When it comes to running, we often first think about the shoes, type of training programs, and recovery, but have you ever considered how the right sports bra could positively impact your performance?
Sports bras seem to be a fun afterthought when it comes to running. We don’t seem to do quite as much research when it comes to buying sports bras, as maybe we would before we purchased a new pair of running shoes. This needs to change. Just because the sports bra is pretty with the cool, criss-cross pattern on the back, does not mean it is necessarily built for high performance sports. Not to say, a sports bra cannot be stylish and functional (have you seen ours?), but when purchasing sports bras, specifically for high-impact sports like running, it is essential that you find the correct bra that will literallysupport you.
So, why does wearing the right sports bra really matter? Good question. Here we outline 4 major reasons why supportive and comfortable sports bras really do matter. Finding the right sports bra is more than just finding one that supports you well. Along with good support, the right sports bra should increase comfortability, prevent chafing, wick moisture, and ultimately allow you to focus on what really matters: getting out the door and moving.
A sign of a good sports bra is that you forget you are even wearing one. You want to find a sports bra that is not only supportive, but is also ultra comfortable. The more comfortable the bra, the less likely you will be thinking about how it feels too tight or constrictive. You don’t want to spend your runs or whatever physical activity you are doing, thinking about the sports bra you are in. Find a sports bra that makes you forget you’re in one. We suggest you check out Zensah's seamless running sports bra. It is created with our cutting-edge Zensah fabric, which allows for ultimate comfort and high performance. Not to mention, Runner’s World voted it as one of the best sports bras!
Especially if you are out on a long run, the last thing you want to deal with is chafing. Chafing is a skin condition that produces a rash. There are a variety of different activities that can cause chafing, but in terms of endurance sports, like running, chafing is caused by the friction of your skin against material, such as a sports bra. If you are wearing a sports bra that is made with a material that does not probably wick sweat or is irritating to the skin, your chance of chafing is increased. This is ultimately why material of sports bra is so important. Sports bras that absorb sweat, instead of wick it, will ultimately increase chance of developing a rash near your armpits. As mentioned in the first reason, this is why the innovative fabric in all of Zensah's sports bras makes their bras not only ultra comfortable, but helps prevent issues like chafing.
One of the dangers of not wearing a sports bra or not wearing the right one for your body is that it can cause damage and sagging to your breasts. Breasts are a separate entity from the rest of the body. The skin and Cooper Ligaments are the only tissue connecting breasts to your body. If your breasts do not have the proper support during physical activity, then the skin and Cooper Ligaments will be stretched beyond normal range. This stretching, ultimately can cause pain within your breasts or sagging, since the skin and ligaments cannot bounce back when there is more than 60% movement. The right sports bra needs to ultimately do the job of preventing movement of the breasts.
There has been research that correlates wearing the right sports bra with an increase in overall performance. Ultimately, if you are not wearing a sports bra that is correctly doing its job of supporting your breasts, then your upper body will be needing to do extra work. This increased work in the upper body will ultimately create a greater fatigue. This means that you will likely not be able to run or perform for as long as you would be able to if you were wearing the right sports bra.
Not being in the right sports bra, can also affect your running form and breathing patterns. If your sports bra is not properly doing its job, your breathing patterns and form will likely be affected. The extra work your body has to do when the sports bra is not properly supporting you, will ultimately lead to unsteady breathing and compensated form. There has been research that not running in the right sports bra decreases stride length. This goes to show that the right sports bra impacts more than just your upper body. It can have an impact on all aspects of your body, even your legs.
Especially when it comes to high-impact sports, it is essential that you are in a sports bra that prioritizes the things that really matter: support, comfort, and performance. The color and style really should be secondary considerations. When looking for the right sports bra, one of the first things to consider is the material. You want to make sure you are finding a sports bra that is built with technology that properly wicks sweat and fights against chafing. After material, you should go by feel and try running in the sports bra to ensure that it is correctly supporting your breasts and there is no extra movement. If the sports bra passes these major tests: correct material, support, and comfort; then you can try to find the color and style in that type of sports bra you prefer.
I think that Zensah has some great sports bra options that meet the mark on all components that really matter when it comes to sports bras. Not only are sports bras designed with comfort and performance in mind, they also come in a variety of fun colors, designs, and styles. You can check out our wide selection, here.
Kelli Capel is a Cross-Country Athlete with WCC All-Academic Honorable mention from LMU.
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