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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Sports Bras and Their Styles

Your goal in the gym is to give it your all, but the last thing you want to think about is whether your chest are staying put… In fact, you'd prefer not to have that thought in your head at all.

Studies have shown that chest can move up to 8 inches when a woman runs. When they move, they typically oscillate between pulling them upward, downward, forward, backward, and side-to-side.

According to several leading researchers, women who exercise too much can have their chest sore and swollen because of the strain put on the Cooper’s ligaments.

That's where the right sports bra comes into play. Sturdier than a typical bra, a sports bra offers chest support and compression during physical activities such as high-impact sports. 

This guide will help you choose the right sports bra for you based on your cup size and the activity you are doing. There are many types & styles of sports bras available at Jolyn, each designed for a specific purpose.


Sports bras are bras designed to enhance your sports performance by reducing the amount of bounce in your chest. These bras are usually made of mesh and elastic materials.

Sports bras are typically made from comfortable materials like moisture-wicking microfiber and terry linings. This allows them to dry faster and therefore stay on your skin longer, so you can concentrate fully on your planks and burpees.

Here are some noticeable sports bra features:

Good chest compression

The compression of the sports bra depends on the specific sport or main activity intended when wearing the bra. Choosing a compression level is a compromise between comfort and support. Higher compression will hold your chest in place so there is less discomfort when you are in motion. However, a high compression sports bra is not as comfortable to wear for less strenuous athletic activities. If you plan to wear your sports bra mainly for yoga, for instance, you may want a lower compression style because you don’t need the extra support and would prefer to feel more comfortable.

Sports bras are machine washable

Sports bras are machine washable, but to protect any hardware or zips from catching, don't forget to use a delicate bag. They should be washed in the machine on gentle cold water with mild laundry powder and then left to dry naturally. Avoid using fabric softener and bleach, as these will reduce the durability of your sports bra. It's also important for the bras not to be washed with other clothing as this can cause them to lose their shape, or if they are mixed up with towels or bed sheets, it may cause damaging the colors on your garment.


Sports bra supportive structure

Sports bras use elastane as one component in their support structure. Elastane is a synthetic fiber known for its high elasticity, and it provides lightweight compression. It can often be blended with nylon or polyester to provide more durability and feel softer to the skin.

Lycra is another component that's typically part of sports bra construction; lycra provides lightweight compression but also helps prevent chafing from movement.

Microfiber is the fiber used in most other bra types because of its softness, toughness, elasticity, and moisture-wicking abilities.

Sports bras use polyester while work-to-workout bras use nylon. The sports bra structure is made of power mesh that helps reduce the burden on the chest while also preventing sweat from rubbing against skin irritation. They are an efficient way for women to improve their athletic performance through effective ventilation.


Sports bra encapsulation properties

A bra that offers both encapsulation and compression differ from a regular bra. The molded cups of a typical sports bra are designed for high-impact activities like running, jumping, or lifting weights. It supports these activities by providing compressive properties to the chest and back muscles.


Sports bra comfort

The best sports bras provide the most comfort possible with high-level activities such as jogging, horse riding and tennis. A compression bra is perfect for these types of activities because it compresses chest and prevents movement that can cause discomfort. It's worth the investment if you enjoy running or other exercise because they will help eliminate pain by providing support, reducing friction from sweat and holding in heat during activity.


Sports bra moisture wicking

Sports bras provide support for activities such as running, yoga, and walking. They are also commonly worn by people who want to feel comfortable during their workouts or when they do physical activity, like lifting weights. Sports bras are made of high-performance material that is breathable, anti-chafing, and anti-slip. Its moisture wicking technology eliminates unpleasant sweat and odor instantly.


Soft bra fabric

All JOLYN athletic bras are made of a high impact, breathable fabric and specially formed cups that keep chest in place. It's very soft and comfortable because of its unique design with no stitching.


Sports bra seamless design

The seamless design of a sports bra reduces bounce and provides support for high-impact exercises. A compression fabric minimizes the risk of skin irritation, while also providing comfort and ventilation. The designs are becoming more popular as they offer an innovative feel that is soft on the skin but supportive at the same time.




