Crash course: Hi crashers! Meg here. As I enter my third trimester, most of my tried and true fitness methods are just not on the table for me anymore due to the physical limitations I’m starting to experience as both the baby and belly grow. So, I’ve been pretty much limited to designated prenatal classes going forward. Since these classes are specifically designed for preggos like myself, I have the peace of mind that they are safe and appropriate for the restrictions imposed by my ever-changing body. Unfortunately for a class addict like myself, prenatal options in the DMV are surprisingly limited. I get really excited when I discover a new option, and Local Motion Studio’s prenatal class proved to be a great find.
class: Pregnancy fitness program
sweat score: 3 out of 10
where: 2377 South Dove Street, Alexandria, VA
wear: form-fitting (but baby bump friendly) tops and bottoms
bring: water bottle and mat if you have one (they have plenty to borrow for free)
perks: childcare, lounge area, library, free parking
cost: single class drop-in $20; pregnancy pilates/yoga six-week series (starts 9/13) $96
Local Motion Studio is located off Duke Street in Alexandria, just outside of Old Town. The studio is a little tricky to find as it’s in a nondescript strip mall of sorts, but the upside of the off the beaten path location is free and ample parking – a major and rare perk in Alexandria.
I arrived extra early to give myself ample time to check out the space, and was warmly greeted by Sara, the owner, who showed me around and introduced me to my instructor, Nicole.
The studio is beautiful, with lots of natural light and high ceilings. Students check in for classes in the lobby area, before heading to the small changing room to stash their stuff. There are two well-appointed restrooms as well.
Bookshelves display books related to fitness, wellness, and pregnancy/child birth which clients are free to borrow – a really nice touch lending to the overall community feel of the studio.
For life post-baby, there’s also a bright and fun childcare room. Drop in childcare is offered for $7 a class, or there’s a couple of options for discounted packages. This is such a great service to offer and reassures me that I will be able to fit fitness into my new mom lifestyle in a few months.
The small class included only 5 students at varying stages of pregnancy. Nicole’s background is in yoga, so it definitely felt very similar to a prenatal yoga class, with some additional fitness exercises incorporated as well. The equipment needed for this particular class included a mat, blocks, a strap, ball, and a blanket for extra cushioning – a pregnancy necessity.
Class began with a round of introductions (standard prenatal protocol I’m learning) that gave each of us an opportunity to share how far along we were, in addition to any ailments currently bothering us we were hoping to address in class. Nicole shared some insights from her own pregnancies that were very helpful, and offered some great labor and delivery tips throughout class.
The class was focussed on functional exercises designed to address the unique needs of moms-to-be. It was also a bit of an anatomy lesson as Nicole guided us through every move, explaining how it was beneficial. She also highlighted exercises that would come be useful to do during labor, as well as postpartum. I just hope I remember!
This is definitely not a calorie-torching class and it shouldn’t be. It is, however, a class that will leave you feeling strong, relaxed, and centered. Plus, like most prenatal classes, there is great value in being around other pregnant mamas – an instant camaraderie.
In addition to their prenatal and postpartum offerings, Local Motion offers ballet, belly dance, cardio sculpt, barre, pilates, and yoga classes. They even have special classes for kids – another thing to keep in mind for my future mom life. Their full schedule and class descriptions can be found here.