The garments definitely help with postural support as they encourage optimal horizontal extension and retraction of the Scapulae, (upper central key points) giving a Scapulothoracic neutral posture. The value in this for function is to lessen kyphotic stress in the primary curvature which physiologically eases counter-stress in the secondary curvature of the segments. The wearer should therefore be aware of less effort and mechanical stress particularly with prolonged standing or sitting and may, indeed, notice improved ergonomics with upper limb activity.Kevin Lidlow Physiotherapist, GB Olympic Team
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The 'man-girdle' is coming
Belt-tightening is about to take on a whole new meaning.
An Australian undergarment manufacturer has developed a body-shaping undershirt that promises to do for men what Wonderbra did for women.
The so-called Core Precision Undershirt by Equmen, which launched in North America last week, promises to "sculpt, tone and improve body mechanics."
"They fit like a second skin, delivering the ultimate fusion of fashion and function," the company's website boasts. Holt Renfrew is the first Canadian retailer to carry the line and expects to have stock available for sale later this month.
"It's an opportunity for men to look as good as we do," quipped Holt Renfrew menswear sales associate Jacqueline Mills from the high-fashion retailer's Bloor St. store yesterday.
And if the buzz around the new "man-girdle" is any gauge, men are just as anxious to strut their stuff in form-fitting clothing as women.
"We've received more than a dozen calls in the last three days from customers asking us when it's going to arrive," said David Labrecque, divisional manager for Holt's menswear department.
"It's done very well in Europe and that's why we picked it up," he said.
Labrecque, who describes his physique as "average for a 47-year-old," gave the undershirt a test drive earlier this spring and said it improved his posture - and his profile.
"People who saw me wearing it definitely said there was a noticeable difference," he said.
The design, which uses the criss-cross techniques of physiotherapy taping to lift and separate the shoulders, supports and compresses the torso.
"It takes a little bit of getting used to because it is fairly tight-fitting," Labrecque acknowledged.
But he said the garment's body-slimming features shaved inches off his 5-foot 9-inch, 180-pound frame.
"Combine that with better posture and you definitely look better," he said.
The high performance undershirts will sell for between $90 and $98.
Body firming briefs by the same manufacturer will sell for between $50 and $65.