Barre workouts combine ballet, pilates, and sports conditioning and stretching movements that focus on strengthening your core, hips, and legs. Prenatal barre workouts are currently all the rage among pregnant women due to their ability to prepare the body for an ultimate labor and birth experience. Plus, according to Jillian Lorenz, founder of a barre studio chain known as The Barre Code, barre workouts can even help you bounce back and recover faster after you give birth.
All you’ll need for this workout is a yoga mat, a set of light weights, and a stable object or surface you can hold onto for balance. Here is a series of barre movements that can help prime your body for labor and delivery.
Wide second pulses
This exercise focuses on your hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and inner thighs. Hold onto a chair or table for stability, and set your feet wider apart than your shoulders. Turn your feet out at a 45-degree angle, tuck your tailbone straight down, and bend your knees right over your toes. Then, lower your body down slightly as if you are sliding your back straight down a wall. Slowly pulse up and down an inch, and repeat 20 times. Then, hold your body in the low position, and do 10 reps of kegel exercises. Do three sets total without standing up all the way at any point in your workout.
This movement strengthens your pelvic floor and abs, and stretches your lower back. Get down on all fours, flatten your back, and distribute your weight evenly between your hands and knees. Exhale deeply while rounding your back, then lift up your pelvic floor to work your abdominal muscles. Hold this position for five seconds, and inhale as you return to your original flat-back starting position. Do this exercise 15 times.
These movements will strengthen your core, triceps, and shoulders. For the dip movement, get into a seated position. Place your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart, then place your hands behind your buttocks with your fingertips facing forward. Lift yourself off the ground, and shift your weight into your palms. This should increase the load in your triceps and shoulders. Then, bend your elbows as deeply as you can without your buttocks hitting the floor, and exhale as you come back up. Repeat this movement 10 times.
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