In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to start this review mentioning that I am wary of Shock Absorber bras. After an unfortunate moment during an outdoor run when not one, but both of the shoulder straps came unhooked at the back leading me to have to make a (fairly slow) run back home halfway through my workout they’ve been off my preferred exercise wear list. But, they’ve just brought out a new one – the Shock Absorber Ultimate Gym Bra, it appeared in my letterbox the other day and so I figured I’d be churlish not to give it a go.
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As well as their superior anti-bounce design, the USP of the Shock Absorber Ultimate Gym Bra is a little hook just on the left hand side – this is allows to you to hook your headphone wire safely out of the way of things it can catch on.
It’s a nice idea – right now (for reasons that will be explained in a few days) my exercise consists of a lot of heavy weights lifted fairly quickly in succession and that’s not a situation where you want your headphones catching round stuff. In reality, it works but it’s a little bit of a gimmick – you could create the same result by popping the wire down the bra.
Oh, and anyone else wondering where the iPod is in the picture above, and more importantly how the heck you switch tunes while moving if you wear it like that? Still top marks for innovation.
Now let’s look at what happens when you exercise. During cardio this bra is great – it keeps everything where it should, even though it’s tight it doesn’t constrict your breathing and, for a sports bra it’s pretty flattering. It does however still have those hooks at the back that have the potential for coming unclipped – my advice, ensure these bits are fully fastened before you set out.
However, doing weights in the bra is a different story. It pinches, really, really badly.
As if lifting 30kg above my head on the shoulder press wasn’t painful enough having your bra dig in at the sides adds a new frisson to the ‘no pain, no gain’ mantra.
Another one of my current workout moves involves me lying on the floor on my back, lifting my upper body and moving side to side to work my abs.
Unfortunately, this means you’re resting exactly where the main back clip is and again, this really hurts.
So, should you buy the Ultimate Gym Bra? In my opinion, yes, if you’re doing cardio, it costs £35 and you’ll find here on amazon if you want to buy it online But, if you’re doing a lot of upper body weights I’d say skip it as it does impair your form.
You might also want to check out my review of the new Lululemon Enlite bra which I really did like.
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.