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SPORTS BRAS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE SHAPELESS

Why you should wear a sports bra

If you love to workout, breasts are just annoying, right? But the humble no-frills sports bra can not only help you make a tasteful cleavage statement in the gym, but really support you so you can go hard without worrying about a nip-slip or other boob boo-boos.

The right sports bra can be all that and a bag of (post-workout) chips. Breast health is something us women should be taking seriously, or we could be risking long-term physical damage from exercising without the proper support. No matter what your cup size is, that booby bounce we all know far too well can cause stretch-marks, pain, strain and sagging (no thanks!). According to Esther Labi, bra whisperer and founder of online store ‘Storm in a D Cup’, breasts can stretch up to 15 cm as women age. Unfortunately, gravity also starts to take effect in our ’30s pulling the nipple down. We can’t fight ageing but none of us wants boobs down to our waists right? Here’s how to avoid the worst and choose the right bra.

“There are different types of bras for different types of activities, make sure you choose the right bra for your sport. You wouldn’t wear a sports bra under a top with a plunging neckline, so why would you wear a plunge bra for sport?” explained Esther.

It all comes down to lycra and stretchiness. Those shapeless sports bras you’ve completely worn out need to go ASAP. A normal bra has more lycra than a sports bra, which means more stretch and being more comfortable (although we still love that sweet ‘rip your bra off’ feeling at the end of the day aaaahhhh!). The sports bra on the other hand has less give which allows us to exercise without our boobs flying wildly in all directions or hitting us in the face (it happens). Many of the cute lycra sports bras in store are quite stretchy and not that tight, but still perfect for low impact sports like yoga and pilates. The rule is: the tighter the bra, the more intense the workout can be. So for high-impact workouts, you want your sports bra to be as tight as possible and have completely flattened your gals to what feels like an A-cup.

Paula Svobada, Triumph’s Bra Fitting Expert, says we should be fitted properly once or twice a year for sports bras. Why so often? Your body is constantly changing so you want to stay on top of it and make sure you’re getting the right level of support for your activity level.

Like most of us, I’m guilty of saving my cutest new sports bras for active wear events and brunches and looking fitspo-cool as I run around day-to-day and using my daggy old ones to actually exercise in. FAIL. Paula recommends replacing your favourite sports bra every six to 12 months. She explains, “If you notice the elastic fibres starting to perish and it doesn’t feel as secure as when you first started wearing it, then it’s time for a replacement.” As IF I needed another excuse to go activewear shopping – thank YOU Paula!

FACT: having bigger breasts never stopped tennis goddess and all-round-awesome athlete Serena Williams from going hard and ruling the court and they won’t stop you either. Regardless of cup-size, just remember that sport and support go hand-in-hand and you’ll be doing the best for your boobs.

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