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Fit Is Fundamental When Selecting A Sports Bra, Says The American Council On Exercise

Posted: September 18, 1998 in ACE Press Releases

SAN DIEGO - A recent study confirms that a large majority of women experience breast discomfort while exercising. And to compound the problem, they don't know where to turn for advice, opting instead to either suffer in silence or avoid exercise altogether.

To help reduce this problem and keep women exercising, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends selecting a sports bra that's right for you, and offers the following pointers:

  • There are two types of sports bras to consider: compression bras and encapsulation, harness-type bras. The compression bra works best for smaller-busted women because it compresses the breasts against the chest. The harness-type encapsulates each breast and is typically better suited for larger-busted women due to its heavy-duty construction.


  • Don't go by the size of the bra, go by the fit. Breast size changes with weight loss or gain, menstrual cycle or medication.


  • Choose a bra that has good ventilation so sweat won't be trapped, which increases friction and chaffing. New fabrics such as CoolMax and Nike's DriFit help keep skin cool and dry.


  • Make sure the clasps or straps don't dig into your skin. A good sports bra should fit comfortably from the very first wearing.


  • When trying on a bra, jump around and try to mimic as best you can the activity you'll be doing while wearing the bra. You may want a different type of bra for lower-impact sports than you would for aerobics or jogging.


  • Over time, elasticity is lost. Sports bras should be replaced every six months to a year.


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Founded in 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to America's health and wellbeing. Over the past 25 years, we have become an established resource for both fitness professionals and consumers, providing comprehensive, unbiased, scientific research impacting the fitness industry and validating ourselves as the country's trusted authority on fitness.

Today, ACE is the largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization in the world with 53,000 certified professionals who hold more than 59,000 ACE certifications. With a long heritage in certification, education, training and public outreach, we are among the most respected fitness organizations in the industry and a resource consumers have come to trust for health and fitness education.