Posture bras are designed to help you fix or adjust your posture or simply let you get the feel of it. They hold your upper back in a more correct position. Posture bras are different from regular bras by the structure that is foremost focused on the stability and good fit rather than appearance. That said I will guide you through on how to choose the best posture bra for you.
How Does Posture Bra Work?
Good posture bra has distinguishable features that separate it from just a normal bra. It has a strong upper back support. Posture bra covers most of the region below your neck providing extra support for deep upper back muscles. It has a band that is extremely wide so it blends with the upper back that way keeping it rigid and straight. The straps should be wider than usual so they can maintain the support for your breasts in a similar fashion as in the back side. On a well designed posture bra cups should be separated and never encapsulating the breasts as that would defeat the purpose of a good frontal support.
This causes the anterior muscles in the front to lengthen removing the fatigue and discomfort from upper back muscles providing a temporary relief. Yes only temporary since this is a muscular dysfunction issue that I will talk about later on.
With all these things together best posture bra provides a great stability and comfort for the upper back if the muscles are incapable of performing naturally.
Best Posture Bra
Why Is Your Posture Bad?
Bad sitting patterns
You might be sitting in a way that your upper core muscles are in a constant state of extension and over time they might tighten leading a to a discomfort. This might be both from excessive slouching or even over exaggerated attempt to keep yourself upright. Which leads to a next reason..
Your core is weak
When sitting properly we do not use our upper back or shoulders to support our body. Instead the deep core muscles are by default designed to keep our posture good, and comfortable while providing both the stability and functionality of the upper body.
You work out improperly
While exercising is good and healthy, training without a good knowledge and correct mechanics may lead to neuro-muscular dysfunctions and bad posture that is usually accompanied with a stiffness and pain. This may occur often when one is doing excessive training for only set group of muscles while neglecting some.
Bad movement patterns
If there is a movement that you engage in very often that is associated with a a specific direction, let it be rotation to one side or maybe leaning towards a certain direction, or maybe you are mostly using only your right arm, or your right leg. if this is the case then your body will do some subliminal changes to try to counteract the patterns you are creating and adjusting certain areas making them become tighter and leading to a bad posture. Often it is not too distinct and could only be noticeable by expert.
You have large breasts
Having DD’s can come with some bad side effects as well. Having so much extra tissue that weights down on a specific portion of your body can lead to deformities. If this is the case you will definitely need to put some extra work to strengthen your body so it can comfortably handle your large breasts.
Will Posture Bra Fix My Posture?
Best posture bra by its design is addressing one thing – reducing the pull from your frontal shoulder section and balancing it in relation to the upper back. That said posture bra will keep your shoulder blades in more neutral position and will stop you from collapsing at your chest. While this a somewhat good solution in a short term, keep in mind that your shoulders slouching is not the key and origin of your postural issues. Wearing posture bra can reduce the pressure from shortened muscles in your front but it doesn’t strengthen the anterior section. Also note that just by pulling your shoulders back and keeping them there for extended period of time might lead to a different postural problem so instead of fixing things you can further facilitate your posture in a different deformity. I am talking about creating too much muscle tension in your upper back that may cause pain in different regions afterwards. This is why you should only wear your posture bra during the sessions of when you feel the most tension and pain.
Your shoulders might not be the main problem. As I mentioned before you must address your deep core musculature and most likely strengthen your abdominal muscles that actually do most of the work for keeping you upright. Weakness in core muscles can create misalignment in your pelvis which will directly influence your upper body. Your body is a single unit and your center point of gravity is the most important component.
What Can Fix My Posture?
To really address your posture you will need to strengthen your core. That includes your deep abdominal wall training as well as training your glutes since these are usually the most common weak points. Still if that is not the case you definitely want to talk to an expert in regards of proper training. To help you with keeping correct form you can wear a sports-posture bra during your training as it will provide the correct alignment on your upper back while still allowing you to be flexible enough.
This is probably the best posture bra made for sports activities:
Even though each person is different and core weakness can be present in different parts of body there are some compound exercises that will benefit for everyone. Bear in mind that you will definitely want to start with your body weight and stick to it until you really feel you have reached your limits. Exercises include following:
- Stomach vacuums
- Glute bridges
Stretching should be done by everyone. Regardless of lifestyle and fitness level the body is a dynamic structure and is constantly changing and adapting to every day activities. So even if you strengthen your weak muscles you need to also mobilize and lengthen the opposing (antagonist) muscles. There are different types of stretching but most common are dynamic, static and ballistic. The best way to start stretching is with dynamic movements going really slow and allowing your tissues to slowly give in to lengthening. Stretching should be done with ease and relaxation.
Foam rolling or myofascial releasing is a form of self massage that is done to release the tight muscle tissue and is just as important as stretching and exercising. It is quite fun and relaxing activity that provides almost instant relief to tight spots. Foam rolling can be done to pretty much every part of the body and if you have bad posture you most likely have plenty to work with. It also crucial if you have been involved in heavy training for some time and you have developed some over-active muscles. There are a lot of different foam rollers and the mostly differ by size and density. Understanding what density is suitable for you is simple. If you are new to exercising and have not been involved in heavy sports choose a softer foam roller since you might not have a muscle tissue that is extremely dense. But if you can consider yourself quite athletic then go for something more solid.
These 2 are excellent choices:
1. Soft foam roller
2. Dense foam roller
This is one of the most ancient techniques and is proven to help relieve pain and helping your body to repair weak spots easier by supplying more blood flow to the cells that have become locked and tight. Best part is that is so relaxing and it feels good. Make sure you consult a good specialist that can suggest the best massage for you. Keep in mind that in this case of having postural problems you must seek for a real massage therapist instead of a simple relaxing spa massage. Look for deep release massage therapists that are qualified in a deep tissue release. Note that it may be painful at first and will become easier over time.
5 Common Mistakes To Avoid
- Posture bra should be rigid and stable so there are no good posture bras with slim straps or band that is not wide enough to provide the necessary support. When looking for a good posture bra always pay attention to these 2 details as it will save your time and money.
- Don’t over wear your posture bra. As I mentioned before, posture bra is just a tool to help you find the balance. Wearing it for extended periods of time may lead to weakness of your supportive muscles.
- Don’t save on a posture bra. As with most products the quality comes at cost. Expecting to buy a cheap posture bra that will do its job is naive and counterproductive. Go with well known brand or follow the instructions I have provided to choose a really good posture bra.
- Sports bra is not a posture bra. And vice versa. It is a really good idea and even suggested to have both – a posture bra that you will wear on a certain time of your day, and a sports-posture bra you will wear when doing corrective exercises.
- Posture bra is not about comfort. If you feel irritated when wearing your posture bra and feel uncomfortable it is a good sign that posture bra is doing its job. Unless you feel stabbing or pulsating pain it is normal to have a slight discomfort. After all, your body is being aligned in a pattern it is not used to so take your time and you will get used to feeling of how a proper posture feels.
Fixing your posture is not an overnight task. You will need to be consistent and for best results include every aspect of thing mentioned in this article. So wear your posture bra while you work or submit yourself to any form of activity where you usually feel pain. Start exercising properly and try out foam rolling as well as a good massage. Good luck getting back on track.