Before long she was sewing bras for her large-breasted teammates. Like Renelle, many went on to lose weight, thanks to the bra, which made it so easy to exercise.
"Helping women feels great"
Today Renelle is in the best shape of her life, and she owns and operates Enell (enell.com), the company that makes her sports bra. "I wanted to help as many women as possible because I know how it feels to find something comfortable that works," she says. And judging by Enell's success, it's clear she's won lots of grateful fans who know first-hand that physical fitness comes in all sizes.
The double-layered fabric delivers more glamour, less friction, and you can trust it with bigger busts. A front hookup guarantees speedy locker-room changes.
By Ruth Paisley
- The right sports bra helps reduce tissue damage caused by poor support during physical activities.
- Adequate support during physical activity is essential to maintaining a healthy body.
- To ensure you choose the correct size, you should take the time to measure yourself before you buy a sports bra.
- For maximum comfort and motion control during exercise a proper fit is important.
What makes a good bra?
CONFESSIONS OF A FAT RUNNER
More ham than hamstring, I have run more than 10,000 miles in my life. Try not to look so surprised.
By Jennifer Graham
So I'm sitting, nearly asked, on the edge of the massage table, and the masseuse comes into ask what kind of service I'll be getting today. "The Runner's Revenge," I tell her. Startled, she looks me over. "Why?" she asks. "Uh, because I run?" I answer, recalculating her tip in my head.
But when my hour was up and my deep tissues throbbed with contentment, I forgave the rube. After all, how was she supposed to know?
Most runners are ectomorphs: emaciated and square-jawed. Me, I'm an endomorph, possess of a soft and thick body that looks as if it was stuffed to order at Build-A-Bear, not sculpted at an L.A. sports club. I look so unlike a runner that, when I first started jogging, passing motorists would pull over and ask if I needed a ride.
Twenty years later, defying all laws o science, my body doesn't look much different, even though I've run at least 10,000 miles.
Ten thousand miles? I pull out the calculator, because it doesn't seem possible that these thick thighs, slapping together rhythmically like a slow metronome, could carry me across the United States and back, twice. Solidly into middle age, I am more ham than hamstring.
But if the science doesn't work, the math does. Ten miles a week, 52 weeks a year—give or take a few rugged months while pregnant—equals 10,400 miles. And most weeks, I run more than 10 miles.
I'm not bragging, mind you. Ten miles is nothing for those long-legged ectomorphs who routinely cover that distance on their lunch breaks. The running magazines to which I subscribe regularly deflate my ego with headlines such as HOW TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL 10K ON ONLY 20 MILES A WEEK!
No matter. Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the fitness guru who coined the word "aerobics," says that if you run more than 15 miles a week, you're running for something other than fitness. Fifteen miles a week is great. But without a significant reduction in ice cream (a sacrifice I'm unwilling to make), it won't make you thin.
And so it happens that, waiting for the shuttle to take me to the starting line of the Kiawah Island Half Marathon, I am a size 14 among size 4s. And yet we all get on the shuttle, ride to the start, wait for the Porta Potties and then, when the gun goes off, start to run together. Me and the skinny people! And nobody kicks me out! Is this a great sport or what!
Of course, many of us are not so much running these distances as covering them. Sometimes we cross the finish line after the winners have already eaten, showered and boarded the plane back to Kenya.
But even calorie-deprived ectomorphs can do math, and at some point the organizers of road races figured out that my $20 entry fee is just as good as amateur marathoner Lance Armstrong's. Go watch any road race—except the Olympics—and you'll see participants of all sizes. Some races even offer special prizes for heavy runners, who are called Clydesdales and Athenas. We may never win the New York marathon, but like Rocky Balboa, we can go the distance and do it in style.
OK, maybe not in style. Even for skinny people, there's something undignified about galloping scantily clad down public streets. (The children of the late George Sheehan, a leader o the running boom, were mortified when neighbors asked why their father ran around town in his underwear.)
If you're overweight, and even faintly conscious of your appearance, care must be taken. Self-conscious women sometimes "double bag," slang for wearing two sports bras. And a bit of advice: try not to run at midday, when the sun is high. Mercilessly, it goes before you and ads 20 pounds to your shadow.
The spirit cries "gazelle." The shadow yells "walrus."
Nowadays, though, there's Lycra and Enell, amazingly forgiving shorts and anatomically engineered tights. We can all look good, at least as good as anyone can look running around town in her underwear.
But this is the beauty of the run: a mile into a good one, you stop caring about what anybody thinks. Push past the pain, ignore the passing cars, and soon you arrive at a place where your head is clear, your breathing calm, and the cares of the day fade away. This is why we run, all of us—the thinnest and the fattest. This is why we race. This, and sometimes there's free beer at the finish line.
