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Your sports bra can play a huge role in the success of your workout. After all, a slipping strap during Downward-Facing Dog or an uncomfortable amount of bouncing during a run can easily be the thing that makes you want to quit.
No matter what you're doing, you should feel comfortable and supported. That's why the best sports bras are the ones that you don't even have to think about.
"If you are thinking about your breasts or your bra, you are in the wrong bra," Laura Tempesta, founder of Bravolution, a sports bra education and review site, told Shop TODAY. "The right bra should be 100% distraction-free."
Finding the best one for you depends on what your exercise routine looks like — someone who's going on regular walks around their neighborhood is going to need something different than the person who is tuning into HIIT classes on Zoom.
"Although you could wear a high-impact bra to a yoga class, you’d probably find it uncomfortable and restrictive," Tempesta said. "You could also wear a low-impact bra for running, but the risk of breast pain greatly increases."
That's why we rounded up the best sports bras for every workout. Whether you're a runner or a yogi, you'll find ample support from these expert-approved picks.
And remember, even the best sports bras will lose their quality with improper care. Always air-dry your bras after washing so you don't wear down the elasticity, and never wash with fabric softener as it can block the fabric's sweat-wicking abilities, Tempesta said.
- Best sports bras for low-intensity workouts
- Best sports bras for medium-intensity workouts
- Best sports bras for high-intensity workouts
Best sports bras for low-intensity workouts
Maddy Ciccone, a master instructor at SoulCycle, called this bra from Lululemon her all-time favorite. The strappy, open back allows you to move freely, which makes it perfect for yoga, stretching or everyday wear.
Ciccione also likes this pick from Nike. It features adjustable straps and super soft cotton material that will make you feel like you're wearing your favorite T-shirt. Plus it comes in a range of sizes, from XS to XXL.
Ivorie Jenkins, a yoga instructor for the digital fitness platform Glo, said she tends to stick to simpler sports bras — ones that provide just enough support, but won't hurt her shoulders after all-day wear. "[This one] is my favorite," she told Shop TODAY. "It’s super simple, fits in all the right places, has little straps and really nice fabric."
Wear this comfortable bra for a barre class or underneath your go-to loungewear. It features a flattering scoop neckline and moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool whether you're running to the grocery store or sneaking in a mid-afternoon yoga flow.
Best sports bras for medium-intensity workouts
This Free People option features a square neck and wide, comfortable straps, which makes it super versatile. It also comes in more than 20 color options and is equipped with SPF 30 UV protection.
"I wear this to virtually all my workouts," Ciccione said. "It caters more to lower-impact activities, not running and jumping. I have worn it for cycling in the past, but I think I'm also on the smaller side."
Old Navy's activewear section is filled with affordable bras that don't skimp on comfort. According to the brand, this option provides medium support for strength sessions or spin classes. The built-in molded cups and light compression will keep everything in place without making you feel suffocated.
While it's more expensive than other picks on the list, this bra can double as a shirt thanks to its longline fit. Jenkins liked this bra for its double functionality (one less thing to wash!) but also mentioned how supportive and stretchy it is.
This Amazon bestseller features a flattering cross-strap back and sweat-wicking fabric. The brand says it provides medium support, perfect for active yoga sessions or weight lifting. One verified reviewer said, "I love it. It is not too tight, I can move and breathe [in it] and forget about my bra altogether."
Best sports bras for high-intensity workouts
Bras that have to be pulled over your head need an underband stretchy enough to get past the shoulders, Tempesta said. These can get worn down easily and stretch out, losing essential support in the process. She suggests looking for a bra with a front or back closure like this option from Nike. It also has ventilation in the front and back, so you won't get overheated.
In order to have proper support during runs or HIIT sessions, you want a bra that feels like it's made for your body. While those can be hard to come by, Tempesta recommended looking for one with adjustable straps "for the best fit and support, because every woman has a different shoulder to bust length." This pick from Carrie Underwood's activewear line features straps, as well as a back closure and built-in cups for support.
The bra also has a high cut, which Tempesta said is important. "There should be no cleavage showing whatsoever," she said. "Exposed breast tissue equals moving breast tissue."
Ciccione recommended this bra for most workouts since "the high neck keeps things where they need to be." It features the brand's signature Luxtreme fabric which is breathable and sweat-wicking, great for those who run hot.
For a wallet-friendly pick that checks all the boxes, try this option from Old Navy. It zips in the front, has adjustable straps and features moisture-wicking technology to keep you dry even during your sweatiest workouts.
For high-intensity workouts like running and cycling or those that require a lot of jumping (think: HIIT classes), Ciccone recommends this option from Under Armour. The padding molds to your body to provide ample support, as well as freedom of movement.
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