Bra fit as a performance issue? Who knew??

Here’s something my coaches never talked to me about:

Proper sports bra fit is an essential component to female athletic performance.

No if’s, and’s, or but’s, it is part of the female make up to round shoulders, hunch forward, and limit arm movement if are breasts are not properly supported.  (Interestingly enough, this is true for even small-breasted women who do not experience movement-induced breast discomfort.)  This posture and limited arm movement decrease athletic performance!

Since research shows better than 80% of women are wearing a bra that fits improperly, how are we supposed to know what proper fit is?

The easiest way is to get professionally fitted.  Some, higher-end sports shops offer this service.  Here in Southwest Michigan, Gazelle Sports offers professional fitting service.

If you don’t have access to these services in your area, here are three tips from Dr. Deirdre McGhee, a researcher and physiotherapist who has investigated excess breast motion issues:

1. Don’t have the band too loose – the band is the primary support and it shouldn’t move up and down as you move your arms.

2. When worn, the cups should have no wrinkles and gaps (too big) and no bulging of breast tissue to the side or below the armpit (too small).

3. The underwire must sit on the ribs in your armpit. The front between the cups flush on your breastbone. The straps must be firm and supportive but not uncomfortable.

And remember, sports bra’s are like running shoes — their effectiveness decreases as we use them.  Sooner than we would like, they wear out and it’s time to THROW THEM OUT because they are no longer able to do the job we need them to do to help us with our performance.

For more information on bra fit, check out this brochure from the University of Wollongong’s Breast Research Australia (BRA) and Sports Medicine Australia.

**Hat tip to Travis for point us in this research direction!



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