Are you wearing the right sports bra?

Good magazine recently attended the launch of the new sports bra range ‘Triaction’ from Australasian bra company Triumph designed with maximum support and comfort in mind. We also talked to Triumph bra-fitting expert Paula Svoboda, about the biggest gripes, concerns, and demands of women when it comes to bras.

Do you know roughly a general statistic on how many Kiwi/Australian women are not wearing the right bra size?

According to research conducted globally, approximately 78% of women are wearing an incorrect size! If your bra is too small, you will no doubt be feeling very uncomfortable, and if it is too large, you will not be getting the right support at all. A professional fitting is not as scary as you think. I have been fitting bras for over 10 years and can tell a women’s size, shape and the most appropriate bra style to suit their shape, just by a simple glance. I have seen many women’s confidence transformed by a simple bra fitting, some have even been reduced to tears of joy.

I recommend getting professionally fitted for a sports bra once to twice a year. This may sound like a lot, but your body is constantly changing, and without a properly fitting bra, you compromise your comfort and support.

Why is ‘bounce rate’ in bras and the right fit so important to consider for breast health?

Sports bras that have been professionally tested and certified to provide a high to extreme level of bounce support and are the right fit for your bust shape and exercise of choice are crucial to reducing breast discomfort during exercise.

What type of factors should be consider when finding the right bra to cater for our exercise needs? What are our options?

The most important factor to consider when choosing a sports bra, is the size and shape of your bust. Like your everyday bra, your sports bras need to be fit for purpose. Selecting a sports bra tailored to your cup and band size will provide the ultimate support and comfort. That’ why all styles in the new triaction range, including the wire-free crop styles, are cup sized.

Ideal for those with a larger bust, underwire sports bras will provide extra lift, shape and support to the breast while exercising. An underwire will also help to separate and hold the breasts in place, you just need to make sure you are wearing the right size and fit to ensure the most comfort while exercising. You do not want the wire moving about or sitting on breast tissue as you run!

If you are fuller through the top and doing high intense activity such as running or HITT style training, you will need a style that offers good coverage at the sides and top of the breast and the fabric should be firm over the bust.

You can also find great support in wire-free styles if you know what to look for. It is important that the fabric used for the cups and frame have very low movement properties as all the pressure of support is going to be on the fabric.

Other features such as adjustable straps and hook and eyes will also add greater flexibility for the wearer. And if you are likely to work up a sweat, you will want to make sure your bra is made from anti-bacterial and moisture management fabrics to help you stay dry while exercising.

According to research conducted globally, approximately 78% of women are wearing an incorrect size

What are the implications of wearing an ill-fitting bra?

To understand why a properly fitting bra is so important, it’s good to understand more about the breast. Your breasts are primarily made of glandular tissue and fat and within the breasts are thin fibrous strands known as Cooper’s ligaments. Along with the skin, these provide very weak natural support within the breast. Any movement of the upper body causes independent movement of the breast, which can have a number of negative consequences; Some women experience movement related breast pain. Additionally, excess motion can lead to irreversible breast sag! Even if you are a double A cup, it is as important to wear a correctly supportive bra as if you are an E. Your sports bra is even more important when it comes to support. Your sports bra should fit tightly around the under-band, as this is where the majority of the support comes from. This should feel tighter than an everyday bra. Look for good coverage at the side and top of the breast, and fabric should be firm over the bust.

How often should we be replacing our bras and sports bras?

This obviously depends on how often you wear the bra.  If it is your all-time favourite and is worn a few times a week expect about six months. The same goes for sports bras as they endure more than your everyday bra and you want to be sure it remains firm and tight.   If it is a bra that only gets an airing a few times a year, count on having to replace it every year.

What do you hear most in the change-rooms? Trends?

Women of today lead an active lifestyle, they exercise to get healthy, but also to get social. In this sociable sporting climate, style-driven women want to look good and have outstanding support. They want to be able to wear their sportswear to the gym, in the street or in a café with friends. They don’t want to compromising style for function and vice versa.

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