T Nation

Lifting and the Bra Strap

I’m hoping one of the coaches can chime in with an answer to this question. Also, I wonder if any one else who challenges the traps with lifting has this experience…

After doing various o-lifts and helper exercises that really hit my traps, I find wearing a bra strap to be very uncomfortable. The whole rest of the day after lifting, I’m constantly shifting around the strap because it bothers me. My strap sits wear the trap curve ends and the upper delt curve starts to rise. I don’t have discomfort with the strap when I’ve not lifted for more than a day. The strap is firm but not uncomfortable.

In addition to the discomfort of the strap, I’m finding my shoulders are having problems with pain around the upper deltoid. Sometimes the muscle origin, sometimes the insertion point.

Here’s the question:

Is it possible or likely, that wearing a tight bra shoulder strap after working the traps and deltoid muscles could hinder repair and/or damage those muscles?

The therapist I saw to try to address the shoulder pain problems told me that I had adhesions and the possible beginnings of calcifications around the deltoid origin and trap insertion near the acromium. This is basically where my bra strap sits. I didn’t think of the question at the time to ask him. The question occurred to me later. I was reading some articles about proteolytic enzymes and their potential ability to repair adhesions and scar tissue in muscles. The article described the blood transport, etc. that occurs after lifting to bring in nutrients and repair the micro-trauma. If a bra strap reduces the blood flow then that might lead to reduced repair, right?

Any thoughts or experience with this?

[quote]Stand Up wrote:
I’m hoping one of the coaches can chime in with an answer to this question. Also, I wonder if any one else who challenges the traps with lifting has this experience…

After doing various o-lifts and helper exercises that really hit my traps, I find wearing a bra strap to be very uncomfortable. The whole rest of the day after lifting, I’m constantly shifting around the strap because it bothers me. My strap sits wear the trap curve ends and the upper delt curve starts to rise. I don’t have discomfort with the strap when I’ve not lifted for more than a day. The strap is firm but not uncomfortable.

In addition to the discomfort of the strap, I’m finding my shoulders are having problems with pain around the upper deltoid. Sometimes the muscle origin, sometimes the insertion point.

Here’s the question:

Is it possible or likely, that wearing a tight bra shoulder strap after working the traps and deltoid muscles could hinder repair and/or damage those muscles?

The therapist I saw to try to address the shoulder pain problems told me that I had adhesions and the possible beginnings of calcifications around the deltoid origin and trap insertion near the acromium. This is basically where my bra strap sits. I didn’t think of the question at the time to ask him. The question occurred to me later. I was reading some articles about proteolytic enzymes and their potential ability to repair adhesions and scar tissue in muscles. The article described the blood transport, etc. that occurs after lifting to bring in nutrients and repair the micro-trauma. If a bra strap reduces the blood flow then that might lead to reduced repair, right?

Any thoughts or experience with this?[/quote]

This is why I have to alter all my athletic bras. Traditional bras are manufactured for women with no traps and tiny shoulders. So if the band fits my torso without riding up, it is WAAAYYYY to tight for my shoulders and arms. So I put in a 2" addition to each straps in the back and triple stitch it (actually, my husband does this for me as he used to own a leather shop and sews quit well). I really don’t care how it looks, I just want it to be comfortable and not bind.

Unfortunately, until the athletic apparel companies realize that there are women like us out there, we will have to adjust our own clothing. Everything is designed for the runner/yoga/pink dumbbell lifting female.

After my last order, NIKE sent me a customer service survey to fill out and I was polite, but honest. I told them that I would likely buy more from them if they offered clothing for the athletically built/developed female. Their shorts are too tight in the legs and too big in the waist or the hips (if low rise).

Tops…forget it, I buy from the men’s department, if at all. I usually wind up cutting the sleeves out of everything.

AND CAN WE STOP WITH THE PINK ALREADY!!! I hate pink, but everything is offered in pastels or some weird-ass floral pattern.

pant…pant…spikes starting to heat up, must stop now before I torch my monitor….

[quote]gojira wrote:

This is why I have to alter all my athletic bras. Traditional bras are manufactured for women with no traps and tiny shoulders. So if the band fits my torso without riding up, it is WAAAYYYY to tight for my shoulders and arms. So I put in a 2" addition to each straps in the back and triple stitch it (actually, my husband does this for me as he used to own a leather shop and sews quit well). I really don’t care how it looks, I just want it to be comfortable and not bind.

Unfortunately, until the athletic apparel companies realize that there are women like us out there, we will have to adjust our own clothing. Everything is designed for the runner/yoga/pink dumbbell lifting female.

