Most of us have heard (and experienced) the bounce factor while jogging… So it’d be fair to say we are all familiar with the concept that our breasts can leap in the vertical direction. This vertical displacement accounts for roughly 50% of our total breast movement. But, what most women are uninformed about is the TRI-planar motion that our chest actually moves in while exercising.
That is, that our boobs also actually move in a lateral (towards our arms) direction, as well as an anterior-posterior direction, which basically means they move inwards and outwards. These are the other two planes in which movement occurs.
So… Why is this information actually relevant? Different Sports Bras are built with different mechanisms of support to control each of the motions mentioned above. With the advanced technology and materials now used in the construction of Sports Bra’s, and with the right advice, there should be no reason that women experience breast discomfort during activity.
As a runner and general exercise enthusiast, who has previously suffered from exercise induced breast pain myself, its frustrating to see so many women opt out of activity all together because they feel unsupported when they exercise.
Relevant to the above, a mistake I see being made most often is women wearing a ‘crop top’ style ‘sports bra’ that only acts to compress the bust. This is only really effective in controlling one plane of motion, that being the inwards and outwards (anterior-posterior) motion. It’s generally not an effective mechanism of support for high impact activity, which it is commonly used for.
Hopefully by now you may be starting to realise that there is a whole world of science behind breast biomechanics. It has only been in the past 15 years that we have seen research undertaken on breast motion and the effect of sports bra’s on breast support and performance.
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