Monthly Archives: June 2016

First Time Fit Top Five

Do you remember your first bra fitting? For most of us it was an awkward, embarrassing 10 minutes of our life in front of a total stranger. For others our first bra might have arrived wrapped in a plastic bag and been sat subtly on the end of our bed!

They call it puberty blues for a reason!

But it doesn’t have to be that awkward.

A sports bra is a great option for a first bra for developing girls and often it’s during their sporting or school physical education activities that students first start to feel like they need a bra.

Getting fitted for a sports bra rather than for an everyday bra can help eliminate some of the angst from a situation. This is because you’re purchasing a technical sports product for a noticeable need that will make them focus on feeling more comfortable rather than being focussed on being uncomfortable in some new clothing contraption!

But here are our Top Five Reasons a Sports Bra is a great first time fitting option:

  1. Comfort: They are more likely to be a crop/compression style of product. This can, in some cases, assist not only to support but to minimise the appearance of breasts and provide coverage that feels similar to a bathing suit.


  1. Adjustable: There is some great product on the market which will include the straps being adjustable at the front which can allow for breast tissue growth, while still being as supportive as possible.


  1. Wire Free: There are often very supportive options that do not have underwire. Underwire is in Sports Bras and everyday bras simply to enhance shape – and there is nothing wrong with wearing it. But for first time bra wearers they can often take some getting used to. Starting in a bra without an underwire can be a great first step.


  1. Adaptable: They fit with a student’s lifestyle. Often around the age of a first bra young people are sitting at their desk one minute and running around the next. Sports Bras can be comfortable enough to wear all day, whilst providing support when it’s demanded.


  1. Fashion: They come in a great range of colours, and let’s face it, that matters!


Most importantly a well-fitting and comfortable bra – whether everyday or Sports – can have a big impact on confidence. Starting out with the right fit and right knowledge can change what can be an awkward experience into an empowering one.


Bra Banding Might Fix Your Chafing Woes

It’s all about the banding when it comes to Sports Bras – but even more so for Sports Bras for distance runners.

Almost every runner has experience dreaded chafing somewhere at some point – ooh and the nasty sting in the shower post run!

But avoiding chafing is usually down to a few simple steps.

  1. Make sure your Sports Bra banding is firm.

You don’t want your bra to be rib-crushingly-too-tight-to-breath firm but you do want it firm enough that the band cannot move.

Having a firm band around the rib cage is the number one rule for getting a Sports Bra or any bra fit right. If the band is firm the majority of support will come from the band and it will apply less pressure to the straps on the shoulders. The bra will be more comfortable and more effective at holding breast tissue in place.

If the band is too loose you immediately lose support for breast tissue, place greater pressure on the straps AND increase your risk of chafing – because the band will move around the rib cage. This is especially true of distance runners as they deplete fluids and grams to kilograms of physical weight as they run.

  1. Make sure the Cup is snug.

For all the same reasons as above – if there is any room in the cup you lose support and invite chafing. You want it tight – compressive – but not so much that breast tissue is spilling out the top or that you feel crushed.

  1. Make sure the bra doesn’t sit too high.

As Sports Bras are often ‘’crop’’ style another common chafe point is if the bra sits too high and digs into the tissue above the breasts and slightly in from the arm pits. This is a potential friction point due to arm movement during running. As runners seek higher coverage from a Sports Bra to close vertical escape routes for breast tissue – which we love – sometimes they can sit too high and cause issues.

  1. Wear a breathable, moisture/sweat wicking material.

It might sound simple but the wrong fabric close to the skin can increase the risk of chafing. Cotton based materials for example will become saturated with sweat and lose most of their breathability.

  1. Arm yourself with an anti-chafe product

Sometimes everything you try will not be good enough. Be sure you are well hydrated and arm yourself with an anti-chafe product like Body Glide. It needs to be something that is water based and NOT petroleum based. And if you already have chafing protect it from getting worse with a film dressing.


There are some schools of thought that you shouldn’t wear underwire for distance running. In fact this is an entirely individual decision. If a wire is sitting well in the right place and on the right person some runners will find they prefer this as it will assist to encapsulate the breast tissue reducing sweat pooling between the breasts. Others will find the wire will not sit correctly on their sternum and this can cause irritation as they progress into their run and deplete in fluids. Unfortunately, as our bodies have so many variables, this is one thing that can only be determined when tested on the track.

Getting your Sports Bra professionally fitted can help to ensure you’ve ticked as many of the right boxes as you can before you head out to hit the pavement.


