our bodies

The 3 Impact Levels of Sports Bras

August 05, 2021
Team Knix

Whether you're a runner, a track star, a yogi, a stair master, competitive frisbee thrower or a floor stretcher— we know a good sports bra can make all the difference. Feeling comfortable and supportive in your gear while you're working out can be a very literal game changer. But where to start? 

Finding the right sports bra can feel harder than qualifying for the actual Olympics. If searching for the right look, fit and support isn’t challenging enough, there's also the question of impact levels. And with that comes a bit of a puzzle. What do they mean, and how do I find a sports bra that matches my movement? Join us on a crash course about sports bra impact levels, so you'll know exactly what to run toward for your next workout. 

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Sports Bra Basics

When it comes to activewear there are three main impact levels, which refer to the effect the movement or activity may have on the body. In the case of running shoes for example, when they refer to “impact”, they’re talking about the pressure on weight-bearing joints like your knees and hips.

 

But in the case of sports bras, we’re talking about the effect the activity may have on your breasts. The higher the impact level, the greater degree of breast movement, and the greater the need for support.

You should always try and wear a supportive sports bra when participating when moving and grooving, no matter what your breast size is. Even if you wear a 34A if you don’t wear a sports bra when working out, you run the risk of damaging and stretching the breast ligaments, which could result in long-term issues like back problems and shoulder pain. 

Read on to learn more about the three impact levels, what they mean, and which sports, activities or movements you’ll need each of them for.

Low-impact sports bras

Low-impact sports bras are designed for activities and movements with a very low degree of bouncing. With light, comfortable support, low-impact bras are a great option for those with smaller breasts, or for more gentle activities.

Are low-impact sports bras for me?

Low-impact sports bras typically work well for people with cup sizes A through D. If your breasts are larger, it may be best to move up an impact level. But many people of all cup sizes like to wear low-impact bras as lounge or sleepwear. The rule of thumb here is simple: whatever works for your body!

What do I wear them for?

Many people like to wear low-impact sports bras for lounging around the house, when out for a walk, or to a yoga or pilates class. If your breasts are on the smaller side, you may find them supportive enough for hiking, cycling or weight training.

What do we recommend?

Check out our Longevity Bra and LuxeLift Pullover Bra. They're both super comfortable and supportive for low to medium impact activities. The Longevity Bra below has adjustable straps for the perfect fit. 

longevity bra

Medium-impact sports bras

Medium-impact sports bras are designed with an extra level of support for people of all cup sizes. Typically, these bras come with a slight degree of compression and fit snug to the body for additional support.

Are medium-impact sports bras for me?

Medium-impact sports bras are great for people of all cup sizes. Depending on your breast size and the degree of lift and support you require, medium-impact bras may be your go-to for either low-impact or high-impact activities as well. Okay versatility! 

What do I wear them for?

These bras can be worn for activities such as yoga, golf, hiking, weight training, cycling, or using the elliptical. People with larger breasts may find them more comfortable and supportive for walking or everyday wear as well.

What do you recommend?

The Seamless Bra and the High Neck Seamless Bra are perfect for medium-impact activities. Both wireless choices, they're made using BlissFit™ Fabric for that body-hugging feel that adapts to your every move. 

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High-impact sports bras

High-impact sports bras are designed for activities that involve a lot of jumping or movement that may result in breasts bouncing. They are usually made with a high degree of compression and are built with a lot more support in the straps and bottom band.

Are high-impact sports bras for me?

Because of the additional support, high-impact sports bras are ideal for people with larger cup sizes. That being said, people of all breast sizes can benefit from the support they provide—especially if they're in for a heavy workout!  

 

What do I wear them for?

High-impact bras provide the most support for activities that involve a lot of bouncing and breast movement. These bras can be worn for sports like running, kickboxing, horseback riding or HIIT. We also recommend them for all dance parties. 

What do you recommend? 

If you're looking for a high-impact sports bra, The Catalyst is for you. The molded cups separate and encapsulate your breasts to reduce movement, and is made to mold to your shape. The Catalyst also comes in a front closure version too! The Catalyst Front Zip is a great option if you have mobility issues or a limited range of motion. It's also super easy to take on and off (no matter how sweaty you get). 

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Ready to get going? Take a look at new Knix Active Collection to find the right gear for your favorite movements!