Sports bras were introduced to the market with the intention of reducing motion & support breast ligaments. In fact breast motion is a natural occurrence that takes place during physical activity. Your breasts are shaped & supported by fibrous connective tissue called Cooper ligaments. They’re named after Astley Cooper, a British surgeon who discovered the ligaments back in 1840. These ligaments help to maintain the structural integrity of your breasts & help to prevent sagging. They do however stretch out & loosen over time due to age, hormones, weight fluctuation, genetics, smoking habits & number of pregnancies. Owing to one or several of these factors, ligaments will lose strength & the breasts will begin to sag. One very accessible piece of clothing to help prevent premature sagging is a quality sports bra. This is a ‘must have’ item for every woman of all ages & breast sizes.
Contrary to regular bras, sports bras are much more supportive as long as they fit you well. A & B cup women also require breast support to reduce bounce that will eliminate rubbing & stress on Coopers ligaments. Women with larger breasts are particularly at risk of strain, chaffing, pain & potential back pain if the breasts aren’t adequately supported. Wearing a correctly fitted sports bra is as important as wearing the right sports shoes for your feet. The bottom line is, always choose a high support sports bra that will minimize movement.
Generally, sports bras can be categorized into three: encapsulation bras with moulded cups that separate the breasts, compression bras that flatten the breast & a combination of the two.
Difference between regular & sports bras
A sports bra is different from regular bras in terms of design & the type of fabric. A sports bra is mainly designed to control the movement of the breasts during physical activities. Most regular bras are designed to focus on fashion & aesthetics. The fabric of a sports bra will absorb sweat, is more breathable & generally, more comfortable during activity compared to regular bras.
Sports bras tend to be more fitted & hold breasts in place & are essential for all workouts. They are usually made with one piece of fabric without two distinct cups. The fabric is firm but stretchable to restrict breast movement & thereby reduce irritation & potential discomfort during activity. The shoulder straps of a sports bra have additional width for comfort & to reduce tension on your neck & shoulders. The design eliminates the straps digging into your shoulder muscles, reducing stress while supporting & allowing freedom of movement. The sweat absorbing properties prevent staining & odor & have evolved to be much more of a fashion statement which has contributed to activewear now being worn on a daily basis, not just for physical activity.
The term ‘athleisure’ wear, refers to women & men who choose to wear on-trend & stylish activewear to casual outings. Meeting a friend for coffee or lunch, doing the shopping, going to the hairdresser in activewear, alias ‘athleisure’ is perfectly acceptable & normal. Did you know the word “Athleisure” was added to Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2016. The term refers to “casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use”. For a bit of history, athleisure was made popular by the fashion industry in New York in the late 90’s. Originally the clothing was meant to look athletic but in no way designed for activity. The fashion trend evolved to be what it is today, functional, fashionable & versatile. Functionality & style was born & woman’s activewear & athleisure wear is here to stay!
Needless to say, sports bras are available in many designs, colours & brands. However a word of warning, when it comes to breast health a quality design that fits you well & stops bounce in it’s tracks, is a priority.
There is no shortage of demand for chic, quality sports bras. Women know the importance of being active & partake in activities including group fitness classes, jogging, cycling, group sports, tennis, weight training, boxing, yoga, Pilates, home training etc. Regardless of the type of physical activity it is smart to invest in quality sports bras to reduce movement & support your Cooper ligaments!
So, if you want to stay healthy & maintain the shape of your breasts, ideally start when you are young & go for well-fitted sports bras. Visit an online store such as www.totalshape.com.au to view on-trend, top-quality sports bras, crop tops, leggings and activewear sets.