When someone sews two jock straps together and calls it a sports bra, the terrorists have won.
Yet that’s precisely the contraption women were relegated to wearing for years in a desperate attempt to avoid knocking themselves unconscious or inciting a riot every time they went jogging. When Kathrine Switzer broke running’s glass ceiling in the 1967 Boston marathon, I guarantee you she was not snugly contained in a sassy fuchsia ultra-wicking number with molded encapsulation cups and gel-infused shoulder straps. The first real sports bra wasn’t even invented until 1977, and even then, the results were less than flattering and far from effective.
Champion’s Chief Scientific Advisor LaJean Lawson, PhD, was incensed when she crossed her first marathon finish line in 1976…with bleeding abrasions on her shoulders and breasts. Since then, she’s dedicated her career to conquering breast topology, jogging around donning heavy rubber breasts to test out new products and hooking women up in Avatar-style technology to measure their breasts’ bounce in slow motion. Lawson estimates 60-70% women wear the wrong size sports bra, resulting in breast and back pain, chronic chafing, and the dreaded double-sports bra protocol.
“When you buy running shoes, you consider ankle support, lateral stability, whether you pronate or not,” she notes. “The same consideration needs to go into sports bra shopping.”
A few more titbits to impress your friends with:
- A single 36D breast weighs two pounds.
- Your breasts are not venetian blinds, only moving up and down. They travel in 3D: Up and down, in and out, side to side.
-A D cup breast can rocket from 0 to 45 mph to one second. A Ferrari takes four seconds to go from 0 to 60mph. As Lawson puts it, “The nipple has the Ferrari beat.”
A few tips for sports bra shopping:
Basketball, volleyball, or tennis: You’ll want enough stretch that you can reach up to rebound — or spike or smack an overhand shot — without the rib band pulling up over your breasts. To further minimize “ride up,” look for both adjustable straps and rib band so you can tighten to anchor it around your torso.
Try: Moving Comfort Juno ($52, movingcomfort.com).
Yoga: Look for a racerback or Y-back to prevent strap slippage in Downward Dog.
Try: Lululemon Power Y Tank ($52, lululemon.com).
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Check out Dr. Lawson’s Champion sports bra blog on Facebook.