A woman’s breast is made mostly of mammary glands and fatty tissue. There is virtually nothing in a woman’s breast to provide support. So, when we are exercising or exerting a lot of physical activity, our breasts are vulnerable to significant movement that can cause pain and result in sagging, even if you are small.
Wikipedia defines a sports bra as “a bra that provides additional support to female breasts during physical exercise. Sturdier than typical bras, they minimize breast movement, alleviate discomfort, and reduce potential damage to chest ligaments.”
During physical activity, the breast moves in many directions – up and down, side to side, and in and out. It is important that a sports bra limit movement in all these directions in order to offer the most protection from damage to the breast tissue and eliminate pain.
Types of Sports Bras
There are many types of sports bras. Some are better for light movement, and others are better for more active movement. No matter what type of activity you undertake, it is important to find a sports bra that limits all or most breast movement for the activity you are doing.
Typically, you’ll find two types of bras – compression and encapsulation. Compression is the most common. These are the types that squish the breasts down giving you that uniboob look. Compression sports bras limit the least amount of breast movement and are best for lighter physical activity such as walking and yoga. The second type of sports bra is encapsulation. These have wider straps and molded cups. These limit most movement of the breast and are better for more active activities such as running and playing sports.
What is a Good Fitting Sports Bra?
A good fitting sports bra should fit snuggly under and around your breasts encapsulating them entirely inside without being uncomfortably tight. The shoulder straps should be comfortable and not dig into your shoulders. The primary support comes from the band of the sports bra, not the straps. So, it is important that the band be snug, not loose.
Χ Don’t select a sports bra that allows for significant bounce during the physical activity you are undertaking. For example, the sports bra you wear for yoga, is not the same sports bra you would wear when you run a 10K.
Χ Don’t wear two sports bras at the same time to compensate for lack of support. See the first don’t.
Χ Don’t skimp on a good sports bra even when you have small breasts. Small breasts can sag too and can experience pain when engaged in significant physical activity.