There are some workout basics you shouldn’t skimp on and a sports bra is high on that list..
A huge number of women are experiencing some breast injury from tissue moving up and down or in and out during exercise,” says Susan Nethero, founder of the bra emporium Intimacy. That’s because lack of breast support can lead to back pain and discomfort — including tissue damage that over time can cause stretch marks and sagging. And before you think that your B-cups have blessed you with the ability to skip the bra, think again. Even the smallest sizes can experience permanent damage to connective tissue over time if you neglect to give them the right support.
Even low-impact exercises, such as stretching or jogging, can be uncomfortable if your breasts are not held in place this includes saunter and walking programs on our pod treadmills.
Good-quality sports bras are designed to handle movement and motion so that when you move, they will provide maximum support and hold your breasts firmly in place. Regular bras don’t offer enough support, may cause tension on the shoulders, and can accumulate sweaty patches.
Researchers believe that movement combined with inadequate support can lead to long-term sagging. In a study by the University of Portsmouth, scientists revealed that “breasts move far more than ordinary bras are designed to cope with.” Wearing a sports bra is a commonly accepted remedy for sagging. It also helps prevent premature sagging.
Susan Nethero, the owner of 16 Intimacy stores countrywide and “The Bra Whisperer” endorsed by Oprah gave pop fitness the 411 on picking the best type of sports bra that truly fits your body
You may think you’re wearing a perfectly acceptable sports bra. In fact, you’re probably not: “The majority of women today are wearing what we call ‘compression’ sports bras, which creates stability by pressing down against the chest wall,” explains Nethero. “But that’s actually the worst way to get support.”
Apparently 9.5 million women exercise without wearing a sports bra at all — just a bra shelf in a tank top or a regular bra. Without ample support, ligaments get elongated, so there’s premature loss of elasticity and, hence, stretch marks. If we can reduce breast movement with a sports bra, we can reduce those effects. It’s even more significant than wearing the right regular bra everyday.”
Does your bra fit the bill? Here’s Nethero’s checklist below as shared with POP fitness our favourite fitness blog!
- Cups! It’s really important that your bra has cup sizing (as opposed to small, medium or large compression style), so there’s support for each breast, just like with an underwire bra. This is important for daily vanity reasons too: pressing the tissue down in a compression bra makes you look wider. Nethero’s philosophy is to lift the breasts up and get them centered because it gives more torso length and creates a sense of balance.
- Extra Support: Many of the best sports bra are like double bras with additional layers and side panels — these are great ways to get extra support for high-intensity exercises. (Supportive stitching around each breast is called ‘breast encapsulating.’) If you’re doing cardio like jogging, step, horseback riding, tennis — where your movements are back and forth and side to side — that’s when you’re really going to stretch and strain the tissue at the root near the breast wall without the proper bra.
- Moisture-Wicking Fabric: When you work up a sweat from exercise, you can actually trap moisture under the breast that can cause a rash. Make sure your bra is made from a fabric that doesn’t incubate that moisture.
- Adjustable Straps: You can loosen them when you do yoga and tighten during high-intensity workouts. Either way, straps are integral to creating a supportive environment for your boobs. With a good sports bra, Nethero believes you can reduce bounce by up to 74%.
You Need More Than One Sports Bra!
You have five or six lingerie bras but only one sports bra. That’s a big no-no, says sports bra designer Tahra Makinson-Sanders. Because sports bras take a beating during your workouts, they wear out more quickly and lose their effectiveness, especially if you’re wearing the same one day in and day out. “If you work out four days a week, have four sports bras and rotate them in and out so they’re only getting worn once a week,” says Tahra Makinson-Sanders. If you’re on a tight budget, get at least two quality sports bras. And to extend their lifespan avoid putting them in the dryer.
Elverys, Lifestyle sports and Tk Maxx in Sligo have great options and most good sports stores will give you advice if needed. Put some sports bra shopping on your list for your next workout!