You know the feeling: You just conquered a long day of work, you're ready to sweat it out at the gym, but as you reach into your duffle bag, you realize you forgot your sports bra. And, let's be real, if you go home to get another one, your bed is going to look way too inviting, and your trip to the gym will soon become ancient history. So, you can't help but wonder, can you work out without a bra on?
Like, it seems as if everyone and their mother is already #FreeingTheNip anyway, so letting the girls breathe during your HIIT circuit can't be such a big deal, right?
It may seem pretty harmless but, if you've ever tried doing burpees braless, you might beg to differ. In fact, I'm almost certain that that's what dying feels like -- more or less, anyway.
First, let's start off with why your boobs hurt so much when you try to get moving sans your strappy companion. Whether you're braless and running to catch the subway, or you're freeing the nip on the elliptical, your breasts are super sensitive to motion because they're made out of a combination of fat and glandular (aka milk-producing) tissue, and they're basically anchored to your chest wall, according to Greatist.
Plus, your breast tissue contains extremely sensitive nerves throughout that can be easily be torn during exercise.
Is anyone else in actual pain just reading/thinking about this?
Plus, if you're thinking about pounding the pavement with the twins on the loose, you might be in for some unwanted upper back and neck tension that will be hard to shake off afterward.
Basically, when you're sweating it out sans sports bra, your muscles have to work a little harder than usual to keep your shoulders from being weighed down by your breasts. As if you're not already working hard enough in the weight room, now you have two extra bouncy dumbbells stuck to your chest to worry about.
And if you think you're in the clear because your tatas are on the smaller side, think again.
According to Women's Running, even the smallest cup size can experience irreversible damage to connective tissue in the long run without the proper support provided by a bra.
But sometimes, even wearing a bra while you work out won't exactly do the trick. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that more than half of women with larger breasts -- along with 25 percent of women who wore an A cup or smaller -- reported experiencing uncomfortable chest aches while working out.
This is because a lot of women don't pick the right bra style for their breast size, and suffer some pretty painful consequences as a result.
So, since it's pretty imperative to brace your breasticles for movement, make sure you're investing in the proper support.
If your bra just ain't right in the midst of your sweat sesh, according to Fitness Magazine, an A cup will move about an inch and a half in each direction, and a D cup will shift as much as two to three inches. All I can say to that, is ouch.
So, if you're a B cup or below, you're going to want to invest in a quality compression sports bra. Those are the ones that give you that whole "uniboob" look, in case you were wondering.
As for ladies with bigger boobs, you're going to want to opt for an encapsulation style, which have individual cups to support you and limit unwanted movement.
Bottom line: The right over-the-shoulder boulder-holder is probably more important than you realize if you want to avoid both posture problems and a seriously unpleasant sweat sesh.