When I first found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to try and continue to workout as much as possible, and that meant continuing my Pure Barre classes 3-5 times a week. When I started to research I found there wasn’t much information on doing Pure Barre when pregnant, besides that it was safe to continue with some modifications and that the instructors would provide the modifications and tips to help you along. This is true – the studio will actually have a packet you can look at with some modifications to make as you progress in your pregnancy, but how does it really look in practice? I was only able to find a few blogs on this topic- which were helpful – but again there was not much out there. So, here is my Pure Barre Pregnancy review and tips for what got me through the first trimester….
For the first 8 weeks or so, I really didn’t notice much change in what my body could do, besides getting a bit winded during the warm up and tired faster- my barre classes basically went exactly the same. Somewhere around week 9 – I began to make some changes.
Honestly, this is an area where I really haven’t changed much. Some people may want to start doing all push-ups and planks from their knees – I haven’t had to do this…..yet. But, I know my days of planking will come to end soon as planking has started to become a lot harder (especially as I end week 13). Our current warm-up also has push-ups where you hover one of your legs, although I am still doing push-ups on my toes, I have opted to keep both feet on the ground during this section (again, push-ups on my toes will probably end soon).
Otherwise, my warm up goes exactly as it always has – although, I do find myself working up more of sweat and having to take a few small breaks here and there.
Again, this is a part of class that hasn’t really changed all that much. I do find that I have to focus a lot more on tucking and keeping my back straight though. Tucking also feels a bit different – I think because it’s becoming more difficult to pull my abs in (and keep them there) than it was pre-pregnancy. I try to be extra careful in anything that requires pulling off the barre. I do find that I get hotter faster now (which makes sense, as your body temperature rises approx. 1.5 times faster when pregnant). So, I do suggest taking short breaks when needed and making sure to drink plenty of water in between each exercise.
Seat has been pretty much the same – no modifications just yet, but like thighs I really have to work hard on keeping my hips tucked under and my abs in. I use the mirror (a lot) to check my posture. I have also noticed (again more in the past two weeks – weeks 12 and 13), that I have to really work to keep my hips squared and myself pulled out of my supporting hip – especially when we are doing any exercise that requires you to fold your arms on the barre and rest your head. Again, I take breaks when needed – and really focus on trying to keep proper form as much as possible.
Abs/Abs under the barre:
This is where class can get tricky – and you really have to do what feels right for you. I haven’t modified much, yet – except for not going as deep with any of my ab work – especially when twisting to the side. During the first under the barre sequence I keep my one foot planted on the floor throughout (except for the 10 second hold at the end). In the following exercises I don’t modify much – besides taking the option to “march it out” rather than lifting both feet at once.
For abs in the middle of the room – I keep my arms straight ahead or on the sides of my thighs – depending on how I feel that day and what the ab sequence is. I focus a lot on posture (keeping my shoulders down and back)- and again I don’t go as deep or as far back as I used to. Depending on need – you may find that putting a ball behind your back helps, I haven’t needed this modification, yet, but I am sure I will in the coming weeks for additional support.
When we begin the ab sequence on your back – I have been able to keep up with just about everything so far – I just make sure to keep one leg bent on the ground (instead of hovering) and when we do upper ab curls I hold my hands on my thighs, rather than behind my head for some additional support. I have still been able to do lower body curls – however, some may have to modify this sequence a bit more.
I have still been doing the cobra stretch after abs (probably will give that up very soon), and still do the lower back sequence on my stomach – however, I do not lift very high at all – and this week I even rested my legs on the ground and just lifted by upper body. Again, do what feels right for you – I haven’t starting to gain or really show much yet, so this position is still comfortable for me.
Everyone loves bridge – it means the end of class – and stretching is coming! My suggestion for bridge is to again do what feels comfortable. I have kept my hips a bit lower lately and often use my hands under my lower back for extra support (sort of the way a yoga block would be used under your lower back). I found that similar to the rest of class I can still focus on tucking, but it just feels different – again, I think it has to do with ab strength and everything that else that is going on down there with a growing a baby.
Drink lots of water, before class, during class and after! I go through at least 20 oz. during class – it is essential to stay hydrated – and can keep you from feeling faint or nauseous.
Ask questions! The instructors all know the modifications- tell them if something doesn’t feel right, they can make suggestions for you.
Take breaks as needed- of course you want to push yourself to stay in it (embrace the shake!), but there is nothing wrong with a short break and jumping right back in when needed.
Don’t worry what everyone else in class is doing – do what works best for you! I know it can be hard to modify when you don’t look pregnant yet – but trust me no one is watching or judging your barre abilities.
Disclaimer: I have shared what has worked for me, please remember that everyone is different. Some may need to make a lot more modifications than I did. Talk with your barre instructor and of course your OBGYN to make sure that you safely working out.
Please feel free to share your Pure Barre while pregnant experiences. I will update again in a few weeks as I start to make additional modifications.
Ms. Officer Charger