Why do I need a sports bra?
According to research at Portsmouth University*, exercising without an appropriate sports bra leaves many women facing the prospect of irreversible breast sag.
The study found that breasts move in a three dimensional figure of eight, going up and down, in and out and side to side.
With the average 36C breast weighing between 200-300 grams, this uncontrolled movement puts great strain on the breast’s support structure, which comprises only the outer skin and Cooper’s Ligaments.
The research found that each breast moves independently of the body by an average of nine centimetres during each step taken on a treadmill. So while your legs run a metric mile, your breasts bounce up to 135 metres! G cup breasts bounced 14 centimetres per stride or 210 metres per mile and even an A cup moved 4cm with every step!
There are two direct results of this breast movement: pain and discomfort which although temporary affects 56%** of women; and stretching of the Coopers’ ligaments which is permanent and can lead to an irreversible droop.
So how do you find a well-fitting sports bra and be confident it will reduce the bounce?
Don’t buy the first one you find
There are far more sports bras available from specialist retailers than on the high street so have a good look to make sure you are getting everything you want.
For example, if you want wires or side fastenings, all these variations are now available in virtually all sizes.
Make sure it fits
Your sports bra should be the correct size for you. There should be no bulges and no gaps.
The bra should give you enough so you to run in comfort.
To test this, run on the spot in your bra before taking the labels off.
It should significantly reduce the bounce – if it doesn’t, there will be a better bra out there for you so keep looking!
Your sports bra has a limited life, and should be replaced every 30-40 washes as the elasticity of the fabric is damaged through use and laundry.
Berlei have this year launched a sports bra designed specifically for running – based on the best selling sports bra in Australia. The bra features ultra-sonic welding to reduce the bounce – and comes with a “No Boing” guarantee! The bra will be available at a special show price at the Womans World show later this June.
As with trainers, there are other sports bras which offer excellent support including the Shock Absorber Run Bra, Triumph Extreme, Freya Soft Cup and the Enell Sports Bra.
So look after your assets whilst running - a good sports bra is as important as a pair of trainers for every woman heading out for a run.
Selaine Saxby is the founder of www.lessbounce.com, stocking the widest ranges of sports bras in the world from 28AA-52K
Lessbounce will be at the Womans World Show on June 3rd, 4th and 5th in the RDS Dublin. Visit www.womansworldshow.com to register for two FREE tickets