October 2015

The Perfect Budget Sports Bra

It all happened whilst I was shopping with a friend, helping her find a dress for Yom Kippur. It was proving to be fruitless as most of the dresses were either too long or too short. The difficulty in finding a dress led me to a short attention span, and soon I was looking at everything that just wasn’t Yom Kippur appropriate. And that’s when it caught my eye.

 Whether you follow me on Twitter or here, I think it’s safe to know that everyone knows I strongly believe that all women should wear a correctly-fitted sports bra. It may sound silly, but it is so fundamental and basic. The number of times I see women wearing their normal everyday bra at the gym is countless. Whatever your size, your bust needs to be strapped in tight (especially if over a C cup). There should be no, or minimal, bounce.

I confess I love lingerie. I have a ginormous collection of lacy underwear sets and this slight obsession has transferred into my sportswear wardrobe. The problem I have is that I have noticed that whilst the fitness fashion industry has really taken off the last two years, not much has come in the way of highly supportive sports bras. Yes, Lorna Jane creates some very pretty sports bras, but if you do have a big bust, the bras just don’t provide the right support if you’re doing high impact sports. (I wish that wasn’t the case because Lorna Jane sports bras are great designs). Often the bras state they are high-impact sport friendly but truth be told is, this really is only the case for those with smaller busts. By all means, if you have a bigger bust, and want to wear a balconette or half-cup style, go ahead, but I don’t really want my bust pouring out of my bra whilst I’m doing burpees. Nor do I want them bouncing all over the place.

My go-to sports bra brand for high-impact sports has always been Shock Absorber. Their bras do the job that a good sports bra should so well. But, I am on a quest to find other sports bras as I like to play around with other brands. Just because I’m an F cup shouldn’t limit me to one brand I feel. Running Bare and Lorna Jane bras are very pretty but for us big-bust ladies they aren’t too friendly for HIIT. This usually means I have had to reserve my Lorna Jane bras for weight lifting, yoga and the step-master.

Back to the Yom Kippur story. Wondering around H&M, feeling a little bit bored, I spied their sportswear collection. These days, anywhere with a sportswear (or lingerie) section can catch my eye like a magpie seeing something shiny. I tried on a few of the sports bras and tops. Most of their bras fitted well but when I jumped up and down in the changing room (feeling a little bit silly) I noticed that the bounce was still there. However, there was one sports bra that passed the No Bounce Test and fitted very well.

At just under £20, I was mightily surprised to find a sports bra that strapped my bust in. There is a tiny bounce, but compared to other sports bras on the market I think this is allowable. Another way of putting the No Bounce Test into perspective is that a a supportive sports bra will be good if you almost forget that your anatomy includes a bust whilst doing something like air squats, burpees or sprints.

As an alternative to Shock Absorber, this really is a budget-friendly sports bra for running or high-impact sports if you have a larger bust. There is some padding to the bra, and given that the colder days are ahead of us, this might just be a bra to consider if you don’t want the headlights on, if you know what I mean.

And that, my friends, is the story of how I accidentally found the perfect budget sports bra at H&M.

Mara xxxx