What’s the best Sports Bra for rowing?

Funnily enough, as a Melbourne girl I get asked this question often. Likewise I am often quizzed about the best option for tennis, netball, horse-riding and the list goes on.

Lucky for us the marketing machine behind athletic shoes hasn’t managed to hit the world of Sports Bras yet, or at least it hasn’t to my knowledge. That meaning that the companies don’t market each of their products to a particular sport, and they certainly aren’t building them that way either.

When looking for a bra for a particular activity we need to look for an option that has the right features for that sport.

We look at:

– Impact level required

– Shoulder range of motion required (or freedom of movement as I like to say)

– Coverage required (coverage means the amount of the breast that is covered)

– Cup size

Let’s look at two examples:

1. Rowing

– Low impact sport, for water based training there is no jumping, bouncing or running

– High shoulder range of motion required as shoulders are fully retracted during each stroke

– Coverage could be minimal as there is no vertical movement in the sport.

So we would choose a low to moderate level of support, preferably with a racer back design to allow for unrestricted maximum shoulder retraction, and the bra would not necessarily need to offer full coverage of the breast tissue. So some suggestions would be the Rebound Racer by Moving Comfort for smaller bust sizes, and the Shock Absorber Active Multi bra for bigger bust sizes. Of course, these are just two of many options we could look at!

2. Horse-riding

– High impact sport; dressage, jumping and cross country all involve plenty of bouncing and vertical motion

– Shoulders not required to go through full range of motion

– High coverage required to ensure maximum support and secure the breast during vertical displacement

We would choose a high impact bra with full coverage. The strap configuration is not so important with horse-riding due to limited shoulder movement so it would come down to personal preference. We could start by trying the Berlei Ultimate Sports Bra for A-D cup sizes, the Enell Sports Bra or the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra for E+ cups.

So it’s important to keep an open mind when you are shopping for your sport specific bra, and have a good idea of exactly how much impact, shoulder range of motion and coverage you’ll need just in case your salesperson is not familiar with your particular sport.

You can refer to my Support Scale to find out what sort of support level your sport and bust size requires.

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