Question of the Week: “I live to shoot hoops! How do I find a sports bra that can keep up with me and support me through every shot and fast break?”
June 3, 2011
I love your question and totally share your love of basketball! When I first played it in the mid-1960’s, girls weren’t even officially allowed to run the full length of a basketball court during a game (yup, I’m that old)! So it’s a big deal to me that we now have our own professional women’s league, and I’m definitely celebrating the kick-off of the WNBA’s new season this week!
Shooting hoops may be fun, but don’t let the good times fool you: When it comes to workouts that put a sports bra to an extreme test, basketball is near the top of the list! When you’re kicking it on the court, you’re doing a continuous combination of sprinting, jogging, jumping, bending, throwing, catching, reaching, twirling, and sudden direction changes (whew!). And you need a sports bra that can respond to each and every challenge.
Let’s break down the game plan into three simple parts:
Super Support. First, all that pounding up and down the court, as well as abrupt stops and changes of direction, produces maximum bounce, so make sure the sports bra you pick is rated for top-level motion control. Especially if you’re full figured, look for firm non-stretch cup fabrics, and adjustable straps and bands that can help you personalize support so your body and breasts move together as a team instead of fighting each other.
Strap Smarts. Second, picking the right kind of bra strap is absolutely key to being able to forget about your sports bra and concentrate on your game. All of your constant reaching up, down, and around to move, control and defend the ball can definitely challenge your bra straps’ ability to stay put! When your arms are moving in every direction, making sure there’s at least a bit of stretch in your straps is critical to keeping them firmly anchored on your shoulders.
When it comes to strap style, a crossback or racerback bra automatically prevents slippage and gives your arms great range of motion. If you need or prefer more conventional straps for support, make sure they are attached closer to the center in the back to help prevent strap slip, and look for adjustability so you can personalize strap length and fit. You want just enough ‘give’ so your shoulders don’t become chafed and cut into and the bra’s bottom band isn’t yanked up onto your breasts from its normal torso position every time you leap for a rebound.
Dressing Room Drill. Last but definitely not least, whether you play basketball or billiards I give the same advice once you hit the dressing room to try on sports bras: Do everything you can to simulate the moves you use in your game, at the same intensity you do them on the court. In the case of basketball, that means jogging, sprinting and jumping in place (while observing in the mirror) to test bounce control, and then reaching in every direction, leaping for an imaginary rebound, and mimicking your famous fade-away jumper to make sure your straps and bottom band are going to stay secure and comfortable.
So, have a great weekend, get out and shoot some hoops, and let yourself be inspired by catching some great WNBA basketball action!