"HELP!!!!," screams your breasts as they are squeezed into a uni-boob creating, graphic-print sports bra before your treadmill workout. As soon as the beat drops on your Spotify playlist, you give it all you got while your chest struggles for dear life to brace the boob bounce. You've just committed the ultimate sports bra sin--compromising fashion over function--and your back and neck are paying for it. Sound familiar?
3 out of 4 women are putting up with ill-fitting sports bras.
LaJean Lawson, Ph.D., adjunct professor of exercise and sports science at Oregon State University and Champion's 'go-to guru' in sports bra research, design, and testing for more than 25 years, estimates that only 15-20 percent of women are wearing the best bra for their shape. (shape.com)
Finding the right bra can be tough and lead to some temper tantrum-worthy moments while shopping, but the right sports bra enables you to participate in any activity comfortably, with the least chance of injury. Whatever your size may be, here's why you need the support:
What damage can wearing the wrong sports bra cause?
According to experts, there is a range of issues caused by wearing a poorly-fitting sports bra, including:
1. Sagging breasts
2. Damage to breast tissue
3. Severe pain and aching
But there are plenty of cool options to choose from out there that will help women of all sizes kiss that annoying boob bounce goodbye, for good. Here are three common types to consider.
1. Compression bras are best for A and B cups.
They compress the breasts flat against the chest wall and restrict movement. Reserve compression bras for lower-impact activities and smaller cup sizes, because they offer a lower level of support. Try adidas' Trefoil Sports Bra, 27.99 (Nordstrom)
Racer-back styles are more supportive and are better for medium and high-impact activities. Try Puma's Training Pwrshape Forever Logo Bra Top, $28 (Puma.com)
Thin spaghetti straps provide less support than wider straps. Try Nike Women's Pro Indy Strappy Sports Bra, $30 (dickssportinggoods.com)
2. Compression/encapsulation bras are best for C and D cups.
These bras combine the above methods into a supportive and comfortable style. They offer more support than compression. Try Champion Sports Bra, $23.99 (Kohls.com)
3. Encapsulation bras are best for D and DD cups.
They use individual cups to surround and support in the same way as a normal bra, but with a higher center front for extra coverage. You'll want to break out your encapsulation bras when you're doing higher-impact activities or if you have a larger cup size, because they support each breast separately. Try the Glamorise Wonderwire® High Impact Underwire Sports Bra, $19.99 (jcpenney.com)
Here are some things to keep in mind while you shop for the best bra for your next sweat session!
1. What kind of workout are you planning on doing? A sports bra that you wear for yoga might not be the best choice if you’re going to run a marathon
2. Know your size. A big mistake lots of girls make is buying a bigger band size instead of a larger cup size.
3. Keep it snug. It should fit slightly tighter than a regular bra, but not so tight that you can't comfortably take a deep breath. You should be able to fit two or three fingers underneath the band. Wide bands are more supportive than narrow bands. Straps should not slip off or dig into your shoulders.
4. Take care of your gear. Replace your sports bras every 6 to 12 months, depending on how often you wear them. To maximize the lifespan of your bra, always hang dry it rather than using a machine dryer.
5. Wear it under a cute fitness tee! Visit our SHOP to purchase PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT apparel. Your support helps train female health leaders on college campuses nationwide!