I wish this post was titled, "Pregnant at the Bar" or really just, "At the Bar" because being pregnant at a bar isn't exactly helpful, either. But alas, I'll have to settle for an added "r+e" for the time being and keep this post fitness-related and not about drinking.
Oh well. Soon enough, right? Right?! RIGHT?!?!
Have you tried a barre class yet?!
Because if you haven't, you really should. If you're not pregnant, it's a fantastic toning workout and you'll be free to participate fully in the class. If you're in Camp Preggo with me, it's still a great toning workout, and one that is easily modified to suit your individual needs and abilities.
My fitness club* has two varieties of ballet barre class. One has a brief warm up cardio component, and then focuses on honing in on those small muscle groups that leave you thinking the next day, "man, I didn't even know I had muscles there!" The other integrates bursts of cardio throughout the class so that your heart rate is elevated and you're sweating the whole time. I accidentally went to this version at 34 weeks, and ended up having to sit for a bit of the cardio (it was THAT hard/intense). So I'll save that particular class for post-baby body work when I'm looking to melt off these extra pounds! Oh, and when I can breathe again. Breathing is good for cardio heavy workouts.
Both classes are Fan. Friggin. Tastic! If you've invested in some yoga wear, you'll just want to show up in that, and be bare foot just like you are in a standard yoga class.
There's no prancing across the floor like a beautiful ballerina (can you even imagine? With this big ol' belly? No. Just no). No graceful lifts from the zero males that show up to the class, either! There's no bouncing, jumping, or anything else that's high impact. Just lots of small movements with many repetitions. For example, you may stand in second position (if you're not a dancer, don't worry! The instructor will tell you how to position your feet) and do a combination of 15 full plies, then hold at the bottom of the plie and pulse your legs muscles, then transition all the way up to your toes and focus on some arm work. It all depends on the creativity of the instructor.
The class will tone your all the muscle groups in your legs, use the dumbbells to work the arms, and then usually concludes with abdominal work. Basically, it's a full body workout! For the last five minutes of class, you'll work on flexibility and stretching out those long lean muscles you've just worked on.
Now that I'm SO PREGNANT, this is the class I go to when I'm feeling extra energy and looking for a good workout. It's fun and challenging, yet you're able to adopt it to your individual fitness level. Oh, and it's fun! The hour flies by. If you've been thinking about checking out a barre class at one of the six million barre studios that have opened in the past year or so, I could not recommend it more. It's such a fun way to get (or stay) in shape!
*We're members at Lifetime Fitness at the Dallas Athletic Club. BarreFusion is the less-cardio intense class while LifeBarre contains the cardio bursts. If you're a Lifetime member in other parts of the country, they likely have similar options, although I've noticed Dallas has different names for classes at local clubs. Barre-specific studios are also excellent options to explore!