Running bra less?…might not be as crazy as it sounds! I still don’t recommend it.

I was treating a client the other month when she admitted to wearing her wired bra under a compression sports bra when she ran. I couldn’t get my head round this. There are so many sports bra options on the market for us to feel safe and secure while bouncing down the tarmac, achieving our couch to 5k, we really shouldn’t need to ‘double up’, especially not with our wired bra underneath.

If you are reading this thinking, “yeah, I do that too”. Please stop now.

Breast tissue is a delicate tissue and any compression of the soft tissue that makes up our breasts can cause a blockage in their nutrient supply and drainage, leading to congestion, as well as the development of small, benign lumps in the breast tissue itself or under the armpit.

This isn’t just a story about running in your wired bra either. I see many women in my clinic, of those women, it is rare to see a well fitting wired bra.

When the wire of your bra doesn’t stay sitting on your rib cage, but instead rides up and onto the breast, there is potential for tissue damage.

Some sources I read on this subject even advocate going bra – less, even when running?! The thought being, going bra – less enables the suspensory ligaments of our breasts to do the job they were intended to do, i.e. hold them up! Thus helping to maintain the shape and support of our breasts.

Going bra – less for a portion of the time would certainly help counteract some of the down sides of our daily wardrobe staple. Back and neck pain probably being the most common ones. Less well known side effects are; muscles damage – where the straps of our bras dig into the trapezius muscle at our shoulders, indigestion and rib compression – from having too tight a fitting around our ribs – or poor positioning of this support and finally headache – associated with the neck pain and muscle tension.

Before you start ditching your bra altogether though, it is worth taking the time to get fitted by a specialist. Different brands cut for different shaped breasts, like clothing stores, a 34D in one brand might feel quite different to a 34D in another. Using an independent lingerie store or large chain department store with a variety of brands is often the best bet, as you can experiment to see which feels the most comfortable for you. Interspersing your wired bras with soft cup bralet’s and more traditional bras is also a good option.

So, before you next go out running, get yourself a nice supportive sports bra that makes you feel secure enough not to put your everyday bra underneath!