Mega-supportive racer-back long-line has a hooked front closure that makes it easy to get out of even when you are sweaty. ENELL
Sensible or Sexy
Sensible by Amy Laroca
If I were to make a list of things that get me through the darker days, it would have to include over-sauced spaghetti, one very specifically smushy pillow, and a snug little pair of plain cotton low-rise briefs from the Gap.
I'm a great fan of lovely lingerie, and I've got a real collection to prove it. I'm devoted to La Petite Coquette, a spectacular slip of a shop not far from my house where a very nice salesgirl knows my size, my taste, and exactly when to call. I am also the proud owner of the full Roy G. Biv of Hanky Panky low-rise thongs. But no matter how many G-strings, how many cleverly cut boy shorts, and how many complicated lacy bits of business bought as the bottom half of a set, there will forever be a special place in my heart (and my pants) for those dowdy little drawers.
The truth is, they're perfect. When you put them on, they really stay put. They don't chafe or bunch or ride up. They stretch perfectly across the hips, and they rest exactly low enough in back. They come in white and black and a heathery charcoal gray. (There are seasonal variations, which is a level of frump I feel no need to explore. Wearing big cotton underpants is one thing: wearing big cotton underpants printed with little candy canes is another thing entirely.)
I don't wear them all the time. I wear them to the gym—I consider them every bit as essential as a good Enell sports bra—and sometimes to sleep, and sometimes when it's raining and/or my boyfriend has gone out of town. They're terrifically modest under loose summer dresses and perfect for cleaning the house. Sometimes I try to tell myself that there is something sexy in their plainness, something fetching about such modesty. But there isn't. I can accept that. And it doesn't make me love them any less.
Enell Sports Bra
A perennial favorite among well-endowed women, the Enell Sports Bra minimizes breast movement, eliminates chafing.
ENELL is proud to be recognized on the cover of US Weekly, featuring Michelle Aguilar the winner of NBC's hit show The Biggest Loser. The ENELL Bra is featured on the show during workout sessions and has been instrumental in promoting the physical well being of the contestants. With unique compression style, quality materials, Naturexx process with "wicking" capabilities, as well as the variety of sizes, the ENELL SPORTS Bra was the perfect choice for the show's contestants to wear. All of us at ENELL, congratulate Michelle on her astonishing 110 pound weight loss. Be sure to check out the current season of The Biggest Loser to see contestants to wearing the ENELL Bra and working hard at changing their lives through their exercise regimes.
"Geoffrey got me the best sports bra. It's strong and sexy, and I feel like a superhero in it." Enell, $64
Celeb Training Tips: Do What You Hate
Jillian Michaels Spills Her Tips
I have an enormous amount of respect for celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels. She works so hard to get the body she has, and in an interview earlier this year, she admitted that she "was the fat kid." I trust her real-life workout tips, and now she's telling us to do what we hate. Great!
While working out can be really tedious, Michaels said that the boring stuff is quite often what will do you good. "Calisthenics prints, speed agility, quickness drills—it's so tedious and so monotonous and I hate every second of it," she said.
It looks like I'll be kicking it into high gear with some wind sprints and long-distance running tomorrow ... and I'm going to remember these things to keep me from going insane while I follow Jillian Michaels' tips.
- Headphones: The better they are, the better you'll feel. Load up your iPod, and then don't let yourself listen to anything until you get on the track, on the trail, or in the gym.
- Fun Beverages: If I'm going to be seating buckets, then I will actually need something to replenish my energy halfway through. I'm thinking that I'll hunt down some coconut water and chocolate milk to bring along with me—at least I'll get to anticipate something during my workout blast.
- Awesome Foundation Pieces: ladies, I won't get near high-impact moves unless I'm layered up underneath. When you stretch those ligaments, they are done for—forever. Enell Sports Bras are like the champion of active bras, even liked by Oprah. Say no more!
- Workout Plans: I like to print off workout routines or get an app on my phone with something new. If you challenge yourself with pre-planned workouts by a pro, then they won't feel as monotonous.
by Lisa Oram
As much as it can be a blessing to be generously endowed, an energetic workout can be painful. Read up on the science behind the bounce, and discover how to buy the best bra for the job.
Finding larger bras for vigorous activity is a tough proposition. And yet, the right bra can make the difference between a walker and a jogger, or a woman who sticks with her exercise regimen and one who gives up.
"Breast size and pain caused by exercise can be a real barrier to women doing exercise," believes Joanna Scurr MD, a sports scientist at the University of Portsmouth in the UK who pioneered the study of breast movement.
How to Buy a Sports Bra
Oram, Lisa "No Bounce Sports Bras for Bigger Busts"
Wightwatchers.com. 4 January 2010. Web. 6 January 2010.
