A few months ago, after a multi-year absence from the gym, I decided to start working out again. My motivation was simple: I’m quickly approaching 30, and if I don’t start taking care of my heart and lungs now, I will probably regret it at 50. So it was with a disgruntled soul and a less than motivated body that I started running again.
Because it had been such a long time, I asked a neighbor who works as a personal trainer to give me a few pointers on improving my form. Imagine my surprise when her first suggestion was that I buy a more supportive sports bra. “No bounce. Bounce is bad.”
Unsure whether this was some inside joke used by personal trainers to punish rubes who’ve avoided the gym for a solid half-decade, I did some Internet research and discovered that breast injury is in fact, a real thing.
Apparently, because the breast muscle is buried so deep in the tissue it doesn’t provide your girls with a lot of support. Instead, your breasts are held up by ligaments that don’t have the strength to deal with the shock and movement caused by strenuous activity. As a result, “runners bounce” stretches and strains these ligaments, which over time, causes saggy breasts.
(Feel free to gasp in horror. God knows I did.)
While bounce is a problem for all women, it is particularly disconcerting for me. For nearly a decade, I have proudly referred to my minimal bust as “gravity defying.” Why? Because one day, when we’re old and grey, the large-chested women will find their breasts have fallen into their shoes while mine will still be in their original location. (The revenge of the flat-chested is sweet indeed.)
Thus, the idea that I could be damaging my chance for retribution is terrifying. I must prevent The Bounce at all costs.
If you too would like to protect your bust (ample, flat or otherwise) from the dreaded Bounce, you need to buy a more supportive sports bra. The trainer recommended a compression level four. Sadly, some of these bras are more conical than should be allowed, but others are fairly normal.