Title:
Breast restraint for athletic activity
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A restraint that reduces breast movement while a person exercises or performs some other activity, as well as a method of using the restraint. The restraint includes a strap that fits across the tops of the person's breasts, under the person's arms, and around the person's back, and also includes an adjustable fastener for fastening the strap together. At least part of the strap is sufficiently elastic so as to ensure a close fit, but is also sufficiently inelastic so that the restraint avoids contributing to movement of the breasts during exercising or other activities. The strap preferably is at least one inch wide at a portion that fits across the tops of the breasts. The strap can be all of a uniform width, or the strap can be shaped so as to be wider at the portion that fits across the tops of the breasts. Other arrangements are possible. Preferably, the strap is all of a single elastic material and the fastener is a velcro fastener. The restraint can be adapted to be worn in addition to a bra. Alternatively, the strap of the restraint can be incorporated into a bra such as a sports bra.



Inventors:
Noel, Natalie Rose (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Butzer, Dane (Columbus, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/090889
Publication Date:
09/04/2003
Filing Date:
03/04/2002
Assignee:
NOEL NATALIE ROSE
BUTZER DANE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41C3/00; (IPC1-7): A41C3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080125011Uplift BraMay, 2008Gleeson
20080261491BRA WINGS USING ELASTIC SPACER FABRICOctober, 2008Scheininger et al.
20080139085Hollow bra cupJune, 2008Wu
20080194179TWO IN ONE LADIES' FASHION WITH BRASSIERESAugust, 2008Leung
20090004950FABRIC BREAST SUPPORT WORN IN SHOWER TO SUPPORT AND PROTECT BREASTS AND PROTECT BREASTS AND RELIEVE BREAST AND NIPPLE PAIN ASSOCIATED WITH PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH AND NURSINGJanuary, 2009Sgro
20080287036Gas permeable athletic breast restraintNovember, 2008Mcguire
20070123148Adjustable garment systemMay, 2007Heer
20060281391Adjustable undergarmentDecember, 2006Martz
20090036022Privacy nursing bra and blanketFebruary, 2009Tolliver
20050037689Nipple coverFebruary, 2005Gorski et al.
20050075047Sport braApril, 2005Zagame



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dane C. Butzer (Columbus, OH, US)
Claims:

What is claims is:



1. A restraint that reduces breast movement while a person exercises or performs some other activity, comprising: a strap that fits across tops of the person's breasts, under the person's arms, and around the person's back; and an adjustable fastener for fastening the strap together; wherein at least part of the strap is sufficiently elastic so as to ensure a close fit, but is also sufficiently inelastic so that the restaint avoids contributing to movement of the breasts during exercising or other activities.

2. A restraint as in claim 1, wherein the strap is at least one inch wide at a portion that fits across the tops of the breasts.

3. A restraint as in claim 2, wherein the strap is all of a uniform width.

4. A restraint as in claim 2, wherein the strap is shaped so as to be wider at the portion that fits across the tops of the breasts.

5. A restraint as in claim 1, wherein the strap is all of a single elastic material.

6. A restraint as in claim 1, wherein the fastener is a velcro fastener.

7. A restraint as in claim 1, wherein the restraint is adapted to be worn in addition to a bra.

8. A restraint as in claim 1, wherein the strap is incorporated into a bra.

9. A restraint as in claim 8, wherein the bra is a sports bra.

10. A method that reduces breast movement while a person exercises or performs some other activity, comprising: fitting a strap across tops of the person's breasts, under the person's arms, and around the person's back; and fastening the strap together with an adjustable fastener; wherein at least part of the strap is sufficiently elastic so as to ensure a close fit, but is also sufficiently inelastic so that the restaint avoids contributing to movement of the breasts during exercising or other activities.

11. A method as in claim 10, wherein the strap is at least one inch wide at a portion that fits across the tops of the breasts.

12. A method as in claim 11, wherein the strap is all of a uniform width.

13. A method as in claim 11, wherein the strap is shaped so as to be wider at the portion that fits across the tops of the breasts.

14. A method as in claim 10, wherein the strap is all of a single elastic material.

15. A method as in claim 10, wherein the fastener is a velcro fastener.

16. A method as in claim 10, further comprising wearing a bra.

17. A method as in claim 10, wherein the strap is incorporated into a bra.

18. A method as in claim 17, wherein the bra is a sports bra.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to a restraint and method for reducing discomfort experienced by female athletes. In particular, the invention relates to a restraint and method for reducing breast movement while exercising or performing other activities.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Women often experience discomfort while exercising due to excessive breast movement, for example while running. This discomfort is particularly pronounced for women with larger breasts. In addition, excessive breast movement can actually break down breast tissue over long periods of regular exercise or other physical activity. These matters are of serious concern to both amateur and professional female athletes.

[0005] Manufacturers of sports apparel have attempted to address this problem with sports bras. Such a sports bra is shown in FIG. 5. However, these bras have proven to provide less than adequate relief.

