Pregnancy is such an exciting and important time in your life! Whether planning to become pregnant, currently pregnant, or postpartum, maintaining a healthy lifestyle focused on whole-body wellness is of the upmost importance for you and baby. A consistent and safe exercise routine throughout all of these stages of pregnancy helps you stay fit, increases energy, minimizes stress during pregnancy, prepares you for the rigors of child birth, and makes for a faster recovery post-birth.
At Novo Fitness Studio, we specialize in pre/post natal exercise. Our methods are low-impact and have safe, effective modifications for pregnancy. Most of our classes can be taken throughout pregnancy, given the client modifies specific exercises where necessary. Our teachers are all trained to give and demonstrate appropriate modifications to pregnant women.
Don’t overtrain, don’t add a new/intense class format that you’ve never taken before. Don’t take multiple classes a day. Keep your body in the familiar. Don’t add new formats or class styles that aren’t prenatal specific during this time, but definitely go to your regular favorites you were performing prior to pregnancy.
We do not recommend taking any Buti Yoga classes during the first trimester, nor do we recommend any heated classes at any point in your pregnancy.
We recommend that pregnant clients email us in advance to come in to the studio and discuss their specific needs/goals prior to their first class. This also gives the instructor time to discuss and demonstrate appropriate modifications, as well as recommend specific classes to take.
Novo is proud to offer a “baby bounce back” package for post-baby. This package includes 3 months of unlimited classes plus a 10 class package youth service session for a one time payment of $300 (a savings of $75).
Our goal is to keep you and baby safe, happy, and healthy throughout the stages of pregnancy! Several of our clients and teachers have gone through their entire pregnancy with us and can provide insight and advice for you as well, speaking from their personal experience. Set up a consultation with us by emailing [email protected], and get started in your fitness journey with us today!
In order to avoid injuries such as diastasis (the separation of parts of the body that are normally joined together- such as the separation of certain abdominal muscles during pregnancy) we ask that you abide by the following in order to keep you and baby safe.
Make sure to ask the front desk for a hard copy of our “Prenatal Information and Modifications” document prior to beginning classes while pregnant!
- Clients should consult with their physician about the appropriate acceptable heart rate . We encourage wearing a heart rate monitor during class. You are always welcome to slow down any cardio intervals or modify them by taking out jumping, etc.
- Rather than Superwoman, clients should choose to stretch the spine by rounding into cat back and then coming into neutral and enjoying a hip opening wide child’s pose.
- During Vinyasa portions of classes, we encourage clients to move from plank (option to come to the knees), then table top for a modified chaturanga (omitting cobra or upward dog). Remember that Wide Child’s Pose is an amazing way to stretch and alleviate tension from the hips and low back.
- Abdominal work during the any class can be done on the forearms or with a ball behind the back, working higher than usual. Always stay with the “level 1” or least intense variation given by the instructor. You may choose to stretch during this section as well.
- Supine (lying on the back) stretches should be practiced seated.
- Savasana should be practiced lying in a fetal pose on the ride side body or in wide child’s pose.
Modifications for Barre classes:
- Once showing, pregnant clients will not continue practicing under the barre work flat on their backs. Instead, they will go into flat back against the wall and under the barre. It is more effective and safe to sit in Flat back and focus on the isometric contraction and lift of lower abdominals, including the pelvic floor. It is critical whenever practicing Flat back that the pelvis remains untucked and neutral.Prenatal Flat back will exclude both legs extended, moving and especially lifting. Single legwork is acceptable; however, we feel it is best to completely keep the movement out of the legs and solely concentrate on lifting the pelvic floor. The use of a playground ball between the knees as well as accepting proper weight distribution in extremely effective and still very challenging.
- Elimination of C-Curve and Superman: Good alternatives are Cat Back to Neutral Spine Stretch. Planking in a tabletop position is also a wonderful and safe modification to C-Curve. It’s important to build strength while being gentle to the ever expanding abdomen during pregnancy.
- Rather than trying to maintain a parallel position during Foldover, you may practice a modified position so the weight from the beautiful growing belly does not lead to injury.
- We feel it’s best to avoid any tucking/scooping of the pelvis whatsoever. Positions that call for a scooped pelvis (to remain safe during the exercise) are:
General thigh work: avoid scoop to neutral, instead choose little downs or ups with keeping a neutral spine.
Knee Dancing on Diagonal: Please choose to practice this technique with shoulders directly placed over hips.
Waterski: A great alternative is High Narrow V.
- Instead of bridge, go into table top, extending opposite arm/opposite leg, or just hold in table top.
- Savansana should be done in the fetal position, laying on your side.
- Any cardio intervals should be done at your own pace, slower than the tempo set by the teacher. We recommend wearing a heart rate monitor so you can ensure you stay in a safe heart rate range during class. Consult your physician for your heart rate max.
Modifications for Rebounding classes:
- We recommend wearing a heart rate monitor during bellicon classes to ensure you stay in a safe zone (consult physician for heart rate max).
- As you get further in your pregnancy, you may need to bounce at a slower pace. For this reason, we recommend taking bellicon Circle over bellicon Bounce (circle is structured in a way that is conducive to slowing down the bounce.)
- For the core work at the end of class, work in a table top position, extending opposite arm and leg.
*Most physicians will allow you to do any form of exercise you had been doing prior to pregnancy. However, we strongly recommend discussing your exercise plan with your physician as soon as you have confirmed the pregnancy. We do NOT recommend taking any Buti Yoga classes during the first trimester.
Modifications for Buti Yoga Classes
- Do not take a HOT class. We don’t need to overly raise your body temperature, especially during the first trimester.
- Do not perform any fire breath or any kind of breathing that suspends the breath.
- Don’t overstretch. Go to your limit in postures, but don’t try to break new goals or records in stretch or depth during this time. With all the relaxin in your joints, we don’t want to over-stretch causing instability in joint areas.
- Be extremely cautious in and possibly avoid extremely deep twisting and most binding during this time. We don’t want to cut off oxygen and/or blood flow to baby. Gentle twisting that is mindful and full of breath is good.
- Don’t perform postures that compress the belly onto your legs or require you to lie prone. Again, we want to be conscious of cutting off blood flow to baby. So in forward fold (Uttanasana), open your feet to hips distance apart or wider to make room for baby in between your thighs.
- Be cautious with abdominal work that focuses on the rectus abdominis. Meaning, don’t be afraid to put your hands down on the ground on the sides of you in seated ab work (or skip that work entirely) to keep this more gentle.
- Be VERY gentle with Backbends so as to not over stretch the belly muscles. (This is particularly important in the third trimester as baby gets bigger). Keep it gentle and always squeeze your buns in a backbend to protect the spine at the sacrum.
- Never skip a savasana. You need it during this time. If laying on your back is uncomfortable/impossible, lay on your Left side in a fetal position.
- No Buti during the first trimester, but after week 12, if your body was loving Buti before, feel free to Buti it up at the second trimester and beyond! Just LISTEN to your body, heart rate, body temp, etc.
- Use a block or 2 under your hands or bum at times, especially as the belly gets bigger. Touching the floor gets harder as baby grows, so having blocks under hands in postures like standing splits, trikonasana, forward fold, ardha chandrasana, etc… or under your bum in hero pose, half lotus, etc… is a great and welcome help.