I attended my very first barre class with Marlo at Barre Body Studio in Calgary a few years ago and I've been hooked ever since! Being low impact, it's seriously the perfect balance to all of the spin that I do. It lengthens & tones my muscles, works my stabilizers and keeps my core in check. One of the things I love most about barre is that all shapes, sizes and fitness levels can do it! For example it's something that my mom and I enjoy doing together (and yes, she uses heavier weights than me) and my preggie friends will also happily come along to a class with me.

I met my (pregnant) friend Mackenzie in class at BBS this summer, it turned out in addition to being a committed barre-star (I had to) she is also an instructor! And she continues to pulse it out at the barre as her bump continues to grow. I am always curious about how one can stay active during pregnancy (and what to wear) so I picked her brain about her experience, here's what she had to say:

So you found out you've got a bambino on the way, yay! Why did you choose to continue to attend barre classes during your pregnancy? I began attending barre to rehab from an ankle injury, so I learned right away how easily the classes can be adapted for different levels and abilities. This experience made it an easy choice during pregnancy because, once again, I knew I would be able to customize the classes to suit each stage of my pregnancy. 

Did you speak to your doctor about attending barre classes? What information did he/she give you? My doctor reinforced the importance of staying active, and she encouraged me to continue attending classes to keep up my strength and flexibility.

How have the instructors responded to having a (beautiful) pregnant gal in classes? They have been great with providing safe and challenging alternatives to some of the exercises that are now off limits. It’s also been so great to hear from other mamas in class about how barre helped them both throughout pregnancy and postpartum.

How is shimmying up to that bar regularly impacting you physically (and mentally)? I had tough first trimester, so at first barre was something familiar that provided me with a bit of an escape and distraction from that pesky morning sickness. Once I was feeling better, I found that having weekly commitments to class helped me stay on track and focused on staying healthy.

(Photo cred: Blair Marie Photography)

What do you typically wear to barre? Pre-pregnancy and during? I have recently discovered the Align Pant from lululemon, and I could not love a piece of clothing any more than I love those tights! They are a must for any other pregnant mamas out there. For tops, I’m usually wearing a BBS tank or a Cool Racerback.

Has your wardrobe shifted during your pregnancy? What are some of your go-to outfits, any brands you love and can recommend? My style is pretty simple. My closet is made up of pretty neutral colours, and lots of layering pieces. This has really saved me during pregnancy, because other than a few basics like my Storq Bundle, I have been able to get away wearing most of my regular wardrobe. With a few basic maternity dresses, tights and long tanks, I have adjusted my base layer, and from there I just layer on vests, sweaters or a blazer to suit the occasion. 

(For more information from Marlo & Mackenzie at Barre Body Studio in Calgary, check out their Prenatal Barre at Barre Body Studio blog post, it's loaded with great information about how to modify & keep you and your baby safe!)

Barre for the win for my beautiful and talented girl Mackenzie! If you want more Mackenzie in your life, check out her design blog Sunday Design Studio and if you are in Calgary, absolutely head to one of her barre classes pronto! Below are some photos of Storq product in action, I absolutely love the idea of having a go-to collection of basic pieces that you can style throughout your pregnancy + it's shipped right to your doorstep!

(Photo cred: Storq instagram)

*San Antonio - if you are looking for a great studio to get your pulse on at, I attend SmartBarre regularly and highly recommend it!