Is your sports bra the right size? Before you confidently answer “yes,” you should know that 85% of women and over 50% of elite athletes wear the wrong size. Proper bra sizing is crucial because a sports bra must fit correctly to support your breast during athletic activity.
insufficient breast support can cause your breasts to move excessively during sport. Excessive breast movement can cause breast pain, which can negatively affect athletic performance by changing the way women move during sport. Insufficient breast support can also affect your posture and the movement of your upper trunk and shoulders. Embarrassment associated with the appearance of excessive breast movement can also change your posture and movement, particularly in adolescent athletes. The ability to mentally focus on sport has also been found to be negatively impacted by breast pain during sport and the discomfort of an ill-fitting bra.
Finding the correct size is a challenge for many women because bra manufacturers do not use a universal sizing guide. That means that your correct bra size will vary in sports bras made by different manufacturers, even within different sports bra designs from the same manufacturer!
The Hologic WTA Women’s Health Taskforce wants to address this issue to enable all female athletes and active women enjoy the comfort and support of a well-fitting bra, to help them achieve their maximal sporting performance and physical health. This can be achieved through education, research, and practical resources. Launched in June 2023, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and Hologic brought together a taskforce consisting of 19 esteemed medical advisers and six athletes. The taskforce is led by the WTA Performance Health team, with its decades of data and experience about professional athletes and supported by global medical technology innovator and women’s health champion Hologic.
Members of the taskforce are collaborating to identify optimal standards across a broad range of health dimensions so women can lead healthy, vibrant lives — on and off the tennis court. These efforts include raising consumer awareness about often-misunderstood issues like bra sizing.
To help dispel consumer confusion, the taskforce recommends turning to a well-trusted, evidence-based digital resource: https://www.bra.edu.au/. This online tool provides a step-by-step guide for determining the correct bra fit for your body and desired activity, using the common sizing convention in each region of the world.
Instrumental to the development of this sizing guide is Associate Professor Deidre McGhee, a sports physiotherapist who serves on the taskforce. She teaches at the University of Wollongong, is the Director of Breast Research Australia and a world leader in breast health education for female athletes and active women.
Professor McGhee emphasizes the following: “You wouldn't buy a pair of sports shoes in the wrong size! Make sure you buy a sports bra that fits you correctly, too!
For your sports bra to support your breasts as you play sport, it must fit your breasts and trunk correctly -- just like your sports shoes must correctly fit your feet!
I am part of the Hologic WTA Women’s Health Taskforce to help women around the world achieve the level of fit and comfort in their sports bra they have in their sports shoes.”