Bar Method PregnancyLee Potter
Year Released: 2010
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This is a barre workout from The Bar Method studios, founded by Burr Leonard. I found it quite similar to the original Designer Sculpting workout, though it’s shorter and includes modifications for pregnancy. If you have DS, you don’t necessarily need this workout if you know how to modify the exercises commonly used in barre workouts. I mostly got it because I appreciated working out “with” other pregnant women and I also was wondering what types of modifications or alternative moves it would include.
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The workout is led by Bar Method instructor Lee Potter who is in her third trimester, pregnant with twins. Two other BM instructors join her—Hannah is 27 weeks pregnant and Lauren is 21 weeks pregnant. They all wear black pants and colored tops. As with most barre workouts, they perform the workout barefoot. All of them have a freestanding ballet barre and no alternatives are described within the workout itself. You also need a couple of pillows, and a mat if you’re on a hard floor. Light weights are used for the upper body section.
Knee lifts with arms up, swinging forward and to the side, as in most BM workouts.
Shoulders: alternating front raises and standing pec flies (these always seem to mostly work my shoulders). Lat squeezes with arms at sides, full-range and pulsing bicep curls, one-arm tricep kickbacks and then dips (one person does overhead press as an alternative). Seated stretches.
Calf raises, wide-leg plies, squats elevated on toes, plies with feet in v-position (toes touching, heels elevated). Stretch.
Start with feet in v position and put one foot behind you, knee slightly bent. Pulse leg back to work seat. Second seat exercise is in the same position, but you move the leg diagonally to work the outside corner of your glute and thigh. These are done on both sides, and then you stretch.
Sit on floor with one pillow behind you. Put your feet on the floor in front of you, knees bent up and hip width apart. Lift arms up in front of you, lean back slightly, and hold the position while you exhale out several times. Next, put another pillow on top of the first and lean back. Again, put your arms straight out in front of you and raise them up and down. Lee says you may not be able to feel your abs if you’re far enough along in pregnancy, but you should still feel your obliques. I confess, I didn’t really eel anything.
Two of the women do this section kneeling on the floor holding the bar. The other woman is standing at the bar. Tuck pelvis, then tuck and circle your hips, then tuck and alternate pushing hips to left and right sides. These work your quads but they also seemed to help release some of the tightness I have in my lower back. Final stretch. A strap is used to stretch hamstrings.
I got this workout when I was about 30 weeks pregnant. Until that point, I was able to do non-prenatal workouts and just modify. I wanted to work out with other pregnant women though, so I acquired several workouts to try. This one clocks in at just about 45 minutes, but the chapters make it easy to skip around or do selected sections if you want. The first time I did it, I kind of thought, “That’s it?” and was a bit disappointed, but later that day, realized it was a decent workout. It seems like just enough for each area. I would have liked some floor work, but the only thing that really comes to mind are modified pelvic lifts. I feel it’s a good prenatal workout without being over the top. Again, if you have other bar workouts and know how to modify, you probably don’t NEED this one. Lee does give some good form pointers relevant to pregnancy, but if you know good barre form, you probably won’t need these additional tips either.
Lee has kind of a wry sense of humor. She pokes fun at herself, mostly referring to how big she is, and also mentions pregnancy cravings. I enjoyed it—she seemed down-to-earth, realistic about her shape, not too cutesy. Her belly IS pretty big, but again I preferred that to someone who says she’s in her 3rd trimester but looks absolutely teeny.