The Benefits of “Tucking for Two”
Why Barre is the Perfect Exercise
“Can I barre while pregnant?” This is a question we hear often. 2016 was the big barre boom of babies! At one point it seemed that we had the majority of our clients, “Tucking for Two”!
What better motivation do you need to push through that last eight count, or plie one inch lower, or even lift an inch higher, than to be standing at the barre next to a full term, baby mama? Nothing stopping her, so why should you? What a beautiful sight, so strong and determined, focused and driven, for not one, but two: setting the tone for all those eager to keep the same pace.
These days, maintaining and even improving fitness levels is encouraged while pregnant. The benefits of barring while pregnant boosts mood and energy levels, supports better sleep, and helps prevent excess weight gain. It also prepares you for childbirth by strengthening muscles and building endurance, making it much easier to get back in shape after your baby is born. We have even heard from our clients that barring during their pregnancy helped make their labor a little easier by improving endurance, and stamina with learned breathing and focus.
Research suggests prenatal exercise may also lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. It is so beneficial that the American College of Obstetricians recommend healthy women exercise at least 30 minutes a day, claiming the ideal workout would be one that gets your heart pumping, keeps you limber, manage weight gain and prepares your muscles to handle the physical demands of pregnancy and the postpartum period without causing undue physical stress for you or the baby, which leads us to the perfect workout for pregnant women – barre!
To know that barre is the perfect workout for pregnancy is to understand what barre is.
Our Body Sculpt Barre class is 60 minutes of a total body engaging workout, made up of low impact, body resistant moves. Surrounded by building and using a strong core and balanced body, we sculpt with light weights of 3 to 5 pounds and use our body to channel multiple muscle groups at once, giving you an increased heart rate, mild but effective, while you tone, change, and strengthen every muscle in your body. Our moves focus on lengthening and strengthening muscles, changing the structure of your body through lifted seats and cinched hips, thighs, and waists. Using breath and focus, our form focused class forces you to escape from everything around you and focus on your body and mind connections.
Due to the low impact, controlled and focused nature of the workout, Body Sculpt Barre is not only perfectly adaptable to pregnancy, but it seems as if the technique could have even be created specifically for it! Don’t get us wrong, it’s no easy workout; however, our safe and effective, low impact program works you both mentally and physically, pushing you to your fullest capabilities, and providing you with the essentials to be strong and healthy through your pregnancy, and prepared for labor and delivery plus a rapid recovery.
Because our classes always target glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, pelvic floor, abdominals, and upper and lower back, you always cover areas on which to focus both pre and postnatal. These muscle groups need to be simultaneously strengthened and lengthened to accommodate the growth of the baby and for you to feel better in your ever-changing body.
Two most common questions we get from our pregnant barre beauties:
Will there be things I can’t or shouldn’t do from time to time?
Sure! As your body changes along the trimesters and you become more uncomfortable with certain positions, you may not be able to fully complete an exercise, leading to an alternate move. Our instructors offer modifications and other options for you.
Is it safe to work my abs while pregnant?
You may be surprised to know, while it is important to tailor your abdominal exercises when pregnant, core strength is essential to help your body adapt to the constant postural changes during pregnancy and therefore appropriate abdominal work should be continued. It’s all about balance- the belly needs to be flexible enough to allow for the baby to grow but strong enough to support that growth. The great news is that our clients engage their one abdominals throughout our entire 60-minute workout, from deep abdominal stabilization, to focused exercises. And let’s not forget about our kegels. Kegels are a must to develop the deep core strength necessary for labor and delivery, so be sure to include them both in and out of class. Good news again, we use our pelvic floor for much of our class, strengthening your kegels!
While we invite and welcome all pregnant clients, it is always better to listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right, modify. And of course, be sure to get the ok from your doctor before beginning a new and/or continued workout while pregnant.