If you’re still buying $10 sports bras off the rack at your local department store, stop what you’re doing and keep reading this post. There’s nothing wrong with scoring a great deal and it can be very tempting to buy any old sports bra to avoid spending too much money. Besides, you’re just going to be wearing it for an hour under a ratty old T-shirt at the gym, right? “Who needs a fancy athletic wear sports bra?” You ask as you scoff at the woman jogging on the treadmill next to you in her strappy black bra with the Lulu Lemon logo shining on the back. Sorry to break it to you, but Lulu Lemon-treadmill lady has the right idea and you can learn from her.
Buying high-quality sports bras is not a waste of money. In fact, it is actually very important to buy a sports bra that fits you well and provides your bust with sufficient comfort and support for active movement. You wouldn’t stuff yourself into a cheap everyday bra that doesn’t actually fit you, would you? Okay, maybe you would sometimes, but you’d understand that by doing so you’re sacrificing the support and security your breasts deserve. The rules and guidelines are the same for sports bras, but having the right amount of support and comfort in your sports bra is actually more important than maintaining a correct fit for your regular bra. Here’s why.
Support Stops Sagging (And Other Disasters)
When do you wear a sports bra? Your answer might be “While watching The Bachelorette,” but even though your sports bra is a classic go-to for lounging-around-the-house attire, laying down on the couch is probably not the activity you hand in mind when you purchased the bra in the first place. Sports bras are designed to be worn when you’re working out, doing cardio, playing a sport, or otherwise moving your body in an unusually high-impact manner. These types of activities that force your body to move around more than usual everyday activities puts stress and strain on all of your body parts.
Why do you think so many athletes blow out their knees, get shin splints, or sustain other injuries from their sports or workouts? High-impact activity, even if it’s just moderately vigorous cardio exercise like a jog on a treadmill, subjects your body to significant wear and tear. Your breasts are not immune. In fact, your breasts are made up of mainly fat tissue. They’re very fragile and require protection. And no, your sports bra that consists of nothing more than a single layer of fabric sewed to an elastic band is not going to provide the protection they need.
It doesn’t matter if you’re rocking a Zumba routine or jogging on a treadmill. When you exercise, your breasts move with your body. If they’re not held securely against your chest by a quality sports bra, this movement can lead to significant soreness and discomfort both during and after your workout. The movement of your breasts during your workouts can even lead to torn ligaments around your chest, which can be extremely painful and cause significant setbacks in your workout schedule and progress.
Good Sports Bras are For Small Busts Too
Also, don’t think that you’re immune to any need for support and protection just because you have a small bust. Smaller breasts deserve security and support, too. While it is arguably more crucial for women with larger breasts to keep their bust secure while working out to prevent soreness, injury, and other discomfort, breasts of all sizes should be kept protected with a high-quality sports bra. Even A-cups can fall prey to the havoc of torn ligaments and sagging that a low-quality sports bra can wreak on your body.
How to Find a High-Quality Sports Bra For You
Okay, so maybe it really is important for your health and comfort to buy a sports bra that’s top of the line. But how do you know which sports bras will really offer the right amount of comfort and support? The next time you come across a sports bra you want to buy, answer these three questions about it to determine whether or not it’s a quality purchase.
Does It Resemble a Real Bra?
If the answer to this question is yes, you’ve probably found yourself a quality sports bra. Sports bras should include all of the support and security that a classic everyday bra does. That means that it should include real shaped cups of some sort, secure straps, and a tight band.
This doesn’t mean that any sports bra you buy needs to come fully equipped with a clasp closure and underwire. Sports bras are supposed to be more comfortable than classic bras. Therefore, they’re different than the bras you wear on an everyday basis. Just make sure the sports bra includes the same level of protection and security that your other bras do.
What is It Made Of?
An important component of sports bras is breathability. When you exercise, your body sweats. Your breasts sweat, too. When they’re confined inside a tight bra, they sweat even more profusely. Accumulation of moisture in your bra is very uncomfortable and can disrupt your workout. Plus, that moisture can even cause the growth of bacteria and fungi around your breasts. This growth often leads to uncomfortable skin conditions.
Make sure that any sports bra you buy is made from moisture-wicking material. Sports bras that include this type of material will prevent the accumulation of sweat. They’ll keep you feeling clean and dry instead of damp and suffocated.
How Does It Feel?
This question is probably the most important to answer. When you’re in the dressing room trying on a sports bra, move around in front of the mirror. Do some jumping jacks, high-knee runs, or other type of vigorous exercise.
Pay attention to how your breasts feel while you perform these exercises. If you experience soreness or feel the weight of your bust while you move, don’t buy the sports bra.