By Lisa Rhea
We were walking in Mission Bay Park last weekend when the inspiration for today’s blog post nearly smacked me in the face. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but I was pretty horrified at the number of runners I saw nearly bouncing out of their sports bras and tanks.
I’m not talking about a Pamela Anderson jaunt on the beach kind of scene…I’m talking about serious runners out training and clearly disregarding the needs of their breast friends. Listen ladies – gravity is cruel enough. Let’s not give it a helping hand.
If you’re going to be doing any impact activity, you need in invest in a good sports bra. Each bounce is literally causing your breasts to sag as it strains the ligaments, or connective tissue that holds them up. Save the bouncing for other activities. When you’re working out, put the girls in lock down.
A good sports bra is an investment, but when you spend the money on a high quality, properly fitting bra, it will last. Most importantly, it will do its job, which is to prevent you from bouncing around during exercise that involves repeated high impact activity. Even if you don’t have a lot there, it’s important to be keeping it under control.
The easiest test for good sports bra is to simply try it on and jump around, evaluating any movement. But there are three elements of a highly effective sports bra to look for as well:
- It should fully cover your breasts. In order to protect the girls, they need to be covered – save the cleavage for your low impact days.
- The chest strap should fit snugly. Much like fitting a regular bra, if the band that goes under your breasts does not fit properly, you’re not going to get the support you need.
- The straps should be adjustable. To get the best fit, you need to be able to customize the length of the straps to your body.
Here are a few of my favorites picks for you to consider:
By far some of the best designed and highest quality sports bras on the market, I personally own three of these. They are expensive, but they are hands down the best I’ve ever used over more than a decade of training, and they last. I have typically found mine on sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods and even have seen them at Marshals.
My only critique of the ones I own – they aren’t the type you want to wear alone and don’t look the best under racer-back tanks, since they have straight straps. Not important for your breast health, but a consideration when you’re running in extreme heat and want to be able to be cool. They do have different versions, which would be better for this, so if it’s an issue for you, be conscientious of this when shopping.
These bras do a great job of combining coverage, customizable sizing and curb appeal. Be sure to stick to the high impact versions, despite the higher price tag. Again, look for these on sale and even at discount stores. Luckily, since they aren’t as “cute” as other sports bras, they tend to hang around the shelves longer.
I don’t personally own any of these, but have many friends who recommend them, and with the semi-annual sales, you should be able to find them for a good price if you’re patient. Again, they are very customizable in size, which helps insure a good fit.
All these bras are generally over $50 full price, but that’s not much different than a cute, lacy padded number that you’ll get to wear out on date night. And when it comes down to it, the sports bra will last longer and get much more wear.
And men, if you’ve continued to read this for some reason, (not judging – I’m going to credit my riveting prose and not your strange interest in bras), you are much better off buying your active girl a high quality sports bra for Valentine’s Day…because really, what good is the lacy one when it comes off and they drop down a half a foot?
Yes, it’s a fact of life, all breasts will eventually sag – even those that came from the doctor’s office, albeit it at a slower pace than the rest of us. But there’s no need to rush the process – at least give your girls a fighting chance.
Do you have a favorite sports bra that I didn’t mention? Feel free to share your picks in the comments or on our Facebook page.