Ten Things Every Girl Should Know About Sports Bras
You might have been wearing sports
bras for years (extra brownie points for you if so!) or perhaps
you’re of the opinion that they’re nothing but another
piece of hyped up kit to waste your money on. Either way, the
fact is that if you participate in sport - ANY sport - you really
should be wearing proper running
clothing, which includes a good sports bra.
Sportswear expert Brett Bannister says, ‘No matter how
small or large, the breast is a fragile organ. It is essential
for women to wear a correctly fitting sports bra that provides
enough horizontal and vertical support for their chosen sporting
activity. After all, playing sports is all about making us look
and feel better, not worse!’
So, without further ado,
here are ten things you simply need to know about sports bras...
Not wearing a sports bra can cause saggy boobs.
You already figured that one, but the reason for this is that
during high-energy, high-impact sports women’s breasts
can move up to ten or more centimetres, which in turn can
cause your Cooper’s ligaments (the primary supporting
structures in the breasts ) to stretch beyond repair. Not
pretty. And small-breasted girls, you are not immune to this!
Not wearing a sports bra can lead to tension and
strain in the upper back and neck. This is particularly
the case for women with larger breasts and is caused by the
fact that the excess weight at the front means the back muscles
have to work harder to keep the shoulders in the correct position.
This causes these muscles to eventually become weak and stretched,
leading to pain in the back and neck. Ouch!
- Not wearing a sports bra can cause painful breasts.
Yep, more pain! A 2007 study by the University of Portsmouth
found that one in two women complain of breast pain during exercise.
So if that’s you, get yourself a good sports bra.
- Not wearing a sports bra can decrease athletic performance.
It’s common sense of course, but another recent study
by the University of Portsmouth has indeed found that running
strides are affected by swinging breasts, which in turn increases
stress on the body and can lead to decreased performance and
- You should measure your bust every six months.
The effects of not wearing a sports bra also count for wearing
one that doesn’t fit. Whether you’re a fully grown
adult or not, your breast size can change due to fluctuations
in your weight or hormonal factors. It’s important you
measure yourself to determine your bra size every six months,
because wearing an ill-fitting bra or sports bra won’t
provide the support you need.
- Sports bras should be replaced every 30 to 40 washes.
The all important, boob-hugging elasticity of your sports bra
gets damaged during the washing cycle, which means support decreases.
Depending on how often you wash your sports bra, this means
you’ll probably replace it around every six to ten months.
If you find your boobs are bouncing more before then, check
to see if any of the elastic bands are obviously stretched.
If the bra no longer fits snugly you’re ready for a new
- Sports bras with complete cups (aka encapsulation
bras) give more support. While some sports bra models
feature a crop-top style design without distinguishable cups
(compression bras), research has shown encapsulation bras are
better at preventing up and down, and side to side movement
of the breasts during exercise. Large-breasted ladies and people
taking part in high impact exercise will be better off with
- Different levels of impact require a different type
of sports bra. For high impact sports (like running
or aerobics), you’ll need a high impact sports bra, designed
to minimise breasts swinging up and down and from side to side
while exercising. While high impact sports bras can be used
for low impact sports (such as yoga or Pilates), you may find
a specially designed low impact sports bra less restrictive.
However, don’t go running in a low impact sports bra or
you’re back to the saggy boobs issue!
- Wearing a sports bra can prevent joggers’ nipple.
If you've never had this condition, lucky you! Joggers’
nipple is a friction burn caused by a T-shirt continually rubbing
against the nipples during running or other repetitive motions
during exercise. A well-fitting sports bra reduces the chance
of this happening.
- Sports bras don’t need to cost the earth!
have some great alternatives available under £30 from
top name brands including Thausne, Shock Absorber, Adidas, Gore,
Saucony and Nike.