Pure Barre Workout Pregnancy Modifications

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Pure Barre Workout Pregnancy Modifications by Birmingham AL lifestyle blogger Heather of My Life Well Loved

(16 Weeks Pregnant)

We’ve all seen them: The Pregnant Woman in a Pure Barre workout kicking your seat. It seems like regardless of that bump and any tiredness, she’s there and zoning in hard to her 55 minutes. What’s the secret of the pregnant chick at Pure Barre? Pure Barre Pregnancy Modifications.

A Pure Barre workout can be a lot to take in with or without pregnancy. I always had so much respect for the women in my class who were showing up and working hard if not harder than other women in the room. Now that I get to be the pregnant woman in the studio, I wanted to share how you can maximize your Pure Barre routine during pregnancy. BUT, if you have no idea what a Pure Barre workout is I recommend you start here where I break down EXACTLY what barre is.

I have heard from countless women how Pure Barre has helped them maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and how it has helped them to bounce back more quickly. Be aware of these modifications for your class and take them as needed. Some you may not need until third trimester and some you may never need. However, it’s great to have these options available to you.

These tips are a compilation from what I’ve learned from Pure Barre, my doctor, other Pure Barre teachers (shout out to Alyssa) and my own experience. I highly recommend you talk to your doctor before you jump into class during pregnancy about modifications you may need while you are expecting.

Pure Barre Workout Pregnancy Modifications by Birmingham AL lifestyle blogger Heather of My Life Well Loved

(31 weeks pregnant taking Pure Barre)

The MOST important thing you can do during pregnancy is listen to your body.  It is imperative to be mindful of any little twinge of an uncomfortable feeling… not meaning the wonderful burning sensation you are supposed to feel during a good Pure Barre workout.  What I’m talking about is more of a singe of pain; any type of strain you feel in your lower abdomen or lower back.

Remember to take continual deep breaths to give your body and most importantly your baby the oxygen they need. AND, that is is SO important to stay hydrated during pregnancy. I used to drink (1) 16 oz bottle of water during class but during pregnancy my goal is at least 1 and a half bottles which equals 3 (8 oz) servings. Continue to do everything you have always done as long as you can do it and are not in pain. However, if you modified plank before you got pregnant, continue to modify plank.

I also have found that prenatal massages have been a great way to help work out tightness from working out and give relief to my back. Make sure you read Everything You Need to Know About Prenatal Massage to get the scoop!

And don’t forget to dress for the part! It can be hard to find clothes that fit right during pregnancy, even more-so for your workout routine. Beyond Yoga has a great line of maternity wear called Beyond the Bump. Check out some of their styles here on Amazon!

Pure Barre Workout Pregnancy Modifications by Birmingham AL lifestyle blogger Heather of My Life Well Loved

Warm Up:

-During the first hundreds section, you can keep your legs bent at the knees and either hold on under your thighs, bringing your chin towards your chest or rest your head on the ball and do the arm movements.

-Roll up: You may leave your feet on the ground and utilize your arms to help you grab behind your thighs to help you roll up.

-Planks: Can all be done from knees. Planks are a great form of exercise for the abs and lower back since you are in a neutral position during forearm and straight arm plank.

-Pushups: Can be done from knees with shins on the ground. If a deeper modification is needed, you can also do pushups against the wall.

-Weights: Feel free to do weights as your body allows. Remember going to a lighter set if you are needing to take breaks, is ALWAYS the right thing to do during a class even if you aren’t pregnant.

Pure Barre Workout Pregnancy Modifications by Birmingham AL lifestyle blogger Heather of My Life Well Loved


-Most thigh exercises can be done as normal. If you feel too much pressure in your back during waterski or chair, remember you can always work upright at the barre as well.

-Don’t push yourself too far. Take breaks if needed and don’t work as low if you aren’t feeling up to it that day.


-Avoid any exercise laying on the stomach again and make modifications as needed if you feel discomfort during full foldover.

