December 9, 2011
A late and chilly fall has definitely arrived here in my hometown of Portland, Oregon, and I’ve resigned myself to fewer glorious days outside on my bicycle, and more indoor workouts. That’s actually not such a bad thing, because while my long summer bike rides keep my legs and butt in fantastic shape, my upper body gets a little soft and lazy.
Heading inside to pump up my total-body strength reminds me once again that jumping into a sport-specific bra for whatever workout I’ve chosen definitely makes everything easier and more comfortable!
When you’re shopping for the perfect bra for strength-training, here’s my short and sweet checklist of what to look for:
- If you’re working out on resistance machines or with free weights, bounce isn’t usually a major issue, so moderate support may give you all the motion control you need. Here’s your chance to gear up in that cute little medium impact sports bra that didn’t have quite enough bounce-busting power for running!
- If your favorite strength routine involves dynamic high-impact motions like jumping, plyometrics or martial arts moves, score on a bra style that’s also been tested and rated for high or maximum motion control.
- Regardless of the support level you need, whatever sports bra you choose should give you a comfortable, full range of motion in your arms and chest as you go through your lifts.
- Your bra needs to fit snugly enough in the bottom band to stay down when you reach and lift overhead, but not so tightly around your ribs that you can’t breathe through your reps properly.
- Straps that slip annoyingly are a major distraction, so sleuth out racerback, cross-back or convertible strap designs that put a firm stop to strap creep.
- Check for cleavage control during moves like bent-over rows, pushups, and inversions over your exercise ball—you want your focus to be on your technique, not whether or not your girls are going to stay in your sports bra!
- Your arms are one of the first things to start showing shapely results from strength training, so go ahead and flaunt them! Layer up a sports bra in a dynamite color with an arm-revealing tank top—you’ll be able to do a better job of checking your form while you lift, and show off your hard-earned success at getting buffed!
Stay strong, and have a wonderful workout week!