We all have that one sports bra. The one you’ve had since high school, full of holes with no elastic left. While it’s supported you through the years, over time, it’s lost its ability. But like an old boyfriend, you keep it around because it’s comfortable.
Sports bras are supposed to be your boobs’ best friend, but an ill-fitting one can turn into their worst enemy. Too small, and it will smash and suffocate while on and be nearly impossible to take off. Too big and it won’t do anything for you at all. Either way, you’re setting yourself up for an uncomfortable workout that may even do damage to your body.
According to Renelle Braaten, founder and president of ENELL, who creates state-of-the-art, high-quality performance sports bras for women C cup or above, “An ill-fitting or unsupportive sports bra, especially while engaging in sports or strenuous activity, can cause premature sagging of the breasts and stress on your back muscles,” she told DietsInReview.com. She explained that this can cause breast, back, shoulder, and arm pain. “It can also cause headaches, indentation, scarring, chafing and/or improper posture.”
It’s such a problem, in fact, that many women cut their workouts short or skip them entirely. This isn’t news to ladies, however, as we have been coming up with our own ways to deal with poorly fitted sports bras over the years. Some girls wear regular bras under their sports bras to get the support and coverage they need, while some double up on two sports bras in an attempt to stop bouncing and avoid blacking out their eyes. (more…)
Because I’m a fitness instructor I own a lot of spandex. Like a whole dresser full of the stuff. But there occasionally are days when I don’t feel like squeezing my body into super tight active wear, when I don’t want to have to “suck it in” for 60 minutes straight. So after returning from a week in New York—a trip that included more than one bagel splurge—I was on the lookout for a workout outfit that was flattering and functional, but not quite so fitted.
I’ve always loved Moving Comfort sports bras—they are super supportive without being constrictive—but I haven’t worn much of their other fitness apparel. When I saw the brand’s new dance and studio collection I knew it was time to give it a try.
Here’s what I found:
The Metro Capri ($68) is made of a super lightweight poly/spandex blend—chances are these pants are much thinner and cooler than the leggings you usually wear. The waistband is elastic, there are pockets in front, and the drawstrings at the bottoms of the legs can be adjusted to be as loose or tight as you like. Of course what I really love about these pants are the shape of them: The hips and legs of the crops are a little loose (as in, they don’t hug every inch) yet they’re fitted enough to flatter. (more…)
For women, the right sports bra is often the most important piece of gear no matter what sport you do. But because the requirements for running are different than those of yoga, or cycling, or Zumba, it’s hard to find one bra that works for everything you want to do. That’s why I have about 20 sports bras in my closet (I know, I know) and I’m not alone: When I polled my female friends I found that most had somewhere between 3 and 30+ sports bras (no joke!).
But it is possible to cull that number at least a little. LaJean Lawson, PhD, a sports and exercise expert who has consulted sports bra makers for a couple of decades, suggests trying on a sports bra before buying it so you don’t get strapped with a not-quite-right bra. (Ordering several from a shop with a liberal return policy works too!) Before committing, put your over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder through this series of tests:
You put your fitness apparel through the ringer when you work out, sweating in and stretching out garments during long runs, short HIIT blasts, and steamy yoga sessions. But if your tops and crops get abused while on your body, does that give you more or less incentive you treat them with TLC when you wash them for your next wear?
Good question, especially since a single pair of yoga pants can easily cost more than $100 these days.
Full-disclosure: I used to work for lululemon athletica. While doing marketing for the brand’s new SoHo location in 2009 I spent time in the store. Back then, company policy was to tell people to wash garments however they wanted—hot, cold, turbo dryer, or line dry… just no fabric softener.
By Kerri Burr
A few months ago I discovered Lola Getts, an activewear company for plus-size gals which I loved. But finding them only made me wonder if there were more companies making high-quality workout gear in a full range of sizes. I looked some more and came across Sheila Moon Cycling. The company offers high-quality cycling gear in regular, plus, and maternity sizes. Score! The plus size line spans from 1X to 4X and the designs utilize playful patterns and flattering cuts, while also focusing on excellent support, coverage, and performance.
Sheila Moon sent me a sleeveless jersey ($75), a pair of knickers (at left, $99), and a bolero jacket ($39). The knickers were exceptionally well made, and had a decent amount of padding in the tush. (So important for long rides!) They do run large, so I ordered a size down from what I would typically wear.
The jersey was beautiful—the fabric lightweight, the cut was extremely flattering, and the pattern was gorgeous. The bolero jacket (which is basically a shrug) was the biggest surprise to me: it’s made of the same lightweight waffle material as the jersey when when worn together, they fuse into one glorious, long sleeved top. Plus, the bolero is so small you can easily remove it mid-workout and pack it away without adding bulk. (more…)