What is Stopping You From Exercise? Is it Your Bra?

March 13, 2019   13 Comments

It isn’t easy to find decent athletic bras for large breasts and having the right gear is so important when you want to try a sport.

Athletic Bras for Large Breasts

I was reminded of the problem by a group of researchers who decided to see if breast size affected how women exercised - see How Breast Size Affects How Women Exercise.

I continue to train for triathlon and have big plans for three sprint triathlons this summer.

I could have told the researchers the result of their study because with a 38DD, I stuck mostly to swimming in my youth. Running for me required not one sports bra but TWO to keep the girls from giving me a black eye. Forget the looks that would come my way as I bounced around the track.

The researchers talked with over 300 women, measured their size, and found that as their breast size grew their participation in physical activity declined. Why? Well it hurts to do aerobic activity like running or Zumba if your breasts are big.

You would think that the shoes would be more important since so much of the impact of our workout goes through our feet. The fact of the matter is if a work-out hurts -you are not going to want to do it whether it is your feet, knees, or breasts.

I have made a significant investment of time and money in gear for running, walking, swimming, and biking and I am usually comfortable enough to want to get out there for another bout of exercise. It has taken many years to find the right stuff. I am not going to talk about shoes because I am no expert but the ones I like are the Saucony Ride ISO.

Bras are a different story. Over the years, I have tried them all - Nike, Under Armour, Adidas….

These are the two brands that have made my workouts comfortable. I don’t even know that I am wearing a bra when I wear these and they are both easy to take on and off.

The Wacoal Sport Underwire Bra (see above) is great for biking and light aerobic workouts. This bra is so comfortable, I will forget to change out of it when I have finished my workout. Some women don’t buy these for working out! They buy them for every day wear because the support is so good. I also like the colors that they come in. The price ranges from $45-$65 and I replace them every 6 months.

This is my go to running bra - the Enell Sport. It costs $66. It is more like a vest, it has no underwire, and large shoulder straps. I forget that I am wearing it when I am out training. It doesn’t move or chafe and it is easy to take on and off.

It does give you a sort of uniboob look which is not the sexiest but I find that to be an advantage because I am not bouncing and causing traffic to gawk.

Find it here: Enell Bra on Amazon

It is profoundly important to find gear that makes it easy to enjoy exercise. Invest in it and you will get out there more. Whenever I end up spending a lot of dough on gear, I remember that I am not spending it on heath care that I may need later on if I don’t exercise. Invest in yourself!!

Have you found athletic bras for larger breasts? What works for you? Thanks for sharing!!

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I live in Atlanta and there is actually a store (Dillard's) that you can go to that still fits you for bras! I went 18 months ago and not only did I find out I was too sizes too small in cup size, I was also too big in the band size. Shocker that a 55 year old wouldn't know what size she was!

Even though I had just bought a Lululemon sports bra (wrong size, naturally), she talked me into buying a sports bra too. I absolutely love it. It's by Le Mystere and it has changed my Yoga practice and my yard work.

You are so right, Lisa. It is really important to have the right equipment and a good fitting sports bra is a must no matter your level of activity if you have any breasts at all.

34DDD I pretty much exclusively wear champion spot comfort full support bra. $20-40 depending on sales.

38J here. I finally found a brand that carries my size. I buy the Elomi underwire sports bra, and I buy it online. It works great for walking, rowing, and rebounding.My knees can't take jogging anymore. 😉

I love my Panache sports bras. $70 not cheap, but worth every penny.

I'm so glad you wrote about this. Elomi, Anita and Panache all make incredibly supportive, comfortable sport bras in band and cup sizes that fit real women. I have heard so many personal stories of how freeing it is to finally be able to exercise comfortably. Every bit as important as shoes, if not more so, but never discussed. Yes, they are expensive, but there is serious engineering that goes into the process.

Totally agreed on the issue. Panache has been my running bra. You do look like you have massive boobs, but it’s worth it.

Thank you for doing this article. I'm 61 yrs. old and I have just started to take a dance exercise class it was not comfortable at all because of not the right bra. I didn't know where to start to buy a bra for larger breast. I'm going to try them.

I'm glad to see you writing about this. I've had larger breast my entire life and yoga and all exercises were difficult. I did finally get fitted for a good sports bra and it worked well but cost $60 to $70. I was a 34F. I got a breast reduction 11/27/18 and it has changed my life. Yoga, walking/running, etc. is so much better. Still need a good sports bra, but I can get them cheaper now. Best to all of you.

I have this same problem, but I also have it in non-sport bras. As a 34F Nordstrom is the only store locally that carry's larger cup sized bras. I don't like ordering online if I can't first try it on somewhere, I can try on 10 bras before I find one that fits right. But I do now have high end bras I can purchase whenever I need one. But had no clue as to a sports bra manufacturer, so thank you for the information on Enell, the Wacoal didn't cut it for me.

You will find the best collection of sports bras for all sizes at Title Nine ( They are rated by barbels so a bra rated 5 barbels will really hold your breasts securely and you can return it if you don't like it. While they are expensive (at least in my size), you can wash and dry them in the machine and I have had mine for over 5 years. I wear the Brooks Fiona Moving Comfort Collection.

A lot of women at my gym who have a large bust really like the She fit bra.

This comment is for Vivian. I clicked on the link you attached, and I'm sure they've gotten a big influx of visitors to their site. I had to post on Facebook that when I clicked on that link, the first thing I saw was a quote "busy boobs need better bras". That just cracked me up!

If you are looking for a perfect fitting bra you have to first evaluate the bras you have. A good bra with the correct fit should never be uncomfortable. Do you like any particular type of bra? There is a good dozen or more options out there, from push-up bras to seamless yoga bras and all of these options come as bras for large breasts as well.

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