Finding the right sports bra
Things have moved on since the first sports bra was invented when US sports brand Champion sewed two jock straps together in 1977.
Here at Muddy Plimsolls, we recommend that a woman consider buying a sports bra before undertaking any regular exercise programme. Regular bras (or nothing!) really don’t protect the breast from the kind of damage that can occur. A sports bra is designed to be tighter and offer more support than regular bras for women performing all sorts of physical activity. They are not just for running.
It’s a good idea to get one before starting any physical activity but especially when training with Muddy Plimsolls. Because of the variety of exercises and planes of movement we favour that range from moderate to high impact. It isn’t just running that may require more support than usual. We also perform sprints, bounding, rope skipping, lateral (side jumps) and other plyometric exercises in up to 360 ranges.
As we favour calisthenics, we move the body quickly from horizontal to vertical and back again (in the sagittal plane). Plus, turning and twisting (rotating in the horizontal/transverse plane) also feature.
With this in mind, a good sports bra should have a supportive band under the breasts, more padding to prevent chafing, good coverage and are made at least partly from some breathable or sweat-wicking fabric.
Here are 3 tips from Muddy Plimsolls on choosing the right sports bra.
1. Think in 3D
Although running is performed through the sagittal plane (forwards) there is a lot of rotational movement going on at the spine. And at Muddy Plimsolls we also perform many other rotational exercises because of its benefits to core strength. So a bra that support in all ranges of movement is ideal.
LessBounce.com have advice on checking that your sports bra fits correctly:
2. Start off easy
Much like starting an exercise programme itself, don’t suddenly go for a 10k run. Choose an exercise routine that contains low to moderate impact and assess the support you’re getting as you go along. The fitter you become, then the more active you will be during exercise and the more support you will need. If your new bra doesn’t cut it at the first session, we recommend you try another.
3. Compression, Encapsulation or Combination?
These three styles represent the different levels of support in a sports bra. ‘Compression’ is mostly regarded as suitable for low to moderate impact levels. ‘Encapsulation’ offer a softer feel, often without too many straps, stitching or bells and whistles so not as supportive. ‘Combination’, as you may deduce combines both approaches but is not necessarily the perfect fit for everyone.
Muddy Plimsolls’ female clients benefit from a 10% discount from lessbounce.com, the online sports bra specialists. Lessbounce offer a wide range of popular styles and brands and online fitting help such as a measuring guide.
Our clients enjoy a 10% discount on lessbounce.com and a number of other health/fitness retailers.