Did you know that when unsupported, your breasts can move from one to three inches during a workout? We’re also sure you didn’t know that a good sports bra can reduce that movement by more than 50 per cent. Often, in our quest to lose weight, we forget about the role a sports bra plays in our workout. Just like your ankles, knees and back, breasts are also prone to damage. The tissue damage caused to breasts during high-impact exercises such as running, skipping, jogging, aerobics and functional training can cause them to droop and sag. These activities jolt the skin on your chest and can lead to stretched ligaments. So if you’ve never given sports bras a serious thought, it’s time to wake up and go shopping for one.
1. Consider your cup size. There are three kinds of sports bras out there – compression, encapsulated and combination. Compression sports bras minimize your breasts as a single unit and are ideal for small cup sizes. Encapsulated bras support each breast individually and sometimes even have underwires and hooks. These are better for large chested women. Combination bras minimize breasts with inner support cups to encapsulate and an outer layer to compress – best of both worlds.
2. Keep the kind of workout you do in mind. For activities like yoga and Pilates, invest in a low-impact sports bra – usually made of lighter materials. But if you’re all about intense workouts like running, crossfit, jumping and even weight lifting, get yourself a high-impact bra.
3. It has to fit more snuggly than your regular bra. When you try on a sports bra, it should feel just a little tighter than your regular bra. But if it feels too tight, try a different size. The fit should be smooth and the straps should not be digging into your shoulders. Flab should not be spilling out of the back and sides of the chest.
4. Make sure the fabric dries quickly. One of the jobs of a good sports bra is to keep you dry during your workout. The fabric should be one that dries quickly. The Climacool range from Adidas and Dri-Fit technology from Nike offer great choices.
5. Test your movement in the trial room. Go ahead, do a few jumping jacks or running in place. If your chest moves too much, don’t buy the bra. Also, the elastic band should not move up with your hands.
6. Pick smooth seams or seamless designs. You should not feel conscious about the seams peeping out of your T-shirts.
7. Ask a professional. If you’re confused about the sizing, seek the help of a professional at a sports or lingerie store. While compression and combination bras come in sizes like small, medium, large etc., encapsulated bras come in regular bra sizes, like 36C.
8. Go for pretty colours. Sometimes workouts can get boring, your sports bra should not contribute to the boredom. Pick some nice and bright colours and alternate them every day for your workouts.
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