It’s all fun and games until I give an exercise that requires jumping.
Then I hear the famous line “Oh no! I didn’t wear the right bra for this!”
You knew you coming to train, right? Therefore, you should always be prepared to "brace the breast".
Maybe this is a topic your male trainer feels uncomfortable discussing with you, but I ain’t scared. Lol
The importance of wearing a sports bra to training.
The Cooper’s ligament is the connective tissue that supports the breast. As women age, give birth, gain or lose weight, or experience other hormonal changes, the ligament stretches and weakens, which attributes to sagging breasts.
When movement takes place, the unsupported breast not only moves up and down, but side to side, speeding up the rate at which sagging will occur (Thank you, gravity!). An unsupported A cup can move as much as 1 ½ inch in each direction, while a D cup will move as much as 2-3 inches in each direction. The sports bra was specifically designed taking into account the movement of the breasts during physical activity and assists the Cooper’s ligament in supporting the structural integrity of breasts and fighting sag.
How to choose the right sports bra?
In order to find the right bra you need to consider the following:
Construction – Compression vs Encapsulation?
Compression bras - These bras typically pull over your head and compress the breasts against the chest wall to restrict movement. They do not have cups built into the design. Compression sports bras tend to work best for low- to medium-impact activities and are better suited for A and B cups.
Encapsulation bras - These bras use individual cups to surround and support each breast separately. Encapsulation bras provide a more natural shape than compression bras. They are generally better suited for women with larger breasts and low-impact activities.
There are a few bras on the market that are both encapsulated and compressed; they work best for high impact activities.
1. Cup - Your breasts should be centered and fully contained in the cups. Scoop them in and center them. Wrinkles or puckers in the fabric indicate the cup is too big. If breast tissue is pressed outside of the bra, that means the cup is too small, or that the style of bra is the wrong cut for your breast type.
2. Straps – Criss Cross, Racerback or Wide strap?
Racerback or Y shape - Racerback bras provide good support for medium- to high-impact activities, because they cinch in back and the straps anchor the bra closer to the body. However, but they are typically not adjustable, so you must choose your size carefully.
Wide strap – Resembles an everyday bra with straps that are often adjustable so you can fine-tune the fit. These bras often have a back closure, which offers additional adjustment. This bra is suited for women with larger breasts as the shoulder straps help distribute weight better than other bras.
Criss Cross or X back - These straps crisscross in back and usually provide good support. The straps are often adjustable so you can fine-tune the fit. This is the perfect combination of racerback and wide strap.
1. Band – To test the band size, raise your hands over your head. If the band rides up, it may be too big. Try adjusting the straps or back closure. If that doesn’t work, try a smaller band size.
2. Support – To test the bra's support, try jumping or running on the spot. Your breasts should feel secure and supported. If there’s too much movement, try other bras.
3. Fabric - Look for a sports bra made from a moisture-wicking material such as polyester or dri-fit technology that dries quickly.
4. Chafing - Make sure there is no chafing around the armholes, shoulder straps or seams. If the bra has hooks or snaps, make sure those don't chafe, either.
How often should you replace your sports bra?
A good sports bra should last you a year; depending on fabric and manufacturer it will last between 9 to 15 months. After a year, it begins to lose elasticity and the fabric will wear away due to sweat, detergent, dryers, etc. Ultimately it really depends on how often you wear and wash it. If there is rippling of the elastic, spandex fibres start showing or it begins to fit loosely, i.e. if you adjust your bra to the tightest hook and you can still fit your fingers underneath, it’s time to go shopping.
How to care for your sports bra?
Washing - Always wash your bra in cold water with a mild detergent; be sure to avoid fabric softener and bleach.
Drying - Line dry it or place in dryer. For the dryer, use the cold tumble cycle only because heat breaks down spandex and will shorten the lifespan of the bra.
I hope these tips were helpful. Now go take care of your boobs!
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