I’m at an age where it’s time I upped my fitness game. I’m not going to lie; one of my favorite parts of this is the shopping! I can’t wait to strut around in sports luxe, looking all hot and not bothered. Eeeek!!! In the search for cute workout clothes, shoes, gym bags and wearable fit tech, there’s something I’m not willing to compromise on – well fitting, supportive sports bras.
Just like I mentioned before, a supportive sports bra is an absolute wardrobe essential no matter your workout intensity. Whether you’re walking, running or jumping, you need to take care of the Cooper’s ligaments, a series of connective tissues which maintain your breast’s lift and shape over time. Frequent breast bounce can break down these ligaments and cause your unsupported breasts to permanently sag.
Wearing sports bras will help prevent damage to the breast tissue. Companies usually categorize their sports-bra line by the level of impact and exercise intensity i.e. low impact like walking, yoga, medium impact like hiking, skiing and high impact like running, aerobics. If you participate in various sporty activities, you may need several different sports bras. When in doubt about the impact, choose a higher impact bra no matter the sport. You can’t go wrong with that.
Support is a major factor when it comes to a sports bra, and it is got from the cups, the band and the straps.
Compression or encapsulation? A compression sports bra works by compressing your breast tissue making it better for those with smaller cup sizes e.g. A and B. An encapsulation sports bra has individual cups and underwire (sometimes), making it more supportive if you have a bigger cup size. I also find that the separate cups offer a more flattering look since I have larger cup size.
Some styles combine the two i.e. compression and encapsulation which offers a little more support than a compression bra but not as much as encapsulation bras.
Note that the higher the impact level, the greater the support you will need e.g. being an A cup and playing basketball makes you a prime candidate for an encapsulation bra – you need maximum support.
Hook eye closure or pullover? If you want extra support, look for a sports bra with a clasp and padded adjustable straps which will tighten the band as needed. Most of the bra’s support comes from the band. Pullover styles like crop tops aren’t adjustable and don’t offer great support, making them ideal for low impact activities. Remember that the band of a perfectly fitted bra should be horizontal, if it’s hiked up; it’s definitely the wrong size or very old.
Wide padded shoulder straps or racerbacks? Being about an inch thick, shoulder straps are usually larger than the usual/standard bra design. This is a good thing, since the straps are likely to be adjustable and will help distribute weight better – this offers great support. With a new sports bra, fit it on the loosest hook since the elastic in the fabric stretches with time. Racerbacks can also feel really secure since they pull the bra closer to the body. The shoulder straps of a well fitted bra should be adjusted to give support to your breasts without digging into your shoulders. Painfully tight straps are not what you’re going for.
Light moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester, lycra, spandex and elastane support movement and pull sweat from your body, preventing chafing or rashes. You will really appreciate this when you’re getting all sweaty doing high impact sports. If you can find a great seamless (or at the very least minimal stitching) sports bra, this would be even better for those high energy sports to reduce irritation.
Sometimes, the extra fabric and construction that goes into a supportive bra makes it less effective at moisture wicking.
So this brings an end to the “My Eyes are up Here” series. I learnt so much doing the necessary research. Did you found it informative? Don’t forget to have your check up! #BreastCancerAwareness