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Stretching and Pilates: The Workout When You Don’t Want to Work Out

Stretching and Pilates: The Workout When You Don’t Want to Work Out

We’ve all been there – those days when the idea of a high-intensity workout seems impossible. Maybe you’re exhausted from a long day, feeling a bit under the weather, or simply lacking motivation. On these days, it’s easy to skip exercise altogether. However, staying active, even in a gentle way, can do wonders for your body and mind. That’s where stretching and Pilates come in. These low-impact exercises are perfect when you want to stay active without the intensity of a full workout. Here’s how you can incorporate stretching and Pilates into your routine to keep your body moving on those low-energy days.

Why Choose Stretching and Pilates?

Stretching and Pilates offer numerous benefits, making them ideal for days when you’re not up for a more vigorous workout:

  1. Low Impact: Both activities are gentle on your joints and muscles, reducing the risk of injury.
  2. Improves Flexibility: Regular stretching and Pilates enhance your range of motion and flexibility.
  3. Reduces Stress: These exercises help to calm the mind and reduce stress levels, promoting overall well-being.
  4. Strengthens Core: Pilates, in particular, focuses on core strength, which is essential for good posture and balance.
  5. Boosts Circulation: Stretching improves blood flow to your muscles, helping to relieve tension and promote recovery.

Quick Stretching and Pilates Routine

This routine combines stretching and Pilates exercises to give you a balanced, gentle workout. You can do this routine at home with minimal equipment – all you need is a mat and a quiet space.

Warm-Up (5 Minutes)

Start with a gentle warm-up to get your blood flowing and prepare your muscles for stretching.

  1. Deep Breathing: Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this for 1 minute. 
    breathing
  2. Neck Rolls: Slowly roll your head in a circle, first clockwise for 30 seconds, then counterclockwise for 30 seconds.
  3. Shoulder Rolls: Roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion for 30 seconds, then reverse for another 30 seconds.
  4. Side Stretches: Stand with feet hip-width apart, reach your right arm overhead and lean to the left. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Main Routine (20 Minutes)

  1. Cat-Cow Stretch (2 Minutes)
    • Get on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
    • Inhale. Then exhale and round your spine (cat). Inhale again, arch your back (cow).
    • Continue for 2 minutes, moving with your breath.
      cat-cow
  2. Child’s Pose (2 Minutes)
    • Sit back on your heels, stretch your arms forward, and rest your
      forehead on the mat.
    • Hold this pose for 2 minutes, breathing deeply.
  3. Pelvic Tilts (3 Minutes)
    • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
    • Inhale, then exhale as you tilt your pelvis towards your belly button, flattening your lower back against the floor.
    • Inhale to release. Repeat for 3 minutes.
  4. Single Leg Stretch (3 Minutes)
    • Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
    • Inhale, pull your right knee towards your chest while extending your left leg.
    • Exhale and switch legs. Continue for 3 minutes.
  5. Spine Stretch Forward (3 Minutes)
    • Sit with your legs extended in front of you, feet flexed.
    • Inhale, sit tall; exhale, and reach forward, keeping your spine long.
    • Hold for a few breaths, then return to the starting position. Repeat for 3 minutes.
  6. Seated Forward Bend (3 Minutes)
    • Sit with your legs extended and feet flexed.
    • Inhale, reach your arms overhead; exhale, fold forward from your hips, reaching for your toes.
    • Hold for 3 minutes, breathing deeply.
  7. Supine Twist (2 Minutes)
    supine twist
    • Lie on your back with your arms extended out to the sides.
    • Bring your knees to your chest, then lower them to the right side, looking to the left.
    • Hold for 1 minute, then switch sides.
  8. Leg Circles (2 Minutes)
    • Lie on your back with your left leg bent and foot flat on the floor.
    • Extend your right leg towards the ceiling and draw small circles in the air.
    • Circle for 1 minute, then switch legs.

Cool Down (5 Minutes)

  1. Reclined Butterfly Pose: Lie on your back with the soles of your feet together and knees open wide. Hold for 2 minutes.
    reclined butterfly
  2. Corpse Pose: Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides, palms up.
    Close your eyes and relax for 3 minutes, focusing on your breath.
    corpse pose

On those days when you just don’t feel like working out, this can be your body’s way of telling you that it is okay to take a step back. In order to keep up with staying active, we want to stay mindful that going all in does not have to be the only way. 

This low-intensity workout can  reduce stress, and improve flexibility without the intensity of a full workout. Plus, these exercises can be done at home with minimal equipment. So, next time you’re tempted to skip your workout, try this gentle routine instead. Your body and mind will thank you!

Functional Fabrics For Support

Functional Fabrics For Support

The right sports bra is made up of the right fabrics to provide you with the support you need. At Bounceless, we place a high emphasis on function, which is why functional fabric is important to our design. 

As a customer, there are several factors to consider when shopping for the sports bra to best meet your bounce reduction needs. Here are some details to consider on your next sports bra shopping trip. 

Moisture-Wicking Fabrics

Sweating during a workout is inevitable. The fabric of your sports bra can make a

significant difference in how comfortable you feel. Moisture-wicking fabrics like nylon, polyester, and spandex are designed to pull sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable even during intense workouts. Look for bras with moisture-wicking properties to ensure you stay cool and dry throughout your exercise routine.

