Do you have to wear a sports bra when exercising? Here are the facts.
What are the benefits of wearing a sports bra when exercising? Do I need to wear one? Am I big enough to need a sports bra?
These are some of the questions I get asked each week. It can be a personal preference. But I am here to give un-biased and factual information. This is so that you can make an informed decision for yourself and your needs
The Three 'P's: Pain, Performance & Permanent Damage
This is a very easy way to remember how an unsupported chest can have an affect on us. It will effect us all to varying degrees of course. But it's important to be self-aware to ensure we are not ignoring these factors.
Did you know that G cup breasts on a size 34 back can weight around 2kg?! That's like strapping a 2 litre bottle of water to the front of your body to carry all day.
Even A cup breasts weigh the same of a cup of sugar.
Breast mass accounts for only approximately 4% of total body fat weight*. So carrying this extra weight on your body when we pass puberty can take its tole on us. Some of us can get back backs, pad posture and painful breasts when we're active. Wearing a supportive bra will help reduce some of this stress on the body and carry some of this weight.
The key word here is supportive, not all bras, such a flimsy crop tops, will be strong enough to help. If you're unsure what a supportive sports bra looks like, check out this blog post.
Did you know that over the course of a marathon you could finish an entire mile behind when wearing a bad sports bra? Compared to if you were wearing a high-supporting sports bra. This is according to the research conducted by Portsmouth University.
Excessive breast motion can effect your running gait and efficiency. Reducing your stride length by around 4cm. Which can add up over a long running distance.
It becomes more important with larger cup sizes. Why? They found that a one breast cup size increase can result in a 4.6 min increase in marathon finish time**. Based on women with an underband of 32 or 34 inches.
The breast does not have muscle in it. Which is why we cannot tense our muscle and hold them in place. But, our breasts do have ligaments. These make up the structural integrity and shape of our breast.
These ligaments are somewhat elastic and support the breasts from the chest wall. Which means they can return to their original position and size if stretched. Yet with excessive force, they can begin elongating to the point of no return. This can lead to the breast changing shape and the nipple area begin to droop. In extreme cases, some women have reported rupturing the ligament.
Wearing a supportive sports bra during exercise helps to drastically reduce breast bounce. Which slows down the breakdown of our breast tissue.
There's no two way about it. Sports bras play an important role in a woman's life. Luckily, bras do come in all sorts of shapes, construction and sizes. So you are bound to find one that suits you and your needs. Especially if this is what's been keeping you away from wearing one on a regular basis.
Are you someone who finds bra uncomfortable to wear? Here is some guidance on easing into wearing a bra for the first time.
Shop our award-winning collection of sports bras today! We even hold free online bra fittings every week to help yo get your perfect size.
* - Katch, V. L, Campaigne, B., Freedson, P., Sady, S., Katch, F. I., & Behnke, A. (1980). Contribution of breast volume and weight to body fat distribution in females. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 53, 93-100.
** - Do women with smaller breasts perform better in long distance running? Brown N. & Scurr J.