I’ve been training women of all ages for over 3 years now. And like their ages, their breasts come in all cup sizes. A lot of women think that if you have small breasts, you do not need to wear a sports bra to support it during exercise. That, along with if you’re only doing light exercise, you do not need to wear a sports bra, are common misconceptions women have about support.
Sports bras are different to regular every day bras in that it is sturdier, fuller, and made to provide more support to alleviate discomfort during exercise. It is essential to wear one to protect yourself from damaging the Coopers Ligament which supports your breasts. This ligament is like a rubber band, and if your breasts bounce around too much, the Coopers Ligament will elongate or may even rupture. This will result in sagging breasts, a lot of pain, and possibly even cancer.
There are many types of sports bras out there in the market, but like any other garment we put on, they should fit you well.
Material: To me, material is really important. A lightweight, flexible, quick dry material is usually my best pick when choosing a good, comfortable sports bra. The band at the bottom should also be made of the same sort of material, with the rubber elastic band sewn inside. Some sports bras have this rubber elastic band exposed, without being covered by any other material. This can result in chaffing especially in hot, humid Malaysia. And trust me…chaffing is painful.
Underwire: I personally do not encourage underwired sports bras as it might lead to chaffing too. Also, one of the causes of breast cancer is the constant rubbing of hard material against the our flesh. That is not good.
Style: I love styles and colours as much as any girl, so I wouldn’t say you’d have to give it up in this case. Sports bras of today are extremely stylish and fashionable so you can choose from a variety of designs. I like cross backs and racer backs with thick shoulder straps, not thin bra straps. The thicker it is, the better the support.
Full support: The sports bra should fully cover your breasts like full cups. It shouldn’t leave any bulges above it, and only minimally shows your cleavage. There are no half cup sports bras in the market, I don’t think, but if you do come across one, don’t get it. It defeats the purpose. Try it on in a fitting room, and jog on the spot and see if your breasts bounce around much. If it does, you need a tighter one.
Brands: I have tried several brands of sports bras and my favourite are always those from sports gear brands like Nike, Reebok, Adidas etc. They are expensive (averaging RM85-RM120 per piece) but they last a lot longer than those bought from undergarment brands like Triumph, Audrey, etc.
If you have further questions regarding support for your chest, please let me know.