Supporting the Ladies – A Guide to Women’s Sports bras By guest blogger Jazzmine Pristine
For many women, the most uncomfortable aspect of exercising is not a raised heart rate, lactic acid buildup in the muscles, or the vast array of smells that can be found throughout any fitness facility. No – as uncomfortable as we are in these situations, nothing compares to the silent but intense discomfort of an ill-fitting bra while we’re working out.
Whether you’re a 28A or a 44JJ, a properly sized, good quality sports bra is, in my personal and professional experience, the essential piece of any woman’s workout wardrobe. It’s the first thing to go on, and the last thing to come off. It acts as a moisture wick for your skin, helps to relieve pressure on your back, and reduces the pain that vigorous exercise or repetitive motions like jumping, lifting and even dancing can cause without the proper breast support.
There – now that we’re comfortable with the word breast(s), let’s talk a little more about them and why size does not matter when it comes to the importance of wearing some type of moisture-wicking fabric with the support of a band around the bust. Ladies with small breasts and younger, developing girls may find the band/underwire of some sports bra far too uncomfortable to wear for such little benefit. In this case, a ‘built-in bra’ top or just a basic undershirt may suffice. It is important to always wear something under your workout top though, as the extra layer of (preferably cotton) fabric absorbs sweat created by the underarm/breast areas, allowing the skin to maintain body temperatures while minimizing body odour during your workout.
So, we understand why sports bras are important and how to manage if you simply cannot wear one. Now I’d like to tell you why size does matter when it comes to fitting/pricing such garments. Large-busted women can attest to the severe pain and discomfort of a bra with insufficient support. In fact, improper measurements and thin straps/bands likely contribute to more back pain in women than most exercises! If you experience a lot of pain in your back on a regular basis, definitely check that your measurements are correct first and foremost (ask me how to do it yourself!) Then, especially if you measure above a C cup; be sure that your sports bra has a thick band (at least 2 hooks) and 1 inch straps, with a little padding in the straps if possible (my favourite sports bra maker for larger busted women is ‘Panache’ – Google it!) As well, particularly when working out, we need strong, yet soft/breathable fabric to ‘hug’ not ‘squeeze’ or ‘cut into’ the breast, with proper coverage to avoid ‘spillage’ – ladies you know what I’m talking about!
With all of this in mind, we can understand why a larger sized bra requires more material to create. A woman with cup sizes A or B could easily get away with a simple $5-10 sports bra, or splurge and buy a brand name sports bra for upwards of $50 each without consequence. Any bust measuring above a B cup should really consider a more supportive bra for any sort of physical activity/exercise.
Now, that is not to say that if you’re a B cup you must spend $50+ on every one of your bras (although let’s face it; that’s basically true). There are so many money-saving options for sports bras in stores and online. You might want to test out a few different styles, brands, and price points to see how they feel/function on you personally. If there is one fact I could stress in this piece though, it would be that all bras are not created equally. Please believe me when I say that you really do get what you pay for when it comes to the quality of materials used and back/bust support. It is paramount that you are fitted, in person, by a bra fitting specialist before you order anything online. I highly recommend going to a privately owned or smaller business as opposed to a bigger public company, particularly if you would appreciate a more private/personal experience, tailored to your comfort level. The sizing is more specific/exact (you’ll be amazed by your actual bra size!), and there is typically a bra for every budget. If not, at least you have the knowledge to go to any bra retailer and understand the fine details of how your bras (athletic or personal) should fit/feel on your body, ie: how tight the band should be/how the straps affect your posture, etc.
Please also feel free to contact me by email or social media if you would like a one-on-one consultation, measurement, or any more information!
About the Author
Jazzmine Pristine – like most women – does it all! Being a full-time mom to three gorgeous girls, she has spent the past 12 years honing all of her feminine knowledge, skills, and energy in an effort to provide the best example of womanhood possible; not only for her daughters but for every woman who crosses her path. She has been certified as a personal trainer, fitness instructor and makeup artist; as well, she participates regularly in a variety of courses, classes and seminars pertaining to women’s health, wellness and empowerment. Being the open-minded, incurable optimist that she is; you should never hesitate to ask Jazzmine ANYthing, ANYtime; provided you want the no-holds-barred truth of the matter as she sees it 😉
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