Strapping the Girls Down

I was, let’s say…well-endowed before I had a baby (see “Your Breasts Look Like Grapefruits“). But man, oh, man, my post-baby body is nuts. In the first few weeks after giving birth, I barely recognized myself in the mirror.

Don’t think I’m bragging, though. I would trade for Bs in a moment.

Since I don’t think the boob fairy will be gracing me with a downgrade anytime soon, I thought I’d share the ways that I strap the girls down when I work out — the only way that I can tolerate things like Plyometrics, Dance Trance and running. Ouch.

(I’m not paid to give any of these reviews, although Under Armour did send me its bra as a freebie. You get to take advantage of their kindness with a giveaway. Details at the end of the post.)

1. Two Sports Bras

This has historically been my go-to trick. I particularly like the Champion racerback sports bras from target, running about $15 each. I’d layer them on top of each other, which locked them down (but also gave me a very weird uniboob pancakey look). I used this approach for all three of my half marathons, triathlons and more. The biggest issue is that in order to have two clean bras at all times, I had to have a big stash of them. And because of that, I could never really wear them under “normal” clothes, so if I planned on working out after work, I had to wear a regular bra and change at the gym.

2. Moving Comfort (Fiona and Juno)

Today, this is absolutely, above and beyond, my strategy for pain-free workouts. When I was pregnant, I finally broke down and bought the Juno. I went to my local running store got professionally fitted and then forked over the money for the bra. I shuddered at the amount (even though my two-bra system cost me almost as much) but after just a few days of wearing my Juno, I was in love. It somehow sealed in my boobs without squishing them down or together. It is extremely difficult to get on, because you really have to loosen up everything (it has a bra-style back clasp and front-velco straps). But that’s also the reason it’s so great. You can totally customize the fit and tighten up as much as you need.

The bonus of the Juno is that because the straps velcro in the front, it’s very nursing friendly. But it’s also racerback-style, so I found myself really working hard to get the cups down for nursing.

Enter: Fiona. My love. My BFF. The bra I wear almost every day. Just like the Juno, it’s secure (not AS tight, but I actually find it to be more comfortable) with the same back clasp and front-velcro straps. But the straps are more like a typical bra, making it much easier to get the cups down for nursing (or pumping). I bought a pink Fiona on Amazon and am giving serious thought to buying a few more. It has pretty much replaced my other bras. (Although I just found the Grace model on their website — has anyone tried this???)

3. Under Armour’s Armour Bra

Under Armour contacted me a few months ago asking if I’d be interested in trying out their “Armour” sports bra. They were looking for feedback and needed someone in my size (they actually needed someone in a size smaller than I currently am, but I tend to go small in sports bras for a little extra compression). I said yes, but warned them that I couldn’t promise to post about it, share any information or suggest it to my readers. They were cool.

image source: Under Armour

image source: Under Armour

So I wore it for my very first post-baby run, with doubts in my mind. The doubts were erased in less than a quarter mile. Like most sports bras, this one has a racerback, but is designed to be extremely comfortable. The straps are extra wide (which I think the Fiona could benefit from) and it was the easiest to put on of all the bras I’d ever tried. Usually, that means that I won’t get the support I need, but this really did keep the girls where they needed to be.

That’s the only sports bra I tried of theirs but they have a full list of options here.

There you have it. Three strategies for taking the pain out of working out when you have…grapefruits.

Want to win an Under Armour bra of your own? Leave a comment below (just one entry per email address) telling me a secret trick you have to making fitness more fun, more comfortable or something else that keeps you motivated.

I’ll pick one winner (U.S. only — sorry, friends) tor receive an Armour bra, the same one I posted about. You’ll get to pick the size (A, B, C, D, or DD ; 32, 34, 36, or 38). The giveaway ends a week from today — Friday January 18th at 5 p.m. So get your comment in!

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  1. says

    I don’t know that it’s a great secret, but the best thing I can do to ensure my comfort during a workout is having the right shoes. I’m one of the rare people who supinate when they walk or run and I’ve found that the wrong shoes kill me. I’ve got a decent pair at the moment, but I’m hoping to save up for some Newtons. Excited.

  2. says

    I’ve started wearing the Moving Comfort Juno bra. It holds my C/D’s down but the back close is VERY hard to do. I can usually get at least 2 of the 3 hooks done though. I tried their Vixen bra, too, but that one doesn’t give as much support and for some reason chaffed really bad under the girls.

  3. Jenny says

    I’ve never tried the 2 bra trick but I have left a step class b/c I didn’t have enough support in my bra. Ouch! I’m a group fitness junkie and keep things interesting by taking tons of different classes. Zumba, Hip Hop, Kickboxing. Body Pump, Yoga…variety is the key!

  4. Jamie says

    As a 36DD pre pregnancy, I also use the double bra method… I haven’t been brave enough to go get fitted now that I’m nursing, I’m scared haha.

