Athletic Breasts Overview: What to Know

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There are many different breast shapes, categorized by their orientation, placement, and nipple position. Hence, every woman has a unique body shape making it impossible to define an ideal bust shape or size. The shape in focus in this article is the athletic breasts shape and all you need to know about this particular type.

What Are Athletic Breasts?

Breasts are defined as athletic breasts that are wider and more muscular, with less breast tissue. They are towards the smaller end of the breast size spectrum, usually having an A to C cup size. Since the boobs are wider than they are long, it might be a challenge to find a good-fitting bra.

Graphic illustration of various types of breasts and their corresponding names

However, I am not saying you will not find any bra at all. There are so many amazing lingerie brands with the most amazing quality bras that you are bound to find the perfect fit. You just need to try out a few bras or keep reading to find out the best bras for this shape.

Cultural Perceptions of Athletic Breasts

While the name can be misleading, it is not necessary that only athletes have this breast shape, anyone can have this shape. The only reason they have the name is that athletes tend to have toned bodies with more muscles and less fatty tissue, similar to this breast shape.

Moreover, having small boobs with less breast tissue does not mean that you are not feminine or beautiful. As long as you are comfortable with how you look, you will exude the confidence of a self-assured woman. You can also always take help from the right kind of clothing and bras to feel more empowered.

Best Clothing for Athletic Breasts

If you feel self-conscious about your body, learn a few smart styling techniques that will teach you how to dress to impress. For women with athletic boobs, the following features in a dress or a top can help you elevate your silhouette and accentuate your curves.

A woman wearing a green lined underwired bra with a floral lace design leaning on a white wall

Under-Boob Seams

Since athletic boobs are spread out across the chest and do not have a lot of volumes, it helps to dress in clothes that have an under-boob seam. The seam separates the bust region from the waist area and draws attention to your curves.


Button-down shirts can be dressed in so many ways from smart-casual to everyday wear. They are also great for athletic breasts, which are rooted firmly on the chest instead of projecting from the sides. Hence, these breasts do not pull on the sides of the shirt to create horizontal seams across the front.

Voluminous Tops With Skinny Bottoms

Another way to create more curves is to opt for oversized tops or blouses with ruching or ruffles that make your bust look bigger. Pair that with skinny jeans or leggings that elongate your pins and create a sharp contrast. You can even go braless under a top with plenty of detailing over the chest region.

Bra Fit Problems of Athletic Breasts

Most bra companies design bras for what they consider to be the archetypical bra shape and size. Therefore, you may have experienced some issues when finding bras that fit you seamlessly. Below are some of the common problems faced by women with an athletic bust when shopping for bras:

  • Cup gaping or wrinkling: This happens because the breasts do not stick out far enough to fill the upper half of the cup.
  • Uncomfortable underwire: Since the breast root (area of the breast attached to the chest) is wide, you may feel the underwire digging into the side or sitting on top of the boobs.
A black underwired bra with a front clasp and lace design worn by a woman leaning on a white wall

Best Bras for Athletic Breasts

Most women with an athletic bust feel that they are flat chested and want a more rounder look. Even if you are not craving a certain look, you still want to feel comfortable and supported in your undergarments. Therefore, I have compiled a list of the best bras for an athletic chest.


A bralette is among the most comfortable types of bras. It offers a great fit, as the lightweight, stretchy fabric lies comfortably against your skin and envelopes your breast tissues. It also offers just enough support for everyday wear, perfect for athletic boobs that do not require a lot of structure.

Wireless Bra

As I discussed above, a standard bra with an underwire will not work for an athletic bust. It will be more of a nuisance, making you feel uncomfortable. Hence, look for a wireless bra with other design features that offer support, such as a longline bra.

Plunge Bra

A plunge bra has a deep V-shaped neckline, which is ideal for dresses and tops with plunging necklines. It is also recommended for women with lesser upper breast volume, such as athletic boobs. A plunge bra also has structured cups that accentuate the athletic breast shape.

A white underwired lined bra white front clasp is worn by a woman leaning on a white wall

Demi/Balconette Bra

One of the issues experienced by an athletic bust is gaping. A demi bra has half cups, covering the lower half of the breasts and reaching just above the nipples. Hence, this type of bra can solve the gaping problem and provide you with good support.

If you are looking for some cleavage, you can also opt for the balconette bra that is similar to a demi bra. However, it also pushes the boobs upwards to create some alluring curves. The main difference between the two is that a demi bra has a square neck while a balconette has a sweetheart neckline.

Push-Up Bra

A push-up bra is low cut and heavily padded at the base. Thus, this style will force your breast tissues to sit on top of the padding, filling out the upper part of the bra cups. Consequently, the bra is amazing for creating an illusion of a fuller bust.

What Is a Sports Bra? (And How To Pick One For Various Activities)


Athletic breasts are recognized by their higher muscle-to-fat ratio and a wider root. Consequently, they do not appear very full or big, making them quite manageable. By opting for the right bra and clothing styles, you can make the most of your athletic bust.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.