Banish that bounce! Which sports bras offer the best support while exercising
21:07 GMT, 23 June 2012
According to experts, up to 60 per cent of women experience breast pain when exercising, and new research has revealed that 57 per cent do not wear a sports bra. Here’s a selection of supports and why they’re recommended . . .
Cruise control: Repeated exercise without support may permanently stretch ligaments and cause sagging
BREASTS HAVE NO MUSCLE
There are three reasons why women need to wear sports bras, according to Amanda Brasher, of sweatshop.co.uk, which has launched a bra-fitting service in more than 30 shops.
She says: ‘The supporting structures of the breast are skin and connective tissue called Cooper’s ligaments. Repeated exercise without support may permanently stretch these and cause sagging.’
The average bra size in the UK is 34D-36D and women are getting bigger, which Brasher believes might be discouraging women from taking up sport.
THE THREE TYPES OF FIT
Fit is the most important element of a sports bra, of which there are three types:
Compression bras are the old fashioned sort, with the breasts pushed against the chest wall using Lycra. Smaller-breasted women may feel they are given enough support from these.Encapsulation bras are similar to traditional ones – lifting and separating.Combination bras do a mixture of the two. Larger-breasted women should select one of these.
‘The technical materials used for sports bras are designed to wick away – or draw off – any sweat,’ says Selaine Saxby, of lessbounce.com.
‘Wicking material also dries very quickly, so it’s better for the skin as well as being more comfortable.’
Some will have a sling support of fabric underneath the breasts for added support. Up to 80 per cent of women in the UK may be wearing the wrong size bra, so get properly measured.
‘The underband needs to be tight, but not dig in,’ says Brasher. ‘The cup must encapsulate the whole breast without bulges or wrinkling in the material.’
She says there should be no more than a finger-width of space under the band, cup or strap and underwire should sit against the ribcage.
‘And you should change your sports bra every 30-40 washes as the support will start to go,’ says Saxby.