Regaining Core Strength After Pregnancy


By Libby Nuttall, Personal Trainer and She Science Ambassador

So you’ve had your baby, congratulations! Now it’s time to smash a few ab workouts and flatten that mummy tummy, right?! Wrong. On so many levels, wrong.

Pregnancy puts huge strain on your core and pelvic floor and now is the time for rehabilitation, not waist training, ab workouts, or thrashing our bodies at the gym.

Let’s talk a little bit about the core, because there’s lots of misconceptions. Picture a cylinder. The core is like a cylinder, with the diaphragm at the top, pelvic floor at the bottom, the muscles surrounding your spine known as the multifudus, and your deep abdominal muscles, known as your transverse abdominis. Your glutes are a really important piece of the puzzle as well.

What’s not so important right now are your outer abdominals, you know, your six pack muscles. Unlike your transverse abdominis, they have little impact on your general health or strength. So forget about crunches for a while.

So why does pregnancy put pressure on this region? Well imagine a hammock. Now imagine bouncing a bowling ball on the hammock. That’s what pregnancy is like for your pelvic floor. The extra weight and size puts pressure on all of the internal organs, changing the centre of gravity and the muscles we use to walk, stand and move. The stretching of all these muscles during pregnancy leaves them weakened and at risk of injury.

After childbirth is a crucial time for rehabilitation, and looking after your body in this phase will stand you in good stead for future pregnancies and general health and wellbeing, including minimising aches and pains, preventing pelvic organ prolapse or hernia and healing diastisis recti.

Diastisis Recti

The first thing we should identify is whether we have experienced abdominal separation, and how severe it is. Many women experience diastisis recti, so it’s nothing you should worry about and shouldn’t cause you any pain. It’s important to know which exercises to avoid, to help heal the separation or cause further damage. Undiagnosed ab separation can lead to hernia, posture issues, low back pain and incontinence issues.

lib picYou can determine whether you are affected by visiting a physiotherapist or performing this simple test on yourself (I would always recommend a physio after birth anyway!)

Once this is done, it’s time to start thinking about the best ways to regain core strength, and let me tell you right now, it ain’t situps.

In the first few of months after pregnancy we want to avoid exercises which put too much pressure on the outer abdominals such as situps, double leg raises and crunches. It’s also time to back away from the front loading exercises such as planks and push ups.

It seems like you’re not allowed to do anything, right? Don’t worry, this is a short phase in the scheme of things and there is still plenty you can do to regain core strength without those particular exercises. Trust me, your body will thank you down the track.

Here are my top tips for post partum core work. Remember to always focus on controlled, smooth movements, continuous breathing and good posture.

  1. Breathing and engaging exercises. Start your post partum workouts by learning to re-engage your pelvic floor and core. Identify whether you can, in fact, feel your core and floor being turned on and off. Deep breathing exercises are also key in the early stages. Simply lie down and allow your stomach to expand and contract as much as possible while taking deep breaths.
  1. Basic floor work. There’s several ways to activate your core simply by lying down. Before each of these, actively engage your core and continue to breathe normally.

Single leg heel slides – With knees bent and heels close to hips, slide one leg out to straight and return, swap legs

Single leg extensions – With knees bent and heels close to hips, raise one foot upwards and return, swap legs

Pelvic tilt – lying down and place feet up on a chair or fitball. Engage your core and tilt your pelvic back by pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold for five seconds then repeat 10 times.


  1. Plank variations. As we talked about above, front loading exercises are best avoided in the early days, but there are still other options for you. Reverse plank and side plank are great. Over a series of weeks and months, progress at your own pace toward regular plank by starting leaning against a wall, then lower onto a chair or fitball. Next, move on to plank on your knees, then do short bursts on your toes.libpic2
  1. Resistance bands – When you’re ready to add some resistance to your training, resistance bands are a fantastic place to start. They provide a low-impact core workout that you can work up to in the post partum phase, just make sure you’ve really mastered points one and two first. There’s dozens of exercises to do with resistance bands, from rows, to posture work and dedicated core work. The bands allow you to work at an appropriate resistance level and gently regain core strength.

By Libby Nuttall, Miracle Months 

libby nuttalLibby is a women’s personal trainer in the Macedon Ranges. When she’s not hanging with her two sons, husband and Weimaraner (a.k.a; the boys), she is running high intensity fitness classes, volunteering as the president of the local playgroup, or working on her range of pre and post natal wellness programs, Miracle Months. Libby had her second son in December 2015 and is loving sharing the journey back to fitness and strength post baby with her social media following. This year she is looking forward to competing in a number of runs and obstacle races. Follow Libby via Miracle Months facebookinstagram.