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Sports Bra

What is a Sports Bra?

Sports bras are designed to provide support to women's breasts and minimize breast movement while exercising or playing sports.

Sports bras were developed to reduce breast motion while exercising or playing sports. Breast motion is difficult to reduce without a sports bra because the ligaments in the breasts do not contain strong structural support.

If you play sports exercise and do not wear a sports bra, you will put yourself at risk of of causing irreversible damage to ligaments in the breasts. Damage to the ligaments in the breasts could cause premature sagging that will last a lifetime.

The first sports bra was developed in 1905 by Lora Blanche Lyon of Detroit. It was made of walebone, stiff canvas and hard buckles.

Finding a Sports Bra that Best Suits You

Finding a sports bra that provides enough support for your level of activity is essential. Generally, the higher the level of activity, the higher level of support you'll need.

Determine Your Level Of Activity
Low Impact
Medium Impact
High Impact
Walking Spinning Running
Weight training Skiing Mountain biking
Road cycling In-line skating Step/high-impact aerobics
Rock climbing Stair climbing Softball
Yoga Fast walking Soccer
  Tennis/Racquetball Horseback riding
  Golf Basketball

Sports Bra Features?

When buying a sports bra, it is important to find one that best fits you. You may want to look into the different features to see which features you want.

Some common features are:

  • Fabric that wicks away moisture and promotes air flow
  • Non-binding straps to maximize freedom of movement
  • Friction Free panels at neck, armholes, and straps
  • Pocket for heart rate transmitters

Types of Fabrics?

Sports bras are made in many different kinds of fabrics. Some of the most popular fabrics are:

  • Lycra® spandex
    • Offers soft, luxurious feel and great fit, support and shape retention.
  • Cotton/Lycra® Spandex
    • Soft, moisture-managing cotton combines with shape-retaining Lycra® to create a very comfortable fabric with just the right amount of stretch and support.
  • CoolMax® Polyester/Lycra® Spandex
    • High-performance fabric blend that delivers you all the moisture-wicking benefits of CoolMax® plus the comfort, stretch and shape retention of Lycra®.
  • Polyester/Cotton/Lycra® Spandex
    • This 3-fiber blend offers polyester and cotton for softness and moisture management while Lycra® provides optimal fit and support.
  • Polyester/Cotton
    • Classic blend provides gentle softness and powerful moisture management for all your workouts

When to replace a Sports Bra?

Unfortunately, sports bras don't last forever. However, a sports bra that is hand washed will usually last longer than a sports bra that is machine washed and tumbled dried. Sports bras need to be replaced because the elasticity in the bra's support material starts to weaken.

Women who wear a sports bra 3-4 times per week usually needs to replace their sports bra within 6 to 12 months.

Signs that a sports bra should be replaced:

  • A noticeably looser fit
  • Increased breast motion during exercise or while playing sports
  • Fabric pilling

There are three basic sports bra constructions

  • Compression
    • This style supports and keeps breasts motion to a minimum by pulling the breast firmly in
    • It is best suited for A and B cup women
  • Encapsulated/Natural Shaping
    • The added structure in this style provides a more natural shape than classic compression bras
    • Typically offers women with larger busts more support
  • Underwire
    • Underwire is typically found in encapsulated or natural shaping bras
    • Provide an additional level of support for women with fuller busts

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