These days there are mountains of bras being advertised for their support and “shock absorption”. But why do we really need a sports bra that provides such support?
The answers are in our anatomy. There are no muscles within the breast – only the skin and delicate Cooper’s ligaments, which support the breast tissue. Once these ligaments have been stretched beyond their limit, as a result of breast movement during exercise, no amount of toning exercises can restore them! Therefore a good sports bra is going to minimize breast movement during our workouts and, support the ligaments, in our breasts.
There has been a lot of research done recently into sports bras. Here are a few tips to consider if you are about to make a purchase:
The band around the chest should be level front and back. A good gauge to check the correct underband size is by placing two finger widths between the band and your skin. It should feel firm but not loose, any space or an ill-fitting band can cause chaffing, and will let the performance of the sports bra down by allowing movement.
The Cup Size
The cup of the sports bra should contain the whole of the breast. Firstly make sure the underband is lying flat against your skin and not being pushed out by your breasts. Lift your breasts into the cups to ensure the band is flat. Is there any excess skin bulging over the side of the cup, near the armpit, or at the front? If so you may need to go up a cup size.
Shoulder straps need to again be firm. Adjust the straps where possible to ensure a secure but comfortable fit. Raise and lower your arms with the bra on. Are the straps staying in place or slipping off your shoulders?
The Bounce Test
Whilst trying on different bras jump or jog on the spot to test how much support, and minimal bounce the bra is providing.
A well-fitted sports bra is an essential item of clothing for women when exercising. There are documented long-term benefits showing that a sports bra can prevent sagging and pain. Investing in a good sports bra will provide multiple benefits such as, looking good, feeling fit and healthy, and will support our anatomical assets!