The importance of wearing a sports bra

At Avokado, we are very passionate about sports bras. We regularly hear stories from people who are reluctant to take up exercise, not because they have time or money constraints….but because of their boobs. And we want to change that!

Big boobs or small boobs, there’s no escaping the fact that when we take part in exercise, our boobs will move and this can be extremely uncomfortable- and in some cases cause actual physical pain!

I was 14 years old when my boobs graced me with their presence. One summer at school, we were doing athletics out on the track running 400m’s in groups. As my group rounded the bend to approach the final 100m, I noticed the rest of my class standing near the finish line watching us come in. I was so mortified at how much my boobs were bouncing, that I actually pretended to pass out! My teacher thought I had an eating disorder and wasn’t eating enough, but actually, I was just embarrassed by my boobs and worried about being the butt of my classmates’ jokes. Fast forward to the present day and I am now an avid runner and gym go-er. What changed? I invested in a good sports bra.

As a bra fitter, I am pretty well qualified to say that a LOT of women wear the wrong bra size which is bad enough, but I have also met women who favour wearing regular bras for exercise over sports bras and women who have to ‘double up’ by wearing 2 or more bras to keep their boobs strapped in during exercise. It’s unnecessary. 

These days, whole organisations are dedicated to the research and testing of sports bras and active wear. Infra-red imaging is being used to determine how much movement there is for different sized boobs at different activity levels. 3D motion capture sensors used in the film industry are being used to determine which direction boobs will move in during exercise. New hi-tech fabrics have been developed which will wick moisture away from your body, keeping you cool and dry as your temperature rises, whilst also remaining lightweight, breathable and flexible. And all of this research is factored into the wonder garment that is the modern sports bra…it’s come a long way from its humble beginnings as two jock straps sewn together!

All of this is fantastic news because wearing a good sports bra not only benefits us by removing discomfort and pain during exercise-it also helps to prevent irreversible boob sag.

The inside of our boobs are mainly made up of fatty tissue which is connected to the pectoral muscle by Cooper’s ligaments (contrary to popular belief, no actual muscle is located within the breast). During exercise there is a lot of vertical and side-to-side breast movement, and if our breasts are not adequately supported, the Cooper’s ligament may stretch irreversibly causing our boobs to droop and sag. Once the ligament is stretched out there is no going back without surgery! If that’s not enough motivation to invest in a good sports bra I don’t know what is!

Here are our top tips for investing in a good sports bra:

Get professionally fitted. Different bras will all fit differently so you may find you need a different size in your sports bra compared to your regular bras. At Avokado, we are a specialist store and have fully trained staff who will make sure that the bras are fitting you correctly and will offer you a wide selection so you have lots to try.

Have an open mind. Our top selling sports bras have no underwire which often puts people off- so be open minded to trying all different types of bras to determine which will work best for you. In a sports bra, the support is not necessarily provided by the underwire and it can be surprising how supported you can feel without one! Generally, we would suggest a non-underwired bra for long distance running as over time, the wires may rub and become uncomfortable (this is from my own personal experience-ouch!) but it will be different for everyone which is why it is always good to try them on and have a good bounce around.

Rotate them. As with lingerie, it is best to have a few sports bras to rotate to ensure that you get a decent life out of them. I try to work out 5 times a week and I have 4 different sports bras which I rotate and use for different activities. At Avokado, we suggest having 2 sports bras minimum if you exercise regularly.

Care for them. The life of your sports bra will not only depend on how often it is worn, but also how it is cared for. Care instructions differ by brand and style, but we generally recommend to hand wash all of our products. We sell an amazing product called Soak which I also use for my active wear.

Bounce. Once you know the bra is the correct size- bounce around in it. It’s the hands down best way to test a sports bra!

Once you have found the sports bra for you, get out there and run or dance or cross train or walk or climb or play netball, hockey, tennis- anything you like! Exercise is so beneficial to us in so many ways- health, fitness, mindfulness, confidence- so embrace your lovely boobs, strap them down in an awesome bra and get your body moving!   

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