Attention ladies! Do you experience breast pain when exercising? If you’re nodding your head, don’t worry you are not alone. Up to 72% of females have experienced breast pain with exercise. This pain combined with low confidence and embarrassment around our breasts is an issue that’s deterring women of all breast sizes from participating in physical activity.
Luckily, there is a solution. There are lots of great sports bras out there which are able to provide you with the support you need to make exercising comfortable and enjoyable. The key is to know what to look for and to be correctly fitted. Armed with all the important need-to-know sports bra information, you’ll be able to find the right one for you.
Why do we need a sports bra?
Sports bras provide comfort and support which can improve performance and reduce embarrassment around breasts when exercising.
The major natural support of our breasts is provided by our skin. Skin can resist strain up to 30% however past 60% strain, irreversible damage occurs. Repetitive strain can cause irreversible damage even if below 60%. A good quality sports bra can reduce the vertical breast displacement by 50%, halving the strain on the skin and breast tissues.
What makes a good sports bra?
- Produced in bra sizes
- Designed based on current literature
- Comprehensive biomechanical testing
- Multiple adjustment points
- Technical fabrics
To summarise – if it is a crop that you stretch over your head and doesn’t have an adjustable waistband and shoulder straps, it wont appropriately support your breasts when exercising.
What do the different parts of a sports bra do?
- The rib cage band: responsible for most of the support of the bra. Over 80% of the weight of the breasts is held in this band.
- Underwire: this is here to give your breasts a seperated and rounded shape
- Shoulder straps: Offers stability only and shouldn’t carry the weight of the breasts.
When we think about the crop top example from earlier – these crops also end up with overstretched rib cage bands from pulling them over your shoulders. This is a big issue when you consider that 80% of the weight of the breasts is supposed to be held by this band. If the rib cage band isn’t doing it’s job there will be further reduced support as well as increased strain on your neck and shoulders which can lead to neck and upper back pain.
Common bra fitting mistakes:
- Rib cage band too loose
- Shoulder straps too tight
- Underwire not sitting against skin
- Cups too small
Did you know that 85% of women wear the wrong size bra? Regular bra fittings by someone with specialised training is the easiest and most effective way to ensure you’re wearing a bra that fits properly, reducing the risk of bra and exercises associated breast, back or neck pain.
Where to shop for a good sports bra?
I’m glad you asked! She Science in Kew stock an extensive range of the best sports bras on the market. Not only that, their staff are highly trained in fitting bras and educating their clients on the best bra for their specific exercise modality. They offer optional treadmill testing where they can assess the effectiveness of the sports bra you’re trying on so you can can guarantee you choose the one that’s offering you the most support.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t waste another minute being embarrassed of your breasts or holding back from exercising in fear of pain – get yourself a properly fitted, supportive sports bra and MOVE THROUGH LIFE!