Pure Barre Workout Pregnancy Modifications by Birmingham AL lifestyle blogger Heather of My Life Well Loved

(34 weeks pregnant taking Pure Barre)

During the ab exercises against the wall:

– Instead of focusing on any choreography for the legs just focus on squeezing both your obliques in and down towards the spine and squeezing the lower abs up and in … you’ll need this during labor!!!

– During roundback, as your baby grows you may need to adjust your height up or down (depending on where baby is sitting… and it may be different each day) to make sure that you are squeezing and feeling your abs as much as possible.

-During roundback, you can keep your opposite foot planted and stay holding on behind the top leg the whole time.

-In flatback, you can keep both feet on the floor the whole time and/or just do kegels.

Pure Barre Workout Pregnancy Modifications by Birmingham AL lifestyle blogger Heather of My Life Well Loved


-Stay holding on behind the legs if needed.

-Work up higher and use the ball… remember to actively push into the ball with every contraction, whether it be a tuck, squeeze, circle or back an inch, up an inch… this is forcing your abs downward keeping them pulled in (a good reminder for those of us who aren’t pregnant as well!)

-My doctor has advised me against using the tubes for resistance. Your abs don’t need any extra pressure or strain other than the baby and you working out. Using tubes can elevate your risk for the abs splitting.

-In the second section of abs when we roll back, use the modifications from the hundreds in the warm up or stay sitting upright with the ball and mimic the movement of the class.

-In the third section of abs, I usually keep my chin tucked into my chest and do lower body curls like the rest of class just without resting my head. It’s best to continue to work the top of your core as best you can the whole time and you don’t want to be lying on your back with all the weight of your legs on you. Again be mindful of any strain in your abs and lower back.

Back Extension:

Remember that for back extension you still want to work your back so you can extend the opposite arm and leg while on all fours, be mindful of squeezing your shoulder blades together and contracting the lower back. Switch sides when the class is half-way done with the exercise.

Back Dancing:

ROCK IT OUT DURING BACK DANCING!!!!  Baby can hear the music and will dance along with you! You can keep hips lower or widen stance if needed.

Do Not:

-Lay on your stomach – this means no back extension and nothing on the mat laying on your sweet baby belly. A modification for laying on the stomach for seat work is the classic table top position on all fours with the working side leg extended behind you.

-Rotate too much to one side or the other during thigh stretch, roundback stretch or ab work.

-Use tubes for additional resistance during ab work.

Always stretch additionally…. Different types of stretches and for longer periods of time.  Stretch before class and stay after if you can and stretch more. I’m fascinated by how my body does during each class. Sometimes during first trimester, my stomach felt too heavy to stay on my toes, but then second trimester I felt awesome on my toes even though the baby was bigger. So odd!

What Pure Barre workout, pregnancy modifications  have you found help you while taking? What modifications have you had to make? Any odd sensations you’ve felt? I’d love for you to share in the comments below and please don’t forget to join my email newsletter via the sign up form on the sidebar so you can get all our healthy living tips and follow along with me postpartum doing Pure Barre.

SHOP Pure Barre workout clothes for pregnancy below:

Heather Brown helps busy mamas of young littles who are caught in the hustle to find encouragement in their journey to true health, from the inside out, starting with the heart. Read her journey of learning to live a life well-loved HERE!


  1. jessica
    September 2, 2015 / 7:31 am

    What pants did you wear during your barre workouts? I can’t seem to find maternity pants that get good reviews.


    • Heather
      September 4, 2015 / 6:01 pm

      Hi Jessica,
      I kept wearing my loosest Lululemon & Splits 59 pants, but Beyond Yoga was the best for the most give and stretch. Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. Andrea
    September 7, 2015 / 9:52 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I’m just past 16 weeks and have been sticking with Pure Barre but just started to need some minor modifications and guidance on where and what to avoid. The instructors are great but it’s always nice to hear from someone who has been through it personally! Just wondering, I read you should skip double leg lifts / foot taps during abs too – did you do this? I’m starting to see some merit to the idea of leaving my feet on the ground as I feel a little strain but it’s hard to tell if I’m being overly conscious of it or justifiably concerned.

