So you've got the high performance running shoes, the right sports kit and a training program that's going to get you as fit as you want to be. But have you really thought of everything? A good sports bra is as essential a piece of kit as a good pair of sneakers.
Did you know that there are no muscles in the breast? Your breasts are made up of the suspensory Cooper's Ligament which, when unsupported during exercise, can stretch beyond repair and lead to irreversible breast sag.
Yet why are 73% of women who exercise regularly not wearing sports bras?
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More info on Sports Bras
A sports bra
is a type of women's bra that provides additional support to breasts during any kind of sport or exercise, ranging from Zumba and cross-fit to tennis and running. Sports Bras are generally sturdier than typical day bras. They are built to minimize breast movement, reduce chaffing, and are designed to reduce potential breast ligaments damage.
Sports bras are often worn by women with larger breasts, as to reduce pain, discomfort, and potential embarrassment resulting from breasts "bouncing" during exercise. In some cases large breasted women may have been deterred from exercise due this. Some sports bras are designed to be worn without the need for a layer on top, for example running bras.
It may also be a good idea to wear a sports bra if you have had any breast surgical procedures.
Breasts While Working Out
While working out, if breasts are unrestrained they tend to "bounce" freely with the movement of the body. Some women with large breasts may find such working out either painful and / or embarrassing. There is a correlation between the size and weight of a woman's breasts and the amount of breast motion in any particular activity.
The worry is that breasts remain unrestrained during intense exercise; the weight of the breasts may cause damage to the ligaments of the chest. This could happen during jogging, Zumba or even tennis.
Regular Bras Are Not Sport Bras
Regular bras are simply not made for sports. Shoulder straps of standard bras are generally constructed in the form of a "square frame". When a woman participates in a sport that requires her to lift her arms above the shoulders, the bra becomes strained because it is held in place by the chest band, placing direct pressure on the shoulder muscles. This can lead to neck and shoulder pain and even tingling in the arm. To avoid such problems a goods sports bra will allow for a full range or motion, while supporting the breasts and stopping the bounce.
About 50 percent of women have reported that they have some pain or discomfort in their breasts while working out. This varies based on the intensity of the sport and may depend on what they are wearing while exercising. An Australian study shows that 3 women with cup sizes B and C were videoed one exercising without a bra, one with a regular bra and one with sports bra. While the breast motion was indeed reduced by the regular the bra, the sports bra by far the most effective. The women reported less discomfort when wearing the sports bra than they did with the regular bra.
Another study found the when breasts move during a workout, they move in three planes of motion. The conclusion to this study was that sports bras that encapsulated the breasts were more effective than regular bras at reducing total breast motion during exercise. The reason given was that because encapsulation sports bras reduce motion in two of the three planes, while regular bras only reduce motion in a single plane.
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