Wearing a sports bra every time you exercise will not only improve your fitness but prevent you from suffering serious damage to your breasts.
Self-proclaimed ‘bra whisperer’ Esther Labi revealed how working out without a support bra can lead to pain and strain under the breasts, sagging and stretchmarks.
The founder of Australian online lingerie store Storm in a D Cup said women should always have a good fitting fitness bra on when exercising – and to avoid wearing normal everyday underwear.
The fitting expert explained that breasts can stretch up to 15cm as women age as gravity starts to take effect in our 30s, pulling the nipple down by 1-2 centimetres.
Here, she revealed the seven reasons why you should always wear a sports bra when exercising at the gym, studio or hitting the tracks.
Wearing a sports bra every time you exercise will not only improve your fitness but prevent you from suffering serious damage to your breasts (stock image)
Fitting expert Esther Labi (pictured) revealed how working out without a support bra can lead to serious damage to your breasts
Sports bra have limited stretch
‘In a nutshell, a normal bra has more lycra in it, which means it has more stretch in it and will feel comfortable on your body when you wear it all day,’ she said.
‘A sports bra has very limited stretch to stop your breasts from moving around, in the cups, the back, and the straps. The more lycra in it, the more stretch and less support.
‘That’s why if a bra is stretchy, it’s suitable for low impact sports, like yoga and pilates (some people like to wear these as an everyday bra). As the stretch gets more limited, you have bras that are suitable for fast walking and small bouts of high impact and then very limited stretch in real high impact sports bras.’
Your breasts move in a figure of eight
‘Your breasts move in a figure of eight when you run and up and down for ball sports, side to side for racquet sport,’ she said.
‘Sports bras are designed for this kind of movement, normal bras aren’t.’
The ‘Bra whisperer’ said women should always have a good fitting fitness bra on when exercising – and to avoid wearing normal everyday underwear (stock image)
High performance fabrics
‘Sports bras are made from high performance fabrics, which means they are breathable, and usually made from a moisture-wicking material which moves the sweat away from your skin,’ Esther explained.
‘There are other features too that you don’t get in a normal bra. Usually, the straps are wide and padded, to soften the impact on your shoulders,’ she said.
‘The hook and eye section can also be padded, the underwire channel can be padded to minimise chaffing and some of them even eliminate seams on the inside of the cup so nothing irritates your nipples when running a marathon.’
Sports bras significantly reduces breast bounce
‘A sports bra is twice as effective at reducing bounce than a normal bra,’ she said.
‘Here’s the research to prove it: The University of Portsmouth found in a 2005 study that normal bra can reduce breast bounce by up to 38 per cent while a sports bra can reduce breast bounce by up to 78 per cent.’
There are different types of bras for different types of activities, make sure you choose the right bra for your sport (stock image)
Choose the right bra for your activity
‘There are different types of bras for different types of activities, make sure you choose the right bra for your sport,’ Esther said.
‘You wouldn’t wear a sports bra under a top with a plunging neckline, so why would you wear a plunge bra for sport?’
There are no muscles in your breasts
‘Research shows that unsupported breasts can move up and down by as much as 12cm during high impact activities like running,’ she said.
‘This is because only skin and Cooper’s ligaments support breast tissue, as there are no muscles in your breasts.
‘Therefore, excessive breast movement stretches the ligaments and nothing, no amount of chest presses can naturally restore them.’