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Do You Need to Wear a Sports Bra?

07 February 2013

A sports bra is the most important piece of fitness equipment a woman can own. When exercising, breasts can move up to 14cm. This can cause irreversible damage to the ligaments that support the breasts, causing sagging. It can also become incredibly painful during, and after, exercise. Yet, despite this, almost half of women don’t wear a sports bra when exercising. Although a regular bra will provide some support, only a good quality sports bra will provide enough support during exercise. A Shock Absorber bra can reduce breast movement by up to 78%; twice as much as a regular bra. A sports bra will also help you to feel more comfortable and confident when working out. So, there’s no reason not to wear one!

Choosing a Sports Bra

Sports bras come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and colours. They are also different bras designed to be worn for different activities. For example, a running bra will provide more support than one designed to be worn during yoga. Some sports bras (like Panache’s cheerful new pink bra) are stylish enough to be worn as workout tops on their own. The sports bra you choose will depend on your taste, the type of exercise you take part in and, of course, what offers you the best support.

Getting the Right Fit

It’s especially important that a sports bra fits well as it has to provide even more support than a regular bra. You should wear your sports bra on the loosest hook and eye. You can move up to the tighter hook and eyes as the bra stretches over time. The band under the bust should feel firm as this is where the majority of the support comes from. If there is any overspill from the cups (either the tops or sides), you should try a bigger cup size. You may feel that the sports bra feels firmer than you regular bra, or that it is compressing your breasts. This is normal as it needs to offer you maximum support.

Don’t be tempted to wear two sports bras for more support. This can be very uncomfortable and cause chafing on your shoulders and underarms. One good quality sports bra should be supportive enough. If a single sports bra isn’t providing enough support, try a different size or style.

Caring for Sports Bras

Underwired sports bras should always be washed by hand. This is because the wires could damage your washing machine. Non-wired bras can be machine washed, but you should wash them in lingerie bags. This will help prevent the fabric from becoming weak and, therefore, less supportive. Avoid using fabric softener as this can break down the elasticity of the bra, meaning you will have to replace it sooner.

Sports bras should be replaced about as often as your trainers, but you should use your own judgement. If you are wearing your bra on its tightest hook but it still doesn’t feel like it is providing adequate support, it’s probably time to replace it.
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