I know I talk about this all the time, but as a busty runner, I feel the need to remind everyone how important it is to wear a sports bra when taking part in sports. However, I also think it important to, ahem, bust the myths. There are many women out there with large breasts. This doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. And there’s no excuse for wearing the wrong bra either. I want to talk through some common complaints and comments that people make to me.
Myth 1: “I have to wear two bras!”
No, you don’t. Nobody needs to wear two bras. If you are wearing two bras for exercise, you’re wearing the wrong style or fit for you. Bra fitting is personal and where one bra can really suit one individual, it might not be the best for someone else. If you are wearing two bras, you need to examine your fit, or try a different style. My boobs are bouncy, so I personally like bras such as the Shock Absorber Multi Sport or Shock Absorber Run Bra as they fasten not only at the back, but also have a second fastening, in a racer-back style, offering additional support. Wearing two bras increases the risk of chafing as there is twice the amount of material and won’t offer the same support as one well fitting bra. Two badly fitting bras doesn’t equal a right. If you do feel you need some extra support, wear a top with an inbuilt crop-top underneath.
Myth 2: “Nowhere does my size!”
I sympathise, I really do. I’m busty and it’s not always easy finding my size on the high street. But there are many brands out there who go up to large sizes. Websites like Less Bounce offer a great selection of bras in larger sizes and they are happy for you to try them on at home and send them back. Different brands offer different size guides which can be tricky to understand, but it’s worth deciphering! For example, Enell bras come in sizes 00-8, but actually fit and support up to a 52J.
Myth 3: “I’m THIS size, so that won’t fit.”
Ever gone into a shop and tried on a pair of jeans in one shop, just for the same size to not fit in another shop? The same applies to bras. Don’t be afraid to go up or down a band depending on the style of the bra. Jump around. Test it out.
Myth 4: “My straps are cutting in, my bra must be too small.”
Actually, it’s more likely the bra is too big. Most of the support comes from the band, so this should be a snug fit, although it obviously shouldn’t restrict breathing. If your straps are cutting in, it means that the band isn’t offering enough support and is likely too big, meaning the straps are taking the weight. Ouch. And with breasts estimated to move around 8 inches when running, if not contained, this could get really painful, not to mention all the damage caused. You might even be in the wrong size. Most women are smaller around the back than they think. Check out this bra calculator and be prepared to be surprised.
Myth 5: “I’ve had my bra for a year, it doesn’t need replacing.”
Actually, it probably does. It’s been doing a lot of work, the band is probably stretched and it will lose shape in the washing machine. Get a couple of sports bras and alternate them. A good test is the fastening. Can you do it up on the tightest and pull it away from your body? If so, it’s time to replace!
Myth 6: “My boobs are too big for exercise. It makes my back hurt.”
I’m not going to say this isn’t true, some women may experience a little discomfort. But there are steps you can take. First of all, make sure you’re wearing the right bra. This will help. And try to do some work on strengthening your core, such as pilates, planks, etc.
Myth 7: “I’m smaller chested, do I still have to wear a sports bra?”
YES! You may not need a compression bra, but breast tissue moves during sport and to prevent damage, it must be supported.
Looking for a good sports bra? Check out Bravissimo and browse their selection. Please note this is an affliate link.