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How to Stretch Out a Sports Bra

How to stretch a sports bra

Stretching a Sports Bra That is Too Tight

For a sports bra to offer the required support, it needs to fit tighter than ordinary bras. But sometimes an athletic bra can be too small that it needs some adjustment to fit properly. Stretching it seems to be the only option.

A workout bra can be small in two ways. The band may be smaller than it should be. The straps on the other hand, especially if they are not adjustable, may make the band sit higher. While some fabrics are easier to stretch than others, most are more difficult than you can imagine.

All bras will eventually stretch out after months of wearing. But if your exercise bra fits tightly than it should be, wearing it repeatedly to stretch it is not a good option but some kind of punishment. As most sports bras are made of cotton or polyester, this article will deal with bras made with these fabrics.

How to Stretch Out Cotton Sports Bras

Cotton sports bras which are not pre-shrunk will shrink after a few washes. Once shrinking occurs, it cannot be undone. However, you can adequately loosen up the fibers so that you can stretch the bra to the desired size. The same case applies if you bought a bra that is too small. Follow these steps:

1.      Pour about 1 liter of warm water into a basin, bucket or sink
2.      Mix the water with about 15ml (1 tablespoon) of hair conditioner or baby shampoo
3.      Stir thoroughly to form a consistent solution
4.      Immerse your small sports bra and let it soak for about 30 minutes
5.      Remove the bra and squeeze it gently to get rid of excess water
6.      Place the bra on a dry towel and roll both
7.      Squeeze so that the towel absorbs as much water as possible
8.      Stretch the bra with your hands until it has reached the appropriate size – you can use another fitting bra to trace the size
9.      Rinse your sports bra in warm water
10.  Stretch it once again and hold it in place until it is dry

Sports bra too tight

How to Stretch Polyester Sports Bras

The ease with which you can stretch out a polyester sports bra depends on whether the bulk of its strength comes from the fabric or the elastic. Polyester is a very stiff material, the main reason it’s used for athletic bras. Elastics, on the other hand, are made to rebound after each stretch. Some adjustable high impact sports bras use very little stretch material.

To stretch a polyester athletic bra, you need to weaken the spandex or enlarge polyester as if it has been worn for long, or both. This means the quality of the bra will become considerably compromised. The following process will allow for these two occurrences to happen in various degrees:

1. Wash your sports bra on high heat for 35 minutes or more
2. While still wet and warm, hang it on a clothing line
3. Use weights to stretch the bra – you could secure the weights with pegs etc
4. If the weights do not seem to work, first use an iron box with a steamer. Stretch the bra with your hands as you iron. If the iron does not steam, use steam from another source
5. Allow the bra to dry completely in order to retain the size
6. Repeat the process as many times as required until you achieve the desired size

Note: 1. Whichever method of stretching you choose, you can use your body to hold the bra in the required size. Just wear the bra when still wet and carry on with your house chores, or just exercise until the bra dries.
2. If you would rather avoid all the trouble, take your sports bra to a dry cleaner and ask them to stretch it.

How to Determine if a Sports Bra is Too Tight

How tight should a sports bra be? Normally, an exercise bra is supposed to be tighter than a normal bra. With insufficient support, you are bound to run awkwardly, adjusting your movements to reduce bounce. Conversely, a sports bra that interferes with your breathing can considerably lower your athletic performance.

Some bra fitting experts have devised various methods of identifying whether a sports bra fits. One technique is to clap your hands above your head with the bra on. If the band slides up your body, the bra is small, or too tight. Below are more pointers that your bra may be tighter than necessary:

·  Your ribs hurt along the band
·  You feel too smashed or you suffer chest pain after wearing your bra
·  Band is higher than is supposed to be – threatening to ride on your bust
·  Horrible chaffing marks
·  Lots of visible imprints
·  Breasts are spilling from any of the cup edges, or the cups seem to cut into your bust

Sports bra too small

How to Avoid Your Sports Bra Shrinking

Another result of too small workout bras is shrinkage. Sports bras are made of a base cloth (e.g. polyester), and the stretch fabric (e.g. spandex). There are two ways of dealing with the issue of contraction. One is to buy only from reputable sellers.

Makers of bras who have been in business for years will make their products only from materials that don’t shrink. If they are sure that a fabric is prone to shrinkage, they have ways of shrinking the cloth before the bras can go on sale. So, their athletic bras are pre-shrunk, meaning they will not reduce in size even after washing.

Another consequence of shrinkage is high temperatures. Washing bras in hot water might make them decrease in size. Drying in too much heat (like the drier on high) is not good either. Though synthetic fibers are less likely to shrink, you should be careful with cotton sports bras. Some elastic types will also harden and shrink if exposed to high temperatures for long.

How to Buy a Sports Bra That Fits

One issue that that results in sports bras that are too small is ordering the wrong size. If you buy your bras from a shopping center, ask them to measure you. Better still; opt for stores that will allow you to try the bra before buying.

When shopping online, choose sellers/makers with a good reputation. If they have unquestionable status, it follows that they sell good quality bras. They are also bound to have fewer complaints or handle them in a satisfactory manner. Be careful with clearance stuff as they do not accept returns.

Always choose sports bras with thicker material as they offer more support than thin ones. If you insist on thin fabrics, you might be forced to buy tighter so as to support better. If you still think you need tighter to support your bust properly, you probably need an encapsulation style sports bra.

If you are buying a sports bra after breast augmentation, order a bigger cup size. Your normal size will not fit. You can later discard it or use padding to fit for workouts.

Note: If size seems to be the big issue for you, consider adjustable sports bras.

How to stretch out a sports bra

Exercising has so many benefits. Take good care of your body so you can enjoy years and years of an active lifestyle. Wear your correct size sports bra, or stretch it if need be, and you will have many more hours of pain-free workouts.

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