Crash Course: Hi fit crashers! Meg here. As a first time mom-to-be, I really wanted to keep up my fitness regimen throughout my pregnancy but I’ve recently come to terms with the reality of the situation – I have some unavoidable limitations these days. So, I’ve started looking into the prenatal fitness scene and felt pretty uninspired by the “options” out there – mostly sporadic prenatal yoga classes offered in the middle of the day. I was so excited to discover that Fuse Pilates offers a “Push Prep” (love that name!) prenatal pilates class and quickly signed up to give it a shot.[line] [left]where: 2008 Hillyer Place NW, Washington, DC
bring: water bottle
perks: changing room, filtered water fountains, lounge area
sweat score: 7 out of 10[/left][right]wear: form-fitting (but baby bump friendly) tops and bottoms
class: Push Prep
cost: $40 drop-in [/right][line]
Part of my initial resistance to signing up for any workout class with “prenatal” in the name was that I assumed it would offer little more than an hour of stretching. I had read a lot about all the benefits of staying in shape during your pregnancy, so I really wanted to continue to push myself as much, and for as long, as I could.
Fuse is located in a townhouse on one of the most picturesque streets in Dupont. Meaghan reviewed the studio’s non-preggo offerings previously here. The space itself is gorgeous – bright, clean, and strikes the perfect balance between old-world charm and modern elegance.
There are a few different studios on multiple levels, but I headed straight to the second floor reformer studio. I was greeted warmly by the instructor, Randi, who helped me get reacquainted with the reformer machine and got the scoop on any issues I was experiencing, besides the bump.
There were seven students total in the class, all at different points in our pregnancy. It was clear that the class develops quite the loyal following, as many of the regulars filled each other in on some of the recent “push prep alumni” births. I think this sense of community and support is an important benefit of joining any prenatal program.
Once class got underway, it was clear this wasn’t go to be the “stretching hour” I had envisioned – it was tough, in the best way possible. Special attention was paid to muscles essential to childbirth, and Randi offered lots of helpful insight on how to best condition both our prenatal and postnatal bods.
Lots of modifications were offered, particularly for those that were nearing (or at!) their due dates. It was so refreshing to not have to command special treatment or make my own semi-educated guesses about what I should or shouldn’t be doing – we’re all in the same boat.
The class itself was similar to the level one reformer classes I’ve taken at other studios, with some necessary changes such as nixing the intense ab work for obvious reasons. Instead, more time was devoted to strengthening arms and shoulders (getting ready for lots of lifting/holding in the near future!) as well as the glutes. The short time devoted to stretching at the end of class felt great, and not at all excessive. I almost forgot I was in a prenatal class!
The next day, my arms in particular were really sore (a good thing) and it felt good to experience that well-earned ache again. I’ve still got lots of baby books to get through, but one thing I have learned already is that childbirth is likely to be one of the most intense physical activities I will ever undertake. So, it makes sense to put in some serious training to get into the best possible condition to cross the “finish line.”
Fuse Pilates’ “Push Prep” classes (reformer and mat options) are offered on Sundays and Tuesdays. Full schedule here.