[0006] If the bras are of a suitably stiff material to reduce unwanted breast movement, they tend to be uncomfortable. Manufacturers have attempted to address this problem by making sports bras out of an elastic material such as Lycra®. However, for some women, especially women with larger breasts, this elasticity can actually add to unwanted breast movement. For other women, elastic sports bras simply do not provide adequate relief unless they are so elastic as to be uncomfortable. Even with such strong elastics, adequate relief may not be realized.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Accordingly, what is needed is a restraint that that reduces breast movement while a person exercises or performs other activities. The invention addresses this need through a restraint including a strap that fits across the tops of the person's breasts, under the person's arms, and around the person's back, and that also includes an adjustable fastener for fastening the strap together. At least part of the strap is sufficiently elastic so as to ensure a close fit, but is also sufficiently inelastic so that the restaint avoids contributing to movement of the breasts during exercising or other activities.

[0008] It has been found that having a sufficiently close fitting strap across the tops of the person's breasts provides great relief from excessive breast movement. In addition, because the strap is sufficiently inelastic, the invention does not exacerbate the problem of excessive breast movement. This is in contrast to conventional overly-elastic sports bras.

[0009] According to the invention, the strap preferably is at least one inch wide at a portion that fits across the tops of the breasts. The strap can be all of a uniform width, or the strap can be shaped so as to be wider at the portion that fits across the tops of the breasts, thereby increasing comfort. Other arrangements are possible.

[0010] Preferably, the strap is all of a single elastic material and the fastener is a velcro fastener. The restraint can be adapted to be worn in addition to a bra. Alternatively, the strap of the restraint can be incorporated into a bra such as a sports bra.

[0011] This brief summary has been provided so that the nature of the invention may be understood quickly. A more complete understanding of the invention may be obtained by reference to the following description of the preferred embodiments thereof in connection with the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 shows the invention in use with a sports bra.

[0013] FIG. 2 shows a first preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0014] FIG. 3 shows a second preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0015] FIG. 4 shows the invention incorporated into a bra.

[0016] FIG. 5 shows a prior-art sports bra.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0017] FIG. 1 shows the invention in use with a sports bra.

[0018] Briefly, excessive breast movement is reduced while a female or other person exercises or performs some other activity. This reduction in movement is achieved through use of a restraint that includes a strap that fits across the tops of the person's breasts, under the person's arms, and around the person's back, and that also includes an adjustable fastener for fastening the strap together. At least part of the strap is sufficiently elastic so as to ensure a close fit, but is also sufficiently inelastic so that the restaint avoids contributing to movement of the breasts during exercising or other activities.

[0019] Thus, FIG. 1 shows female 1 wearing sports bra 2 and restraint 3. Restraint 3 includes strap 4 that fits across the tops of breasts 5, under arms 6, and around the female's back 7. At least part of strap 4 is sufficiently elastic so as to ensure a close fit, but is also sufficiently inelastic so that the restaint avoids contributing to movement of the breasts during exercising or other activities. Note that in a preferred embodiment, all of strap 4 is of a single elastic material.

[0020] It has been found that having a sufficiently close fitting strap across the top of the breasts provides great relief from excessive breast movement. In addition, because the strap is sufficiently inelastic, the restraint of the invention does not exacerbate the problem of excessive breast movement. This is in contrast to conventional overly-elastic sports bras.

[0021] Restraint 3 also includes adjustable fastener 8, here shown fastened at the female's back 7. Fastener 8 preferably is a velcro fastener, allowing for easy adjustment and a suitably close fit. Of course, other fasteners can be used.

[0022] FIG. 2 shows a first preferred embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, restraint 10 includes strap 11 and fastener 12. Strap 11 preferably is at least one inch wide at a portion that fits across the tops of the breasts. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, strap 11 is all of a uniform width. FIG. 2 also shows a preferred fastener 12 made of velcro.

[0023] FIG. 3 shows a second preferred embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, restraint 14 includes strap 15 and fastener 16. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, strap 15 is shaped so as to be wider at the portion that fits across the tops of the breasts. This can provide increased comfort.

[0024] FIG. 3 also shows alternative fastener 16, namely spaced loops and aligned hooks. This fastener is similar to fasteners found on conventional bras. Fastener 16 is not limited to use with the embodiment shown in FIG. 3; fastener 16 can be used with the other embodiments of the invention described herein. Likewise, a velcro or other fastener can be used with the shaped restraint shown in FIG. 3.

[0025] FIG. 4 shows the invention incorporated into a bra. In FIG. 4, bra 18 is a sports bra. Of course, the invention is not limited to use or incorporation with this type of bra.

[0026] In FIG. 4, restraint 19 includes strap 20 and fastener 21. Restraint 19 is incorporated into bra 18, for example by having strap 20 sewn into or onto bra 18. Adjustable fastener 21 preferably is still present to allow for adjustment of the fit of restraint 19.

ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS

[0027] The invention has been described above in the context of use by females, and in particular female athletes. However, the invention is not limited to use by females, and the invention also is not limited to use by athletes. Any person who experiences discomfort from excessive breast movement can benefit from the invention.

[0028] The invention also encompasses the activity of fitting the restraint across the tops of a person's breasts, under the person's arms, and around the person's back, and fastening the strap together with an adjustable fastener.

[0029] In addition, although preferred embodiments of the invention are disclosed herein, many variations are possible which remain within the content, scope and spirit of the invention, and these variations would become clear to those skilled in the art after perusal of this application.