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January 31, 2017 4 min read

The other day I was at a gym doing a presentation on the importance of spinal alignment. I had some time to kill so I spent some time watching people work out.

Most notable were two young women using treadmills at either end of a bank of treadmills. Both women were wearing what had to be Victoria Secret demi-bras (ok guys you know what I'm talking about). Think Bo Derek running on the beach in "10"...I'm dating myself here.

The women were large chested and a lot of bouncing going on. Some fellows in the free weight area were furtively glancing at these women. They looked like they were watching Roger Federer at the Australian open. Right, left, right, left and so forth.  

It is possible the women were unaware of all the attention, maybe they were, but one thing is sure: This CAN NOT be good for their breast tissue or their upper backs.  

The number one complaint large breasted women all experience is upper back and shoulder pain.

Okay, they also complain that their breasts DO get in the way, especially in sports like golf.

Female athletes face real problems when they are large breasted. They must be comfortable, flexible and get the job done. Unfortunately the added weight of large breasts to their anterior torso overwork their back muscles resulting in fatigue to the muscles and less control over in their action. Throughout time it could also lead to a buffalo hump developing causing them to ask how to get rid of buffalo hump.

My good friend, a very accomplished equestrian, had such a problem. She found it almost impossible finding a bra to hold her chest snugly against her chest. And allow her to breathe! A bouncing chest at equestrian competitions is both distracting but also cause strain to the upper back, shoulders and neck. This is also known as knot between shoulder blades.

She eventually found wearing two bras, the first one positioning the breasts, the other one - complete with a zip-up-the-front - did the trick.  

This worked well but when training or competing during the summer heat, wearing two bras was not great. She complained of being so warm she was sometimes disoriented and soaked with perspiration. Then she bought a bra constructed for runners. What a difference! (A good posture corrector device can also do the trick)

The Downside of Having Large Breasts

Let's start with a brief anatomy lesson:

Breasts are mostly composed of fat with a significant amount of glandular tissue. Breasts are held together with fibrous soft tissue called Cooper's Ligaments. They are anchored to the chest wall, on top of the pectoralis (pecs) muscle.


PurePosture posture female athletes breast spine alignment

Breasts are vulnerable to abrupt and aggressive motion as required in racket sports, basketball, lacrosse, downhill skiing, ballroom dancing, equestrian sports. This rapid motion can cause the tissue to tear. Not only is this painful but it can tear chest wall muscles which tend to be slow to heal.

Women with large breasts often bring their arms close to their sides, round their shoulders and hunch the upper back.

Many large breasted women complain of dull, deep and mostly constant pain in their mid-back where the bra hooks in the back. Because of this structural imbalance, the neck is often extended in front of the body instead of directly over the body causing neck strain and sometimes headaches.

Thin bra straps can cause deep indentations on the top of the shoulders due to the weight of the breast. Over years, these indentations become permanent and leave the shoulders vulnerable to tears and shoulder dysfunction.

Shy of a Breast Reduction, What Do We Do?

PurePosture posture female athletes breast spine alignment

Whether you are a large breasted female athlete or not, you need support!

Running in a flimsy bra is like running in flip-flops. You need to stop the bounce and decrease stress on the breasts and upper back.

Thankfully today we have many great sports bras to choose from.

I am not a big fan of "racer back" type because they put too much pressure on trapezius (the traps) and can force the head forward. Instead, I prefer a wide strap 'traditional' type styling with a wide back (three or more hooks) and one with cups to cover the entire breast including the area just under the arms, in the front.

PurePosture posture female athletes breast spine alignment

Fortunately, there are many bras specifically suited for the female athlete. You want one that is breathable to wick off moisture while firmly holding the breasts close to the chest. Some are available with or without an underwire. You can find them at the most better running stores. Take the time to try on several different models.

Choosing the correct bra is one step.

The next step to to work on increasing upper back strength, specifically the latissimus dorsi (lats), the teres,and lower trapezius (traps) muscles. Additionally, I recommend strengthening the triceps muscle, at the back of the arm. The triceps is the largest of the arm muscles and quite often weak in women. The triceps assist in building up back muscles - as opposed to the biceps which assist the pecs.   

There are many excellent Youtube videos to help strengthen the muscles mentioned above.

Treatment Always Includes Fixing Posture.

It does not make sense to build muscle on a crooked frame.

It is important to maintain great posture especially if your chest is large. PurePosturecan help! It is a one-of-a-kind device to align your spine, increase flexibility and solve neck and back pain. It is easy to use, fast and safe. Most important, it is effective. Check it out today!

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