Bra Prescriptions – How to Get Measured

By Emma Crameri Emma Crameri has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on 31 August 2023

While doing market research for a contract job that ended up being a car wreck, I accidentally discovered Bra Prescriptions.

Did you know that wearing the wrong bra can shorten a woman’s running stride by up to 4 cm? Approximately 70% of women wear the wrong bra size!

This could make a huge difference between winning a spirit or hitting a football correctly. The right bra could make you perform better at tennis or table tennis.

Several online news articles claimed that prescription sports bras had helped the Lionesses (an English female soccer team) dominate and win matches.

A team of researchers from The University of Portsmouth helped the English squad with custom fittings. The researchers are considered experts in exercise biomechanics. They specialise in breast biomechanics with an emphasis on sports activities.

They have published research papers on their finding. They discovered that well-fitting, comfortable bras that offer the right support could improve athletic performance and help players train for longer.

Who needs a bra prescription?

  • Athletes and anyone who trains for a sport
  • Gym members
  • Cardio fanatics – think walking, running, cycling etc.

What is a bra prescription?

A bra prescription is a recommendation of bra brands, sizes and adjustments customised to your breasts and body shape.

Researchers have discovered that “Just a month after receiving their prescription bras, 87 per cent of the athletes said they had benefited from them, while 17 per cent said it had improved their athletic performance.”

female wearing a pink sports bra
Image Credit: Photo by Jacob Bentzinger on Unsplash

What are the 2 sports bra options?

Sports bras are designed with two options:

  • Compression garments – that limit breast movement by pushing them against your chest
  • Encapsulation bras – think of individual cups for each breast.

Wearing a correctly sized bra may allow you to play for longer, and as a result, lead to less fatigue. In addition, you may see an improvement in sports performance.

Generally, off-the-shelf bras need some adjustments to work well.

What are the main issues with wearing sports bras?

A badly fitted bra can lead to the following issues:

  • Back pain
  • Shoulder tension and headaches
  • Breast aches and pains
  • Sagging tissue
  • Chaffed skin
  • Restricted breathing

Personally, I prefer wireless bras. I do my best to avoid wires in all my bras. I think the friction and rubbing potentially can cause benign cysts.

How can I test a bra in the fitting room?

You can try jumping up and down in the changing room. Make sure you can swing your arms around. I like to sit down and touch my toes to check the movement of new clothes.

If you experience any pain, restriction, or discomfort, then try another bra, a different brand or a different style.

When will they be available in my country?

Currently available in England.

female wearing a Nike sports bra
Image Credit: Photo by Dushawn Jovic on Unsplash

Here is a list of some of the better brands for sports bra brands:


Everyone has a unique body shape and size and it’s important to feel comfortable playing sports and exercising.

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