Protecting the “Girls”

Ladies, this one’s for you.  Sorry fellas, reader discretion is advised. This may contain graphic information not suitable for all audiences. But this is a serious matter that needs to be addressed and I’m not afraid to stay abreast of it! Yep, right out of the gate I threw out the pun.  But seriously folks…

Women, no matter what size you are, have a challenge when it comes to working out- keeping the girls where the girls are supposed to be. It’s a real problem for some, myself included.  And we all handle it in different ways.  Some of us ignore it all together, some go above and beyond wearing multiple sports bras to keep movement to a minimum, but most of us fall somewhere in the middle.  Speaking for myself, my issues are three-fold: 1. I never feel like my sports bra fits properly, even if I buy the “right” size 2. I hate paying $50 for a sports bra even though I know it’s what’s best for me and 3. No matter how much padding the bra has and no matter what the temperature is or how much I am sweating, the girls just seem to want to stand out and say “Hellur” to everyone!  The worst part is, as an above average chested woman, sometimes when they are squished in the sports bra, they are cock-eyed and pointing in God knows what direction.  Awkward.Bra statistics

What made me really start thinking about this lately was my favorite store- Robert’s Running Store- was having a specific event on sports bra fitting, bringing in an expert and serving wine and chocolate.  When I saw this, I was so excited thinking that my problems would be solved! No longer would I chafe from rubbing or have the straps dig into my shoulders because I wanted them tight enough to keep gravity from taking effect.  But the dream didn’t last long.  When I looked at the schedule, it was completely opposite from mine.  When they were in the Huntington location, my schedule kept me in Charleston and vice versa.  I was truly devastated.  I even called them to let them know how devastated I was and that I hoped they would do another one soon. So with my hopes dashed, I started thinking that I couldn’t be the only woman with these issues…and a blog topic was born.

I want to talk today about why it is important to wear sports bras in general and also how to properly fit yourself for a sports bra.  These are the only boobs we are going to have and if we don’t want to end up looking like a Maxine cartoon, we need to take care of them.  Maxine- boobsThe “why” is pretty obvious, but we could always use a reminder. Physical activity makes breasts bounce up, down and even in a figure eight. Continuous and repetitive movements can result in soreness, pain and sagging.

Sports bras are made to reduce this movement. This is done in one of two ways- compression or encapsulation.  Compression is the most common.  We would refer to it a “squishing” them into the bra. Encapsulation means isolating each breast with cups, more like an everyday bra.  A bra which has a combination of the two is optimum, especially for the more endowed, such as myself.  Breasts have no muscle, so without proper support it can cause sagging and stretched ligaments. Once the ligaments are stretched, they ain’t going back ladies. It doesn’t matter what size breasts you have, everyone experiences bouncing during physical activity. Every woman, no matter what size she is, should wear a sports bra while running or exercising.

Now that we have established that wearing a sports bra for any exercise activity is a must, let’s talk about proper fit. You want a sports bra that fits well, both in the band and cups. Overall, your sports bra should feel a bit tighter than a regular bra, however, you should be able to breathe deeply and comfortably. Hook it in the middle and take some deep breaths. Is this comfortable? It should be. The band shouldn’t move. It should fit snugly and comfortably. Raise your hands above your head. Check the elastic band.  If it moved up your rib cage, try a smaller band. If the bra has straps, try adjusting them. Your breasts shouldn’t bulge, pay close attention to any bulging at the top or by the underarm. No one wants “muffin top boob” or “side boob”. Conversely, the cups shouldn’t have any wrinkles or gaps. If the cup fabric is wrinkled, try a smaller size. Make sure there is nothing rubbing or chafing around your arm holes, straps, seams, hooks, clasps or anything else. Many sports bras offer adjustable straps. Adjust them to feel supportive, yet not uncomfortable. Furthermore, make sure the straps aren’t digging into your shoulders. Luckily, most newer sports bras use high-tech fabrics, including moisture wicking. This can improve breathability and help remove excess moisture from sweat which can cause chafing. Cotton bras will stay wet, this can lead to uncomfortable skin irritations. Finally, jump up and down, jog in place, do jumping jacks. If it feels supportive, you’re set! If not, keep looking.

 

Bra meme 2From a design standpoint, I wish I could wear the “cute” sports bras.  You know the ones, they have no support and they pull over your head.  Are you kidding me?  Putting a D cup into one of those bras, working out and sweating and then trying to take it off.  Oh Hellllll No!  It is not happening.  It is literally a booby trap.  I’d have to be cut out of it. For me, I have to go with the hook in the back style.  And if I want a racer back bra, it has to hook in the front.  I’ve pretty much given up on those.  I just wear a regular one with my tank tops, even if they are racer back tops.  I don’ think I’m offending anyone. But if you see me at the gym and I am, please let me know.  Now, this is where I completely fall short.  A sports bra should last 6-12 months, or about 75 washes.  Um, I have sports bras from the Clinton administration.  But I am going to vow to do better with that….just as soon as Robert’s Running Store tells me what bra is best for me.

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2 Responses to Protecting the “Girls”

  1. Donna Hamra says:

    This issue was addressed on Shark Tank last Friday. A company called Shefit is partnering with Daymond John to sell the perfect sports bra. Here is the link: link:http://www.business2community.com/social-buzz/shark-tank-01442133#p76T3MOTf72DsTuP.97

    You can order from their website: http://www.shefit.com Bras are $58.99. I thought they looked very cumbersome on the show, but they will certainly keep “the girls” in place.

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