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The Best Prenatal Workout DVDs

  • July 15, 2014
  • By Brittany
  • 18 Comments

Hi all!  Now that I’m well and truly into my second trimester, I’ve really hit my groove for prenatal workouts.  There are a lot of different workouts out there but it can be hard to find one that is just the right level and intensity for you.  I’ve put together a little list of the Best Prenatal Workout DVDs!*

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1.)    Fusion Bump– I’ve talked before about Fusion Fitness’s DVDs (here and here).  They are hardcore and not for the faint of heart!  But they are also incredibly effective and fun!  Fusion Bump is no exception.  Fusion classes are body sculpting classes that tone every part of your body with their signature, low weight/high rep formula. It fuses pilates, yoga, calisthenics and barre principles.  Transitions are quick and although there is a focus on toning, there is definitely a cardio component. Fusion Bump is the prenatal version of the traditional Fusion class.  It starts out using light weights (seriously, less than 3 lbs or you will die) and body weight to work your lower body, arms and get some cardio in.  It then transitions to using a toning band to incorporate more core work before cooling down.

Level: Advanced

Intensity: Moderate to High

Length: 55 minutes

Perfect for: Fit mamas-to-be, toning and cardio, days when you have a lot of energy, maintaining your fitness level for postnatal, building endurance

2.) Bump at the Barre® Prenatal Barre Workout– If you are looking for a challenging yet safe and effective prenatal barre workout, then you’ve found the right DVD!  This workout contains cardio, toning and pregnancy-safe core moves.  What I love about this DVD is that it keeps in mind that a pregnant woman can still be active and have a healthy pregnancy.  The moves are challenging but still totally safe.  It runs 1 hour and 20 minutes for the entire workout or can be split into segments:

  • Cardio Warm Up– This section uses no equipment and focuses on warming up the body and getting in some low-impact cardio.  All the moves are designed to get the heart pumping and the body moving.  Expect to get sweaty!
  • Upper Body– This section uses light weights (1-3lbs) to tone and strengthen the upper body.  You can also choose to use no weights at all.  Expect to see compound movements that keep the heart pumping (at a safe level!) and tone the upper body.  This is fantastic because if you are splitting up the segments, you can get in a little cardio and lower body work too!
  • Barre Legs– Get ready to burn baby.  This section incorporates traditional barre and ballet moves to tone the lower body.  You’ll also get in a little more cardio with some of the faster paced moves.  Get ready to feel those thighs!
  • Barre Glutes– The glutes weaken a lot during pregnancy but this section counteracts it with a tough section to tone those glutes.  Get ready to isolate the glute med and glute max!
  • Mat Work– The mat work combines some glute work with pregnancy- safe core work.  This is a fantastic segment if you are looking for some lower-impact work.
  • Stretch–  Lengthen out those muscles and relax after all your hard work!  This section will make you feel like a million bucks.

This workout can be done in any trimester as there are plenty of modifications to take it up a notch if you are early on and feeling great and to slow down or modify a bit for a bigger belly as you progress.  This is especially important for the core-section which has several different options for the bigger bellies in trimester 3!

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Intensity: Moderate to High

Length: 80 minutes but can be split into 10-20 minute segments

Perfect For: Toning, cardio, strengthening, stretching, pelvic floor and glute work

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3.)    Slim and Toned: Prenatal Barre– Suzanne Bowen’s prenatal barre DVD is a great barre DVD.  Suzanne does an excellent job explaining the moves and offering levels depending on where you are in your pregnancy and your fitness level making this DVD perfect for beginner and intermediate mamas-to-be.  The DVD does not run as one class but is split up into segments:

  • Lean Lower Body– Expect traditional barre moves that include use of a chair (your “barre”) for balance.  You’ll see plie pulses, lunges and lots of toning for the legs and seat.
  • Slim Upper Body + Core– I use 3-5 lb weights for this section and find it very challenging.  There are optional balancing moves adding to the intensity but it’s perfect for sculpting awesome arms and getting ready to hold that baby and all the gear!  The core section is also great for working the muscles that support the baby and I love Suzanne’s focus on the pelvic floor.
  • Cardio Sculpt– I use the term “cardio” loosely here because the cardio benefit is minimal here and I look at this more as an intense sculpting workout.  It’s mostly focused on the lower body again although Suzanne moves through the moves a little faster and they are slightly more dynamic.
  • Aligned Stretch– Ten minutes of stretching bliss.  I love how long this section is and how tailored it is for pregnant women.  It’s a great cooldown and helps relieve tension.

