5 Signs Your Sports Bra Is Holding You Back and How to Fix It, According to a Breast Health Expert
It can be difficult to find a sports bra with the perfect fit and support for you, because every body is different and many sports bra brands don’t account for diverse bodies.
As someone with big boobs, I know that I’ve always struggled to find a sports bra that I was truly comfortable in and worked to my favour, however, I didn’t know just how much the wrong sports bra can impact your performance and breast health negatively up until recently when I finally found a bra that fit and was able to move in it more freely.
With women’s needs being historically underserved when it comes to sportswear designed for the female form, adidas has risen to the challenge, releasing its new sports bra collection, backed by extensive research, development and multiple testing stages.
Studies showed that breasts can undergo damaging skin stretch without the right bra, and widespread dissatisfaction amongst everyday and elite athletes is hindering performance and participation in sport.
“A lot of breast movement takes place during sport, and if they aren’t properly supported during this, the impact they experience can be damaging,” Professor Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, a professor in Biomechanics and Head of the Research Group in Breast Health, tells POPSUGAR Australia.
“During running, breasts can experience the same G force as an F1 driver and could undergo potentially irreversible skin stretch. When wearing a correct-fitting sports bra, not only does it aid comfort, but it can also reduce movement-related breast pain and the risk of damaging the skin and the Cooper’s ligament.”
Additionally, 23.5 million women have skipped a workout altogether because of a lack of confidence in their sports bra working properly or being uncomfortable and over 90% of women have been reported to be wearing the wrong size sports bra.
The adidas bra revolution is hoping to change that with its collection of 43 new styles across 18 product franchises and 72 sizes.
Using their research insights and a female-led design team, the brand has redefined their current leisurewear offering, by creating a range of sports bras that deliver added comfort and better fit, ultimately enabling more athletes (and regular gals who love to sweat) to participate in sport confidently, and to experience the benefits a good sports bra brings.
“Unsupported breasts can impact sports performance — exercise will feel harder, because muscle activity increases, a reduction in breathing frequency has been reported, a reduction in stride length, change in gait and more,” says Wakefield-Scurr.
“When you run a marathon, your breasts run an extra four miles on their own if not properly supported. Therefore, wearing a well-fitting sports bra not only helps combat these factors, but studies have shown that it can also reduce movement-related breast pain, improve function and could increase stride length.”
Basically, a good sports bra can make you a better athlete. Whether you’re a professional athlete, an amateur athlete, or you’re just obsessed with going to pilates class a few times a week, both your boobs and your performance will benefit from a sports bra that works for you.
You can shop all 43 new styles and 72 sizes of the adidas bra revolution collection here.
In the meantime, here are five signs that your current sports bra might be holding you back, according to Professor Joanna Wakefield-Scurr.
Your Bra and Straps Are Digging In
This is a clear sign that your sports bra is too small or tight, which will not only cause discomfort, but can also restrict your movement during exercise and impact your breathability, as your lungs expand during exercise.
Your Bra Is Gaping Around the Band, Straps and Bust
This is a sign that your bra is too big, which means your breasts will not be receiving adequate support and you could be at risk of causing them permanent damage, or contribute to tenderness.
You Don’t Feel Supported
Wearing a sports bra does not always mean that you are providing the right support for your breasts, as different activities require different levels of support. If running in your sports bra makes you feel as though your breasts are still experiencing significant movement, then it may be that you are not wearing a high support bra, or the right fit bra for you.
You’re Spilling Out
If your breasts spill over your sports bra, either over the top or on the sides, this is another clear indicator that your sports bra is too small and/or tight, and it would be beneficial for you to size up to ensure that you are able to move and breathe freely when exercising.
You’re Feeling Pain With Movement
Studies have shown inadequate breast support leads to movement-related breast pain in nearly half of female respondents, which can be a sign that your sports bra does not fit correctly and therefore, isn’t providing you with the support you need.