Prevent Saggy BreastsPosted on Oct 21st 2009 2:00PM by Liz Neporent
Liz Neporent is a diet and fitness expert and co-author of "The Fat-Free Truth."She regularly appears on national TV programs and is the president of Wellness 360, a New-York based wellness provider. You can also follow her on Twitter @lizzyfit.
I recently developed these lovely little pockets of fat on the sides of my breasts. Please tell me what to do about this "Bra Overhang" -- or is it something I just have to learn to live with? – Rachel Ross, New York City.
Fortunately, this is one fitness problem that can be largely solved with a trip to a good department store. This "bra overhang," as you so cleverly call it, is often the result of wearing a bra past its freshness date. Stretched-out elastic, thread-bear fabric and poor fit do your silhouette no favors. I think it's time for new bras, and when you shop, it's a good idea to check in with an experienced lingerie salesperson who can help you with proper fit, style and comfort.
While you're at it, you should also make sure your sports bras are up to speed. During exercise, your breasts need good support to prevent the Cooper's ligaments that hold them up from stretching out. Over time, this may cause your breasts to look droopy and saggy. Once stretched, ligaments do not snap back into place, so it's important to be very protective of them. You have two types of sports bras to choose from.
Compression bras, the original type of sports bra, parallel other types of body support materials like Ace bandages and jock straps. They are so named because they press and flatten the breasts up against the chest as a single mass. Larger-breasted women may experience discomfort with this type of bra because the breasts may still bounce around as a single unit. You may find a newer type of sports bra, known as an encapsulation bra, more helpful. Encapsulation bras hold each breast in separate cups so they stay in place and don't press against one another. Many are sized like traditional bras, up to size DD, whereas compression bras usually come in small, medium, large and extra-large.
Try both types of bras to see which one works best for you. When you try on a sports bra, raise your arms over your head. If the elastic band at the bottom rises up, the bra is incorrectly sized to give you enough support. Try the next size up. Also, jump around in the dressing room. If you feel the bounce there, you're definitely going to feel it in kickboxing class! And make sure any exercise bra you consider is at least 25 percent Lycra for good stretch and hold.
If all else fails, and you can't find a sports bra that stops the bounce comfortably, here's a tip many large-breasted women have had success with: Wear two sports bras at once. Try a compression bra over an encapsulation bra, making sure the straps cross differently around the back. The combination should keep things pretty still, though you may sweat a bit more than usual due to the extra fabric.
Now for your 2 cents: Got a good bra story? Or a pair of them? Share please. And if you're looking for a good sports bra, be the fifth person to sign up for my twitter updates, and I will send you a New Balance sports bra!