The Importance Of A Sports Bra

29 Jan

Regular readers of my blog will know that in a bid to tone up and lose a bit of weight I have been hitting the gym.  And in order to make my experience more comfortable I always wear a sports bra.  It makes me sad and my boobs hurt when I see women working out in their normal bras or badly fitted bras, as they don’t seem to realise the damage they are causing.  It may be that they don’t know that they should wear a sports bra, or that they wear badly fitted bras as it is.
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The principle is the same for finding out your sports bra sizing as for a normal bra. You will need to try a number of different brands and sizes to get the level of support you require, as well as to ensure that it does not chafe or rub. To ensure that you achieve the right level of support for your chosen activity, the best guide I can give it to mimic the activity you will be doing to ensure the bra stays in place. I have spent a fair amount of time jumping up and down in changing rooms to test the staying power of a bra!

Sports bras can come up VERY snug, so you may need a larger band, or you may need them to be firmer than your usual size and you will need to go down a band size.

The breast is supported by something called the “Coopers ligament” which stretches during excessive movement or exercise. Once this connective tissue is stretched out, it will never return to its normal contour or shape – so that’s basically what causes the breasts to sag. The ideal sports bra should cut breast movement by up to 80%, and as with any item of clothing you will have to shop around to find one that is perfect for you and your bra size and shape.  I often buy my sports bras online, and I came across a post from Tiffany at Figleaves who recommended the Shock Absorber max. Having tried it, I can recommend Shock Absorber bras for sports and working out, and now the only thing that bounces when I work out is my bottom!  There’s currently a good offer on Shock Absorber sports bras at Figleaves, so why not try one for yourself.    The bras come in a fantastic range of colours and designs, and there is no excuse to not support your bust.
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Let me know which bra you use to work out in and why in the comments :)

23 Responses to “The Importance Of A Sports Bra”

  1. Loz January 29, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I use the shock absorbers too as I am a similar size to you George,but I find I need a Nike crop top over the top for extra support of in going pounding pavements,but it is perfectly adequate for treadmill/rowing machine work. It used to make my boobs hurt just watching women in normal bras or none at all bouncing around allover the place. It’s surely got to be uncomfortable?!

    The difficulty I found while shopping for one was shop staffs lack of knowledge on sports bras as a whole I went to she runs he runs for mine and asked a female sales assistant for some help, so she said oh I’m not trained but I know someone who is… And sent their youngest member of male staff over, bless him he was so embarrassed,I asked him why he was sent on the training and he said he was sent as a joke. (a cruel one in my opinion as the lad was really uncomfortable with the whole episode) to his credit tho his advice was really sound and opted for the swimsuit (which comes up REALLY small) and a black and white bra :)

  2. Hannah Light January 29, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I swear by the shock absorber running bra; keeps boobs in place but without completely smooshing them against the body. It makes me so sad to see ladies running in obviously inadequate bras, looks so uncomfortable!

    • nothingeverfits January 29, 2013 at 12.53 #

      Actually if you are small and firm enough then no bra during sport activities could be more comfortable than any sport bra. There is some movement, but it’s not painful at all. And if you lucky enough with your genetics there is no sagging, too.
      So without a bra you just get not the best shape and no nipple cover, but who really cares, if it means that your lungs could work to their full capacity during exercise? Forgive me, but in a gym I sometimes feel sorry for girls who need a sport bra.

      • fullerfigurefullerbust January 30, 2013 at 12.53 #

        My lungs always work at full capacity. And don’t feel sorry for me…

      • Ve February 1, 2013 at 12.53 #

        If your lungs don’t work at full capacity because of your sports bra, you may need more assistance than any of us non-sports doctors can give you.

        (I’m a long-distance runner and wear Enell sports bras because:

        1) my size technically does not exist in a sports bra designed for high-impact exercise, 32K or so,
        2) because of this, a compression bra is best, in my opinion
        3) my goal is not to look cute while exercising, but after ;-) )

      • nothingeverfits February 1, 2013 at 12.53 #

        For me it’s as simple as bands are restrictive and if in the my usual life it’s completely ok (I have an office job), but during workout I better don’t have anything restrictive. I don’t think I need a doctor because my underbust measurement when I inhale fully is bigger than band size of any bra which can stay in place. )))
        And AFAIK difference between inhale – exhale measurements are bigger for athletes and big difference is actually good, if I was G+ it would be a problem, but I’m not, so I’m just enjoying my little perk. )

        Glad you find what works for you.

  3. Vee January 29, 2013 at 12.53 #

    What size do you wear in shockabsorbers?
    I am pretty satisfied with the enell, but it’s really a fugliest bra ever and the seams show through everything so I’m hoping SA’s could work just as well.

    • fullerfigurefullerbust January 30, 2013 at 12.53 #

      36H x

    • Ve February 1, 2013 at 12.53 #

      I love how close our usernames are lolol. Mine is a shortened version of my actual name, since it’s a pretty uncommon name.