  5. says

    I used to do the “double bag” system too, especially when my bras started to wear out. But lately I’ve found the Champion maximum support bras do a solid job. They’re more expensive than the Target ones, so I picked them up at the outlet by my parents house to save a few bucks.

  6. says

    Funny, I have been talking about boobs a lot lately. I am MUCH MUCH smaller when I’m not pregnancy/nursing — but when those things blow up, they blow up — so I feel ya!

    I currently do the 2-layer bra approach (same bras, I do love them!) but judging from how big I am now, I’m going to have to get something more sturdy when I have this baby. If the girls aren’t happy – NOTHING is happy. Maybe that should be my new mantra for 2013?

  7. Heather says

    I totally understand your bra problems. I am a big fan of the Fiona bra. A woman who saw me wearing too suggested it years ago and it changed my life. (A bit cheesy, I know, but it is the truth.)The Under Armor bra looks interesting.

    My other secret to making fitness more fun is having good shoes. Spending some $ on good running shoes changed my life.

  8. Holly says

    I’m dealing with post-baby endowment as well. I really need this bra! So far I’ve just been doubling up but I really just need to sack up and get a properly fitting bra. (Or I could just win this one)

  9. says

    Gosh, I can’t wait to have my small boobs back! Thank goodness they are much smaller than when I first gave birth… + those first few months. I haven’t tried the Under Armor bra, but have the Fiona and an ENELL that I use for high impact activities. I’ve just recently been able to start wearing my stretchy champion bras again – but I still need to decrease in size a little.

    Okay, I better answer your questions so this comment actually counts for the giveaway. To stay motivated I just think about my goals and how it’s easier to stay in shape than to have to get in shape. I think about my family and how I want to always set a good example.

  10. Sweta says

    I’m also well endowed despite never having been pregnant. I double bra as well and if I’m running on a treadmill at the gym I always try to get a machine with a tv. Watching tv makes the workout go by so much quicker. I also cover up the treadmill screen with a towel because I don’t like to see all those numbers.

  11. MB says

    I’ve definitely done the two sports bra trick too…with bras from Target as well! Gets the job done, but you’re right, it is kind of annoying.

  12. Amanda says

    To stay motivated I always have races on the horizon or some sort of goal I want to get too! I also always need good music!

  13. Natalie says

    I will often bring my dog along with me on runs to make them more fun. She loves to run and she helps prevent me from getting bored while I’m pounding the pavement!

  14. says

    some great new bras for me to look into! i like the fiona, but sometimes it doesn’t seem to fit quite right. in terms of keeping fitness fun- have workout clothes that fit well and are comfortable. it makes you automatically feel better than wearing ratty old clothes that are too big 😉

  15. says

    My tips to a great comfy fun workout? Make sure I’m dressed properly and have good music. I have sensitive skin, so nothing that will rub, chafe or blister, and that goes for any garment, including socks and shoes. I used to do the 2 sports bras to lock and load until I found Moving Comfort and I’ve never looked back!

  16. says

    I make fitness more fun by going to CrossFit! Seriously, it is so much more fun than any other workout – it’s like a game every day (albeit a VERY intense game!)

  17. says

    I get the most uninhibited dancing, jumping, running in when “they” are securely held in place. But the trouble is how to peel that skin tight sports bra over your head without pulling out a shoulder too! So I like the idea of the Juno’s clasps. The more expensive bras fit the best, unfortunately. I’ve bought lots of cheap, ill-fitting bras that didn’t look good and it distracted me from my workout! lol Yes, looking good is feeling good, even if it’s hidden under your shirt!

  18. Beverly Aragon says

    I’m one of those “double-up the sports bra” girls, so I’m very intrigued by these options! As for fitness motivation, I keep my music playlists updated with fresh, new tunes and new workout gear seems to help when I’m feeling in a funk. :)

  19. Michelle says

    My go to bra is the Moving Comfort Maia. I’ve never tried an Under Armour bra but being a home grown Baltimore gal, I certainly have a lot of their other stuff and LOVE it!

  20. Carrie L. says

    I’ve found that finding apps that either set up training for me or entering a “challenge” really helps keep me motivated. I’m a bit competative so these are great for me!

  21. Sarah says

    I used to do the double up system with sports bras until I had my breast reduction surgery, and now I finally found a comfortable Champion sports bra at Target that keeps me in check :)

  22. says

    I, like you, have to do the two-bra method for running! Or I just put on a sportsbra and make sure I have on a tank top on over it with one built in, that works too. :-)

  23. says

    I’m firmly committed to the two bra system…(and usually a tank with a built in bra on top of that!) mostly because I can’t fathom a sports bra that would actually keep things in check. (Hello 32DD boobs BEFORE nursing. They are now officially out of control). I’d love to try something that actually might work!

  24. Kristin says

    Well I dont have to worry about strapping down thats for sure (A! Ugh) but I make my workout more fun by good music and working out with my bf my support.

  25. says

    I have never worn two bras, even when I might have had reason too! I am motivated by endorphins. My morning workout is just as essential as my post-workout coffee.

