Why we need to protect our collarbones in barbell training

Blue Elvin sports bra that protects your collarbones

At Blue Elvin we create products that protect women’s bodies when they train. You might be asking why is this important – well there’s much more to it than just avoiding unsightly bruises or scrapes. There are a lot of benefits from protecting one of the most versatile and important joints in your body. And as women, our collarbones are different to men (shorter and thinner) and our physiology and anatomy means the negative impact of repetitive bashing from a barbell could have more dramatic effects. 

Alexandra Orfanides - a Soft Tissue Injury Specialist, advocate for women’s health, and Blue Elvin Customer - helps us understand exactly how our collarbones get impacted during barbell training, what impact this can have on our bodies and our recovery, and why we should protect them at all costs. 

The difference between men and women’s collarbones

Men’s collarbones are bigger, heavier and more horizontal in shape.

Women’s collarbones are more delicate, slender and more of an S-shape.

Women’s collarbones are in a different position to men’s. The sternal end for the collarbone, the part in the middle (under your neck), is higher than the acromial end (on the shoulder). So women tend to have a more pronounced collarbone joint in the middle.  

How barbell training impacts our collarbones 

If you're not catching the barbell on your delts or the muscles around your shoulders, your collarbones are likely to take the impact. Women are at greater risk of smashing the bar into their collarbones, particularly the middle part as it’s higher and more pronounced. 

What happens if we repeatedly impact our collarbones 

You’ll notice the impact more when your form starts to deteriorate. Think heavy weight or high reps. When you are repeatedly impacting your collarbones it’s like someone punching you over and over. Not good.

Your bones can bruise, you get trauma to the tissue of the bones, and a little bleeding inside the bone. This is called a bony contusion or a bone bruise. Bone bruises can take up to 48-hours to appear after the trauma and can last for up to 6-months because bone takes a long time to remodel. 

The danger comes when over time you accumulate repeated traumatic injuries and this becomes arthritic change in the bone. Arthritic change is when we get this thickening of the tissue and can cause permanent joint change, making movement patterns change. 


At Blue Elvin we have a developed a product that solves this problem. Our sports bra has an integrated protection panel, engineered to take that trauma away from your collarbones. 

Alex’s experience training in Blue Elvin

“I use Blue Elvin routinely in my training. It gives me confidence, especially in high volume sets with a lot of shoulder to overhead movements. It’s great to know that if my technique starts to break down I’ll still be ok. It doesn’t make any sense to get injured during a training session, so I’d recommend women get a bra that protects them.” 

Learn more about Alex here.