What happens to breasts when they bounce?
We may not notice the changes in our breasts immediately, but something is definitely going on when we don't have the support to keep the breast from bouncing.
Think about it. What goes up must come down. And sometimes coming down results in unintended stretching.
Our breasts are made up of tissue. We have to be mindful to take care of them as best we can or they will change shape a lot faster than we intended.
Let's take a moment to learn about a very important part of our bodies. Our breasts.
The breasts are composed of glandular tissue, fat, and ligaments, all suspended within the chest wall. During physical activity or even everyday movements, the breasts experience a certain degree of bounce. This movement is influenced by factors such as breast size, elasticity of the skin, and the strength of Cooper's ligaments, which provide support.
The ups and downs and side to side.
Breasts not only move up and down, but side to side. In fact, they move in a figure-8 motion while running. While many women want the bounce to be reduced from the motion associated with jumping (that IS how we test sports bras, correct?), we have to be mindful that there are other motions in play.
Breast pain can be attributed to ill-fitting sports bras that do not support the three dimensional motion of breasts during running. Sports bra cups with stitching are designed to reduce the breast from moving up and down and side to side. This can be helpful when choosing a sports bra for medium to high impact activities.
Cooper's ligaments are crucial connective tissues that help maintain the shape of the breast. Think about them like the wood that frames the inside of
a house. Now, the ligaments are not as sturdy as the wood, but we can see how the framing of our breast is set and the support the ligaments provide.
Excessive and unsupported bouncing can strain these ligaments, leading to loss of elasticity over time. This can result in sagging, a common concern for many women. Wearing a properly fitted sports bra during physical activity can significantly reduce the strain on these ligaments, mitigating the long-term effects.
As we age, change in shape due to weight, or have pregnancies, the ligaments begin to stretch and our breasts will naturally begin to sag. What else contributes to the sag? The BOUNCE!
The bounce is a stressor to the breast. The larger the breast, the more they weigh. The more they weigh, the more intense the bounce is.
Selecting the appropriate sports bra is crucial for minimizing breast bounce and preventing long-term damage. Consider factors such as the level of impact associated with your chosen activity, your breast size, and personal comfort preferences. Compression bras work well for smaller breasts, while encapsulation bras are more suitable for larger cup sizes, providing individual support for each breast.
The less bouncing your breasts have to do, the longer you can keep them from sagging.
Sagging is going to happen eventually and cannot be reversed naturally. There are some exercises we can incorporate into our daily lives that will help strengthen the chest muscles, which we will get to shortly.
Remember those ligaments? Well, as the ligaments stretch, they provide less support, causing the breast to sag.
Women often experience discomfort or pain during physical activities due to breast bounce.
This is especially true for those with larger breasts. High-impact activities like running or jumping can exacerbate the issue. Investing in a sports bra that provides both compression and encapsulation can help minimize discomfort by reducing movement and providing better support.
The Perks (pun intended)
We now know that our breasts will not remain as perky as we would like for them to be.
We can purchase bras that make us look perky. We can also do exercises that will help strengthen the ligaments, lift chest muscles, and slow down the inevitable of sagging breasts.
Hey, if men can tone up their breasts, surely we can too! Don't let the extra weight we have to carry in that area fool you. It is important to note that the results will not be drastic and the building up of those muscles, particularly with larger breasts, may not look any different on the surface. It's quite likely that we won't get back to being as perky as we'd like, but something is better than nothing. Right?
Incorporate the following exercises into your daily routine to strengthen the chest muscles.
*Please consult your physician before performing any physical activity.
Start by laying flat on the ground with your hands flat and arms bent next to your chest.
Slowly raise your chest off the ground until your arms are straight.
Slowly lower your chest to the ground.
Repeat. 3 sets of 8 reps.
Start by ensuring your body is straight (not bent).
Depending on your comfort level, place your hands shoulder width apart (or wider, if needed).
Modify push ups by bending knees to the ground.
Repeat 3 sets of 12 reps.
Dumbbell behind the head
Start by holding the dumbbell in both hands at your chest.
Raise over your head towards your back, keeping your elbows bent.
Raise back in front of your chest.
Repeat 3 sets of 8 reps.
Take time to take care of your breasts during physical activity by wearing a sports bra that provides the support you need.
For daily support, ensure you are wearing the correct size bra that provides support so that your breasts are supported, not just covered.
With the right support, our breasts can maintain their strength structure.