By Zhuang Ping
Women have obviously broken into the workout world, giving men a run for their money when it comes to toning and muscle building. And while weights and aerobics might be some great ways to get a good exercise in, nothing beats running shirtless (well, with a running bra that is!) through the wind, gaining speed and toning every muscle of your body to achieve the toned body you've always dreamed of. However, you don't want to run shirtless with a running bra that is restricting and lacking flexibility, so which running bra should you choose before heading out for a run?
1. Type or Running Bra
There are four main types of running bras you need to know about in order to determine which bra is right for you. The four types include compression, combination compression/encapsulation, encapsulation, and shimmel. A majority of companies will sell all four types of bras.
- Shimmel: A shimmel varies slightly from a regular sports bra. This is because they don't cut off at the rib cage. They resemble a tank top, but have a built in shelf bra to help support a woman's physique. If you're planning on doing a 5k marathon, this probably isn't the best option. But many women prefer a shimmel for runs around the neighborhood as they are comfortable and cute. The perfect in-between when you're not quite ready to show off your stomach to the public.
- Compression: A compression running bra works by pushing the breasts up against the chest as much as possible to restrict movement. This particular bra is best suitable for A and B cups as woman with larger cup sizes may find it uncomfortable.
- Combination Compression/Encapsulation: This particular style of running bra combines comfort, support for each breast, and only minimal amounts of compression. Best suited for C and D cups!
- Encapsulation: An encapsulation running bra does not have any compression or restrictions of movement. Instead, this type of bra uses support which surrounds each breast separately. Ideal for D and DD cups!
Next you need to consider the type of band you’re after and the size you need. There is basically two types of bands available, including narrow and wide. Wide bands offer more support than narrow bands. To figure out the size band you need, measure around your rib cage near your breasts. Add 5 inches to whatever your measurement comes out to be, and if you measure above 33 inches only add 3 inches.
Straps are an important factor to note when choosing the right bra. While it's partially a matter of personal preference, women can also determine the type of strap based on the impact level. Scoop-back sports bras for women are best for low and medium impact runs while racer-back are sports bras for intense running and sprinting as they offer more support. Also consider size of the strap, as wider straps offer greater comfort than narrower straps.
Lastly you need to consider whether or not you need underwire in your running sports bras. The underwire in a sports bra will typically be made of plastic or metal and provides utmost comfort during wear.
Bio: Zhuang Ping is a writer with over 3 year-experience blogging about fashion and fitness. She has a great love for all things glitzy, glamorous, and healthy, while also paying close attention to the hottest deals on the market.