My only expertise in the area of sports bras is the experiential wearing of many, many different types over the years for my job as a Personal Trainer / Pilates Teacher and competitive sports person. Invaluable knowledge though when it comes to dishing out advice. It’s so important to protect your breasts and the right underwear is essential.
There are two main types of sports bra – Compression and Encapsulated, within those two types are different styles such as racer back, criss-cross back, pull-over or clasp back.
Compression sports bras, generally do not have cups within them and typically are a ‘pullover’ style, they are stretchy in order to get on over your head and shoulders and therefore offer a minimal amount of support. Sometimes they may have light integral cups with padding, which creates more enhancement to the shape & look of the bust. They may have a racer or pretty criss-cross back or regular shoulder straps. They allow free movement without chafing, so are great for low impact activities, such as Pilates, stretch and yoga or low impact resistance training.
Encapsulated sports bras separate the breasts into structured cups that provide much more intensive support. A good quality bra reduces the figure of 8 movement of the breasts, experienced when running or during other high impact activity. It helps prevent damage to the ligaments supporting the breasts or stretch marks forming on the décolletage skin and sides of the breasts. This type usually has a clasp back (or front), adjustable straps and many are underwired, keeping the breasts firmly in place.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that using the encapsulated high impact bra for all activities would be a ‘meets all needs’ choice, yet the solid structure of these bras worn over long periods of time can squash down the delicate glands and breast tissue, which can be as negative as wearing your lacy push-up bra to run 5k. So chose your bra wisely.
– This article has been published in the February edition of Life Magazines – http://www.lifemagazines.co.uk