While sports bras have recently become somewhat of a fashion accessory, it mustn’t be forgotten they play an essential role in providing comfort and protecting health during woman’s fitness routines. Here Hagen Schumacher, expert consultant cosmetic surgeon, MyAesthetics explains why.
A sports bra that fits incorrectly can ruin your workout and affect your health, so here’s 5 things you should know when buying one.
1. Are you being measured and fitted correctly?
Any kind of exercise, particularly high-impact fitness like HIIT, running or riding, places tension on the supporting muscles of your breasts, so it’s important to take the time to have a professional fitting.
Get measured around the smallest part of your lower bust, where the band sits and then the fullest part of your bust. Go through a letter for each inch of difference and you’ve found your cup size.
2. When do you have the right fit?
The band of your sports bra should sit firmly around your chest at an even level. Your shoulder straps should provide support without leaving marks. You should be able to set the hooks on the loosest setting when you first begin wearing your bra, so you can tighten it as it begins to naturally lose elasticity.
When it comes to augmented breasts, it’s important to invest in a supportive sports bra rather than one with a compression fit. Compression bras may squeeze implants unnecessarily, but a supportive sports bra will take the burden off the connective tissues, keeping the breasts in position.
3. What’s wrong with your sports bra?
Tell-tale signs your sports bra is the wrong fit:
• The band rides up the back, or you’re using the tightest hook
• The straps dig into your skin
• There’s spillage when you bend over
4. Picking sports bras by activity
Most sports bras are designed to provide three general levels of support.
Low-support bras are best for low-impact activities like walking and yoga; medium-support is suitable for brisk walking and cycling; high-support is designed for sports like running and riding.
Compression style bras do not have cups and are usually worn by pulling them over your head. The structure of it compresses the breasts against the body to limit movement. Encapsulation designs have individual cups surrounding each breast and provide shape.
There are now sports bras offering a combination of compression and encapsulation. These encapsulate each breast individually while also compressing the breast tissues against the chest. They offer the most sturdy and complete type of support for women of any breast size.
5. When it’s time to upgrade
Just like all bras, sports bras stretch over time and it’s recommended they’re replaced every four to six months, depending on the frequency of wear and quality of care.