Compression Fabrics

Compression fabrics are known for their ability to hug the body tightly, providing excellent support and reducing bounce during high-impact activities like running or jumping. These fabrics, often made of nylon or polyester blends, help minimize movement and offer a secure fit, which is essential for maintaining comfort and preventing discomfort or chafing during workouts.

Mesh 

While not the primary fabric of the bra, mesh is strategically placed in sports bras to enhance breathability and ventilation. Mesh can be placed inside of the sports bra as an additional layer. It can also be used on its own as a panel or for decoration.

Wherever and however it is used, mesh allows air to circulate freely, helping to regulate body temperature and prevent overheating, especially in areas prone to sweating. When choosing a sports bra, consider options with mesh to ensure optimal airflow and comfort, particularly during intense workouts.

Elastane/Spandex Blends

Elastane, also known as spandex or Lycra, is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity and stretchability. Sports bras with elastane or spandex blends offer excellent support and flexibility, allowing for a wide range of motion without sacrificing stability. These fabrics provide a snug, personalized fit that moves with your body, offering the support you need without feeling restrictive.

High-Quality Elastic Bands 

 The elastic band is a crucial component of any sports bra, providing support and stability around the ribcage. Look for bras with wide, high-quality elastic bands that sit snugly against the body without digging in or rolling up. These bands help distribute weight evenly and prevent the bra from riding up during movement, ensuring maximum support and comfort throughout your workout.


 

The fabric of your sports bra plays a significant role in determining its supportiveness and overall comfort. Moisture-wicking fabrics, compression materials, mesh, elastane/spandex blends, and high-quality elastic bands are all key features to look for when selecting a sports bra that provides the best support for your active lifestyle. By choosing the right fabric and construction, you can enjoy a comfortable, supportive fit that allows you to focus on your workout without distractions.

Strap In!

Strap In!

When it comes to sports bras, a goal we should have is comfortable straps. Straps carry a lot of weight-literally- for the overall fit and support of a sports bra, particularly if you are a full bust woman. 

The single most important role of sports bra straps is to make sure you feel secure in your sports bra. In order to fulfill this role, straps do so with the following characteristics:

  • They keep the sports bra in place during physical activities. 
  • When properly fitted, they provide added support to your sports bra.
    • Ill fitted straps can be a problem. If the straps are too big, they will slide off your shoulders. They will dig into your shoulders if they are too tight. 

There are several options to choose from when it comes to straps. There are non-adjustable and adjustable straps, with various feature combinations for each, ranging from thin straps vs. wide straps, crisscross vs. straight straps, and cute vs. functional. 

Which strap combination reigns supreme for your workout needs? Let's find out!

Thin Straps             

Thin straps are popular for their sleek design which make them a fashion favorite. They offer a delicate aesthetic, perfect for those who prefer a more understated look during their workouts.   

Fans of thin straps argue that they offer greater freedom of movement, allowing shoulders to move more freely without feeling restricted. This can be particularly advantageous during activities that require extensive arm movement, such as yoga or Pilates. Additionally, thin straps are often favored by individuals with smaller busts, as they provide adequate support without feeling bulky or restrictive.

Wide Straps

Wide straps offer support and stability. These straps distribute weight more evenly across the shoulders, reducing the risk of discomfort or strain, especially during high-impact activities like running or aerobics.  

Fans of wide straps argue that they offer superior support, particularly for those with larger busts. Wide straps also have the added benefit of reducing the likelihood of straps digging into the shoulders, a common issue caused by the pressure of narrow straps digging into the skin.

Non-Adjustable Straps

Non-adjustable straps are great for those who love simplicity and a streamlined look. The straps are designed to stay in place and are ideal when the bra is made exactly for your body type. 

These are typically pullovers; however, you can find a few front or back closure bras with non-adjustable straps.  

Keep these two questions in mind while making your decision about non-adjustable straps:

  1. Are you anticipating gaining or losing weight? If so, non-adjustable is not for you. You want straps that will adjust to your needs as you gain or lose weight. 
  2. How well does standard sizing work for you? If standard sizing works great for you, SUPER! You will likely find your fit with non-adjustable straps.

Adjustable Straps

Now, let's switch gears to the adjustable straps. Versatility is the name of the game here. These bras come with customizable straps, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your unique body shape.

These straps can be customized using hook and eyes, Velcro, or sliders like your regular bras. 

Hook and eyes can stay in place so you have your own customized strap where it needs to be when you need it. 

When kept in place, Velcro will last just as long as hook and eye. With a lot of adjustment, the life of the Velcro will decrease. 

Need more support? Tighten those straps! Want a bit more freedom of movement? Loosen them up! The adjustable strap is all about giving you control over your comfort.

Keep these two questions in mind while making your decision about adjustable straps: 

  1. Are you anticipating changes with your body due to gaining or losing weight? As menstruators, something to keep in mind is that your breasts will change during that time of the month. If you are looking for some relief from your sports bra during that time, adjustable straps will be a better option for you. 
  2. Could your breasts benefit from the support that comes when they are lifted? If so, adjustable straps are your friend!

Which straps are for you?

Which combination of straps is right for you? It ultimately depends on your preferences and workout routine. Non-adjustable sports bras are straightforward and easy to use, while adjustable ones offer that personalized fit.

Whether you're Team Non-Adjustable with wide straps or Team Adjustable with thin straps (or a different combination),  the key is to find what makes you feel confident and supported during your workouts.

Let us know in the comments below which team you are on.