It’s a new year and many people have made a new years resolution to improve their health and fitness. It may just be the first day of the year, but if you want to really get to your goals, it’s not too early to get going!
One way to improve performance is with the right tools. If you are a woman, one of those tools is a good sports bra!
There is always room for a better mousetrap “so the saying goes. When it comes to bras, however, the design really hasn’t changed much in a long while, even though the colors and fabrics have evolved. This is also true for sports bras. However, a new sports bra, the “IntelliSkin PostureCue™ Sports Bra (MSRP $95) has come up with a bra that has a patent pending design that shifts stress from the shoulders to the back, thereby helping to drastically improve posture with each wear. The bra is crafted with double lined, four-way stretch fabric, and a breathable mesh paneling that is supposed to help tone and strengthen back muscles. “Fabrifoam” shoulder panels are thin and soft, and help create comfort.
The claims for this humble article of sports-oriented clothing sound impressive: The Empower PostureCue™ Sports Bra is touted as the first to be specifically designed to support the front, from the back for maximum comfort and performance. “From the moment you try it on, you’ll realize the Empower PostureCue™ Sports Bra is unlike any other on the market,” said IntelliSkin founder and designer, Dr. Tim Brown. “Its unique design cues the back muscles and gently lifts the chest for support without over-compressing, which helps women dramatically improve their posture — and makes them look and feel more fit, instantly. This is the first sports bra for women that merges style, function and performance – it supports the front from the back, just like Mother Nature intended.”
This PostureCue™ Sports Bra is also supposed to reduce the likelihood of neck, back or shoulder pain, supports proper spinal alignment, minimizes the risk of injury associated with poor posture, stimulates and tones muscles, and improves respiration and oxygen flow to the brain and muscles. It makes a lot of claims, and I can’t substantiate most of them. I can tell you about my experience with this pricey product. Here is the lowdown:
My first impression was that the bra was well made and substantial. It is available in white or black, and it’s 56% nylon and 44% lycra. The lining is 88% nylon and 12% lycra. The press literature says the fabric is also moisture wicking, anti-microbial, and has “odor management” in it. You can see the v-shapes that help support your back.
I can attest to the moisture wicking and that is a nice feature of any sports bra. The instructions right in the bra say that you can machine wash this bra as long as you use cold water, don’t use bleach, and lay it flat to dry without ironing it (although I doubt you would iron a sports bra, anyway). The fabric is silky, almost luxurious.
Getting the bra on and off my body was a bit of a struggle. The sizing on this is a bit different than you might be used to but there is a sizing chart on the website, and I found it true to size but check the chart because fit is vital for comfort and benefits. Due to the structure of the bra, it doesn’t “give” a lot. I really had to wriggle to get it over my bust, and getting it off after my workout, was even more difficult. If your body is already sweaty and sticky from exercising, you may actually need another set of hands to pull it off (one size larger might have been the answer, as well). Although good sports bras can be fairly restrictive, this one was very restrictive. It wasn’t uncomfortable, exactly, but it took getting used to. It got easier to wear as I got used to it, but I can’t see wearing it all day instead of a regular bra.
In addition, the bra really flattens down your chest. This might be a good thing if you’re well endowed and don’t want to flop around as you exercise, but it wouldn’t be very flattering under a regular top. It would be a way to get into a too tight blouse, but your profile would look strange without any shape. Again, for exercise, this really isn’t an issue.
And what about the claims for posture? I did notice that my posture looked a little straighter, and perhaps with time, it really would cue my body not to slump so much. I admit I’m not a fitness or sports expert, and perhaps those of you who are and who try this bra will be kind enough to come back to this article, and post a comment. However, you might be interested to know that IntelliSkin products have been worn by some of the biggest names in sports and fitness, including 10-time ASP world champion surfer, Kelly Slater; Florida Marlins infielder Greg Dobbs; PGA champion Mike Weir; and Peter Park, Lance Armstrong’s personal trainer. In addition, Dr. Brown has treated celebrities such as Glenn Frey from the Eagles and former Guns n’ Roses guitarist Duff McKagan for posture improvement from years of ‘guitar back.’ Other product ambassadors include a range of fitness trainers from around the country, such as Andrea Orbeck, trainer to Heidi Klum and Usher, among others.
*Because of the compressive nature of the fabric, If you are being treated for any medical condition or have a pacemaker or circulatory problems, you should ask your physician before wearing IntelliSkin products. For additional information about IntelliSkin and Dr. Tim Brown, please visit www.intelliskin.net or the IntelliSkin Facebook page.
Personally, I am not sure that I’d purchase this bra if I hadn’t received a sample. I liked the bra, but at close to $100 it is really a unique item that will be of most benefit to specific individuals. And, I can’t really quantify all of it’s benefits. But to be honest about it, I’m mostly a lightweight, not a sports pro or someone with serious back or neck issues. So, I wouldn’t pay close to $100 for any sports clothing, unless it did my exercising for me while I sat and drank my morning latte! But if you are having back and neck issues, or simply want to improve your personal performance, it might be worth it. Check out this promotional video to learn more about the product, and see if this unusual bra, might be right for you: