I was recently at a high school basketball game, and watched a teenage girl dribble with one hand, while holding her chest with the other – and for good reason. If she hadn’t been holding herself up, she may have given herself a bloody nose from her bouncing breasts. I felt sad for her – she seemed embarrassed and uncomfortable.
The truth is that there’s no reason for any woman to go without proper support when exercising these days. The offerings are expanding rapidly for women of every body type and wearing a sports bra that fits is critical to any fitness endeavor.
If exercise or weight loss are on your New Year’s Resolution list (and they always make a featured appearance on mine) then being in the know about the newest fitness options is a must. Knowing that there are bras out there in your size – whatever your size – is the key to sticking to your resolutions. When you’re comfortable, you’re more likely to keep hitting the gym.
Panache, a British brand specializing in lingerie for larger cup sizes recently launched a new sports bra after three years of research and design. The bra, which is offered in cup sizes from D-H, encapsulates each breast and has been shown to reduce bounce by 83%. This number is a reflection of a 32E woman exercising without any breast support vs. exercising with the new Panache bra. One of the exciting features on these bras is a built-in hook that enables the wearer to convert the straps from standard to racer-back configuration.
Shock Absorber has also taken support to a new level, with not only standard fitness bras, but also sport specific bras that give you maximum effect where you need it most AND performance swimwear with integrated sports bra technology. The sport-specific bras are each designed for the breast movement associated with that activity. The running bra reduces the rubbing and chafing that comes with repetitive motion, as well as the figure-8 pattern the breast makes when you run. “Ball” sports such as basketball and volleyball have a lot of vertical jumping, which can be jarring on the breast and bad for the delicate Cooper’s Ligaments that prevent breasts from sagging. The ball sport bras offer extra support for these lateral jumps, to minimize the sudden impacts. For racquet sports, lateral movement is more pronounced as players lunge to the ball, and these bras are built to diminish that motion. The bra sizes vary from design to design, with their core line going up to a HH and the sport-specific bras to an F-cup.
Small-busted women must also think about the long-term impact of exercise on their breasts, as stretch marks and sagging later in life threaten to afflict all women. Thankfully, there’s a new sports bra designed expressly for the petite-cupped woman, by The Little Bra Company. Too often, the only sports bra options for less-endowed women are compression bras that create a single line across the bust that may do the job of reducing bounce, but without a particularly curvy silhouette. TLBC’s “Elizabeth” hits stores this month, and provides a shape that is flattering, not flattening, in sizes ranging from 28A to 34C, (with additional band sizes available for some cups.)
So Happy New Year to everyone – may 2012 be fit, healthy, and bounce-free. Good luck with your resolutions!