Pippa Middleton isn't one to sit still. Before becoming pregnant with her first child, her workouts ranged from hitting the gym to training hard for events that seriously tested her limits, like the time she rode her bike across the United States in nine days to raise money for charity. (No big deal.) And when she adjusted her routine to exercise safely with a baby on board, one workout in particular is especially proving to be a win: barre.
As someone who loves the mental clarity, energy, and feel-good vibes that come from working out nearly every day of the week, Middleton wanted to find options that would help her reap the benefits of exercise without overdoing it. And in her column for Waitrose, she took fellow moms-to-be on her journey, trimester by trimester. After taking a break from running and instead walking with weights, swimming, and playing tennis with modifications in the beginning of her pregnancy, low-impact barre workouts have been really beneficial in her final couple months.
"I feel far from a ballerina, but I’m equally determined not to break into a penguin-style waddle and plod around with bad posture." —Pippa Middleton
"I feel far from a ballerina, but I’m equally determined not to break into a penguin-style waddle and plod around with bad posture," she writes. "With this in mind, I’ve continued to embrace barre-inspired workouts throughout pregnancy; a form of exercise taken from ballet which involves the small, isolated movements that develop flattering muscle tone."
With slow, deliberate movements and high repetitions, barre workouts are a great way to build up your muscles without feeling totally exhausted, she explains. Not much is required to get your sweat on, either: "You just need somewhere with a sturdy rail, frame or supportive chair," Middleton says. "And barre also includes exercises that help with labor—plié squats, hip openers, and engaging the pelvic floor opens up your pelvic outlet, allowing more room for baby and preparing and strengthening muscles for childbirth."
While there are plenty of beneficial exercises done throughout class, Middleton definitely has her favorites you can start with that are "effective but simple to grasp": side leg raises using a ball under your ribs, kneeling glute leg raises with ankle weights, side leg raises using a ball behind your knee, and narrow "V" with ball squeezes using the ball between your inner thighs. Whether you're eight months pregnant or just want a great workout, this super-fit, soon-to-be-mama is proof getting your ballerina on seems to be the way to go.
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