While being active is great for the bod, all that bouncing can be hard on the boobs. It’s essential to make sure those fragile ligaments responsible for holding up your girls get the support they need.
Buying a proper bra is as important to prevent sagging as a solid pair of sneakers are to keeping your feet in place. Far too many women don’t bother to do their homework or take the time to make sure their bra is doing its job.
Here are 10 tips on how to buy the right sports bra:
1. Size matters: You may be surprised to learn you are bigger or smaller than you thought. For instance, I always thought I was a 34, but on measuring myself just now, I learned I’m actually a 32. Check this site on how to measure and grab a measuring tape to see for yourself where you fit in.
2. Bra test: Make sure your bra is up for the job when you first try it on. The “jumping jack test” will give you an idea how your bra is performing. It should hold you so that your whole upper body bounces as one. Also, bras should never dig into you. If it’s leaving you with red marks, then it’s probably too tight.
3. What’s your type? Just like finding the right partner, you want to make sure you and your bra are compatible. If you’re on the smallish side, a compressor type of bra that presses your breasts up against your chest is likely the best choice. While it may give you the not so sexy mono-boob look, it will also minimize movement and increase support. This type of bra usually pulls over your head and breasts, a maneuver that may be tricky for larger ladies. In that case, you’re better off with a moulded encapsulation cup that clasps on for more size versatility and shape. If you’re an average-sized B cup, you could use different types of bras for different types of sports. For instance, if you’re doing yoga you will need less support than if you’re doing a high-impact activity such as soccer or horseback riding.
4. The easy rider: You don’t want a bra that rides up your breasts. Lifting your arms up and down will tell you whether this is a problem. If the elastic around your ribs is wide enough, this should keep your bra in place.
5. Beware the dead bra: Everything dies, even bras. Eventually, even your best sports bra will grow old and stop supporting you. The “jumping jack test” is a good indicator of whether your bra is still functioning. The average bra may stop supporting you properly in as little as six months depending on how well-used it is. Hand washing and drip drying will add longevity.
6. Chafing: For ladies with extra sensitive skin, you might try slathering on some sort of moisturizer such as petroleum jelly. Here are some other tips on preventing chafing.
7. Blended bra: The best bras are a 50-50 mix of cotton and synthetic fibres. Of course, some sort of wicking fabric like CoolMax or mesh in your sweaty spots such as under your arms, under and between your breasts is necessary for breathability.
8. Seamless is best: Avoid seams especially those that cut across your breasts. These can cause uncomfortable rubbing and chafing. Also, look out for fastening devices. Nothing can ruin a workout faster than a hook cutting into your skin. Try to find a bra without hooks or make sure any sharp bits are covered with fabric.
9. Strap stress: Especially for those with wee shoulders, straps that won’t stay up can create an annoying distraction and compromise your performance. Look for bras with a racer or t-back to allow for maximum movement and minimum stress of having to constantly pull up straps.
10. Last word of advice: Features you don’t want in a bra: Arm-holes that are too small and cut too tightly around your arms or shoulders or anything too low cut that has your boobs spilling out of. Remember, you’re not shopping for lingerie. You wouldn’t wear stilettos to the gym, nor should you wear a flimsy bra with poor support. When it comes to sports, function always triumphs over form.
Sources: Adventure Sports online.