The Sports Bra

The sports bra is a pivotal piece of exercise attire. It is designed to provide support for the breast during physical activity. The reason this clothing is important is it allows women to perform certain physical task with maximum comfort. The sports bra protects particular chest ligaments. The creation of the sports bra was liberating, because it allowed women to engage in physical activity without pain to a particular part of the chest. Women who played sports had to wear the clothing designed for a male body. Other women began designing clothing best suited for the female form.



One of the first sports bras appeared around 1975. It was known as the free swing tennis bra and was produced by Glamorise Foundations Incorporated. Another version appeared in 1977. This jock bra as it was called had been developed by Lisa Lindahl. Hinda Miller made further adjustments to the prototypical clothing. The reason it was called the jock bra was because Miller sewed jock straps together to form  a firmer bra. This ignited a 30 million dollar industry Eventually the jock bra would be renamed the jog bra. Around 1990 Playtex purchased the jog bra brand. Gradually, this became a popular piece of clothing among women athletes and physically active women. Women who have larger breasts would no longer have to be concerned about discomfort. Women with smaller size breasts still can feel discomfort as well. Breasts are mostly fat tissue and can vary in weight.

The appearance of the sports bra can look like a tank top. Compressed bras are designed to reduce as much movement while keeping the breasts closer to the chest. Another design is known as encapsulation. Cups within the bra surround the breasts as a way to reduce the movement. Having this understanding of kinematics allow designers to make bra best suited for a woman’s body. Many women still report some level  of pain in this area of the body, even with a sports bra. This proves that some bras are constructed better than others.


A sports bra can look like a common tank top.

There are different levels of control that sports bras offer. This is dependent on the level of intensity of physical activity.

      There are physical activities that the sports bra is most useful. Jogging is the first activity that would cause movement of the breasts. This would be an activity that requires firm control. Moderate control would be necessary for biking, hiking, and power walking. Moderate control. Maximum control is required for activities such as rigorous workouts, boxing, and horseback riding. Yoga and walking require the least amount of control during physical activity. The idea is to have the maximum amount of comfort and reduce the potential for injury. Injury is a major threat to any athlete. Doing constant physical feats almost makes it unavoidable. However, this risk is reduced by this clothing. Just like the jock strap and athletic cup is critical for men the sports bra is just as pivotal for women.

      Although the application of the sports bra is for practical reasons, it has become a fashion statement. It is a common part of workout attire for athlete and non-athlete. This is mainly because particular clothing companies took notice of women’s expanding participation in fitness and sports. Nike for example has been producing various exercise clothing lines for women. A new market has made the production of sports bras a million dollar industry. Women’s participation in athletic activities contributed to a particular industry. It is amazing to think that a piece of clothing could have such an impact.

Further Reading

Mary, Sue. Winning Ways: A History of American Women in Sport. New York : Henry Holt

      and Company, 1996.

“Sports bra.” Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia 2010. Jun. 6 2015


The Sports Bra

3 thoughts on “The Sports Bra

  1. turner says:

    I would just like to point out that there is a couple of things I have been bothered about.
    As far as I remember,to begin with, the blog had black lettering on a white background.Then,because of some reasons,that traditional order has been reversed.The point is that it’s not very comfortable to have white lettering on a black background while you are reading.That kind of things.Another thing is that it would be better if no one could suspect the blog of either explicit or implicit promotion of certain companies.Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s