So little time, so many things to say. That’s how I felt when I was making my presentation for the frontRunner’s Running Clinic. Here are some trivia on sports bra history mainly from www.womensadventuremagazine.com and Wikipedia. The sports bra has come a long long way. We are so lucky to be running in this decade. )
A.D. 300 : Roman mosaics in a villa near the Sicilian town of Piazza Armerina depict women exercising with bound breasts.
1906 : American inventor Laura Blanche Lyon secures a patent for the “bust supporter,” a back-fastened canvas camisole with gathered cups now regarded as the first sports bra.
1917 : American artist Ethel Quirk invents a breast supporter intended for theatrical, acrobatic dancing.
1972 : Title IX of the Educational Amendments bans sex discrimination in schools, including unequal athletic opportunities.
1977 : Lisa Lindahl, Polly Smith, and Hinda Schreiber stitch two jockstraps together to create the Jogbra, the first modern sports bra. (Image from www.runnersworld.com)
1984 :In Los Angeles 27-year-old Joan Benoit wins the first-ever women’s Olympic marathon with her lingerie-style bra strap showing as she completes her closing lap, an indiscretion that caused an uproar loud enough to upstage her athletic achievement.
1988 : Montana hairstylist Renelle Braaten constructs a front-fastening sports bra designed especially for large-breasted women.
1998 : Back when soccer player Brandi Chastain was still largely unknown, she told Nike apparel designers exactly what she wanted in a sports bra. “If I know that at some point I might take it off,” she said, meaning her shirt, “I’d like [the bra] to look nice. I’d like someone to look at me and go, oh, that’s nice, I’d wear that.” (www.washingtonpost.com)
1999 : When she ripped off her shirt in exultation after her World Cup-winning kick, the hard-bodied Chastain was wearing the sports bra she helped create. Nike is now drooling over its payday, rushing into production the new line it had planned to introduce at month’s end and lining up promotional appearances for Chastain. (www.washingtonpost.com)
2000 : Champion responds to women’s complaints that sports bras flattened and de-feminized their bust lines by introducing the Shaper bra, which uses a unique nonfoam “spacer” fabric to maintain women’s curves without compromising performance.
2000 : Anna Kournikova became the new face for Berlei‘s shock absorber sports bras, and appeared in the highly successful “only the ball should bounce” billboard campaign.
2001 : Renelle Braaten collaborated with freelance apparel designer Heidi Fisk, and founded Enell Incorporated. After considerable lobbying, she persuaded Oprah Winfrey in 2001 to try her bra. This led to very positive reviews in O: The Oprah Magazine, a 2001 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and a huge surge in orders . (Wikipedia)
2003 : Seamless sports bras virtually eliminate chafing and end the practice among distance athletes of covering themselves in Vaseline to prevent painful abrasions.
2007 : High-tech fabrics improve bras’ moisture management: Champion’s Vapor sports bra features Cocona, a superwicking, odor-squelching new material made from coconut shells.
And if you are still asking yourself , “Do I really need a sports bra?” I say, “Yes, please. In all colors please.” Protect yourself from discomfort and and possible tissue damage due to vertical, horizontal and circular motion during running.
Excerpt frontRunner March – April 2010 issue : Tame the bounce : Our body is already taking a pounding when we run. No need to put additional stress by having inadequate breast support. A good sports bra will minize the pain and stress to our body. It also helps in maintaining a correct running form. I often see female runners with hunched up shoulders and arms not swinging freely but pressed tightly to their sides to tame the bouncing girls. This not only slows down a runner but can also cause tension in the shoulders and upper back thus compromising running form and efficiency. A good sports bra is a necessary investment for female runners. When buying sports bras, be sure to try it only and mimic the movements you will be doing – jog in place, jump and swing your arms to check fit and support. Opt for sports bra with widers straps and bands as they offer better support. If you can afford it, buy more than 1 so that you can rotate them. They will last longer.