I feel so lucky to be a barre babe!
Back when I was 20 weeks pregnant, I had to supply The Bar Method Hoboken with a doctors note stating that I was able to keep up the work out. I didn't announce the news publicly yet and was still able to hide my little bump, but according to studio rules, I needed to start modifying certain exercises. I wasn't ready for that!
However, after learning the proper modifications (especially for ab work) and putting them to the test these past few months, I'm happy to report that the modifications are awesome. Here, studio owners Lucia and Melissa, explain how the class is beneficial for pregnant women.
How do classes at The Bar Method help women throughout their pregnancy?
Studies have shown that regular exercise during pregnancy decreases backaches and discomfort due to swollen feet, makes women less likely to gain excessive weight, decreases the risk of diabetes, and improves mood and self-esteem. Babies of pregnant women who exercise have been found as a group to be leaner, calmer and generally healthier at birth.
Then there is the moral support attending an exercise class with other pregnant women provides. The Bar Method technique stands apart because it is safe, smart and personal. It was created under the guidance of physical therapists to ensure it is safe and effective for students spanning a wide range of abilities including those expecting moms.
The most important this to remember is that in a normal, healthy pregnant woman, exercise is the best way to achieve a successful pregnancy and avoid the blues in the postpartum period. Pregnancy is not a sickness and we should empower women to feel strong and in charge of their bodies during pregnancy!
How does this prep help while giving birth?
Sustaining an interval of intensity prepares you for contractions or surges, The Bar Method class is all intervals. Each thigh exercise gives the mental preparation to face contractions without fear and with the confidence that they will pass. Also, as part hypno-birthing preparation, there's also a lot of breathing exercises done in class that helps assist with contractions.
When it comes to abs, you have lots of modifications for pregnant women. Can you tell me the reasoning for the modifications?
Pregnant clients post 20 weeks must use three to four risers under their large mat to tilt their pelvis slightly forward and keep the weight of the uterus from tilting back on major blood vessels. The amount of riser they use will depend on the size of their belly. All Bar Method curl positions, with an exception of a few are fine for pregnant students to perform as long as the woman can keep her pelvis tilted slightly forward.
What’s the best thing a woman can do for her abs while pregnant to keep strengthening them?
Our advising obstetrician urges women to keep their abdominals muscles as strong as possible throughout pregnancy to speed the recovery after birth. For that reason, as long as a pregnant women have the proper support behind their back (risers), they feel good and are able to perform the move in good form, they perform rhythmic curls as an option in our abdominal work in class.
Breathing is the most important aspect in keeping your abs involved, so the harder and deeper your breath in class, the stronger your abs are during pregnancy, and the better shape they're in after birth!