09 August 2018
Whether you’re pre or post natal, you pulled a muscle a few weeks back or you're new to barre, there are modifications for pretty much every exercise we do in class. Sometimes we also just have days where we’re not feeling as strong, and that’s totally normal! Whilst it’s important to push yourself at times, you also need to listen to your body and modify your exercises accordingly. You need to be careful not to send yourself into overdrive as that’s when injuries are more likely to occur.
If you’re pre or post natal we suggest modifying most of our exercises and highly recommend that you book a private 1:1 session to run through these modifications with one of our experienced teachers.
We spoke to instructor Kas, who is a mother-to-be (woo!) and therefore, a modification PRO about the various ways you can make a class a that bit easier. Here’s some of her top modification tips for you to follow:
From plank to plank prepThe dreaded plank, the part of the class that makes us go blue in the face. To modify this challenging full body exercise you can come onto all fours, with your knees directly below your hips so your legs are creating perfect right angles. Then simply come onto your toes so that your knees are a couple of inches away from the floor.
How does this plank modification help?
With your legs bent, your centre of gravity has shifted meaning there’s less strain on your abs and the centre of your body is more supported. This modification is also great if you have sensitive knees, in having your knees bent you relieve some of the pressure from them.
From press ups to press ups at the barre
Hands on the barre, wider than your shoulders, legs stretched out behind you so that you’re at an angle and come onto your high stiletto. Press down towards the barre, arms bent at the elbow and keeping your tail bone tucked under so you make one, long diagonal line, then press back up.
How does this press up modification help?
As you’re inclined towards the barre you’re upper body is bearing less weight and relieving your ankles and wrists of some of the pressure.
From flat back chair with stiletto to kitten heel
Hands on the barre, knees bent into right angles, and back straight so you’re making a chair shape with your body (it’s in the name!). Instead of coming up onto your high stiletto, bring your heels to your kitten heel height.
How does this help?
This will help strengthen the ankle in preparation for your high stiletto which you can take at a later stage. It also takes some of the pressure off the knees as more weight is being taken in the balls of your feet. And lastly, it makes you that bit more stable and that bit less shaky! There’s also no need to go full range with this exercise, simply lessen your range of movement to make it that bit easier.
From seated pretzel to pretzel with support
Grab a soft black block, if you're in class, or a small cushion if you're at home. Sit in your seated pretzel position with your left leg at a right angle in front of you and your right thigh in line with your hip with you knee bent and your toes pointing behind you. Wedge the cushion beneath your seat so that your seat is slightly lifted. With your right leg inverted, lift your knee off the floor and angle it downwards.
How does this pretzel modification help?
The cushion lifts you up and forwards creating space in and around your hips (perfect if you're a mother-to-be!).
So next time you're working out and you're in need of a slightly easier ride, give these a go. You're strength will build up again and you'll have Kas to thank!