Tag Archives: comfort

Bra Banding Might Fix Your Chafing Woes

It’s all about the banding when it comes to Sports Bras – but even more so for Sports Bras for distance runners.

Almost every runner has experience dreaded chafing somewhere at some point – ooh and the nasty sting in the shower post run!

But avoiding chafing is usually down to a few simple steps.

  1. Make sure your Sports Bra banding is firm.

You don’t want your bra to be rib-crushingly-too-tight-to-breath firm but you do want it firm enough that the band cannot move.

Having a firm band around the rib cage is the number one rule for getting a Sports Bra or any bra fit right. If the band is firm the majority of support will come from the band and it will apply less pressure to the straps on the shoulders. The bra will be more comfortable and more effective at holding breast tissue in place.

If the band is too loose you immediately lose support for breast tissue, place greater pressure on the straps AND increase your risk of chafing – because the band will move around the rib cage. This is especially true of distance runners as they deplete fluids and grams to kilograms of physical weight as they run.

  1. Make sure the Cup is snug.

For all the same reasons as above – if there is any room in the cup you lose support and invite chafing. You want it tight – compressive – but not so much that breast tissue is spilling out the top or that you feel crushed.

  1. Make sure the bra doesn’t sit too high.

As Sports Bras are often ‘’crop’’ style another common chafe point is if the bra sits too high and digs into the tissue above the breasts and slightly in from the arm pits. This is a potential friction point due to arm movement during running. As runners seek higher coverage from a Sports Bra to close vertical escape routes for breast tissue – which we love – sometimes they can sit too high and cause issues.

  1. Wear a breathable, moisture/sweat wicking material.

It might sound simple but the wrong fabric close to the skin can increase the risk of chafing. Cotton based materials for example will become saturated with sweat and lose most of their breathability.

  1. Arm yourself with an anti-chafe product

Sometimes everything you try will not be good enough. Be sure you are well hydrated and arm yourself with an anti-chafe product like Body Glide. It needs to be something that is water based and NOT petroleum based. And if you already have chafing protect it from getting worse with a film dressing.

 

There are some schools of thought that you shouldn’t wear underwire for distance running. In fact this is an entirely individual decision. If a wire is sitting well in the right place and on the right person some runners will find they prefer this as it will assist to encapsulate the breast tissue reducing sweat pooling between the breasts. Others will find the wire will not sit correctly on their sternum and this can cause irritation as they progress into their run and deplete in fluids. Unfortunately, as our bodies have so many variables, this is one thing that can only be determined when tested on the track.

Getting your Sports Bra professionally fitted can help to ensure you’ve ticked as many of the right boxes as you can before you head out to hit the pavement.

 

A review of performance underwear for horse-riding

By Linda Lewis, She Science Ambassador and HRCAV competitor

Imagine this ‘you’re preparing for a competition; you start your list…’

  • Wash and prepare horse
  • Pack float with saddlery, feed, grooming supplies
  • Pack riding apparel; boots, helmet, jodhpurs, shirt, vest, jacket

You may even consider your sports bra, makeup and what you will eat, but have you thought about your underwear?

Before meeting the girls at She Science my choice of underwear was never a conscious decision. They suggested I try technical underwear aka ‘rundies’ that were getting great reviews from the equestrian community. So over the past months I have put the 2XU, Moving Comfort and Panache ‘rundies’ to test.

The overall verdict

I found that all three styles provided a seamless finish under jodhpurs which was important to me, as it is most riders. Being full coverage underwear all three styles also stayed in place and didn’t ride up at all. The light moisture wicking fabrics were comfortable and kept me cool.

2XU Performance Briefs

The 2XU fit especially well on me, I now wear them as my everyday underwear. They are a bikini cut with a little bit of stick on the edges to stop them moving, along with seam free edges all around. Very comfy! As a bonus these are available in nude so they work well under my white Jodhpurs.

2XU Performance Brief

2XU Performance Brief

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panache Sports Brief

The Panache are great as a ‘tummy tucker’. They are a higher cut and provide more support to all the ‘post-baby wobbly bits’. The firmer materials also help to contribute to this supportive feeling.

Panache Sports Brief

Panache Sports Brief

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving Comfort Bikini Brief

The Moving Comfort fabrics are extremely light, with a mesh panel across the back that helps prevent sweat patches. The waist band height is fairly standard.

