women in low impact sports bra

From Yoga to Pilates : The Ultimate Guide to Low Impact Sports Bras

Sports bras are known for their ability to keep a woman’s body firmly in place as she moves and exercises, reducing movement, providing greater modesty, and allowing her to focus fully on exercise. They’re great for keeping breasts secure and comfortable and are great for most sports activities.

But what do you do if you’re looking for less compression? Not every physical activity is the equivalent of sprinting, and there may be times when you need minimal compression and maximum comfort. 

The low impact sports bra is a great way to stay comfortable, move freely, and enjoy less intense activities while allowing your body gentle support and the benefits of an underwire-free bra. These less-compressing sports bras are great for walking, yoga, pilates, barre, hiking, and other activities where more freedom of motion can be enjoyed. 

What Makes These Bras Unique?

So what is a low impact sports bra? These gentle, minimal-compression bras provide cushioning, comfort, and very gentle stability for simple and relaxed activities. They don’t have the tightness and compression levels of high impact sports bras and tend to be a bit looser and more casual-looking.

They provide more support than a traditional bra and tend to be made from stretchy, durable, moisture-wicking fabrics, but give your upper body more breathing room. They are also typically soft-cup and can be worn easily under a shirt or as a top at the gym. 

What does low impact sports bra mean for bigger athletes? While options for plus-size women used to be limited, today’s companies also offer a range of stylish low support sports bras for bigger frames. Shop around, and you’ll see that most websites have larger-sized yoga bras available which offer the right amount of support without squishing you. 

You may also notice that the necklines of these bras are a bit lower than their high impact cousins. The less constriction you need, the lower a neckline can become, allowing for more breathability and a more feminine look. You can also get a wider range of bra styles with low impact bras, creating an array of cute, creative, flirty, and dynamic designs and looks. 

They’re excellent for casual exercise, but are there places where you shouldn’t take them?

When to Avoid Low Impact Sports Bras

While these bras are perfect for yoga and strolling, they won’t keep your breasts very firmly in place for anything intensive. You need greater amounts of compression for activities like cycling, contact sports, and running, so skip the minimal support sports bra for these kinds of activities.

Excessive breast bouncing can be surprisingly painful if you use the wrong bra type, and this motion can cause not only discomfort but eventual injury. Breast tissue is still delicate, and bruising, premature breakdown of the tissue, loss of shape, pain, and upper back or neck pain can all result if your breasts are not properly supported during medium to intense exercise. Once breast tissue is damaged or degraded it can cause permanent and distressing changes to how your upper chest looks and may cause shoulder and back pain, too. 

Making sure you choose the right bra for the workout is essential to keeping you comfortable as well as focused and safe. If all you’re doing is gentle, slow, relaxing exercises like Tai Chi or light stretching, feel free to don a minimally restricting sports bra, and be comfortable! So what are the best low impact sports bras out there and what do they offer?

Our Top Picks for Light Impact Sports Bras 

Lululemon Like a Cloud Longline Ribbed Bra

The Like a Cloud Bra from Lulumemon has a little bit of everything. Its higher neckline and generous lower band allow it to double as a crop top while the stylish, strappy design makes it attractive and fun to wear. The ribbed fabric stretches four ways to allow for excellent freedom of motion, while the drying fibers help you stay cool and comfortable as you bend. 

The soft molded cups are lightweight and provide coverage and support without restricting you. This well-made and creatively designed bra is available in Black or White and sizes 2 through 14.

Nike Alate Trace

 The Alate Trace Bra from Nike is a beautiful low impact bra that gives you a tiny amount of lift and plenty of durable softness. A sewn-in mono form pad offers some shaping and boosting without looking over the top, while the lightweight materials wear like a cloud. 

This bra features a rounded v-neck, superior drying properties, and sustainable materials. It’s available in Black, Noise Aqua, Dark Pony, Indigo Haze, Adobe, Oil Green, Pinksicle, Light Orewood Brown, and University Red and sizes XS through 2XL making it ideal for a range of body types.   

Athleta V-Neck Crop

The V-Neck Crop from Athleta is a truly lovely, casual sports bra that works just as well under a shirt as at the yoga studio. The fit is genuinely relaxed, giving you the look and feel of soft pajamas. You’ll still enjoy soft support, light shaping, and a generous lower band for a crop-like look.

This well-made and genuinely pretty bra comes in White, Back, Paradiso Blue, and Ginseng Olive and sizes XXS through XL, making it ideal for smaller frames and petite athletes. 

Under Armour UA Seamless Low Sports Bra

The Seamless Low from UA is a minimalist, great-looking bra that would pair nicely with any pants or leggings. The soft knit material hugs you lightly, while the bra’s design offers superior ventilation and conveniently adjustable skinny straps. 

Pull it over for hiking, pilates, or walks around the beach. You’ll stay dry, comfortable, and supported throughout. Available in Black, White, Select Blue, Ash Plum, Select Pink, and Pink Sands and sizes XS through XL. 

Reebok Workout Ready Sports Bra

Need something basic and reliable in your wardrobe? The Workout Ready Sports Bra from Reebok is a classic, well-designed option that keeps you dry, allows your skin to breathe and provides gentle support for yoga and stretching. You’ll get ample room around the underarms, while the cutout design in back helps you stay cool. 

The soft v-neckline is subtle yet flattering, while the extra wide under band allows you to comfortably wear this bra all day. Available in Cold Grey, Night Black, Peach Fuzz, Pixel Pink, Purple Oasis, and Steely Blue and sizes 2XS through L. 


Low impact sports bras are a fantastic choice for women who only need light support. Going walking, for a hike, or hitting the yoga studio? A minimal impact bra would be just perfect. You’ll get the light support that you need without feeling squeezed.

Make sure the bra you choose is appropriate for the activity. Not getting enough support or compression for higher-impact activities can lead to tissue breakdown, pain, bruising, or neck and shoulder pain. If you’re doing anything like biking, jogging, or running be sure to choose a medium or high impact bra. 

Finally, enjoy the wide range of styles and colors that low impact sports bras offer. The lighter support allows designers to offer more creativity in cuts, straps, and features. Find a bra that matches your style and stretch with confidence. 

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