Pregnancy + The Barre Code

Happy Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend? I’m looking forward to a low key weekend with my girl after celebrating her three years of life last weekend. We have a date to the farmer’s market and a baby room to get in order.
Speaking of babies… I’ve been very fortunate this pregnancy to be able to keep exercising without zero complications. Now that I’ve entered my third trimester (wait what?!?!), I’m definitely slowing down-but overall I still feel great and I credit that to staying so active through my pregnancy.
While running has officially been put on hold until after baby is born, one workout that remains constant in my pregnant life is barre, specifically classes at The Barre Code.
running42atbarre
When I was pregnant with Madelyn, there were no barre studios in my area, so I did Barre DVDs instead. While they were good, nothing compares to taking an actual class and staying accountable.
The one thing that I love about The Barre Code as opposed to other traditional barre studios is that they offer a variety of other classes, specifically those that are cardio based. So far, I’ve been able to modify all the classes that The Barre Code has to offer. While I tend to stick with mostly barre, I sometimes try to sneak in a cardio class. Some days, no matter how pregnant you are, a good sweat session is just necessary.
Here’s a run down of all the classes that The Barre Code in Milwaukee has to offer and how I was able to modify them through my pregnancy, the first two trimesters.
Brawl-(description taken from website) Brawl, which has been recognized by SELF magazine as one of the best workouts in the country, is an intense class that combines cardio kickboxing sequences with strengthening work for the thighs and glutes. 
-Such a fun cardio class! I like it because you actually have to remember and think about what’s coming next, so it’s good for the exercising the mind and body.
First trimester modifications: Not too much to modify in the first trimester. Keep an eye on your breathing and make sure not to get out of breath. That’s the main modification for most of the cardio classes. I was able to still get a good workout in, but definitely didn’t go all out like I did pre-pregnancy. I used to leave that class drenched.
Second & third trimester modifications: Range of motion when doing any core twisting exercises has been limited. You’re supposed to avoid any twisting when you’re into the second trimester, so as the belly started growing I avoided this. Instead of twisting, I would just keep my core center and move my arms (in a punching motion). I’ve also had to dial down the cardio. A few weeks ago, we had a segment that was hook left, hook right, burpee. Repeat. I was able to keep up in the beginning but through out class when I felt like I needed a little break, I just kept doing hooks in place of the burpee and skipping out on every other set of burpees. For moves like diagonal knee raises, instead of jumping I would just keep my supported leg on the ground for every other. That helped control my breathing a little bit. You know your body, and you know what you are capable of.
TBC & Interval (Interval has now been replaced with HIIT)-(description on their website) I combined these two classes because a lot of the moves are the same, it’s just the layout of the class that is different. TBC has a cardio section, but is mainly toning. Where as Interval is mostly cardio with a small section of strength training sandwiched in. I will focus on the modifications I made to the cardio sections and talk about the toning modifications in the barre section.
First trimester modifications: Same thing as Brawl, make sure that you are able to still talk, never work so hard that you’re losing your breath. Always have water with you and drink it throughout class as needed.
Second trimester modificationsThe belly’s starting to grow and jumping, burpees etc are starting to get a bit more challenging. For mountain climbers, I took them to the barre. You can still get your heart rate up and keep your core engaged while placing less strain on your core. On days when I couldn’t do burpees, I would either walk one foot back at a time or walk my hands out to a plank, hold it, and walk my hands back in toward my feet. Things like jump squats, I eventually just went to onto my tip toes and never left the ground. A-Jacks also became non-existent sometime in the second trimester.
Barre Code-(Description taken from their website) A full-body workout that consists of isometric holds and heavy repetition, working muscles to fatigue to develop muscle stamina and endurance. A range of different props are used in each class to challenge the body and engage the mind.
My favorite prenatal class to take at The Barre Code.
First trimester modifications: In the first trimester I didn’t have to modify anything. I kept working my core as long as I could to help keep it strong for labor and delivery.
Second trimester modifications: I didn’t have to start modifying abs until I was well into my second trimester and the bump became evident (somewhere around 20 weeks). Some days I could lay flat on my back without zero problems, but other times I’d get short of breath and I’d have to place the playground ball behind my lower back. It all depended on how the little one was positioned in there but at around 20 weeks I stopped laying down, used the playground ball and kept the “crunching” moves to a minimum. Any movements where the instructor had us in prone position, I would either do on all fours or standing, depending on what it was. Some seat movements started to get tricky. There’s one move that works your hamstrings and seat where you have one foot on the barre and the other in the air. For that tricky move, I just kept my feet on the ground and did hip raises. At 27 weeks, any balance work on the green disc became non-existent. It was challenging enough for me just to do one leg lunges into a high knee without the added challenge of the disc and so I set it aside for later use.  Planks/push ups mostly stayed the same with a few plank modifications and taking rests when I thought I needed it. Thighs and arms for the most part didn’t need any modifications either, which is why I think this class is my favorite for my pregnant belly.
I’m so glad that I’ve been able to keep working out through my pregnancy. I wanted to write this post because when I was doing a google search for pregnancy modifications at The Barre Code, nothing came up. There were a lot of blog posts for other studios that offered traditional barre classes, but I was more interested in the cardio classes and some portions of Barre Code since it is faster pace and intense than most barre classes.
A few *Important* things to keep in mind:
-This is just advice that has worked for me. Every pregnant body/pregnancy is different from one person to the next.
-If you’ve never taken classes at The Barre Code, I wouldn’t advise starting when you’re pregnant. Save it for post-baby. I felt comfortable keeping up with this workout because I’ve been doing it consistently for nearly 2 years now.
-Finally, tell you’re instructor that you’re pregnant!! You may not want to tell everyone right away, but it’s important for the instructor to know. They can offer you different modifications at various stages of pregnancy. Take time to ask them questions before or after class. If I get there early enough, I will usually ask the instructor what she has planned for abs and just adjust my own routine as necessary. My PT gave me a few ab exercises to do that are safe throughout all trimesters of pregnancy, so I usually just stick to those. You might feel funny doing something completely different than the rest of the class, but as they see your growing belly-they’ll get it!IMG_2513-2For more tips on how to make workouts lower impact, check out this post!
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4 thoughts on “Pregnancy + The Barre Code

  1. Rachel @ A Forever Change August 21, 2015 / 10:15 am

    I can’t believe I’ve never tried a Barre workout! They look like so much fun! Thanks for sharing your experience! 🙂

    Like

    • Maria C August 21, 2015 / 2:34 pm

      It’s one of my favorite ways to strength train! It works those muscles harder than you ever thought possible 🙂

      Like

  2. cupcakekelly August 21, 2015 / 10:37 am

    Barre was one of the few workouts I was cleared to do during my pregnancy. The staff at my Pure Barre was awesome with modifications!

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    • Maria C August 21, 2015 / 2:37 pm

      I feel great while doing it! I think it’s a great way to condition your mind and body for labor. I think of thigh work like contractions: I can’t “quit” contractions so I can’t quit through this thigh set. Most of the time it works and pushes me through, but sometimes I just can’t. I think I’m not actually in labor so…haha! 🙂

      Like

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