  26. says

    I finally broke down and bought a few Moving Comfort bras last year when I really started to run a lot more, but they’re not doing as awesome of a job anymore and I’ve been wanting to try out some other styles or brands.

  27. says

    When I am not feeling motivated to get to the gym, I like to remember how great I feel when I am done with a workout. I also like to think of working out as the best stress reliever for me after a long day (mostly spent sitting) at work.

  28. says

    My motivation is silly but I Love to buy cute socks because while everybody else has neon shoes I have plain white but knowing I’ve got the neon on underneath makes me quite happy

  29. says

    I have premature baby girls. They’re so small they almost don’t require a bra, however if I am wearing a bra, the UA are very nice! Believe or not I like their padded bras, after nursing three children my nip, well, you know the padding is nice.

  30. Sinead says

    I’m training for the NYC Half right now, and to make the long runs more interesting I switch up the route each week. Nothing groundbreaking but definitely helps keep it more fun!

  31. says

    With my DD’s (and who knows what they are now during pregnancy), I’ve always been loyal to the Fiona bra! I must have ten of them at this point, and they carry me through my marathons as well. Love them! Would love to try the Under Armour to see how it compares. Now I wish I had tricks to keep me motivated, lately I need tips myself :(

  32. Amanda H. says

    I’ve been a lot more motivated lately since I have 3 close girlfriends who take the same Barre and Boot Camp classes. We also spot new Groupons out there for fun new workout experiences! We schedule our classes together and egg each other one. :-)

  33. Jennifer V. says

    I absolutely love the Juno! I Sometimes I will even put a target champion bra over it, for just that extra little bit of support :)

    Great Post!

  34. says

    I don’t have a secret trick per se. I switch up my playlist and I listen to running podcasts on long run days. Hearing the inspirational stories of marathoners reminds me that I lucky to be able bodied and I can push through the miles.

  35. Andrea says

    The best thing I ever did was get fitted for running shoes. I didn’t realize how much my old shoes were contributing to my discomfort. The first day I ran with the right shoes, I was surprised to complete my run without shin splints or foot pain. :)

  36. Erin says

    It helps me to have comfy and cute workout clothes. I try to buy items on sale so I dont spend a ton but it helps me to get motivated when I have a fun running top instead of an old grubby tshirt.

  37. Meg says

    My secret trick isn’t that great of a trick, but I make fitness more tolerable by doing it first thing in the morning. My bad is already packed, so I don’t even have to totally wake up, I can just walk to the gym in a zombie state, get on a machine or spin bike, and go on auto pilot until my time is up. By the time I’m showered, I feel fully awake and am so glad to have taken care of it. If I wait until after work, I’m dreading it all day.

  38. says

    People! I take classes where I know there will be fun, motivated women or I find a time at the gym when there will be good people watching or maybe someone fun to flirt with 😉 Regardless of how we think we look, sweaty in workout garb, we’re working what our mamas gave us and the harder I know I work out, the stronger and sexier I feel. Even in my 30 year old body!

  39. says

    I always have a fun playlist to keep me going during a workout – and having the right workout clothes definitely helps me feel comfortable and excited to get after it!

  40. Victoria says

    My secret is to create theme playlists! Right now I’m running to New Orleans jazz and brass bands to prepare for Rock n Roll New Orleans – I’m doing the half! :)

  41. Leah F. says

    Well since I am on the “B” team-I’ve never tried the 2 bra trick. But I have several friends that do. My trick is to wear awesome colored clothes & socks when I work out. My goal is to look as much like Punky Brewster as possible. It helps so I don’t take my self too seriously and I want to enjoy running/working out.

  42. says

    I’ve had a Kindle for about three weeks, and it’s already transformed the way I feel about cardio. Due to injuries, I’ve been confined to the elliptical (which bores me to tears after years of treadmill), and I suddenly find myself *wanting* to get on it, because I know it will be 30 captive minutes where I will be able to just read, with no other distractions (besides, you know, all the sweat dripping down my face). I’ve learned to toggle resistance and incline to not only help tone my quads, but also to get through nearly 70% of Anna Karenina, entirely at the gym.

  43. says

    hey you! revisiting this post because i bought a couple of these on that zulily sale a few months back but now i’m actually using them. i tried out the moving comfort jubralee and the maia. the jubralee actually runs a wee bit small on the band, so i haven’t worn it as much, but the maia is GLORIOUS. so comfortable, like getting a nice hug from your bra, and the girls hold still, too. so if you’re thinking of trying out other styles at any point…

    • says

      Ooh, great feedback! I need to buy a couple of new bras because my beloved Joy model is finally giving out after about a million washes. The Maia is going on my short list.

  44. says

    Sticking to one kind of sports bra might be troublesome when you have different activities, I guess the double bra trick won’t work when you want to move around (side to side) like rowing or paddling. I haven’t tried the under armour but it looks good and it might good for many kind of activities.

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