Why every mom should try a barre workout

May 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. ET

This trendy exercise regimen helps mothers focus on their trouble spots — from poor posture to loose abdominals to the ever-shrinking bank of free time. Barre workouts can be done at your kitchen counter with minimal to no equipment in as little as 10 minutes. 

Pregnant woman doing barre | Sheknows.com

Photo credit: Barre3

Many different exercise studios offer barre workouts. I decided to try barre3 because of the in-studio child care. Now, I’m hooked.

Barre3 teaches you to work out smarter, not necessarily harder. This means pointing the pelvis straight down for a neutral spine, pulling the belly button into the spine, sending the shoulders down the back, knitting the rib cage together, leaving a soft bend in the knees, taking the crease out of the wrist and keeping the knees over the ankles. Barre3 instructors will talk you through it all. And just when you start to feel uncomfortable because your shoulders are creeping up to your ears, they remind you to shine your chest forward.

I asked Lisa Schale-Drake, mother of twins and corporate trainer at barre3, why these workouts are especially beneficial for moms, both new and veteran.

Improved posture

Barre workouts target the muscles that have a tendency to get lengthened and weakened during pregnancy and post baby. Balancing the body is key so you can stand taller, hold your kids longer and move pain free throughout your daily life.This is important, especially when women find themselves hunching over their babies during all those feedings.

Targeted core work

The core work is highly focused on strengthening the entire abdominal wall in a safe and effective way. This will allow you to stay strong and balanced during your pregnancy and come back quickly after you have had your little one. Barre3 teaches you to always pull the belly button to the spine.

Low impact

This means no jumping around. Joints can become unstable during pregnancy, so this type of work will strengthen the muscles that help stabilize and protect the joints. Yoga poses are integrated into the workout for maximum flexibility and peace of mind.


Not all types of movement will work for everyone. Barre3 works with clients to ensure that each move feels not only challenging, but good in the body. As your body changes, so should your workout.

Flexible and portable

Barre3 offers in-studio child care, DVDs and online workouts. You can even use your smartphone to access workouts via the barre3 app.

Prenatal support

Schale-Drake says of her own experience, "I was pregnant with my twins and barre3 truly kept me sane during my pregnancy. The further along in my pregnancy, the more support and warmth I felt from the teachers, clients and the barre3 community. Plus, I was able to jump right back into class afterwards, which was a huge surprise. Now I have the strength to hold my two toddlers and run after them all the time. Barre3 is key to keep this busy mom fit, grounded and strong."

As for me, working out at barre3 while pregnant made me feel like superwoman, finding balance and strength and peace all in one hour — one hour that carried me through the rest of the day with greater ease and less pain. The intense muscular fatigue I knew intimately from barre3 classes helped me to cope with the contractions as I birthed my daughter at home, relying on the power of my body alone. As the instructors have been known to say, you can do anything for one minute.

More on barre workouts

Best group fitness classes for heart health
Are you ready to raise the “barre” on your workout?

Cool mom-friendly workouts that will keep you fit