My Search for the Best Pre-Natal Workouts
As an avid orange theory member for about 3 years now, I was bummed when the high intensity workouts became a little too much for me to withstand with my growing baby bump and recovery was usually worse than the workout! I really wanted to try and stay active throughout pregnancy so I hung up my heart rate monitor and went in search for a new inspiring class that fit my stage of life a bit better. So for those of you growing a human, or just searching for something a little less intense to inspire you to get active, here is my experience with the following workouts and what has been the best fit for me!
In general, I’ve had to switch my mindset and realize that just because I’m not drenched in sweat and sore the next day, that my workout was still very beneficial and worth it.
Pure Barre: I had done Barre classes once or twice before and was surprised how difficult it was in the past, but figured I could jump in and modify if need be. With the baby bump getting heavier every day, I found myself not knowing how to adjust the core and sit-up moves for pregnancy. I was definitely challenged but not in a sustainable way. It could be simply because I’m not experienced with the barre technique but I felt tired and crampy the rest of the day and it just didn’t feel right overall. Thank you, next.
Pilates: We used spring boards in this particular class and I used a Bosu ball behind me so I wasn’t laying flat on my back. There is also an elevated pad available that works great as well. I was comfortable the whole time while still working similar muscles and moves as Barre. I felt great afterwards with no negative side affects that I noticed. As I’ve gotten bigger, I’ve had to make other adjustments and be ok with more stretching at times than moves that could be unsafe. But overall, this is a great longer class workout that seems to be a good balance of what my body is telling me it needs.
Soul Cycle/Cycling: This one is a very hard one for me to say goodbye to! It was perfect for my first trimester but as I got bigger, it got too hard to get up and down on the bike and the intensity and length of the class just got to be too much for me where the recovery wasn’t worth the workout. I will think of soul cycle fondly as I plan to return post partum.
Workout Apps at Home: I have LOVED using pregnancy-based workouts through apps and youtube. Sugarysixpack app in particular has been amazing! Nikki, the fitness blogger who designed the app, just recently had a baby and has specific programs for each trimester and after baby arrives. This one has been a great balance of stretching, strength training, and challenge. A lot of the workouts require only your bodyweight and dumbbells at times so it’s easy to get it in anywhere. You can always adjust or cut out a round if it’s too tiring but overall, this one has been a winner for me!
Another blogger that broke down pregnancy fitness in a super helpful way is Chriselle Lim. She worked with a trainer who specializes in pre-natal workouts and she walks you through the entire routine. Watch her Youtube video here.
*Important observation: With most classes I went to, the instructors were not trained on how to accurately modify their workouts for pregnancy and found myself relying on what I’ve read and my doctor’s advice. Another reason why the specialized apps have been my workout of choice - simply because you know you’re not being pushed to do something you shouldn’t be.
I have yet to try pre-natal yoga but it’s on my list…
Obviously, each woman and each pregnancy is different so please follow your doctor’s and your own bodies' advice over my own but I hope my experience helps you decipher what may be right for you too.
Comment below if there’s anything else I should try!