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cardio exercises for women with big chests

can anyone please recommend some activities that i can try. i have a 5'4'' frame and my chest is a 44DD. i cannot jog or do alot of the jumping aerobics because of how uncomfortable it is to wear two bras, and with one bra, it is painful. i'd really appreciate advice from other women who have a large chest and who have found an exercise regimen that works...thanks!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006, 8:38 PM

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I feel your pain...

Although not as large chested, I had a lot of pain when I first started working out (I was a 38C). I skipped the treadmill and the classes because it hurt me so badly. I favored the elliptical machine, stepper, and bike along with pilates and yoga. Now that I have lost 11 lbs., I have started running....and it doesn't hurt at all! I am now down to a 36B (apparently the 11 lbs. loss came from my chest!) and I can do any activity I want now with no pain!
Good luck to you! I hope you find this helpful!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006, 1:15 PM

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I'm 5'4" and when I was a 44DD, I couldn't even contemplate dealing with the pain of jiggling - I could not find a sportsbra over a 38C/D, so that was very limiting. However, this round of effort, I just could not let it get in my way.

First, there's a thread on good sports bras if you do a search here. My savior was the Enell bra (one of Oprah's better recommendations). The only thing I can't do in that thing is jumping jacks/jumping rope/anything jumping. I have resigned myself that plyometrics will never be a part of my routine, and that's fine - never liked that stuff anyway. I hate running for many reasons, but I can do it in that bra (I only know this because I will walk/run to the gym if I'm running late)

Cardio machines - use the stair mill (or whatever it's called) rather than the stairmaster machine to eliminate jiggling. The elliptical is great but don't put it on too high an incline (you will start bobbling). Like the treadmill? You can put that sucker on a 15-degree incline and burn more calories than on any other machine just walking. If you prefer the bike and you find yourself jiggling, increase the resistance level to reduce that. Avoid spinning classes.

Classes - you can take all of them and just choose the low-impact versions of jumping jacks, mountain-climbers, hopping knee lifts. The one class where it's awkward is cardio boxing - you can try to do it low-impact, but you'll stand out from the crowd (not sure if that bothers you, but I don't like looking too different since I'm already the fattest one there), and some of the moves are difficult to adjust and keep the beat. Oh, that also applies to the more dance-based classes like hip-hop, but for that reason I've never taken that class.

Weights - piece of cake, nothing you can't do.

Any questions? Ask away.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006, 2:04 PM

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2:04 poster - what a thoughtful response! : )

As a fairly-large chested woman, I find that the elliptical is my favorite. Save the boobs; save the knees.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006, 2:45 PM

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from what i hear, my boobs will someday be at my to take care of them all...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006, 2:47 PM

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I definitely have a problem w/ my chest when I'm exercising, but today I decided to give running a try, and realized that my but goes up and down too! Oh my....(I've always had an unusually large butt).

Wednesday, December 06, 2006, 3:59 PM

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I want to second the recommendation on Enell! The Enell bra alone, however, would never do the trick. I wear a regular underwire bra and the Enell on top of it - on occasion I will also wear a third regular sports bra on top, but the underwire and Enell together is usually enough. This combination does not entirely end the bounce problem, but does allow me to enjoy running.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006, 11:07 PM

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All good advice. I was a DD - but have gone down a couple of sizes with my weight loss now. I don't run, or do anything jiggly like that. I walk on the treadmill, use the elliptical, use the reclining bike, and I used to swim. I find all of these types of exercises are great for those of us lucky enough to be so well endowed...

Thursday, December 07, 2006, 1:13 PM

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How about cycling on a recumbent bicycle?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 10:51 AM

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How about rowing on an erg I'm not huge-chested but I think it might work -- it's no-impact but VERY aerobic, and a full-body workout.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 11:31 AM

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thanks for so amny great replies!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 11:37 AM

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About the rowing machine -- don't do it in an underwire bra. The tips of the wires on the sides will give you friction burns after just 10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 11:48 AM

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as a 44DD i bought a bra at victoria's secret and when the wires started poking my sides, as described above, i brought the bras back to the store to complain. the sales woman said to me something like, "well, what do you expect with such large breasts? this happens a lot with women your size." i was appalled! these bras cost me $36 each, and believe me there was no disclaimer about wires poking me due to my size. i was livid. i wrote to the main corporate offices and they sent me a nice gift card, but why should i support them when they won't support me (like the pun?)? why would they even make and sell a bra that they know will cause such discomfort?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 12:09 PM

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Ah, now you have discovered the "secret" about Victoria's Secret: it's all for women with tiny band sizes. For years they never carried a single attractive thing I could wear (38B).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 1:57 PM

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why do they pad the bras that are 44DD? are they joking?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 2:08 PM

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36 dollars for a bra? that's it?

