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The Best High-Impact Sports Bras For The Gym

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Boobs, breasts, bangers, Brad Pitts. Whatever you call them, it’s important to keep your chest properly supported with a decent bra during intense exercise. Get it wrong and we’re talking pain, soreness, aches and irreversible sagging. Yup, irreversible. Got your attention?

Technology has come a long way since two jockstraps were sewn together to create the first bra for general exercise in 1977. However, finding the right sports bra for high-impact workouts can still be a challenge. The perfect model should make you feel comfortable and confident, supported but not constricted, plus score some style points. Cue our selection of the best for your girls, whatever their shape and size, and no matter your fitness game.


Lululemon Enlite Zip Front High Support

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The Enlite bra fuses serious support with a chic, streamlined design that makes it worthy of the brand’s luxury-level. It’s made with Lulu’s super-soft Ultralu fabric, so wearing it is a chafe-free experience and the underband doesn’t dig in or ride up, allowing you to go extra hard during runs or a heart rate-raising high-impact session. Available in sizes A-DD.

Buy from Lululemon (opens in new tab) | £88


Sweaty Betty Ultra Run

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With colour options from classic black to pretty pastels, you’re spoilt for choice here, but that’s far from this bra’s only selling point. Its blend of compression and encapsulation technology offers support up to an F cup and attention has been paid to the details, too, with padded shoulder straps for extra comfort and the option to wear it as either a racer or U-back style.

Buy from Sweaty Betty (opens in new tab) | £50


Triumph Triaction Extreme Lite

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A bra that’s been “extreme bounce-control tested” might sound pretty hardcore, but Triumph’s Dynamic Lite fabric also makes it lightweight and easy to wear. In sizes A-F, breathable and moisture-wicking, it’s also suitable for sensitive skin thanks to the fabric’s antibacterial qualities. Our favourite part? The customisable fit – you can wear it as a regular bra or cross-body, depending on what feels most comfortable.

Buy from Triumph (opens in new tab) | £38


Freya Epic

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Freya is the go-to brand for fuller busts (back sizes range from 28-38 and cup sizes from DD-H) and its Epic sports bra is a firm favourite. Designed for full coverage with concealed wired cups, it also converts to a racer back, which some women say feels more supportive during a workout.

Buy from Bravissimo (opens in new tab) | £42


Reebok Les Mills PureMove Bra 2 Motion Sense

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The tech in this bra is so good it was included in TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions (opens in new tab) of 2018. You might even forget you’re even wearing a sports bra thanks to the Motion Sense technology, which is said to respond to your movement, providing support without that uncomfortable, tight feeling. The moulded cups offer shaped support and the back of the bra is breathable, so the sweat can evaporate as you work out.

Buy from Reebok (opens in new tab) | £45 (currently reduced to £31.50)


Under Armour Infinity High

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Under Armour ripped up the design rule book with this one and decided to inject the bra’s padding in a figure-of-eight pattern for support without the weight. The Infinity High is designed to fit like a second skin minus any squeeze, and its strategically-placed perforated fabric means it’ll keep you cool and dry quickly – an essential for any workout involving the words high and impact. Available in sizes XS-XL.

Buy from Under Armour (opens in new tab) | £50


Pocket Sport Plein Air Bra

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This bra doesn’t just look stylish, it’s practical too – a surprisingly rare thing among the sports bras available these days. With its wide, adjustable cross-over straps there’s no digging in or slipping off the shoulder. All too often, wrestling a sports bra off can be more of a workout than the workout itself, but this bra closes with a hook-and-eye clasp to make the on/off procedure far simpler. It washes well too – as in the padding doesn’t rearrange itself, which is a bonus.

Buy from Pocket Sport (opens in new tab) | £45


H&M High Support Sports Bra

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H&M has gained a well-deserved reputation for affordable sportswear that delivers on style and performance. Reviewers rave about this bra’s ability to provide support for everything from running to HIIT sessions to skipping, and we love the wide shoulder straps and chic cut-out back. It’s part of H&M’s Conscious collection, which means the polyester content of the bra is recycled. Available in sizes XS-XL.