  4. Carys January 29, 2013 at 12.53 #

    Shock Absorbers all the way. They may come up higher than most of my vests, but they are the only ones that hold me in, help me feel secure and ensure I don’t worry what I’m doing to my breast tissue. They’re a godsend.

    Nothingeverfits – no sports bra should ever make you feel like your lungs aren’t working to full capacity. Nothing I’ve ever worn apart from a corset has ever made me feel like that, in fact! Also, I don’t think even the most amazing genes can stop the effects of gravity, with the best will in the world. Best to have some support than none!

    • nothingeverfits January 30, 2013 at 12.53 #

      Well, I find it hard to believe that most women could make 100% of ribcage expansion wearing a bra with a snug band (and it should be snug or there is no support). Theoretically I should wear 30″ bands (my ribcage is 30.5, fully exhaled 29″), if I inhale to max it’s 34.6″, can’t imagine elastic which would allow that and be supportive. I prefer looser bands, and mostly wear 32E bras (yes I wear them at work and when I go out), but >32″ as stretched to max is too loose even for me (it moves). AFAIK my digits are not very typical (I was a swimmer), but still.

      Don’t get me wrong, one can breathe just fine using his or her diaphragm, and it allows a hell of workout. And good sport bra is utterly important if you can’t describe your breasts as self-supportive. Sport bra is much-much better than regular bra if you can’t go without it.

      But what really gets on my nerves is “I feel sad for girls without proper sport bra” and “sagging is inevitable”, “if you have breasts you need support” (sometimes here goes “if you are bigger than A or B”). Thank you for your concerns, I’m fine. I will sag to some extent after climax apparently, but now I’m 33 and I was running, dancing Irish dances and what not, and girls as good as new. I’ve never had a killer cleavage and my decolletage cannot stop traffic. But I have breasts and they are not tiny, I don’t need a sport bra and I exist for God sake!

  5. Kate January 30, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I have an Enell, which works well enough but I can only wear it under t-shirts since it’s so ugly and enormous. Since I live in Florida, that means I can only wear it a few months in the winter. I just got a Freya Active underwire that I love! It’s got some crazy seams that make me look a bit like Madonna from the 80s, but it totally works. I have a Shock Absorber which is great for high impact activities of shorter duration. I find that after about 30 minutes, my shoulders start to hurt from the racerback placement of the straps.

  6. Don January 30, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I am a guy with a medical issue and I need a bra to support my chest. I wear a sports bra to work to hide my chest and a nicer bra once I get home. Fortunately I am a 38B so don’t have the problems talked about here. But I wanted to let people know that it is not just women who need sports bras.

  7. pacifiers&pinups January 30, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I have one right now from “moving comfort” its called the fiona http://www.movingcomfort.com/Fiona/350003544.0341C,default,pd.html
    It is really supportive, I like that it has a back closure instead of trying to fit it over my head. I do Crossfit so I jump around a lot, this bra has kept the girls in check. I used to be in a lot of pain while running or moving until I found a good sports bra.

  8. faustineli January 30, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I love both my Freya Active Underwired and my Panache sport bras! The latter gives me a better shape, but is not labeled machine washable. The Freya may feel a little tight at first bandwise, and the Panache feels a little roomy in the cup.

  9. Wytch January 31, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I second Moving Comfort. I have several of their bras and have had excellent luck with both the Maia and the Juno styles. It’s awesome not to have to layer several bras while I work out.

  10. realedinlady February 2, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I’ve always been a Shock Absorber devotee (I have eight of various styles at last count) but got the Panache sports bra this week and I’m impressed so far. I’ll just have to keep exercising to compare!

    • Don February 4, 2013 at 12.53 #

      Which bras are you referring to? I haven’t tried a Panache. Their SuperBra High Impact 2001 looks like it might be a good one for me.
      Don

  11. Helen February 5, 2013 at 12.53 #

    Pure Lime – and the only thing that moves is my tummy :-)

  12. Caro February 22, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I really love the lack of breast movement in the Shock Absorbers, they’re fantastic for that, but there’s a huge problem with them. The straps are simply not long enough, because the bra is made for the average British woman, and the average British woman is really quite short. I’m not. The shoulder pads rest in front of my shoulder, with the seam to the normal band resting right on top of my shoulder. I’ve made do, but it hurts in the long term. So now I wear a Panache Sport. It has longer straps, but it doesn’t control the bounce as well :( The shortness problem shows in Pepperberry clothes as well, with ridiculously short sleeves and high hems. Thank goodness Polish women are a little taller – I don’t know what I’d do without BiuBiu for some of those basics that just need extra bust space.

  13. Laurie Ann February 26, 2013 at 12.53 #

    I’m a plus-sized runner training for my first half marathon. I run a lot and I wear the Maia by Moving Comfort. I find it is really good and that it doesn’t chafe or dig or let me bounce too much… plus it doesn’t give me the “uni-boob” look.

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