The Science of Sports Bras
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending an innovation day led by Shock Absorber (the UK’s number 1 sports bra manufacturer) at the University of Portsmouth. Throughout the day we were taken through all of the science behind our boobies, and why we’re not really doing what we should be when it comes to looking after them when we’re exercising.
Wearing a sports bra has always been something I knew I needed to wear, but I never really approached it the same way I do traditional bra shopping. Fashion seemed to play a much stronger role over function, and I’m the first to admit that my purchasing was swayed 100% by what it looked like, versus the support it would give my guys. This is partly because I’m too easily persuaded by a peachy pattern, but also because I’ve never really thought I needed one with “good support” since I’m a pretty average size.
The event was hosted at the University of Portsmouth with their research team, that are leading the way when it comes to the science behind sports bras. We got to go into the lab and were taken through a series of talks and demonstrations with the scientists who are working away to make sure our knackers, don’t get knackered. I got to witness first hand the “bounce test”, where they test how much your breasts move with no support (ouch) and then with a sports bra to identify its effectiveness at bounce reduction. Their research has revealed that your breasts can bounce up to 14cm** when unsupported during exercise - causing you pain, discomfort, sagging and even a lack of confidence. So if you ask me, it’s about time we nipped this in the bud.
Finding The Perfect Fit
Shock Absorber, have invested an incredible amount of time and energy into making sure they know their stuff when it comes to sports bras. We saw first hand how one of their bras reduced breast movement by 78%*** - twice as effective as a “normal” sports bra. Pretty shocking, right?
Here are their top tips on finding the perfect fit:
- The Underband: The band around the chest should be comfortable, but firm and level at the front and back - you should be able to fit two fingers between the underband and your skin.
- The Cups: The cup should contain the whole of the breast, with no creases and no cleavage on show. If the breasts are squashed or cleavage is on show, the cup size is probably too small. Gaping or wrinkling is a sign it might be too big.
- The Shoulder Straps: The straps should be adjusted to fit securely on the shoulders with only one to two inch give.
- Do the bounce test: Jump up and down to check that you feel supported
If you fancy getting your hands on the latest line of boob-friendly-bras you can find Shock Absorber on ASOS, House of Fraser & Debenhams to name a few. You can also find out more at: http://www.shockabsorber.co.uk.
* GFK U&A 2012
** University of Portsmouth 2005 (Scurr et al)
*** University of Portsmouth 2009 (Scurr et al)- testing against – no bra - conditions