Buy from H&M (opens in new tab) | £17.99


Marks & Spencer Extra High Impact Serious

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No-one knows bras like M&S, and the high street giant’s sports offering is every bit as good as its everyday lines. Available in sizes B-G, this wired bra was developed in collaboration with scientists at the Asahi research centre in Japan and reduces bounce by a whopping 25%. Cool Comfort fabric scores tech points, while the quadruple hook-and-eye fastening delivers on comfort.

Buy from Marks & Spencer (opens in new tab) | £28


Brooks Running Dare Crossback Run

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Brooks is a favourite of personal trainers and fitness professionals, and the seamless, hook-free design of the brand’s Dare bra sets it apart from other high-impact offerings out there. The hidden bottom band assures chafe and pinch-free comfort, while the soft fabric, strategic perforation for ventilation and moulded cups eliminate any distractions from the task it was designed for – helping you smash out a really good run. Available in sizes A-DD.

Buy from Brooks (opens in new tab) | £55


Nike FE/NOM Flyknit

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A high-impact sports bra without underwires, clasps or padding? Yes, it does exist, and it’s become a bestseller for Nike. The FE/NOM is made using the same Flyknit technology as the brand’s trainers, and its compressive, supportive and seam-free design will see you through every workout in your weekly schedule, from running and boxing to HIIT and strength training. Available in sizes XS-XL (A-E).

Buy from Nike (opens in new tab) | £69.95


Adidas Ultimate Alpha

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Supportive but streamlined, made from 77% recycled polyester and with a purse-friendly price that belies the smart and sleek design, this ever-popular Adidas bra has a lot going for it. Your go-to for sweaty sessions, it’s available in sizes 2XS-XL and also comes in a plus-size option.

Buy from Adidas (opens in new tab) | £35


Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Non-Wired

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The brand is called Shock Absorber for a reason, and its award-winning Ultimate Run bra claims to reduce bounce by up to 78% while providing friction-free comfort. The SA secret lies in an innovative eight-part support system designed to counteract the figure-of-eight movement breasts make during running. The wide straps are non-slip, padded and adjustable, and the back opens fully for easy put ons and take offs. Available in sizes A-G.

Buy from Shock Absorber (opens in new tab) | £46


The Best Medium-Impact Bras For The Gym

If you're not planning on doing any high impact activities at the gym, you may want to opt for a less constricting, more comfortable sports bra. It should still offer enough support so you don't run the risk of saggy boobs in the long term. Here are some of our favourite medium-impact sports bras.

Pocket Sport Morisot Bra

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Classed as a mid-level impact bra – so not ideal for running – the Morisot Bra is extraordinarily comfortable to wear. The fabric is really soft and fairly thick, so it provides good support, plus it’s super-stretchy so it doesn’t require a workout just to get it off. This bra also comes in navy, but we reckon the black is your best bet for hiding workout sweat patches. Matching leggings are also available for an all-in-one look.

Buy from Pocket Sport (opens in new tab) | £48


Lululemon Wunder Train Long Line Bra

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Designed for medium-impact workouts, this is a tight-fitting, supportive bra/crop top, which has quickly made it on to our favourites pile. The high neck means you’re totally covered and there’s no chance of a boob slip, while the fabric is delightfully soft. It can be a little tough getting it off, but let’s be honest – most sports bras are!

Buy from Lululemon (opens in new tab) | £58 (some styles currently reduced to £34)


New Balance Pace Bra 3.0

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This low profile compression bra is available in several eye-catching colours. It's relatively easy to get on and off, and the fast-drying material ensures you don't end up a sweaty mess. New Balance has a Green Leaf standard which means its clothes are made from 50% or more “environmentally preferred” materials, ie recycled or organic.

Buy from New Balance (opens in new tab) | £20

Lucy is a freelance journalist, and former health and fitness editor across various UK women’s magazines. She is also a level 3 personal trainer and is trained in pre- and post-natal fitness.