What is the Str8-n-UP?
Str8-n-Up is a shoulder support accessory that was invented by Virginia Redmond, a Houston Texas resident. Her company has been operating in Houston since 2010. Str8-n-Up appears to be a small company with Redmond listed as the CEO along with two account managers.
The purpose of this device is to serve as a gentle reminder to maintain good posture. When worn correctly, it tugs on the shoulders whenever you begin to lean forward and slouch. The gentle tug reminds you to “Straighten up”.
The manufacturer suggests that it can be used in several instances including while at the office, playing video games, at the gym, before a golf game, during breast feeding, during travel or simply as a way to wind down after a long day.
Exactly what am I getting?
The support arrives in a retail package and comes in 2 pieces including a stretchable band made from 88% Nylon and 12% Spandex as well as a buckle that is made from a polymer plastic. Overall, this product appears extremely simple in design.
Taking a closer look, the main cloth potion is actually two layers of spandex fabric that are sewn back to back. The ends are then sewn together to create an infinity loop. The actual dimension for the (large size) product are 7″ in width and 26.5″ in length while laid out flat and not stretched.
The buckle is made of a hard plastic and measures 3″x 3″. It has a divider down the middle which allows you to feed the fabric under and over. The Str8-n-Up that I received came with a square buckle while it appears that other, perhaps older, models had more of a rounded buckle in the shape of the number 8.
It turns out that the manufacturer recently replaced the original shiny “figure 8” hard resin buckle with the current design pictured below. They also changed the material from a resin to a polymer which make it much stronger.
That’s it! There is nothing else to it!
How do I use it?
Str8-n-Up should be worn for at least 30 minutes per day in order to retrain your muscles. The idea is to build muscle memory by serving as a reminder not to slouch.
It can be worn longer, although it’s not intended for extended use. Most posture support/brace manufacturers suggest wearing their product for only a few minutes each day and there’s a reason behind this suggestion. The ideas is to retrain your muscles, not take over their job. Using any support for an extended period of time may actually cause your muscles to weaken and a bad posture condition to worsen.
The manufacturer suggests wearing this product over short sleeve or sleeveless shirts only.
Putting it on only takes a few seconds once you have become accustomed to wearing one. Here are the steps:
- Ensure that the fabric is fed through the buckle and the tails are even on both sides
- Insert one arm in each loop
- Raise your arms up and work the support down and behind your neck.
- Using your index fingers and thumbs, grab the support beneath your armpits and begin to rotate the entire support until the buckle is centered on your back
- Grab the fabric and stretch it around each shoulder to create a cup
If done properly, you should feel the resistance when you fold your shoulders forward. If you desire more resistance you can adjust the tension of the support. To adjust the tension you should:
- With the support removed, put one arm through an arm hole. Twist the other arm hole in a complete circle 1-3 times. With each twist the tension increases. Be sure not to twist more than three times.
- With the support twisted, insert the other arm into the other arm hole.
- Follow steps 3-5 above.
The story of Virginia Redmond
The story of how Virginia Redmond ended up in the clavicle support business is an interesting one and a story that millions of Americans can relate to.
It was early 2009 in the height of the US recession when Redmond received notice from her employer that she was being laid off. She had spent several years as a graphic designer and knew that finding a new job was going to be challenging as she competed with not only recent college graduates but also alongside former coworkers who where also recently laid off.
For the next several months she spent every waking hour hunched over a computer uploading resumes and filling out job applications. As one can imagine, the stress of being unemployed and bent over a laptop all day can place a toll on one’s health. After spending several months going through the same routine, she began to suffer from numerous headaches and body aches.
Concerned about her health, she visited her doctor. She was convinced that something was seriously wrong as she explained her symptoms to the doctor. Luckily, it turns out that the problem was simply poor posture. How could something as simple as poor posture cause so many issues? Well, poor posture can cause breathing issues, back pain, headaches, fatigue and a number of other conditions.
After finding out that her posture was to blame, she set out on a journey to discover a product that would relieve her of the pain that she was experiencing. What she didn’t know was that her journey would ultimately transpire into a new business idea that would provide income for her family.
From an early age, Redmond has possessed the entrepreneurial spirit. Her parents were hard working immigrants who came to the Unites States in 1968. She credits her parents for her creativeness as they were very resourceful, always making something with their hands. From an early age Redmond always aspired to create the “next big thing”. Since her childhood she has tinkered with numerous inventions that she never pursued – until now.
She searched high and low for a shoulder support that would help to keep her shoulders back. While searching, she realized that everything that was available was either too expensive, appeared uncomfortable or resembled a medical device. She then grabbed her sewing machine and started making her own version of a posture brace using various types of fabrics. At first her family dismissed her invention as just another idea of her’s but they soon realized that it could be very useful.
Almost one year from her lay off date, In January of 2010, she received a notice from the US patent office notifying her of the patent pending status of her new device the Str8-n-Up. The company was created and the rest is history. Since then, her product was featured on Dr. Oz, The Today Show, and was a chosen product in Chiropractic Economic Magazine.
Available sizes and colors
The Str8-n-up is available in 5 different sizes. Measure from the outer most part of each shoulder.
X-Small: 13.5″ to 16″
Small: 16.5″ to 18.5″
Medium: 19″ to 22″
Large: 22.5″ to 24″
X-Large 24″ or larger
As for color, you are able to choose from the following:
- Solid black
- Solid white
- Black/ gray
- Red/ black
- Yellow/ blue
- Pink/ White
This product has two different price points.
