The sports bra: It’s the most important piece of gear in our fitness arsenals, yet many of us spend more time shopping for tights. Time to think of the girls, ladies! We checked in with fitness expert Liliana Mann, president of Linea Intima Lingerie, for her top tips on how to buy a sports bra that works as hard as you do. Anita’s new Air Control Sports Bra, $130, features an outer-mesh cup layer for maximum ventilation. Inside is the brand’s patented Delta Pad, a triangular-shaped foam cup designed to provide maximum support and air circulation to keep your skin cool.
CUPS THAT SECURE AND SEPARATE COMFORTABLE STRAPS BREATHABLE FABRICS A SUPPORTIVE BAND Here, the straps are ergonomically designed to be wider at the top, taking some pressure off your shoulders. Contrary to popular belief, the straps should not provide the majority of support. (That’s the job of the band.) “Straps that have softness and some padding are more comfortable on your shoulders,” says Mann. And they should definitely not dig in. When it comes to support, the band is one of the most important features. When you try on a new sports bra, give it a workout by jumping or squatting to see how you really feel in it, says Mann. “The strongest support will come from the band, as well as the distance between the breasts,” she says. Start on the loosest or middle hook so that you can tighten as needed. “Find a bra that fits you properly, even if it’s a sports bra without an underwire,” says Mann. “It should be a compressive bra and hold the breasts tight, but it shouldn’t create a uniboob.” Bras that push the breasts together will cause sweat to accumulate in the middle instead of being absorbed and expelled. “This can cause rashes and pimples in that area,” she says. Look for a sports bra that provides some separation between the breasts. Since you’re pretty much guaranteed to be moving and sweating in a sports bra, soft, breathable fabrics are key. Having Coolmax in the fabric will remove perspiration and heat from your body and allow it to be expelled. Microfibre is another option that dries out much faster.