Don’t Let Bounce Ruin Your Run!
According to recent news, almost 20% of women are put off exercise because of breast pain or bounce. We don’t want anything to stop your enjoyment of running, so we asked two experts for the latest advice on choosing a sports bra for running.
Emma Burnett, PhD research at the University of Portsmouth, led the team behind the recent data which has been in the news. “My research found that 17% of women found the breast was a barrier to physical activity,” she told us. “This included not being able to find the right sports bra, being embarrassed by excessive breast movement, breast pain and feeling their breasts were too big.”
Does any of that sound familiar? We asked Emma (pictured), and Carol Cottrell from online bra specialists Boobydoo Ltd, for their best advice about choosing a great-fitting sports bra for running.
“A sports bra can reduce that three-dimensional breast motion (up and down, side to side and forwards and backwards) and breast bounce,” said Emma. “This will make running more comfortable and more enjoyable. And you will greatly reduce the risk of damaging the internal supporting structures of the breast.”
Carol Cottrell is Managing Director of Boobydoo Ltd who specialise in sports bras. “I often hear women saying that badly-fitting bras or bad choice of bras has prevented them from running,” she said. “They feel uncomfortable and unsupported. So many women experience physical pain due to breast movement whilst exercising. It’s not good (especially since it’s so preventable!)”
“Excessive breast movement and exercise-induced breast pain is something women of all bra sizes could experience, so do make sure you get fitted for your sports bras,” Emma added. “A good fitting bra will also minimise the risk of suffering from back, neck and shoulder pain, poor posture and shoulder grooving.”
How To Choose The Correct Size Sports Bra
The size of bra will have a bearing on the brand and style you can choose, as some bras are only manufactured up to a D or DD cup. Carol told us that the average size bra Boodydoo Ltd sells is a 34D/DD. “There is no industry standard about sizing,” she said, “and even two bras from the same manufacturer may fit differently. You really do need expert help to ensure you’ve got the correct size. So, either emailing or phone the sports bra supplier for advice. We are always extremely happy to help and I’m sure every other supplier is, too. The most common mistake ladies make is to have the band too large and the cups too small. If the band is too loose, then the foundation of the bra is not able to give the necessary support. All the breast tissue should be fully encapsulated, even in the cleavage area.”
How To Make Sure Your Sports Bra Fits Correctly
Does the band remain horizontal under your breasts? It shouldn’t rise up at the back.
You should be able to get 2 fingers under the band. Is all your breast tissue fully encapsulated by the bra, with no spillage at the front or sides?
Are the shoulder straps adjusted so that you can get 2 fingers under the strap? Does the bra stand up to the bounce test for support and comfort?
Categories Of High-Impact Sports Bras For Runners
Compression bra: holds the breasts close to the chest wall (can give a bit of a mono-boob effect). Not suitable for larger cup sizes.
Encapsulation bra: separates and encapsulates each breast, with non-wired or wired options. If wired it is imperative that there is no wire digging into the breast tissue.
Combination bra: combines compression and encapsulation. Offers slight separation with a compression-style.