The solid colors (Black or white) sell for $38.00 + approximately $5.80 shipping while the designer multi-color ones sell for $45.00 + $5.80 for shipping.
With shipping, expect to pay roughly between $44 – $51 for one support. This price range is slightly lower than similar performing supports.
My review of the Str8-n-Up
Unboxing and initial fitting
The Str8-n-Up arrived in neatly folded inside of retail box complete with fitting and care instructions. After removing from the package, I took off the buckle in order to take a closer look at the design of the support.
I was rather astounded with simplicity to the design. As previously mentioned, it’s literally a 7″ dual layer of Nylon/ Spandex sewn into an infinity circle. The edges are neatly sewn with silver thread which offers a clean look. The words “Str8-n-Up” are printed in small lettering around the shoulder area. Once again, the buckle is rather simple in design.
Despite the simple design, I remained optimistic about this product. If it’s effective then it’s simplicity is irrelevant right? After all, the wheel is a simple design yet is considered one of the most important inventions of all time.
When I first tried fitting the Str8-n-Up (without reading over the instructions) it ended up looking like someone tied a rope around my shoulders and neck. I must admit, when it comes to following instructions, I’m your stereotypical guy. After laughing at myself for a brief moment, I gave in and decided to carefully read over the instructions.
“Aha, so you rotate the support buckle to the center of the shoulder blades and pull out the band so that it cups the shoulders.”
After following the manufacturers instructions, I had it comfortably fastened to my body.
Out of curiosity, I tried adjusting the band tension by removing one arm and giving it a twist or two. I found that tightening the support caused a bit too much resistance on my shoulders. I ultimately ended up using it as originally fitted.
Comfort and effectiveness
I first used the Str8-n-Up while watching television at home. I wore it under a tank top shirt.
The effects were immediately noticeable as the Str8-n-up supported and realigned my shoulders. I could feel the release of built up tension due to stress in my neck as the shoulder cups applied gentle backward and downward pressure. Many supports pull back on the shoulders while few actually bring the shoulders back and down like the Str8-n-up. This downward action gently stretches out tense neck muscles and is what makes this product so unique.
As for helping with my posture, I noticed a subtle “tug” whenever my shoulders started to gravitate forward. It was not a forceful tug but rather a reminder to pull back my shoulders.
The feeling of resistance subsided whenever I returned my shoulders to the proper shoulders back position.
The smooth spandex fabric was rather soothing on the skin. It was so comfortable that I forgot to take it off after 30 minutes of use.
At the Office & Gym
For the next two weeks I wore it while working at the computer. Once again, the Str8-n-Up was comfortable and served as a gentle reminder to keep my shoulders back while soothing tense neck muscles. Although it’s suggested that you wear the support for 30 minutes each day, I would often leave it on for an hour or longer because I would often forget that I was wearing it.
I took it to the gym while concealing it under a loose fitting shirt. It was not at all restrictive and performed okay until my workout heated up. At this point the shoulder cups continuously slipped up when I raised my arms or move them quickly. Needless to say, it’s not designed to wear during vigorous physical activity.
Summary and recommendation
If asked to describe the Str8-n-Up in three words they would have to be simple, effective, and affordable. The company stands up to their claims as this support can be used as an effective tool to help you retrain your muscle memory by reminding you not to slouch. The downward resistance helps to relieve built up tension in the shoulders due to stress. The soft spandex material makes it very comfortable to wear. Unlike some of the other shoulder supports, this one is not extremely tight and does not leave red marks on your skin after using it.
It has been featured on two national television shows, selected as a product of the week, and praised by several chiropractors and massage therapists across the nation as well as customers.
As with any other shoulder support or posture brace, your posture will improve over time as you retrain your core muscles. Only having to wear it 30 minutes each day is easy to do and requires very little commitment.
It’s ideal to wear at the office, while watching the TV, or playing video games at home. I would advise against wearing it while performing physical activity such as running or weight lifting. The arm bands will slip up your shoulders causing it to be ineffective.
As for being fashionable, the ladies can easily pull off wearing the Str8-n-up anywhere. As a male I prefer wearing this support under my clothing while in public.
Overall, this product offers a no frills solution that is both simple and effective. I would recommend it to anyone, especially those who spend several hours seated in front of tv or computer.
Pros v Cons
- Great for reducing stress and neck tension
- Soft and comfortable
- Machine washable
- Easy to put on and remove
- Unable to wear during physical activity
Still Need Help Choosing a Posture Brace?
From posture supports and resistance trainers to biofeedback shirts, there are well over 100 products that are currently being sold in stores and online. With so many to choose from, finding one that delivers can be challenging to say the least.
After evaluating over 25 of the most popular products being sold, I have created this Posture brace comparison table which assigns a ranking to each product based on criteria such as comfort, effectiveness, innovativeness, durability, and cost.
SheerPosture: My Pick for Best-Value Posture SupportThe SheerPosture is a product that I have tested in the past and recommend to anyone who's interested in getting the most bang for their buck. It offers an abundance of great features at an affordable price. You can read my complete product review by clicking here or visit the SheerPosture company website by clicking on "Buy Here" underneath the picture.
- One-size-fits-most unisex design
- Affordably priced at $49.99 with Free 1-3 day shipping
- Comfortable and durable reinforced material
- Comes with removable armpit cushions
- Offered with a 90 Day Money back guarantee
- Simple yet effective