We’ve all seen them: The Pregnant Woman in Pure Barre kicking your seat. It seems like regardless of that bump and any tiredness, she’s there and zoning in hard to her 55 minutes. What’s the secret of the pregnant chick at Pure Barre? Pure Barre Pregnancy Modifications.
Pure Barre can be a lot to take in with or without pregnancy. I always had so much respect for the women in my class who were showing up and working hard if not harder than other women in the room. Now that I get to be the pregnant woman in the studio, I wanted to share how you can maximize your Pure Barre routine during pregnancy.
I have heard from countless women how Pure Barre has helped them maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and how it has helped them to bounce back more quickly. Be aware of these modifications for your class and take them as needed. Some you may not need until third trimester and some you may never need. However, it’s great to have these options available to you.
These tips are a compilation from what I’ve learned from Pure Barre, my doctor, other Pure Barre teachers (shout out to Alyssa) and my own experience. I highly recommend you talk to your doctor before you jump into class during pregnancy about modifications you may need while you are expecting.
The MOST important thing you can do during pregnancy is listen to your body. It is imperative to be mindful of any little twinge of an uncomfortable feeling… not meaning the wonderful burning sensation you are supposed to feel during PB. What I’m talking about is more of a singe of pain; any type of strain you feel in your lower abdomen or lower back.
Remember to take continual deep breaths to give your body and most importantly your baby the oxygen they need. AND, that is is SO important to stay hydrated during pregnancy. I used to drink (1) 16 oz bottle of water during class but during pregnancy my goal is at least 1 and a half bottles which equals 3 (8 oz) servings. Continue to do everything you have always done as long as you can do it and are not in pain. However, if you modified plank before you got pregnant, continue to modify plank.
-During the first hundreds section, you can keep your legs bent at the knees and either hold on under your thighs, bringing your chin towards your chest or rest your head on the ball and do the arm movements.
-Roll up: You may leave your feet on the ground and utilize your arms to help you grab behind your thighs to help you roll up.
-Planks: Can all be done from knees. Planks are a great form of exercise for the abs and lower back since you are in a neutral position during forearm and straight arm plank.
-Pushups: Can be done from knees with shins on the ground. If a deeper modification is needed, you can also do pushups against the wall.
-Most thigh exercises can be done as normal. If you feel too much pressure in your back during waterski or chair, remember you can always work upright at the barre as well.
-Don’t push yourself too far. Take breaks if needed and don’t work as low if you aren’t feeling up to it that day.
-Avoid any exercise laying on the stomach again and make modifications as needed if you feel discomfort during full foldover.
During the ab exercises against the wall:
– Instead of focusing on any choreography for the legs just focus on squeezing both your obliques in and down towards the spine and squeezing the lower abs up and in … you’ll need this during labor!!!
– During roundback, as your baby grows you may need to adjust your height up or down (depending on where baby is sitting… and it may be different each day) to make sure that you are squeezing and feeling your abs as much as possible.
-During roundback, you can keep your opposite foot planted and stay holding on behind the top leg the whole time.
-In flatback, you can keep both feet on the floor the whole time and/or just do kegels.
-Stay holding on behind the legs if needed.
-Work up higher and use the ball… remember to actively push into the ball with every contraction, whether it be a tuck, squeeze, circle or back an inch, up an inch… this is forcing your abs downward keeping them pulled in (a good reminder for those of us who aren’t pregnant as well!)
-My doctor has advised me against using the tubes for resistance. Your abs don’t need any extra pressure or strain other than the baby and you working out. Using tubes can elevate your risk for the abs splitting.
-In the second section of abs when we roll back, use the modifications from the hundreds in the warm up or stay sitting upright with the ball and mimic the movement of the class.
-In the third section of abs, I usually keep my chin tucked into my chest and do lower body curls like the rest of class just without resting my head. It’s best to continue to work the top of your core as best you can the whole time and you don’t want to be lying on your back with all the weight of your legs on you. Again be mindful of any strain in your abs and lower back.
Remember that for back extension you still want to work your back so you can extend the opposite arm and leg while on all fours, be mindful of squeezing your shoulder blades together and contracting the lower back. Switch sides when the class is half-way done with the exercise.
ROCK IT OUT DURING BACK DANCING!!!! Baby can hear the music and will dance along with you! You can keep hips lower or widen stance if needed.
-Lay on your stomach – this means no back extension and nothing on the mat laying on your sweet baby belly. A modification for laying on the stomach for seat work is the classic table top position on all fours with the working side leg extended behind you.
-Rotate too much to one side or the other during thigh stretch, roundback stretch or ab work.
-Use tubes for additional resistance during ab work.
Always stretch additionally…. Different types of stretches and for longer periods of time. Stretch before class and stay after if you can and stretch more. I’m fascinated by how my body does during each class. Sometimes during first trimester, my stomach felt too heavy to stay on my toes, but then second trimester I felt awesome on my toes even though the baby was bigger. So odd!
If you are pregnant and doing Pure Barre, what have you found helps you while taking? What modifications have you had to make? Any odd sensations you’ve felt?