Healthy Body

This Is Exactly What Happens If You Don’t Wear a Sports Bra While Working Out

Mary Grace Garis

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Let’s face it, we’re all about going braless recently …and maybe that behavior has found its way onto your mat or on your quarantine run. Sure, we’ve also come a long way with sports bras, but sometimes you just can’t be bothered. So it begs the question—what exactly happens if you don’t wear a sports bra during a work out? Will your body hate you?

“If doing a high impact or intense workout, the repetitive stress on your chest wall from the breasts moving could cause soreness and even injury,” says Lucky Sekhon, MD, an OB/GYN and REI in New York City. “Over time, this repetitive stress may lead to laxity of the skin and ligaments and sagging of breasts.”

In the off-chance you’re not team braless in any capacity, please change out of them before you hit the mat. Dr. Sekhon says that you’re unlikely to get the support you need when exercising.

“Unlike sports bras which are designed to keep your breasts closer to your body and the center of gravity, regular bras provide less support and allow for more breast movement,” says Dr. Sekhon. “It may cause uncomfortable chafing of the skin, as regular bras tend to have thinner straps that will place more pressure on the shoulders, chest wall, and back. That directed pressure combined with friction from repetitive movement during a workout may lead to skin irritation and blistering.”

There is one happy compromise we can all make with the universe, though. If you’re rocking those cloud soft comfy underwireless bras right now, you can probably repurpose them for certain workouts.

“If you are not doing high impact exercise that exerts the force of gravity on the breasts in a repetitive way, it should be fine to wear a less heavy-duty bra, like a comfortable bralette,” says Dr. Sekhon. “This is particularly true of exercises such as pilates or yoga, which tend to be low impact and have more slow, controlled movements and involve a lot of floor and reformer work.”

In short, even small-chested ladies likely want to give themselves some kind of support, but for those less intense workouts you don’t have to change out of your go-to quarantine bra. Team lazy, ftw.

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