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The Beginner’s Guide To Sports Bras: Why You Need One And What To Look For

Apparel | October 2, 2013 | By

Did you know that no matter how big or small your breasts may be, if you fail to wear adequate support whilst partaking in physical activity, you can cause permanent damage to your breasts? Even if your breasts are small and you experience no pain during exercise, you could still sustain damage.

Why do I need to wear a sports bra?

When you take part in exercise, your breasts move not only up and down, but also from side to side, putting a lot of train on your breast tissue. During exercise, your limbs are supported by bone and muscle. However, your breasts have little support from glands and tissues. The main natural support that your breasts have is ligaments known as Cooper’s Ligaments. During exercise, these ligaments can become stretched to the point that they are incapable of retracting to their normal size.

Imagine what would happen if you attached an object to the end of a piece of elastic and swung it around for the duration of a workout. If you were to measure the elastic length before and after the workout, you would find that the elastic had stretched. As you know, elastic will stay at the stretched length and will not ever return to its full elasticity. This is what happens to the Copper’s Ligaments in your breasts during exercise without support. As you can imagine, exercising without support can cause your breasts to sag which is permanent damage that cannot be undone.

What should I look for in a sports bra?

What to Look for in a Sports Bra?

When shopping for a sports bra, a bra which separately encapsulates each breast provides great support and reduces bounce. With less bounce comes less pressure on your breasts. It is also advisable to find a bra with specific sizes in cup and band sizes. Bras which are simply sized by small medium and large will be unlikely to provide adequate support.

Some bras benefit from specialized fabrics which keep sweat away to keep chaffing to a minimum whilst you’re working up a sweat. There are many experts in store who can help you out with measurements, so if you’re ever in doubt, ask the experts.

Whilst you’re in the privacy of the fitting room, test out the support that the bra gives. Jump up and down, jog on the spot, move your arms around and move as much as possible. You will soon realize whether the bra provides comfort and support. Some bras may slip. Other bras may be so tight that your breathing is restricted.

Are there different types of sports bra?

Sports bras come in a wide range of different styles. Encapsulation bras feature two cups which encapsulate each breast separately. These typically close using a hook or zip in the middle. Compression bras feature very firm fabrics which compress the breasts against your chest to minimize movement. If you like the sound of a compression and encapsulation bra, you can get the best of both worlds with a combination sports bra.