Recent research has revealed that less than 35% of female riders wear a sports bra whilst in the saddle. This was in spite of the fact that 40% of riders reported having experienced breast pain! The research was conducted by Dr Jenny Burbage, a biomechanics specialist at the University of Portsmouth, and Lorna Cameron, of Sparsholt College. They also discovered that the incidence of breast pain was directly related to cup size. Blow me down with a feather!The fact that big boobs can be problematic won't come as a surprise to anyone. But the dangers of inadequate support are clearly being ignored.
The Anatomy of Breasts
Breasts are made up of fatty tissue and not muscle. As such, they cannot be toned or strengthened to cope with physical exertion. The fatty tissue is easily damaged when participating in sporting activities and that damage is irreparable. It is vital that breasts are adequately supported when you are enjoying any sporting activity and that includes riding. So why aren't more equestrians investing in a good sports bra?
Ignorance and Expense
It could be because most sports bras are marketed at runners and fitness enthusiasts and so it might appear to some that they only require these garments for running or workouts at the gym. Sports bras also represent yet another expense which most riders could do without. But riders should be wearing the bras and they do offer many benefits. Sports bras can reduce breast bounce by up to 78%. Less bounce means less structural damage, less back ache and a much more appealing look!But sports bras are about more than just the excellent support that they provide. They have special straps thatstay in place when you are active. This is a major boon if you often find yourself fiddling to readjust your straps. Sports bras are fashioned from breathable, moisture wicking fabric and so keep you comfortable and dry for longer.
A sports bra is actually a very versatile piece of clothing and so represents excellent value for money. You can use your sports bra when engaging in any active pursuit and they are ideal for holidays. Perfect for hiking, sports bras are also a good substitute for a bikini top if you stumble across somewhere to take an impromptu swim.
A Matter of Style
Many women cherish their fancy lingerie and perhaps you are one of them. It would be true to say that sports bras are not as pretty and chic as a lovely lace number but you only have to wear them whilst you are riding. Nobody else must see your bra and sports bras are available in variety of cool styles and funky colours.
The Right Bra
It is important to choose a bra which provides sufficient support, which is right for your body and which fits correctly. The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) in conjunction with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has now produced The Horse Rider's Guide to Bras. This leaflet provides the guidance you need to make the right choice.