HEY MAMA, BRING YOUR BUMP TO THE BARRE

1. Only YOU know your body.  Listen to your body.  Always, always, always listen to your body, and do what feels comfortable for your body.  As you progress in your pregnancy, things feel different, things change on a day-to-day basis.  Our barre classes are designed so that you can modify most, if not all of the exercises and you’re encouraged to do what makes you feel good, but still feel like you have worked your body.  It is always important to pace yourself, to keep your heart rate at a reasonable level, to always move with control and care, to focus on your breathing, and to stay hydrated while exercising.  Every pregnancy is different so always get clearance from your doctor before starting any exercise program.

2. Muscles You Work.  As you know, at j.POWERStudio, you work your entire body - from top to bottom, from the inside out.  No muscles left behind - arms, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, pelvic floor, abdominals, and upper and lower back are 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.  

3. JPS Barre offers a whole hour of core exercises & don't forget to keep up with your kegels (that lift of the pelvic floor that you hear us say in class all. the. time.).  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, so it's really important to keep up with your core work.  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.  We are always working you from the inside out, we focus on the deep abdominal stabilization first then we layer on.  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, in your car, at the grocery store, etc., as much as you can, whenever you can.

4. Have fun with your workouts. Pregnant women are constantly being told what they shouldn’t do, but so rarely what they should do.  It’s refreshing to focus on the positive and know that it’s not only ok, but it’s important to take care of yourself and enjoy yourself while doing it.  After all, pregnancy can be an extremely busy time, so dedicating even one hour to your health, fitness, and well-being is already something to celebrate. From our workouts, students experience improved posture, decreased lower back pain, increased pelvic stability, better circulation, reduced swelling, and they sleep better.  Not to mention that tight, toned, sexy, sculpted muscles are the perfect accessory to go along with radiant, glowing skin, and baby bump!

Alway warm Up:

Marching:  As you progress in your pregnancy, you can march in profile, holding on to the ballet barre if you need more support.  You can always step side-to-side, swaying arms forward and back.  Another option would be do do parallel squats along the barre.  If you need assistance, one of our barre teachers can assist you in modifying.

Planks:  Can all be done from knees or at the barre. Planks are a great form of exercise for the abs and lower back.  Focus more on core engagement, lift of the pelvic floor, rather than choreography.

Pushups: Can be done from knees with shins on the ground or at the barre. If a deeper modification is needed, you can also do pushups against the wall.

Thigh Work:  Most thigh exercises can be done as normal. If you feel too much pressure in your back during waterski, neutral spine chair or round back chair, remember you can always work chair center room.  Work up higher in thigh work, though depth is important, engagement of quadriceps, inner thighs and core is most important.  Don’t push yourself too far. Take breaks if needed and again don’t work as low if you aren’t feeling up to it that day.

Seat Work:  Avoid prone seat work (or spinal extension, or back dancing on abdominals), modification would be to do “All Fours” seat work or “Modified Foldover."

During the ab exercises against the wall:

– During High-Curve, instead of focusing on any choreography, focus on core engagement, stay holding on behind thighs, and if needed, place ball between sacrum (that triangular bone above the tailbone) and floor. Focus on obliques in and down towards the spine and squeezing the lower abs in and up… you’ll need this during labor!!!  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!)

– During Roundback On The Wall, 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.  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, making sure to pull navel into spine.

In Low-Curve, stay holding on behind the legs if needed, or use a strap or ball as a tool.

Back Dancing:

SLAY BACK DANCING!!!!  Your baby can hear the music and will dance along with you! Get your back dancing on.  You can keep your hips lower or widen stance if needed.  

WHAT NOT TO DO:

-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 core work.

-No stretching on the stall barre.

ALWAYS STRETCH:

-Try different types of stretches and for longer periods of time.  Stretch before class and stay after if you can and stretch more.  Try supported stretching on the floor with our black straps. 

-Always consult with one of our experienced JPS barre teachers if you have any questions about modifications for any exercise.  We are always here to help you progress in your practice.  Our goal is to get your through your pregnancy happier and stronger than ever.