I can no longer shop at these tiny girl stores as they don't go above a dd cup at the most... i can't shop at plus size stores because they only go down to about a 36. I wear a 32 H, which I can only find in specialty stores that cost over 100 dollars for ONE bra. So believe me ladies, I feel your pain (and so does my wallet)

I find elliptical is what works best for me, as well as cycling. I haven't found much much that doesnt cause major discomfort. I also haven't been into this for very long.... i'm a newbie to this exersize thing :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 2:41 AM

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I also suffer with this problem, i am a 32/34 f/g and i really struggle, i also do the 2 bra combination for working out, but still get a fair bit of bounce.

What really worries me is that i'm 22 and already gravity is taking effect, what with the expected weightloss will the become even saggier? what have you found, how have your boobs changed when you've lost weight? have they got smaller nicely or just gone a bit sad looking?

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 8:57 AM

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i am the poster with the 32 H and i can already answer your question

i'm 21 and gravity is taking its toll as well. i was once the size i am now and lost weight and my boobs didn't really lose much in the process.. and they didn't get any perkier even after losing.

that's not to say it's not possible as i did not lose THAT much before. i suppose once you lose what you need to and see the results you'll find out. i myself will probably be looking at a reduction once i've lost weight, as my boobs have always been gigantic even at my thinnest. i was a dd before high school :(

Sunday, April 20, 2008, 6:27 AM

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Ditto on the rowing. It is by far my favorite cardio and primarily for the fact that my boobs stay in one place while doing it. My sports bra is an underwire, and I haven't noticed any chafing, but I have a very nice, expensive underwire that I majorly splurged on (Bendon brand).

If you want to try rowing, and I highly recommend it, have someone who works at the gym show you proper form (and maybe update you once every few weeks for a bit). The form is very important and not natural.

Monday, April 21, 2008, 9:34 AM

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You can get a really great workout on the treadmill without running at all. Just find a speed at which you feel like you're walking pretty quickly (faster than just a stroll) and crank up the incline!

There's a woman at my gym, who must be 8-9 months pregnant by now, and she does this workout all the time, and aside from her belly, she is so thin! In an athletic way, not in an unhealthy way. But, I'd be ecstatic to have her @$$, and I'm NOT pregnant!

Monday, April 21, 2008, 10:28 AM

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breast reduction

I've posted this on another thread...beware when you go for a reduction if you tend to gain and keep weight in your breasts...I was a 38DDD..went for a reduction and was a 38 10 years later, weighing less than I did at the time of my reduction I am a 38 DD. Wish I had gone smaller.

Monday, April 21, 2008, 10:49 AM

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big chest

i think you have to find a really good sports bra and not an underwire one. i think i am a 38c and only 5feet 1/2 inch tall! my knees are shot so i do high fast stepping to music, walking at work to ipod and floor exercises. i cannot wear an underwire because it hurts my left breast! it is the larger one! geeze

Monday, April 21, 2008, 1:28 PM

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I agree with the enell recommendation. I'm 38 DDD and before I got this bra I never did anything with any impact. I still can't jump rope or do jumping jacks, but everything else works out well. I am very worried about stretching my boobs out with too much bounce, so I've always been careful, but the enell is the first time I feel like I can be a little more free with my movement.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008, 1:08 AM

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big boobs

I've had this problem in the past but if you can find a good sports bra it will help with this. I'm a 32GG to a 32J (depending on the brand & fit) but I'm able to run on a treadmill and jump rope with a good sports bra. I recommend looking on and I especially recommend since there are lots of reviews and they have a 'bounce test.' I tried an enell one at a local bra shop that specializes in large boobs and that didn't work for me but then again I seem to be pretty hard to fit...usually fantasie and freya are about the only brands that work well for regular bras. My favorite sports bra was discontinued but I'm currently wearing the Anita 5527 Molded Sports Bra and that works pretty well for me. A little more bounce than I'd like but not bad and I can run and jump without any pain. Much better than many I've tried. Oh I was looking and I think this might be the bra that was previously my favorite under a new name...Bendon Extreme Out Technical Support Sports Bra 76-408 so you might want to check that one out. The Shock Absorber bras seem to get really good reviews also although I've never tried them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 3:45 AM

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bras too small

i've experienced the same problem with my bras. one of the main problems for women is that they are wearing bras that are the wrong size. For me I was wearing a 48DDD, but then I went into a store that specializes in bras for larger women. They sized me correctly and I found out I was actually a 42H! The sales ladies there told me it is always better to go bigger in the cup and smaller in the waist band. You'll have less problems with the bras that way.
Also, NEVER machine wash your bras. They wear out quicker. Always hand wash them in warm water with mild soap, then hang dry.
Do a search on the internet for stores in your area that specialize in bras for larger women. It will help a lot.

Sunday, September 05, 2010, 8:13 PM

Add comment has some really good prices and extended sizes... so does looks like some heavy duty sports bras

Monday, September 06, 2010, 1:00 PM

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try Fredericks of Hollywood. I worked for Victoria's Secret and a co-worker sent me and my 32DD's to Fredericks to shop for myself!

Monday, September 20, 2010, 3:32 PM

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Try Fredericks of Hollywood! I worked for Victoria's Secret and a coworker sent me and my 32DD's to Fredericks to shop for myself. I've never found anything else that fits.

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