Moving Comfort Workout Bikini Brief

Moving Comfort Workout Bikini Brief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I felt all three styles offer supreme comfort, quality and performance over any store bought underwear. I had tried dance underwear before however they didn’t survive the rough treatment of jodhpurs and saddles, and didn’t have the moisture wicking capabilities of sports underwear.

Am I converted? Absolutely! When I think about it, why shouldn’t we choose underwear for horse riding based on performance.

horse riding underwear

 

Linda is a She Science Ambassador, a doting mother to one and our resident Equestrian aficionado. Linda is regularly found competing both locally and around Australia at HRCAV events, and rarely goes home without a ribbon. Linda’s work in the Equestrian community extends to helping the lives of others as she volunteers her time as a board member for Riding for the Disabled. 

 

Visit our full website at www.SheScience.com.au

You can find us on facebook www.facebook.com/SheScience

Or on instagram www.instagram.com/SheScience

Sports Bras for triathlon… what are your priorities on race day?

When it comes to choosing a Sports Bra for your Triathlon race day there are quite a few things to consider. Before moving too far down the process I think it’s important to know where your priorities lie first.

 
Some women are most concerned about the way the Sports Bra looks under their tri suit. If this is you, then you should identify this as it will eliminate a few options early.
Bras that will hide nipple show under tri suits are often made up of thick moulded cups.

 

While these will be more flattering under a suit, they are likely to hold moisture for longer which will increase the chance of chafing. Chafing or ‘bra burn’ will strike when there is excess moisture or friction, and will be particularly nasty if both of these join forces. If nipple show or unsightly straps is what bothers you try the Moving Comfort Juno or the Berlei Ultimate Performance, but be aware that these bras will hold moisture.

 
Other women are most concerned about the support factor. On race day there are plenty of spectators around, for those who are body conscious in a tri suit ‘strapping the girls down’ might be their main priority.

 
Lots of high impact Sports Bras use thick straps, underwire and or moulded cups. While these are great features for support the straps could compromise the look under the tri suit, underwire could irritate you when swimming and moulded cups will hold moisture.

 

So if support is your main priority look for a wire free high impact bra with thin yet firm materials, and a racer back design. Some great options include the Moving Comfort Rebound Racer, Enell Sports Bra and the Shock Absorber Active Multi bra. But remember, these may hold some moisture and could show under your tri suit.

 
For most, the possibility of chaffing is their biggest nightmare which will have them leaning towards bras made of quick dry fabrics. While you may expect me to launch in to the ’support should be number 1’ rant, when it comes to your race day bra I am most concerned about staying chafe free as this is the biggest sports bra issue women experience with triathlon.

 
To prevent chafing we focus on the bra fit and the materials used. The bra band must be perfectly firm to eliminate unnecessary band movement (FYI the bra band is the highest risk zone for bra burn). Materials need to be thin, quick dry fabrics. 2XU make a great Tri specific bra which has the best quick dry material in the business. Other options to explore include the Moving Comfort Jubralee and the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra.

 
While we don’t often choose to compromise on support, because race day makes up such a small percentage of your overall training it’s unlikely you will have any adverse effect to choosing comfort over support for race day, and you won’t be left with the battle scars of bra burn.

 

best bra for triathlon melbourneBuy the 2XU Tri Bra online here:

Our website is:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

5 Reasons you need to wear a quality Sports Bra

1. Protect your assets

The breast has two naturally occurring support structures, the skin and tiny weave like ligaments called the Coopers Ligaments. These are both easily damaged and cannot be repaired. So to ensure you maintain the integrity of your breast shape then its best you ensure these natural support systems don’t take all the load during rigorous exercise.

2. Comfort is key

A well supported breast will bounce less (or in technical terms, will endure less vertical and lateral displacement), which will in turn have your breast moving at a slower velocity and in line with your torso motion. This can significantly reduce or eliminate Exercise Induced Breast Discomfort.

3. Improve your performance

The secure feeling a well fitted technical Sports Bra leaves you with will ensure your concentration can stay on achieving your performance goals. Eliminating the discomfort of bouncing breasts and the irritating ‘fiddle factor’ of a poor Sports Bra can go a long way in improving ones performance.

4. Confidence boost

You won’t be put off high impact activity due to embarrassing bouncing breasts. Many teenage girls and women opt out of activity all together as they feel humiliated by their out of control breasts. This can easily be conquered by a firm fitting, full coverage Sports Bra. So there’s no reason to be stuck watching from the sidelines.