After my last order, NIKE sent me a customer service survey to fill out and I was polite, but honest. I told them that I would likely buy more from them if they offered clothing for the athletically built/developed female. Their shorts are too tight in the legs and too big in the waist or the hips (if low rise).

Tops…forget it, I buy from the men’s department, if at all. I usually wind up cutting the sleeves out of everything.

AND CAN WE STOP WITH THE PINK ALREADY!!! I hate pink, but everything is offered in pastels or some weird-ass floral pattern.

pant…pant…spikes starting to heat up, must stop now before I torch my monitor….

[/quote]

I like pink.

c.

[quote]gojira wrote:

AND CAN WE STOP WITH THE PINK ALREADY!!! I hate pink, but everything is offered in pastels or some weird-ass floral pattern.
[/quote]

I second the motion, everything is pastels or light grey. Do they not see how BAD sweat looks in certain areas against light grey???
Yes, I get sweaty butt, I did not pee myself.
db

[quote]gojira wrote:
AND CAN WE STOP WITH THE PINK ALREADY!!! I hate pink, but everything is offered in pastels or some weird-ass floral pattern.

c. wrote:
I like pink.[/quote]

Me too, mostly because surprisingly I look good in it :slight_smile:

Blah, pink sucks the testosterone right out of my workout. :wink:

Speaking of pink and shopping for baby clothes (which we weren’t, but who cares) why the hell does every little girl’s outfit come in shades of pink, pink, and more pink? I’m going to be the mommy who keeps having to tell people that her little “boy” in the fire truck t-shirt is actually a girl.

Back on topic… I almost always wear racerback style bras so I don’t have the strap issue. Have you looked into different strap styles? Some bras are very convertible.

[quote]Stand Up wrote:

Here’s the question:

Is it possible or likely, that wearing a tight bra shoulder strap after working the traps and deltoid muscles could hinder repair and/or damage those muscles?

Any thoughts or experience with this?[/quote]

No experiences, but you can try wearing a strapless bra or no bra after working out, to see if you feel better.

In any case, you just have to try different brands or styles to see which bras are the most comfortable.

Try this website. It helps you find the brand and fit of the bra that is best for you:

http://www.zafu.com/zafu/shape.do?method=CHECK_BROWSER&toolId=3

As for sports bras, I’ve found the Champion underwire ones are the most comfortable for lifting. Their website also has a calculator to find the one that’s best for you:

http://www.championcatalog.com/webapp/commerce/command/ExecMacro/product/product.d2w/report?style=CH161&V=

But if I’m doing a lot of running or sprinting, I need to wear something with a lot more support, I’m a D cup, and I don’t want to put my eye out, so I wear one of these:

I also play bass guitar. It’s a heavy instrument, and kills your shoulder if you don’t have the right strap. So yeah. Straps and support make all the difference for women in both sports and music.

[quote]gojira wrote:

After my last order, NIKE sent me a customer service survey to fill out and I was polite, but honest. I told them that I would likely buy more from them if they offered clothing for the athletically built/developed female. Their shorts are too tight in the legs and too big in the waist or the hips (if low rise). [/quote]

Try Adidas. Their woman’s pants and shorts are cut fuller in the leg. And they have tops to XXL with sleeves that don’t feel like blood pressure cuffs.

No need to get your spikes in an uproar.

All my workout clothes are white for tops and basic black for pants. Maybe a bit boring, but I make it look good. Anyway, the sweat stains aren’t as obvious on both top and bottom, even if you do pee your pants a little bit on those heavy deads. Not that that’s happened to me or anything.

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:
Stand Up wrote:

Here’s the question:

Is it possible or likely, that wearing a tight bra shoulder strap after working the traps and deltoid muscles could hinder repair and/or damage those muscles?

Any thoughts or experience with this?

No experiences, but you can try wearing a strapless bra or no bra after working out, to see if you feel better.

Thanks, Yo Momma. I’ve started the no bra for the day or so after lifting. I was thinking a strapless, too, for the summer when it’s too hot to wear a vest to deal w/ the obvious bralessness on a 50 something woman.

I’ve convinced myself there is a physiological reason that the strap could decrease blood flow to an area that needs post-lifting repair and cause some of the issues I’m experiencing. Now to try the braless approach for a few months to see if it improves.

I’ll check out the links, thanks.

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:
even if you do pee your pants a little bit on those heavy deads. Not that that’s happened to me or anything.
[/quote]
ROFLMAO
db

My bras are all pretty uncomfortable, too- in general, but specifically after lifting. I’ve taken to buying pretty much all convertible bras and wearing them with the straps crossed in the back. I started doing it just for tank tops so the straps didn’t stick out, and found that it’s actually a much more comfortable way to wear them in general.