Sports bras are really in a category all their own. You see them less in lingerie departments, and more in the active sportswear stores. This is because sports bras are all about performance. And that performance is their ability to reduce breast bounce. It’s a pretty standard occurrence that a sports bra will declare itself to be one of 3 support levels: light, medium or maximum in its breast support.
Maximum support sports bras are claiming their design will keep your breasts supported during high impact sports such as running, tennis, basketball, etc. This is all great, but do we really know if a bra claiming to be maximum support is doing its job? Before answering this question, let’s talk about breast bounce. The leading researcher in this field is Dr. Joanna Scurr — Professor in the Department of Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Portsmouth in the UK.
Dr. Scurr has done extensive research and testing in this field. Her findings are rather interesting. The first interesting point about breast bounce during running is that breasts move in 3 directions: up and down, side to side, and in and out. And, because of the alternating movement of our arms, the up and down and side to side movement looks like a sideways figure eight.
This movement happens both with and without a bra on. Testing 20 D cup women (ranging from 32D-36D), Dr. Scurr was able to measure the movement. Without wearing any bra, these women’s breasts had a total movement of 15.4 centimeters or a little over 6″. That’s a lot of breast movement! Dr. Scurr than set out to find if this breast bounce was reduced significantly by wearing various bras. What she found is that breast movement reduced by 49% just by wearing an average everyday bra, and that wearing an encapsulated high impact sports bra reduced breast bounce movement by up to 73%.
Given this research, can one conclude that all maximum support sports bras will reduce your breast bounce by 73%? Well, HerRoom put all their 35 sports bras claiming to be maximum support to the test. With a 34D model running in place, a still video was shot of the model both in front and to the side. The results of “The Bounce Test” showed that the label of “maximum support” or “High Impact” on these bras did not guarantee a consistent reduction in breast bounce during high impact sports. The poor performers included:
|Champion Double Dry Seamless Sports Bra 2893|
|Donna Karan Casual Active Underwire Sports Bra 35160|
|Lily of France In Action Sport Underwire Bra 2111210|
|Moving Comfort Sera Seamless Sports Bra 705360|
Another point Dr. Scurr observed is that encapsulation style sports bras reduced breast bounce more than the traditional compression style sports bras. The Bounce Test proved this out, with the best performers being encapsulation, or a combination of encapsulation and compression. The best performers included:
|Enell Sport Bra 100|
|Lunaire Coolmax Underwire Sports Bra 11111|
|Anita Active Front Close Sports Bra 5523|
|Goddess Sports Bra Soft Cup 5056|
|Moving Comfort Melbourne Racerback Sports Bra 720960|
|Panache PS Sports Bra 2001|
See all the Bounce Test videos on HerRoom.