When we shop for workout wear, support can come as an afterthought. Sports brands tend to focus on clever wicking fabrics and handy pockets. But we think that support is one of the most important parts of dressing to work out! It keeps you comfortable and performing at your best. In fact, support is where sportswear and shapewear meet. So how important is the right support during exercise, and where should you look to find it?
The Shapewear Crossover
Supportive sportswear basically works using light compression. It holds your body in place as you move about. Standard shapewear and sports bras share several key features. Both use technical, stretchy fabrics to support the body. Both are constructed with minimal seam lines, preventing chafing and visibility. And both are designed to be comfortable to wear. This means that many of the same principles apply when it comes to supporting your body.
How should your sportswear support you?
Whether your workout is high or low impact, your clothes should give you stability. Sports bras and sports briefs should not rub or chafe whether you’re running a marathon or gliding through sun salutations. We look at which parts of your body should be supported by sportswear.
For even the lowest impact activities, a sports bra is the queen of all supportive sportswear. A good sports bra will allow you the movement to work out in comfort, but at the same time prevent excessive movement that can lead to breast and back pain. There are just so many of them out there! The perfect style for you will depend on your breast size, your sport, and how you prefer to get in and out of it.
If you have experienced back pain, you’ll know how important your bra is. A supportive sports bra prevents unnecessary movements of muscle ligaments which can result in aches and pains across your back. Similarly, the extra support eases upper back and shoulder pain caused by the weight of larger breasts.
You might choose to support your waist and stomach through sports underwear or leggings. Both are just as effective. Look for high waisted light compression garments with a very wide waist band. This aids the strength in your torso which is crucial for avoiding injury. The stability that tummy support gives will prevent chafing and can also make you feel more confident to raise the level of your game!
What benefits does supportive sportswear offer?
All this support has a very real impact on your sports experience and the way that your body responds to your workout. There’s a reason that so many women choose active wear as daily wear, after all!
Compressive panelling in garments like high waisted underwear or leggings improves your posture. When you’re working out, a strong posture is incredibly important to avoid injury. Whether you’re hitting a tennis ball, running, or lifting weights, you’ll benefit from support around your torso.
The key to good supportive sportswear is comfort. Your sportswear shouldn’t be so compressive that it affects your breathing, for example! For comfortable supportive garments, look for long panelling in light, wicking fabrics. Fabrics are light, and support your moving parts while preventing chafing. More and more, garments are made without hems, so that they sit flat against your skin without digging in.
While compression is used in the realms of shapewear to form a silhouette, compression in sportswear can actually enhance your performance. From socks to leggings, the use of compression enhances the blood flow to the compressed area, for example your legs, which intensifies your workout and helps to aid recovery.
The best sportswear shouldn’t just be about style and gadgetry. It keeps all of the parts of your core stable so that you can get out there and do your thing in comfort and confidence. This is why support is so important, not only for active life but for daily life.