If you’re a woman that’s recently started to lift, CrossFit, body build or generally move heavy weights around for pleasure you may have noticed that your bra shoulder straps seem to be getting tighter and/or sliding straight off your shoulder.

It’s OK, the bras aren’t shrinking – instead, your trapezius muscles are growing and rendering your regular sized bra straps useless. And it can be really painful.

You may find that after a couple of hours of wear you start to get a really bad headache as the tension bears down on your shoulders and you have to change back into a comfy sports racer back bra.

So what’s going on here and what can we do?

Well, the first bit is easy. Bra makers like to save money where they can, so they manufacture the shortest straps they think they can get away with  – but even  with long enough straps, there’s a sporting chance that they will slide straight off your sculpted killer trap shoulders anyway.

Luckily, this man does not need a bra.

There’s a couple of things that can be done to sort this out.

Firstly, if you are lucky enough to have the extra length straps, then simply invest in some confusingly named ‘strap traps’, (at Amazon or Ebay) and convert to a racer back, like so:

Bingo. Straying sliding straps tamed.

Otherwise your only option is to add some extra length in. Here are three Agent Provocateurs (who for some reason make their bras with really short straps) that have had their straps extended, which means they can be worn instead of going in the bin.

So, for those of you that can, I’d recommend adding in your extra length at the back of the bra, you’ll need one or a pair of matching ‘O’ rings, some matching elastic and a microtex needle. (You can buy all these things from Amazon) Join the two shoulder straps to one O ring in the centre back and then add two extenders  back down to the bra band. Easy, racer back extension. With two O rings, simply extend each strap separately and use a strap trap.


Hope this helps clear the mystery of the tightening straps.

In the meantime Stay Strong!

First published on Lux Tenebrae blog.

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