A sportswear manufacturer of athletic clothing for women only, says that finding the right sports bra "revolutionized her ability to run" (she's a 34 DD). She offers the following advice about how to shop for a bra:
- Get fitted by a professional to determine your correct size.
- Size will change with age. Use size as a guide, but then try on every bra in your size in the store.
- Test the bra by moving around the fitting room or jog a few laps around the store.
- Look in the mirror while you move. You will probably see some movement, but if there's more than an inch of bounce, it's not your bra.
She reminds us that breasts don't settle into a bra by themselves, so you have to reach your hand into the cup and scoop the breast tissue from the bottom to place it in the proper position – every time you put the bra on.
But as more and more women are seeking an active and healthy lifestyle, bra support is getting better, including some styles that are designed specifically for the well-endowed woman. If you've ben wearing two bras at the same time for high impact activity, take a look at what we found out below.
Sports bra basics
Scurr's research shows that breasts actually move in their directions, not just the up-and-down bounce that is most visible. While a woman is walking on a treadmill, there is also breast movement from side to side and in and out. Additionally, the speed of breast movement during exercise can be a significant contributor to pain, which means the transition from walking to jogging is a significant movement, chest-wise.
Besides pain, there is the unfortunate issue of droop and sag. Excessive breast movement damages the naturally fragile support of breast tissue and can result in permanent damage to the figure. Young women especially have a chance at preventative maintenance if they get into a good sports bra early.
Bra design tackles the wiggle and jiggle in two ways. Compression bras press breasts against the chest to limit their movement. Encapsulation bras support each breast individually. Some bras are a combination of both styles.
According to Scurr's research, each breast moves independently, which points to greater effectiveness from encapsulation bras. Compression bras, she maintains, limit bounce, but not the movement in other directions.
All sports bras are made from wicking fabrics that absorb sweat to keep you dry and cool. They need to stay put – no one wants to tug her bra in the middle of a tennis serve. And they need smooth construction that does not irritate the skin by rubbing and chafing. Fortunately, many sportswear manufacturers have grown wise to the fact that women with larger chests like to work out hard, so shopping for them is a lot easier.
Women with very large busts, however, still find it hard to find a bra that allows more than light movement. Don't give up; there are products out there, you just have to know where to look. In 1993, Enell founder Renelle Braaten, an avid volleyball player, cobbled together a bra with her seamstress mother that gave Renelle the support and comfort she hadn't been able to find. Retailer Title Nine calls this bra the "Last Resort," which says it all. Its 10 sizes fit women from a 32-52 band size and DDD cup. The design combines encapsulation and compression with front closure and a full coverage back. It's not pretty, but it works.
Our Bra Favorites
WeightWatchers.com staff and friends (of many shapes and sizes) put several models to the test. Here are their favorites. (Prices and availability may vary.)
The only sports bra that has ever worked for me is the Enell Sport – and by work, I mean once it's on , my breasts simply do not move. Before the Enell, I couldn't run or do aerobics without pain; now, I can do both. With its vest-like design and nearly 20 tiny hooks up the front, it's the strangest looking undergarment I've ever seen, but I couldn't care less. This bra is a secret weapon, and I feel like a superhero when I'm running in it! One style, 10 sizes, six colors.
Lisa Oram, Freelance Writer
$60 to $66; Available at Enell.com
Television show aired in Australia
Best Sports Bras
There's the frustration, the discomfort and the sheer humiliation...
Two-thirds of Australian women are risking permanent damage to their breasts, by exercising in the wrong bra.
Jane Kilkenny is an e-cup and a personal trainer, not a good combination when you can' find a bra with support.
"I have been reduced to tears in the frustration of trying to find the right sports bra," Jane tells ACA. "I've had a lot of injuries simply caused by lack of support in the breast area."
Jane now shares her experiences with her clients, educating them that a good sports bra is paramount to their performance.
"It is an absolutely essential piece of training equipment. Without the right support when you're exercising, sagging and drooping can be a major issue."
Maxine Windram is from Brava, a shop specialising in well-supported bras for larger women.
"There's more weight in a bigger bust, so more movement that can lead to bigger damage," Maxine says.
While nothing can be done to reverse the inevitable effects of gravity, there is a solution to slowing the sagging of breasts-and that is wearing good sports bra which will minimize the stretching of ligaments in our breasts during exercise.
Breasts move independently so you can imagine a woman running, breasts actually move in a figure eight shape rather than up and down as we might imagine. We've really got to protect the bust sideways as well us just up and down with the compression at the top and at the side.
Looking good on the outside starts with choosing the right bra underneath.
"You'll often spend over $250 on a pair of sports shoes, but what would you spend on your prized assets?"
