If you’re looking for pregnancy modifications to take during your barre workout, you’re in the right place! I’m 30 weeks pregnant, and I’m still loving my Barre Code classes. I’ve learned a lot about safe pregnancy modifications to take at barre class, and I’m going to share them in detail with you.
During this 40-week stretch when my body often feels out-of-sorts and swollen, almost like I’m living inside a costume, it feels so good to cultivate strength in my body with gentle resistance work, stretching, and cardio.
But let me back up for a moment and say: one of the best things I did for my pregnant body was to create a habit of consistent Barre Code workouts for 2 years before I became pregnant. I’m able to retain a lot of that strength during pregnancy, and I know it will help me when I’m recovering from labor and delivery. If you’re hoping to get pregnant in the next 1-3 years, now is the time to start building strength! And if you’re already pregnant and you’ve never been to a barre class, that’s totally ok. It’s still going to help you so much during your pregnancy.
** DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. Always consult your doctor before beginning any workout while pregnant. This blog is meant to inform and entertain, and it does not replace professional medical advice from your doctor. Please be gentle with your body during pregnancy workouts.
General ideas to get you started:
- Barre workouts during pregnancy are all about a strong core and pelvic floor. Barre Code classes are broken into four series (core, seat, legs, and upper body), and you can focus on strengthening your pelvic floor during all four series. A strong pelvic floor will help you with labor and post-delivery recovery.
- Nothing should be done lying down on your back in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. This is mostly because when you’re on your back, the weight of the uterus on your vena cava (the main vein that carries blood back to your heart from your lower body) can restrict circulation.
- Take breaks and drink plenty of water. I drink so much more water in workouts now than I ever did before I was pregnant…especially in those cardio classes. Oof! And sometimes I’ll take a 10-15 second break to stretch or step side-to-side if I feel like things are getting too intense for me.
- Take any modification during your barre class! I’m listing a bunch here, and your instructor will have recommendations for you, but ultimately it’s up to you, boo. If something doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
Ok, got all of that? Let’s move on to some specifics. Here are 5 easy pregnancy modifications you can take during your Barre Code class. Remember: your instructor will gladly give you more ideas, but it’s always nice to walk into class having a few tricks up your sleeve:
5 Pregnancy Modifications For Your Barre Workout
1. Instead of a full-body plank, plank on your knees or at the barre. When the extra weight of your growing baby puts too much weight on your wrists, or you feel like your abdominals are having trouble keeping the full body extended, plank on your knees or at the barre.
I like to keep a ball between my thighs during plank to help keep my pelvic floor muscles engaged. In fact, I like to keep a ball between my thighs for a lot of the 50-minute Barre Code class! My abdominals are compromised while I’m pregnant, and the extra support of squeezing a ball helps me when I’m lifting dumbbells during upper body workouts.
Psst: if you’re new to barre and looking for some general barre posture advice, click here to see 5 common postures mistakes in barre class…and how to fix them.
2. Instead of crunches, do a c-curve (or one of its many variations.) Crunches become uncomfortable and unsafe during the second and third trimesters, so opt for a c-curve instead.
Place a ball behind your lower back for added support, and pull “up and in” on your pelvic floor muscles. When you get tired of basic c-curve with hands behind knees, try out variations like arms out in front of you, out to the side, or moving in-and-out.
3. Instead of twisting, engage obliques with dumbbell extensions. When I’m feeling really strong, I’ll extend both dumbbells at once. On other days, I’ll do variations of extending one arm at a time. If I do 10 reps on one side, my obliques really feel it!
4. Instead of twisted pretzel, do seat work on all fours on the floor. Avoid twisting during seat work once your baby bump is showing. You can also do seat work standing at the barre with your hips squared to the barre.
5. Instead of clam with your torso suspended, keep a ball under your side. Clam is great during pregnancy, but all of the extra baby weight in your torso might make it difficult to keep it suspended. Tuck a workout ball under the side of your body so you can focus on feeling the burn where you want it (in your seat muscles) instead of feeling back pain.
I hope this blog post has given you a few ideas to get you started so you can enjoy barre workouts throughout your entire pregnancy!
Now, there are obviously so many other barre modifications you can take. The Barre Code Austin instructors have been so great in helping me find comfortable ways to keep up my workout routine, and they’re there to help you, too.
Being able to do barre workouts during pregnancy is such a gift, and I’m thankful for every single class. Wishing you all the best on your pregnancy fitness journey, friends!
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