The goal of buying a sports bra is to make sure that it fits well enough that you don't need to adjust or pull down the straps as you exercise. You shouldn't have to worry about your chest spilling over the cups.

  1. Measure you bust and under bust
  1. If you know your actual bra size, you can easily translate it to a XXS - XXXL size chart since sports bras are more forgiving.
  2. Think about compression and size down if you want more compression with a style that has less compression.

Tip: When shopping for a sports bra, find a size that fits your bust. Do not get a bra with low cut cups, as it may reveal your underwire and provide a much-needed peek at your nipples. For other activities, choose a bra with firm support.




Some sports bras are made to support the chest, while others will enhance the size of the chest. It will also depend on the type of sports that you are taking part in. The best sports bra for you will depend on the type of sports that you are doing and the size of your chest.



Compression sports bras (also known as chest forms) are basically bras that push the chest against the chest. They may be known as “wire-free” bras. Compression sports bras hold the chest in place and may help with flattening them. Some people refer to them as “smooshing bras”, but no matter what you call them, they are great for shaping the chest well.

The dreaded "uniboob" can occur when wearing a compression sports bra for larger busts. Wearing an encapsulation sports bra instead can prevent this problem.



Encapsulated sports bra is a type of athletic supporter that has a small, usually padded cup for each chest. They're ideal because they keep chest firmly in place and protect them during high-impact activities like lifting weights. The cup usually contains an underwire, which prevents bounce and reduces strain. This can help keep chest perky over time.



Compression bras, in addition to having underwire for structure and support, also have foam padding in the cups to keep chest firmly in place. The cups of this style are sometimes deep, which makes it easy to see through them, but the bra's fabric helps to hide this fact. Because these bras fit like sports bras, they are perfect for athletics.



Compression bras are generally worn by women who have A-cup sized chest and are involved in low-impact sports such as yoga, Pilates, weightlifting, running, and cycling. Compression bras are very comfortable and suitable for all activities, but most are not wire free, as the bra compresses the bra because of its special material.

Most sports bras are wire-free, so if it isn’t specified in the specific model description, you can usually assume as much. However, if it specifies that it is wire-free, check it out, as there are other types of sports bras available.

Sports bras with underwire are the best choices for athletic women who need the best bra support. This is because these bras have cups that separate each chest from the other, making them Encapsulation-style bras.

Some types of sports bras are more difficult to find than others. They can be harder to find than wire-free sports bras, but here are some that we like:

Extra supportive sports bras for underwire cups with cups D+.

Most women need underwire bras, particularly if they have a C-cup or larger chest. Inner slings (curved strips of fabric that run inside the bra) are another option for larger-chested women.



After you have chosen a sports bra design that fits your body, you can move on to the fun part of wearing a sports bra: finding out how to style your favorite one. Sports bras come in a wide variety of modern styles available at JOLYN. Some are cut high on the sides and cover your midsection completely. Others offer full coverage, but still leave some skin exposed. Still others are made for small chests.




Racerback Bras

This style of undershirt provides coverage without a traditional bra. While these bras are typically not adjustable, it is a good idea to make sure the fit is right from the get-go.


Criss-cross bras

There are times when you need extra support, and the straps provided in crisscross-style pullovers are designed to provide maximum flexibility. The result is that the ease of motion means that these are typically pullovers rather than clasps. They are also considered to be more fashionable than other styles.


Tank top bras

The tank top sports bra is the most common style of sports bras. Most women love not having a hook and eye back on these types of athletic bras, however, getting one on and off can sometimes be uncomfortable depending on the fabric stretch. This style is not as supportive as some styles and may be better suited for smaller chests. This sports bra style looks best under most activewear shirts, including tank tops, and t-shirts. To call this a “tank top bra” is a misnomer, as it does not have any tanks built into it. It is, however, great for low-impact activity, as the lack of weight is a good thing when you are sweaty. It also makes getting dressed and undressed easier, as there are fewer layers inside it.



