This is a conversation I have had over the last few weeks whilst doing bootcamp, especially as I have been asked at what age girls at school doing sporting activities should be wearing a sports bra.
I can’t answer that question with a specific age, as all girls develop differently, at different rates and whilst one girl’s breasts may start to develop at an early age, another may not start to develop until a few years later.
With the statistics of 85% of women wearing the wrong sized bra and the number of ladies I see exercising who clearly are either not wearing a sports bra, or are wearing the wrong sized sports bra, is it any wonder that the teenage girls today are also not wearing the correct underwear?
Your breasts are very precious and need to be looked after as soon as they start to develop.
Breasts are made up of fatty tissue and supported mainly by skin & fragile ligaments called Coopers’ Ligaments. These ligaments are not elastic, so during repetitive or high impact sports your breasts bounce and pull the ligaments causing them to stretch. THIS is what causes your breasts to sag, nothing else!
Running without any bra at all causes the average woman’s breasts to move up and down by 8.5cm. Wearing an ordinary bra reduces this by 32 per cent. A sports bra reduces this by at least another 20 per cent.
The Shock Absorber Bounce-O-Meter shows this really well and you can change the cup size to see just how much your breasts will be moving whilst exercising. (Please note: The tool contains certain computer generated nude images solely for the purposes of properly illustrating the scientific research carried out.)
So even for the smallest of cup sizes, a sports bra is still essential. Scientists have proven that even women with very small breasts need that extra support that a sports bra gives.
Most sports bras use the same structure as your usual everyday bra, but with firmer fabric, more structure, and generally, more fabric and better overall coverage for your whole breast. These sports bras are band and cup sized as usual, so you can get a sports bra to fit you correctly, in the same way you can get a fashion bra, or soft cup bra.
All brands of sports bras have won awards at different times. So, you need to choose a sports bra according to the sport you do and your bra size. Where do the straps sit on your shoulder? Do the cups support your whole breast tissue?
This is a rough guide:
|F+||Firm||Extra Firm||Extra Firm||Extra Firm|
As with all bras, the style or brand you select must be comfortable to wear, with no wires or seams pressing on your breast tissue. You also need to remember that during your monthly cycle your breasts will get heavier, and fuller, so make sure your sports bra is suitable for the whole month!
Try different bras, and also try to mimic your exercise. If you run, then jog on the spot, or around the room. If you do pilates or yoga, do one of your exercises. Check that your breasts aren’t moving around much and that you’re comfortable.
And enjoy your exercise – pain free!
Royce Lingerie have a sports bra designed for the smaller cup, which is great for girls in early stages of development, or for ladies up to a D cup.
If you need any help or advice about sports bras, please get in touch with me and I’d be happy to help!