In a column about her pregnancy fitness routine, Middleton sang the praises of barre classes.

By Renee Cherry
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Photo: Neil Mockford / Getty Images

No question Pippa Middleton likes staying active-she's played tennis since she was 8 and once biked across the U.S. in nine days. She's continued to stay active throughout her pregnancy and has been writing all about it in a column for Waitrose Weekend, a British supermarket's magazine. During her first trimester, she wrote about lightening up her routine and her decision to stop running; during her second, the modifications she's made while continuing to play tennis; and during her third trimester she touched on swimming. Now, during the final weeks of her pregnancy, she says she's been prioritizing barre classes.

In the latest installment of "Fitness with Pippa Middleton," she explained why barre is her workout of choice these days. First, she's finding it more challenging to work out as her pregnancy progresses (naturally), and barre is one way to stay agile without high-impact moves. She also notes that the lower-body strengthening element of barre is helpful, since the third trimester brings the most strain to the back, often leading to sciatica (pain stemming from the sciatic nerve in the low back). For anyone looking to steal her moves, she includes four of her favorite exercises in the mag: lying side leg raises, kneeling glute leg raises, donkey kicks while holding a ball behind the knee, and ball squeezes.

"I feel far from a ballerina, but I'm equally determined not to break into a penguin-style waddle and plod around with bad posture," writes Middleton. "So, with this in mind, I've continued to embrace barre-inspired workouts throughout pregnancy; a form of exercise taken from ballet which involves the small, isolated movements that develop flattering muscle tone."

Middleton is right about the advantages of barre classes for pregnant women. They don't require as much modification as classes that are more heavily mat-based, and they include a lot of pliés and squats, which help prep muscles for labor and delivery. (See: The Top 5 Exercises Every Mom-to-Be Should Do)

Barre has plenty of other benefits that have nothing to do with giving birth, though. The tiny movements can tone your muscles and increase your flexibility and balance, so consider following Middleton's lead whether or not you're expecting. Grab some light weights and do this barre workout that will make you sweat or try this no-equipment barre workout that combines yoga, Pilates, and cardio. (Just be sure to modify accordingly if you're pregnant.)

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April 9, 2019
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