For gents investing in a good pair of trainers suitable for your feet and exercise forms the basis of any workout outfit. However, for the ladies not only are a good pair of trainers essential but you also need to take care on top. **WARNING** Gents if you’re still reading this – it’s going to get personal.
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve taught a Spin class (which is a low impact workout) and seen far too much jiggling going on… As someone who knows what it feels like, I can’t help but feel bad for the discomfort. A decent sports bra is a crucial part of your workout and here is why.
Breasts are made up of fatty tissue covered in skin and surrounded by ligaments called ‘Coopers Ligaments’. These stretch over time due to aging, having children and movement. If you don’t support them sufficiently these ligaments can be subject to further damage and unfortunately they won’t bounce back!
Don’t just get fit, get fitted
So, where to start? Firstly, I would recommend getting fitted for and investing in a good sports bra. Not only will you be more comfortable during exercise and protect against further damage to those ligaments, they can also help you if you’re self-conscious, especially those of us who are a bit bigger on top. After all, no one wants any extra jiggle or a black eye whilst doing burpees!
Back to the word ‘investment’. While we all know it’s tempting to save a few pennies, it’s definitely worth buying a few sports bras that will see you through thick and thin. Underwear faithful Marks & Spencer do a great range and offer free fitting services, as do most other lingerie stores including Victoria Secret if you’re feeling a little fancier. If you’re not comfortable getting fitted or you already know your size Sports Direct or Decathalon are great places to find a range of support solutions from known brands, such as Nike and Adidas to more specialised manufacturers like Shock Absorber. Don’t over-look fashion brands either, sportswear is a big part of everyday life now and many stores from New Look to Matalan now offer support solutions.
If you want to minimise your bounce, but maximise your savings, shop around. Sometimes you can find the same bra at various outlets or even last season’s colours at lower prices.
Support your workout
Other than fancy styles and patterns sports bras also vary in terms of the activity’s impact. For classes such as Body Balance and Yoga you should aim for a low impact bra, however, for classes such as Body Attack and running you should aim for high impact bras. Support is the key to comfort. With the right sports bra you won’t need to spend time readjusting, worrying about fall out, straps falling down or wires digging in. Sports bras are designed to support you all round and not only will it take pressure off your back but they also spread the weight better across your shoulders.
My personal favourite is the b4490 by Shock Absorber (RRP £35). It’s great for everything from high impact classes (circuits) to lower impact (spin).
Of course it’s a very personal choice but take time to try them yourself, I have been known to jump up and down in the changing rooms to make sure they’re fit for purpose. Take a look at some of my best picks:
Once you find your perfect bra you’ll never look back. What are your favourites? Do you have different ones for different workouts?
Becky Bryant - Fitness Instructor