5. Enhance your shape

Traditionally Sports Bras have ‘squished and squashed’ breasts firmly against the chest wall leaving the dreaded uni-boob (aka monoboob!). Nowadays most technical bras will cradle each breast separately and hold them firmly in place using non stretch materials to leave you with a great shape.

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

 

Sports Bras, could going bare be better?

Since the recent completion of a 15 year study conducted out of the University of Franche-Comté which looked at the long term effect of bras I’ve seen a dozen or so media articles referencing the ‘findings’. The media seem to have gone a little crazy around the notion that bras may not in fact have any long term effect on reducing breast sag, which has made for some interesting reading.

Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon advises that the results show “Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity”. Their findings also conclude that nipples were found to sit higher in the non-bra-wearing women, and that the chest musculature of this experimental group had developed more muscle bulk to cope with the demands of carrying the otherwise unsupported breast.

Coming from a footwear background the ‘bare is better’ argument has been done to death and as such is a little lost on me. I’ve written about breast sag in the past, and agree that there has been no solid research to suggest that bras do in fact prevent sagging breasts. While I certainly appreciate the fact that so much time and resource is being channelled in to breast health, I am far from convinced that this should change the way women look to bras for breast support.

After all, why is it that you put a bra on every day?

Not many would answer ‘to prevent my breasts from sagging’ in their first breathe. Most of us wear bras to enhance our shape, improve comfort and avoid the embarrassment of breasts bouncing as we move.

15 years ago we would have winced at the idea of running barefoot, but nowadays you don’t have to look far to find someone donning a barefoot running shoe of some description. Fortunately for us ladies I can’t see this extreme being applied to our Sports Bras so there is no predication on my part of a bare-chested running fad! Our arm swing and torso movement is significantly alterted with a reduction in breast support, caused largely by our instinctive reaction to prevent the pain associated with an increase in vertical and lateral breast displacement. Efficient upper body body movement assists with propulsion and balance. It is essentially the reciprocal motion of our legs and is highly considered when assessing someones overall running biomechanics. So hold off on burning your Sports Bras ladies, they aren’t going anywhere!

she science bra support study

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

Sports Bra selection for breastfeeding Mums

With most nursing mothers in a frenzy to shed the weight post pregnancy, it’s not uncommon to see breastfeeding mothers battling it out on the pavement. Unfortunately it’s equally as common to see some obvious mistakes being made with their Sports Bra selection.

Here are a few tips for all the breast feeding mothers out there…

It is seriously unlikely that your bust size is what it was pre-pregnancy, so there is very little chance you can get away with wearing that Sports Bra you’ve had since you were in your final year of Uni. Get rid of it.

Your bust is also likely to change in size and shape a number of times over the next year or so, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about the potential need to invest in a number of different Sports Bra options over the next little while.

A good way to ensure you are not purchasing too often if to avoid Sports Bra’s with underwire. A soft cup bra eg the Moving Comfort Juno (image below), will give a firm level of support without pushing your delicate breast tissue in to cups lined with underwire. This will give you a bit more flexibility to wear the bra as your breast increases and decreases in volume.

When avoiding underwire, often women will be drawn towards the crop top style Sports Bra. This can be a dangerous move for nursing mothers already conscious of their changing shape. The crop top should be avoided if you are trying to stay away from the uni-boob look which is unflattering all round.

For this reason, a bra that offers support using the encapsulation method will have you feeling great about your shape, and offer the flexibility for your changing bust size as mentioned above. The encapsulation method of support separates the breasts from one another and holds them firmly in place.

Most well designed, high impact Sports Bras will have a high neckline that will also aid in modesty and leave you feeling secure and comfortable with your shape. Add this to your ‘must have’ list for extra confidence.

There are plenty of Sports Bras on the market with front fastening which is an obvious inclusion for any breastfeeding mum. This includes options that secure at the front using a zip or clasps, there are also plenty of options that fasten at the back but have adjustable velcro straps at the front (see Moving Comfort Juno below). Both will allow for easy unfastening to breastfeed.

Remembering that nursing Mums can unfortunately experience pain in their breasts for any number of reasons, I hope that by following the guidelines above you should leave yourself with the best chance of feeling comfortable and confident when returning to exercise post pregnancy. Good luck!

Image courtesy of movingcomfort.com.au

Click the image for more info or to purchase the Juno

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

 

Moving Comfort / Juno
Image courtesy of movingcomfort.com.au