And now the very latest research has produced anti-bounce bras that make intense exercise enjoyable again.
Brava's Enell Sports Bra: Oprah's favorite sports bra, the Enell is great for high intensity sports and particularly good for bigger busted women.
487 High Street
Prahran East VIC
03 9529 3046
Monday to Saturday
10.00am – 5.00pm
Biggest Loser contestants wearing the ENELL Bra!
Abby lost a total of 100 pounds on The Biggest Loser
The Enell Sports Bra NL100 features a combo of support and comfort. The patented design and construction – a balance of compression and encapsulation – is designed for well-endowed women who need superior support and comfort while working out. MSRP: $64-$66.
"As a large-chested woman, I was always uncomfortable running or using cardio machines. Since I discovered the Enell bra, I've lost 35 pounds! My husband tells me all the time how different I am- not just the way I look, but my attitude toward life"
WOMEN'S LIFESTYLE - GRAND RAPIDS
Enell Sports Bra in White $64-66
This amazing sports bra is designed exclusively for well-endowed women who enjoy high-impact sports. The cross-strap design provides posture-enhancing back support. The wide elastic band offers a secure fit and prevents chafing. The warp knit compression fabric draws moisture away from the body, even during the most intense workouts. Also, available in Black, Ecru and Hope (Pink). Offered in 10 sizes. Sold at Gazelle Sports and local boutiques
The Top Choices: A women's guide to the best jog bras
The latest sports bras have more features than an iPhone, including adjustable straps, removable padding, and cushioned underwire. All this variety means a better chance to find a bra that keeps your chest –whether it's an A cup of FF – supported and jiggle free on the run. We asked 25 women to wear test 31 of of the newest tops. Based on their feedback, we selected these 12 favorites. To find the best bra for you, start with your cup size and note your style preferences (shimmel? tank? T-back?) on the following pages. Then get measured, try a few sizes, and job around to make sure the fit is run-worthy.
"My large chest always gets in the way of having perfect form when I'm strength training."
Beth Manes, 42
As with regular D, a DD can divide and conquer with an encapsulation bra. But you need even more support: Tank straps and a high T-shirt neckline in front and back help contain cleavage and banish bulge. (Later, back fat!)
Top pick Sports Bra, $ 64 to $66;
Thanks to its compression-encapsulation combo, a high neck and wide, no-stretch straps, this bra holds you in but allows arms the fullest range of motion. In-front hooks make it easy get it on (and off). "When you have really big boobs, pulling a sports bra overhead or closing hooks in back can be extremely challenging," Lawson says. "This secure style let her twist and turn-amazing!
Enell Sports Bra with superior support worth $64 enell.com
As a well-endowed and active woman, I've always struggled to find the perfect sports bra. Over the years, I've tried different bras with mixed results and usually resorted to the best underwire option I could find. With the ENELL SPORTS Bra, I can finally stop searching. It works just like a good sports bra should: it eliminates bounce, puts the girls right where thy need to be with its compression/encapsulation combo, and is still comfortable. It has quickly turned into my go-to bra for all activities—sometimes I forget I even have it on. The wide straps keep it from digging into my shoulders, provide great back support, and eliminate bulging. And no more struggling to pull a contraption over my head—the front-hook closure system makes this bra relatively easy to put on and take off. Plus, since the bra is developed right here in Montana, I felt good about buying local. $64-$66, depending on size; enell.com—Angie Mangels
While the front clasps "look like armour," for busty girls (up to 52DD), they're "easier than pulling on a bra overhead." The high back and no-stretch straps "halt bouncing" even while jumping rope.
This industrial bra, which has a solid back of nonstretchy, nylon/Lycra blend, is "unbelievable," says a 38DD tester. "I can't get over the coverage and support." 32C-52DD
Behold, individual cups!
In the late eighties, Renelle Braaten, an avid volleyball player, was sick of wearing two sports bras and STILL being uncomfortable, according to Deadspin. She designed a hybrid that combined the popular compression style with encapsulating cups—something that bustier women need. She called it the Enell Sports Bra and even got an endorsement from Oprah! These babies are still on the market and are known for their front clasps.
Our Verdict: "I couldn't believe what a difference [the ENELL Sports Bra] made. My chest felt weightless. With "the girls" lifted and compressed, I felt as if I'd lost about 15 pounds, and looked like it, too! I usually hunch my shoulders forward when I ride to prevent my chest from bouncing, but when I was wearing the ENELL I could sit up straight. This bra is a lifesaver for well-endowed women riders – never again will I have to dread the sitting trot!"
How to pick the right sports bra.
For bigger busts:
Enell Sports Bra: Front fastening with double layering for a more robust hold. High neckline for full coverage and extra wide non-stretch straps to prevent digging in.