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Pregnancy has changed my workouts - a lot!
I used to work out pretty intensely, alternating between lifting heavy weights and HIIT cardio workouts. I took for granted the fact that I felt good every day - at least, good enough to push myself hard on workouts. But about halfway through that first trimester of pregnancy, I knew I needed a change in my workout regimen. I was queasy, exhausted, and I needed about 3 sports bras to jog or jump in any capacity! (Sorry, was that TMI?)
Walking my dog became my new "workout" - a far cry from burpees and jump squats! And when the weather got cold, I'll be honest - I pretty much stopped working out entirely. The holidays were coming, and it was a difficult time to start up a new routine, just to have it interrupted by travel and holiday parties!
So where does that leave me now?
I actually ended up losing a lot of muscle weight over the months I took off from working out, which is kind of a bummer. I know it's going to be an uphill climb trying to get back to where I started, but it's alright. Life gets in the way and postpones our progress sometimes, but that isn't a reason to quit altogether! Right now, I'm super grateful that baby girl is healthy and doing the kickboxing for me in there! The rest will come back with time, and I'm thankful to be in that healthy mental space.
Now it's the beginning of January, and I feel absolutely fantastic. My baby bump is growing every day, but I feel energized, focused, and motivated to start working out again - even if that means taking it reeeeeallly slow. I'm starting small with going for walks with Sadie Belle (yes, even in the cold!) and introducing some yoga, pilates, and barre workouts into my daily routine. These types of workouts fit my preggo lifestyle perfectly right now, since they're low-impact, yet super effective for targeting some of my muscle groups that have lost tone over the last few months.
I just started a yearly subscription to The Yoga Collective - let me know if you'd like to see a review on that in the next few weeks! It's a database of TONS of yoga workouts, including some for beginners and prenatal yogis like myself! I kind of look like a dying flamingo while doing yoga... but hopefully regular practice will help me improve!
Low Impact, High Intensity!
I think when some people hear the term "low impact," they get turned off because they equate it with "easy." Say it with me: low impact does not equal easy!
As I've incorporated more low impact workouts into my routine, I've found that focusing on smaller muscle groups and more direct ranges of motion can target certain muscle groups pretty intensely! Barre is an excellent low-impact exercise for toning specific muscles, while also receiving balance support.
I'd highly recommend that beginners and those who struggle with balance try a barre routine, expecially if they're not comfortable with the floor work of Pilates or the balance required for yoga. If you're not familiar with barre as an exercise routine, recall ballet dancers warming up at the barre. Of course, you don't need an aerobics room and an actual bar to do the workout - find a chair or something about hip-height to support you.
After a walk one day, I decided to add a barre workout to quickly, but effectively, target my butt and thighs. Spoiler alert: it was effective! Ya girl was definitely sore the next day!
So today, I want to share that lower body barre workout with those who are perhaps just beginning a new fitness journey this year. If you're a beginner, this is a great place to start, since it's quick, supportive, and effective. Even if you're super fit, this workout can be made more difficult by completing additional rounds, adding more reps, balancing on your own, wearing ankle weights or adding resistance loops.
For this workout, you'll just need a chair or something sturdy and hip-height for stability. I'll provide a demonstration of these exercises in the video below so that you know how to do each move. This Barre Workout for Toned Legs & Butt is made up of 10 total moves, with 20 repetitions of each move.
Check out the demonstrations below, and make sure you pin the image below to save to your fitness Pinterest board!
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