Sports shops everywhere are full of bras or bra tops such as shown on the photograph above. You are supposed to wear them when you workout and all of them fall within xs-xl in size category, or at best 32-38 A-DD. The question is: do your breasts really feel comfortable and supported when you wear these kind of sports tops and do a hi-impact workout (running on a treadmill, an aeroboxing or hilo aerobics class, playing tennis etc)??? Or do your breasts behave like two balls bouncing up and down drawing the attention of anybody willing to comment about dynamics of breasts of any size???? They do??? And you curse having breasts (no matter big or small) at all? Or you just avoid doing any sports at all because doing it is so uncomfortable and painful?
How to prevent your breasts from jumping up and down when you practice sports? To solve this problem, first let me remind you the basic rule of brafitting – 85% of support of your bra comes from the band. Where does the support come from in case of the above type of tops when you have to stretch them in order to pull them through your head, and over your shoulders and breasts just to put them on? Unfortunately, these can work only for relatively small breasts and low impact activities. Why?
Let’s begin from the structure of the breast. What is it built of? Muscle? So that you can improve its shape by doing push-ups…??? Well, let’s look at the drawing. What do we have here?
Fatty tissue, glandular tissue, Cooper’s ligements and the muscle under the breasts. The anatomy of the breasts is very well explained by Maheda (one of the best Polish bra-fitters) in her article . If you devote some time to read it you will see that apart from Cooper’s ligaments and skin there’s nothing that actually provides support from within your breasts, and even these two are kind of fragile and easy to damage. If you don’t wear a correctly fitted bra, things such as aging, weight fluctuations, nursing make your breasts look saggy with time and no miracle cream or exercise will actually be able to help you. Here I must recommend reading carefully the paragraph about bras helping tone breasts. What Maheda has written there is very good news for a lot of women who feel less then happy with the looks of their breasts.
Now let’s look what is going on with your breasts when you do a high impact activity. Meet Dr Joanna Scurr of Portsmouth University who did a research how exercise affects women’s breasts and examined 70 women while they run on a treadmill. Tests were done for women without a bra, in normal everyday bras and in Shock Absorbers. The whole article from Science Daily about the research she did is available here . Don’t you find it interesting? I do. 2 years ago, before discovering my correct size (and bra-fitting rules) I used to exercise in my everyday bra and my breasts didn’t get any support at all, it was slightly better in a compression bra (I mean a tight sports top that provided support by flatting my breasts all over my chest) but my looks were kind of questionnable when I was wearing it:( I must admit though I keep wondering about the results that showed that everyday bras didn’t reduce much of a bounce… Were all these women from the research wearing correct sizes? Do you remember the article about advanteges of good bra sizes? A lot of the lobbyists were emphasizing the fact that they were able to run to catch a bus without a discomfort and having to hold their breasts with their hands…
And here’s a short video of Joanna Scurr for you to see:
And here are some animations presented on the website of ShockAbsorber They are quite educational as they show that even smallest breast do experience the bounce. However, there’s a little snag here – they just show cup sizes like A, B, C, D etc without telling that with different back sizes these cups will differ – 65D won’t be equal to 75D etc. They also show one shape of relatively big firmness and not large weight… And there are many other types of breasts, each of us is different. Definitely, there’s much too research yet in this area.
Another video (less scientific, more down to earth) also shows very well in slow motion what happens to badly supported breasts is a Freya Active ad:
I hope here the difference between a sports top and a properly supportive sports bra is clearly visible (from 0:18 to 0:40). Women with bigger breast know this problem very well, women with smaller breasts may not really experience this bouncing to a big extent, but nevertheless it is there and they should get a proper support too.
Would you trust the scientists (what they discovered so far) as well as thousands of users of bras such as Freya, Shock Absorber, Royce (another brand of sports bras available from 28-40 from D -J) or Panache. So here’s the message from us – these bras DO work! I wouldn’t change my Shock Absorber to any Nike, Reebok, Adidas or any other sexy sports bra (just like the black plunge from the photograph at the beginning of the article, btw, how can any woman workout in something like that???) for nothing! I’ve had it for almost a year and a half and it’s still with me – unstretched, even though I use it very often – 4-5 times a week. The difference in comfort is great – I can run, jump, do whatever hi impact activity I choose and my breasts stay “plastered” to my chest, the bounce is almost eliminated. I agree these bras don’t look particularly nice (but this is not their function – they are not supposed to be sexy push-ups) and they peak out from under every sports top, my breasts look like cones or rockets (still, I prefer this shape rather than flattened pancakes that I had when I wore Nike sports bras)… Tell me one thing, why do you go to a gym? To work out or to pick up fitness instructors? Even if you go there for the latter;), the handsomest fitness instructor or personal trainer is not worth having breasts looking like spaniels ears in the future.
I hope that I’ve convinced you that wearing a real sports lingerie (such as shown on the above photo) is beneficial for your breasts. I just feel sorry when I see women with bouncing breasts exercising in whatever circumstances (jogging in a park, running on a treadmill, doing a body attack class), my own boobs simply start to hurt just from looking <shuddering>
The photographs of sports bras from the first collage come from various sellers on Ebay, the photos of Freya Active, Shock Absorber, Royce and Panache come from Figleaves. The diagram of a breast comes from Breastcancersource.