    • Heather
      September 9, 2015 / 5:16 pm

      Hi Andrea! So glad this helped and thanks for reading my blog. 🙂

      I think you should just listen to your body. To me, during this time, there’s no such thing as overly conscious. I started skipping abs towards the end of my pregnancy because I’d have too many Braxton’s Hicks contractions. You are doing great, way to stay with it! LTB

  3. Elizabeth
    June 22, 2016 / 8:42 am

    Hi heather! I used to do pure barre, and recently bought a new month of classes. However, I could possibly be pregnant. Should I try to pause my pure barre? Or is it ok to start back up in the first few weeks?

    I exercise about 3 days a week right now. But mostly treadmill or hand weights.

    • Heather
      June 23, 2016 / 9:43 pm

      Hi Elizabeth, Congratulations! As long as you have been active leading up to your pregnancy, you should be fine. You can always ask your doctor to be safe but most importantly, listen to your body. If anything ever feels like it’s too much, modify the exercise or ask your instructor for a modification. They are there to help! They can also print out pregnancy modifications for you as well. i hope this helps!

  4. Ashley
    August 18, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    Hi Heather! I first started Pure Barre 8 weeks postpartum last year. I’m now expecting again, but haven’t been to class since March (terrible! But so many things happening with kids and work). I’m 25 weeks now and would love to get back into it, but I’m nervous! I love your tips, so maybe I could take it slow? Since you’re familiar with the intensity of class, do you think it’s okay to start now, or better to pick it up again after delivery? Just looking for feedback fro. Someone who has been there! 🙂

    • Heather
      August 18, 2016 / 11:54 pm

      Hi Ashley! Congratulations! I think you should listen to your body and if you feel up to it, try out Pure Barre classes and wait on platform until after you’ve had the baby. If you take a class, modify as needed and you can always leave if it doesn’t feel right. There were many days when I couldn’t make myself do anything except for PB but since it was so low impact it was a great endorphin release for me and made me feel better. I look forward to hearing when you go back and how it goes. But, remember, above all else you know yourself better than anyone else. Do what feels right for you and that sweet bump!

      • Ashley
        August 20, 2016 / 5:32 pm

        Thank you!! I really appreciate your advice! 🙂

  5. August 23, 2016 / 7:41 am

    Do you think you’d ever do quick photos or a movie of these modifications & add them to the blog post?? I started Pure Barre yesterday & would love to make sure I understand which modifications I’m making where, since Pure Barre goes SOO fast. (I’m 19 weeks, but did a lot of HIIT & intense workouts before starting Barre.) Thanks so much for this post!!

    • Heather
      August 23, 2016 / 4:27 pm

      Hey Kristine,

      I’d love to do something like that…great idea! Is there anything in particular that is very confusing? I’d love to make sure I address is. Yes, it does go fast but you’ve GOT this. Every class will start making more and more sense!! LTB

      • September 13, 2016 / 11:50 pm

        Yes! Now that I’ve been to 10 classes I went back & read your modifications again & they make SO much more sense (especially since the instructors have given me ideas too!) I’m finding my biggest problem is starting to run out of breath! Haha Baby is pushing up on my lungs in my short torso finally!

  6. November 19, 2016 / 8:36 am

    Thanks for these great tips! I’m a huge fan of barre and have been doing it for years. I’ve been wondering how being pregnant would affect my normal fitness routine and how it may impact my barre workouts. I’ve heard so much about not laying on your back, and have been a bit concerned about what type of ab work is okay (and what’s not okay) to do during different trimesters. Is most ab work okay during the first trimester or are modifications still advised? Thanks for the great insight!

  7. Stacie
    February 6, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Hi there! Love this post and great mods. I’ve been doing pure barre for 3+ years and am now expecting. Although very early, I’m wondering if I need any modifications? I’m not even out of my first trimester. Like for example… At what point did you start doing back extension work on all 4s rather than your stomach? Thanks!

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