Slouch No More! Intelliskin 'Intelligent' Shirt Put to Test

Quit slouching! That’s the idea behind “posture enhancing” athletic wear from Intelliskin of Newport Beach, Calif. The company’s $95 tops are said to improve the way you “look, feel, perform and live” — tall claims for a shirt, if you ask me. Indeed, well before the product arrived on my step, I’d decided it was more than likely a gimmick. Here are a few things I learned about Intelliskin during my test. —T.C. Worley

Tight Fit. It’s a wrestling match to get into these shirts. But that very snug fit is essential to allowing the product to work. In fact, there’s even a video on the company’s site to reveal the correct way to get dressed! It will feel uncomfortable until you start moving — then you’ll likely forget the discomfort and feel the intended athletic affects.

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Posture-enhancing shirts marketed to outdoor sports participants

Straight Back. The shirt does what it claims for posture. You’ll feel your shoulders pressed back and your chest opened up into a heroic, athletic position. Do you tend to droop and slouch as you fatigue? If so, I can see this product being appealing.

Weird Rubs. With a fit so tight there’s bound to be some subtle anatomical incompatibilities. For me, it was the armpits. The shirt was too tight under my arms, and because of this I preferred the company’s sleeveless tank over the shirts.

Injury Prevention? Better posture during activity can be helpful in preventing injuries. That is the theory Intelliskin lives on, and we at GearJunkie are not capable of confirming or debunking it. But Intelliskin founder Dr. Tim Brown has been working in this area of sports medicine for decades.

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Rear view: men’s Intelliskin shirt

A-List Endorsers. From surfer Kelly Slater to Major League Baseball players, the company has some serious people backing its brand. Whether they are getting big bucks to appear on the “ambassadors” page we’re not sure. Heck, even Glenn Frey, a musician with The Eagles, is an Intelliskin wearer! “I feel ten years younger after training with Peter and wearing the Intelliskin shirt,” he said.

Tech Aesthetic. Styling and materials are definitely on the techy side. This is not for the “I jog in a t-shirt” crowd. Intelliskin tops are Lycra-based shirts with a racy fit. Contrasting stitching on the shirts’ many, many panels give them a sharp, sporty look. Pair these tops with some tights and you’re going to look faster than you feel.

My Take. While I didn’t notice a significant jump in my performance when wearing Intelliskin, I do think that there are advantages. The shirts keep you upright and in a focused posture. They are not restrictive to breathing, and in fact may open you up so breathing is a bit more efficient. The company touts things like “optimal muscular balance,” alignment, and improved “sensory motor function.” Those items are harder to sense. But in these shirts you no doubt feel fast and ready for action. That mental benefit was not lost on me as I ran, chest out, down the trail in this tight-fitting, “intelligent” athletic top.

T.C. Worley is a contributing editor.

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Better “sensory motor function” among touted attributes of Intelliskin products

Posted by zak - 02/20/2012 02:42 PM

Seems like a way to buy something instead of actually fixing your muscle imbalances and posture in a lasting way. Don’t cheat yourself fix yourself. You don’t need to buy anything to do it either.

Posted by Dan - 02/20/2012 06:05 PM

Interesting! I like the posture benefits, that alone is worth something (maybe even $95). I know compression shirts are used by competitive weightlifters, and they can help support joints and stuff. Like you said it’s difficult to really judge the merits until you try it for yourself.

Dan @ BladeReviews

Posted by eric - 02/21/2012 02:34 PM

@zak – I’ve been using my intelliskin for some time now and it’s designed to recondition your body to have better posture vs. a cheap fix it tool. The way the shirt is designed it encourages scapular stablizers to fire and contract as well as open up internal rotators thus creating a change in your body over time. It’s like wearing a mini posture workout. I used to fight chronic neck pain, but not since wearing my intelliskin on a regular basis. I encourage you to reach out to them. They have scientific studies to back all of their claims up.

Posted by Joe - 06/12/2012 11:52 AM

Glenn Frey, huh? Well, I’m sold.

Posted by Tabor - 01/04/2013 09:43 PM

To Zak – due to a handful of idiot doctors who misdiagnosed my injuries from gym class for 7 years – finally got a correct diagnosis at my college student health center. But the severe osteoarthritis in my neck, upper back and shoulders was winning, and worse due to years of incorrect pt.

This shirt in a year has done more to fix my joints than 7 years of pt. Since my joints stay more in place, pt now works to strengthen the muscles it needs to, thus my shoulders roll in less and I’m not taking maximum doses of pain killers to be able to do nothing but sit very carefully.

10 shirts was insanely expensive on paper. But copay alone for 7 stupid years, plus 6 of at least not making everything worse – ha. 6 months of one of the idiot years – $1,783. Out of pocket.

I can at least get my shoulders rotated back to the point they are flat against a wall for 2 minutes without a shirt. At the start, 30 minutes in the shirt was painful. First actual progress in 14 years.

Posted by marlene laureys - 01/21/2013 01:07 PM

By keeping your body in the correct anatomical position it retrains your neuro muscular messaging.
After a while the brain will perceive this as the correct position, rather than the position you were in before. Its works along the same principles as physio taping. You will still need to keep on working your muscles for strength and flexibility, so it is not to be used as a crutch.

Posted by dallas talkington - 02/14/2013 04:11 PM

The use of compression bracing for rehab is a much neglected therapy.

I credit the daily wearing of compression trunks with lumbar brace with rehabbing my lower back which I fought for ten years. Along with exercize.

Now I have upper back fun and am hoping this shirt with exercise will do the deed.

Posted by Carol - 05/17/2013 09:36 AM

Got this because of neck and shoulder issues, needing to get adjusted from my chiropractor a lot. Itndoes work on posture, BUT the UNIBOOD is way too much, if I wanted one boob to stick out my sternum I would go get reconstruction surgery. I will wear at home only, will not go to the gym, as there is not enough t-shirts to hide this UNIBOOB , the zipper is way too large. And they give you two soft cup inserts, but why, no place to put them and since the BOOB is ONE no need for them.. Use a female body when designing a female posture sports bra.
If you wear a bra with A cup size or B cup it may work but any larger than that, stay inside, you will look alien.
Posture only yep it works but female bodies are not male bodies.

Intelliskin needs to re-model the female sports bra and more females will get on the bandwagon and spread good words about this product.

Posted by Ryan - 05/22/2013 05:38 PM

In response to Zak, it is a way to fix your body. They say it takes so many times of doing something before it becomes habit. Having a item that helps remind you to do something will help make it become habit. Having a back brace is “quickfixing” an issue, but having a fully functional shirt that lightly tugs on your poor positioning will help you relengthen tight muscles and get your posture back where it belongs.

Def. don’t knock it till you try it. I have used my shirt for over a year and it helped fix my posture dramatically.

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