Wearing sports bra of the right type is crucial for comfortable and confident running. Here are some guidelines and tips for what to look for and how to choose a bra that will fit you perfectly.
Most people who decide to start running regularly think that the first thing they should buy is a pair of running shoes – however, joint top of that list for women is definitely a sports bra. Proper support for your breasts won’t only boost your confidence, but will also help you run better, by reducing bounce and uncomfortable chaffing.
When women are running, they definitely don’t want to be worrying about their breasts popping out, jiggling, or hurting. They shouldn’t be forced to focus on their breasts and how they look, but on their pace, route and how great it feels to run and sweat.
What kinds of sports bras are available?
There are two major types of sports bras: compression and encapsulation.
Compression bras compress the breast against the chest wall reducing movement, while encapsulation bras encapsulate the breasts individually and provide support from beneath.
No support type is better than the other, it just depends on what you like, and what feels most supportive and comfortable. However, it’s worth getting a perfect fitting so know what your size is – and keep in mind that your size could change depending on the design. It can be a bit frustrating and overwhelming when you think you know your bra size and then your new bra doesn’t fit.
The right type of bra will depend on two factors, your cup size and the type of activity you’re planning to do. The majority of bras are either low, medium, high or maximum impact. The larger the cup size, the higher the support level is required, but it’s also essential to feel comfortable.
Encapsulation bras have defined cups for each breast. This kind of bra is good for supporting bigger busts, as well as improving shape. Compression bras have one compartment for the breasts, and compress your bust firmly to your chest to provide support and reduce movement.
Breast health is the most important aspect
Working out without wearing a sports bra can cause damage to breast tissue, which can lead your breasts to sag and droop. To prevent this, you have to minimize bounce. Fortunately, a fitting sports bra can help to minimize bounce by up to 83%, which helps keeping your breasts in great shape.
Without the proper support, damage over time can lead to Coopers Ligaments losing their elasticity, resulting in pendulum-shaped breasts. Breasts consist of fatty tissue supported by skin and Coopers Ligaments, which both maintain structure.
Unfortunately, Coopers Ligaments aren’t repairable, and no amount of toning will restore them. The Cooper’s Ligament is the tissue in your breasts that helps them stay uplifted. Damage may cause sagging breasts. Many women aren’t really aware of the true damage unsupported breasts can have in the long term. However, keep in mind that if we support our breasts properly, we can slow this process down and keep our breasts perky.
Traditional bras do provide some support; however, sports bras provide optimal support and reduce movement when running so it’s important to wear a quality sports bra when running or doing some other dynamic physical activity. Even if your breasts are smaller, research done by the College of Portsmouth suggests that an A cup breast moves 4cm when walking, so just imagine how this is increased during a run. So all breasts, no matter how small, need support when you’re active.
How to find the right fit?
Wearing a sports bra will help prevent long-term injuries and shoulder and back pain. Women with large breasts often complain of strains to their shoulders and back. This can be reduced by wearing well engineered, supportive sports bra that will take the strain away. Many women tend to wear a bra that’s too big on the band, which is one of the major reasons for drooping breasts. When the band inches up, the cups sag, and there’s no support left.
Your sports bra have to fit firmly on the band, with just enough room around the back and sides to run two fingers around. The back band should sit horizontally across your body and feel nice and comfy, but not affect your breathing. There should be no bunching or wrinkling in the cups. If there is, the cup is too big.
If there’s a treadmill in your running store, go for a short run to do the bounce test, or jog on the spot. This will help you determine if the bra is providing you with enough support for running. Movement of the breasts should be minimal.
Finally, the look of the sports bra is depends entirely on your personal choice and preference. A traditional hook and eye back bra will be easy to get on and off, however, most women get more support from a crossover-back bra. Try both to decide which you like more.