Low cut bras

The straps on this style of clothing usually cut closer to the neck for a flattering silhouette. This type of architecture is particularly good for supporting large busts.

Low-cut workout t-shirts pair well with low-cut style bras, but you should make sure you're not spilling out or else you'll lose some support.

Low cut style sports bra is designed primarily for high impact sports. This usually means that it's not made of heavy material, so it doesn't hurt the wearer to fall wearing it. They are best suited for low- and medium-impact activities.


High neck sports bras

High neck sports bras are made to provide both compression and support in all the right places. They usually best for a low-impact workout activity, like yoga, pilates, or jogging. High neck sports bras can also be used for everyday activities such as running errands and shopping.

They are designed to minimize bounce so that the wearer is not distracted by their chest bouncing up and down throughout their workout routine.


Seamless sports bras

A seamless sports bra is a type of sports bra that has no visible seams. These bras are designed to allow for breathable mesh detail in the shoulder straps and seamless jersey fabric with the newest moisture-wicking technology. The removable cups inside the athletic bra provide added support and extra comfort during physical activity.

JOLYN bras seamless design ensures that you can wear it under your favorite clothing or at work without worrying about it being too noticeable, which makes them great options for days when you don't want to be seen in your sports bra.


Long line sports bras

Long line athletic bras are very popular in the world of women's sportswear these days. They offer a lot of support and are particularly suitable for high-impact activities such as running, jumping, and playing sports.

To make larger cups in their push-up sports bras look smaller, women sometimes have to go with non-supportive bras, such as balconette and demi-cup bras. Because the underwire doesn't hold the bra in place, it tends to shift on the body more naturally.



If you're having problems putting on or taking off your sports bra, you're not alone. Many women wear sports bras that have a zipper or clasp in the middle between the chest. This keeps the bra in place, but makes putting it on or taking it off awkward.

Sports bras come in various lengths, ranging from shorts to bikinis, but it's hard to tell the length from their small sizes. Most have mesh material, so you don't have to worry about tan lines.

Clasp-front athletic bras

Clasp-front sports bras are simple to put on and take off. They are also easy to remove without undressing yourself. However, because the clasp is in the front, you have to remember to move the straps over your shoulders before you take off your bra.

This sports bra features a wireless design and a breathable material that will keep you cool, dry and comfortable.

Padded sports bras

Padded sports bras are different from underwire bras in that they don’t have any actual padding or inner support. They can have small cups to create a more contoured appearance and keep nipples covered up. Please keep in mind that padded bras are less supportive than underwire bras.





If you want to wear the right athletic bra, you don’t have to wear the regular bra that comes with an overpriced and unnecessary lining. All sports bras should be the same size as your everyday bra. However, if you don’t already have one, there are plenty of inexpensive models available online and at many department stores.



By trying to wear the sports bra that most resembles the yoga one, one can cause more harm than wearing a regular bra. The first step is to hold the band of the bra over your head. Then, swing the band over your head, stretching your arms so the bra can be lowered. Once the bra is down, lift the cups of the bra so they are snug against your chest and lift them higher so that your chest fill the cups. Your athletic bra should feel naturally on your body.

Note that bra styles can be changed to match the style of any other bra. To make the process easier, you might consider buying a sports bra with a closure, such as a front-closure sports bra.



Tearing off a sports bra can be very frustrating when you're sweaty. Keep in mind that the elastic bands can be torn apart easily. Clasp- and zipper-types are much easier to get off than pullover bras. To remove a pullover, first lift it up. Cross your arms, grasping the opposite sides of the band. Pull the bra over your head, removing it inside-out.


What you need to know about picking the best sports bra for you

When you're working out, you need a quality sports bra that will keep your chest healthy for years to come. Fortunately, we at JOLYN have a wide range of top-rated sports bras that are stylish as well as functional. No matter your body type and workout routine, there's a sports bra that will provide the right amount of support for you.

Shop all Jolyn sports bras here today!

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