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Gorgeous Glow Prenatal Workout Series: Physique 57

We firmly believe that fitness and pregnancy should go hand-in-hand. But we also know that taking care of your pregnant body includes indulging your (streatching!) skin, so we could not be more excited to continue our Gorgeous Glow Prenatal Workout Series with our friends at Mama Mio. We hope you’ll join us on the next stop of our pregnancy-safe tour of some of NYC’s hottest studios: Physique 57 on April 28 at 12pm.

Renown for its energetic and exhilarating interpretation of the barre method, Physique 57 devotees need not give up their addiction while growing that little baby. The Bump Barre class will stretch, tone and invigorate your body, even when you’re training for two. For those that can’t get to a gym, the company recently launched a Physique prenatal video on demand workout. And if the Bump Barre class isn’t fitting into your schedule, Physique’s Beginner Barre also has a prenatal modifier.

Below Alicia Weihl, Physique 57’s director of training and mom of 2, gives us the lowdown on the fitness brand’s prenatal program. Get a feel for the class, then come feel it yourself on April 28...mini spa treatments and post-workout refreshments included! Register here.

Tell us about the Physique 57 exercise philosophy.

Physique 57 combines strength training, stretching and cardio to create an all-over strong and supple body. The workout is based on the principle of interval overload, working each individual muscle group to the point of fatigue, and then stretching it for relief. Every class combines unique choreography and upbeat music to not only make it an effective but also an invigorating experience.

Why is this type of class so beneficial for a pregnant woman?

The Physique 57 workout is low-impact, focusing on proper form and alignment and controlled movement execution. You use your own bodyweight for resistance and the ballet barre for stability, and our instructors are extremely attentive in providing guidance and corrections to make sure that you maximize the efficiency of your workout. Not only is it safe workout, but it’s extremely helpful in preparing the body and mind for labor and delivery. It also helps ease postnatal recovery.

What are some of the fitness tips you tell your mamas-to-be during class?

While Physique 57 helps women prepare physically for labor and delivery, the mental and emotional benefits of working out are at least as important. The Physique 57 technique is extremely empowering. New clients are always surprised at how challenging some of the smallest, most precise movements can be. Doing just one extra rep, going just one inch deeper in your positions, or taking control and listening to what your body needs, will make you walk out the door a little taller, and ready to take on the world. The resulting mental strength, perseverance, and confidence are exactly what a woman needs during labor.

Most importantly, women need to listen to their bodies and have fun. Our pre/postnatal classes are non-competitive and there is a wonderful sense of community where moms and moms-to-be can connect and share their experiences.

Any wellness benefits besides toning up and staying in shape?

Many pre-natal and postnatal workouts are so modified that they are not even recognizable in comparison to the original version. What’s great about the Physique 57 technique is that it’s as though it was created specifically for pregnancy! We focus not merely on what’s “allowed,” but instead on what’s essential for the body to both look and feel good during this time.

With the extreme postural shifts and hormonal changes during and following pregnancy, women can become very uncomfortable and unstable in their own bodies. Throughout the workout we teach proper posture and body mechanics, and target important muscle groups (the glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, pelvic floor, abdominals, and upper and lower back) to support an ever-changing body. Our clients experience improved posture, decreased lower-back pain, increased pelvic stability, better circulation, reduced swelling and they sleep better. I’ve been inspired by so many of our clients who go through their pregnancies with strength and grace, and they return after having their babies and very quickly rehabilitate their bodies.

Can you give us one Physique 57-style “do-at-home” exercise that pregnant women can try during pregnancy when they can’t get out to a Physique 57 class?

UPRIGHT V THIGHS:

Targets: thighs, hamstrings, calves, abdominals, pelvic floor, postural muscles

Set-up: Stand facing a countertop or a high-backed chair, where you can lightly rest your hands at waist level, with your elbows softened by your sides.

Action: Step your heels together with your toes only 2 inches apart. Lift your heels 2 inches off the ground so that your weight is over the balls of your feet and bend your knees forward, lowering halfway down. (Your knees should only be 3-4 inches apart and should track directly over your third toes.) You should be able to lift your hands just off your furniture and remain on balance. Keep your head lifted proudly, your shoulders stacked over your hips, and your tailbone directly over your heels. Engage your core for stability by hugging your abs around your baby if pregnant, or by pulling your navel to your spine if postnatal. Always move with control and focus on your form.

Variations: Small, slow pulses down, hip circles, hip tucks forward and back, hip shakes side to side, or lower your seat towards your heels and up halfway, like you’re sliding down a wall.

Benefits: This position works your pelvic floor against gravity, helping to prepare the body for labor and aiding in postnatal recovery. The movements target all of the essential muscle groups for pregnancy and beyond.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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Because parenthood is challenging, we can sometimes forget how to just be happy in the midst of it all.

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