The entire DVD is doable but long (70 minutes!) so I often choose either cardio sculpt or lean lower body and pair it with slim upper body + core and aligned stretch for a 50 minute workout.  If you are new to barre classes, this is a great place to start and will definitely help you with some of your pregnancy woos.  If you are more familiar with barre classes there are plenty of options to up the intensity a bit and work a little harder.

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Intensity: Moderate

Length: 20-70 minutes

Perfect for: Toning, stretching, working the core and pelvic floor, building leg and arm strength

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4.)    Expecting More– If you are looking for a prenatal DVD, Sara Haley’s Expecting More is it.  This is 100% about mama and baby even down to the exercise names (“Peek-a-boo!”) and the intensity options (“Bump it Up”).  What’s great is Sara’s prenatal experience. She is a certified pre/post natal exercise specialist and a member of the American Pregnancy Association.  Her fitness resume is extensive…in other words, she knows what she is talking about!  Expecting More is really a DVD set with six different workout DVDs:

  • Synergy– This class is a combination of cardio and strength for a 50 minute workout.  It’s moderate to hard intensity with options to Bump It Up or scale it down.  There is a general warm up and cooldown that can be used for any of the classes, which makes the total running time about an hour.  Synergy uses weights and a chair.  I use 5 to 8 lb weights and find it just the right amount of challenging.
  • Sweat Sport– This class is 100% cardio and runs about 30 minutes in length (with warm up and cooldown, you’ll workout for about 45 minutes in total).  This is moderate to hard intensity depending on the options you take.  There is jumping, although trusting Sara, it’s safe jumping.  It’s sport drills that repeat throughout the DVD for a great cardio workout.
  • Sweat Funk– This 38 minute dance class (with warm up and cooldown total time is more like 55 minutes) is probably my least favorite of the bunch.  I’m a huge Zumba fan so I like to dance with a good beat and really fun music.  The moves are good and you’ll get some cardio in but I would rather stick with the other workouts.
  • Sweat Strong Down– This 30 minute toning DVD is based on classical pilates moves meant to tone your lower body with some core work.  Although not a huge calorie burner, you will feel your lower body burn! 
  • Sweat Strong Up– This 20 minute DVD focuses on upper body sculpting with some lower body benefits.  Sara uses weights for this workout, I found 5-8lbs to be effective.  It’s quick but challenging for a nice moderate sculpting section. 
  • Salutations– By the name you would think this is a traditional yoga DVD, but actually this 30 minute DVD is a mix between dance, stretch and yoga.  It’s low to moderate intensity with a focus on stretching out the muscles and releasing tension.

The nice thing about this DVD is that it is designed to take you from trimester 1 through trimester 3.  There is even a calendar with suggested workouts.  The DVDs really range in intensity, so there is something for everyone here.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Intensity: Low to High 

Length: 20-60 minutes

Perfect for: Everything!  Toning, Stretching, Sculpting, Cardio.  Newbies and advanced exercisers.  Every trimester!

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5.)    10 Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates–  There are so many things I love about this DVD.  First of all, pilates is one of those classes that you might mistakenly think you need to give up when pregnant because of its focus on the core.  In fact, a strong core is extremely important for carrying your baby and for staying strong during childbirth.  This DVD is split up into five 10 minute workouts, which you can do individually or combine for a longer workout.  The five segments are:

  • Standing Pilates– One of my favorite segments. It uses weights and focuses on big range of movements. This is a great segment to start with if you need a warm-up. It targets your arms, abs and legs.
  • Pilates for Buns and Thighs– Mat work for your lower body.  This segment is effective whether you are pregnant or not!
  • Core Pilates– Traditional pilates core moves are modified to fit a pregnant woman’s needs. Use of a pillow, bolster or wedge is necessary.
  • Total Body Pilates– Uses light weights again but is mostly mat work as opposed to standing work.  Great for working your total body.
  • Pilates for Flexibility– A nice stretch to lengthen out your muscles and relieve any tiredness or soreness.

It’s low impact and great for every trimester.  You will see some traditional pilates moves and some modified moves.  It’s also perfect if you are looking for something a bit more relaxing.

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Intensity:  Low

Length: 10 to 50 minutes

Perfect for:  Working your core, when you don’t have a lot of energy but want to move, stretching, building strength and toning, working the pelvic floor, moms-to-be who are new to fitness

And in the online category!  While these are not technically DVDs, they are streaming home workouts that I think are absolutely perfect for an at-home prenatal workout and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention them!

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1.)    Physique 57– I love Physique 57’s prenatal classes and luckily they have a 30 minute online video so that I can do at home!  The class is based on the traditional Physique 57 format with modifications for pregnancy.  It’s an awesome workout, I just wish there were more! 

Level: Intermediate

Intensity:  Moderate

Length: 30 minutes

Perfect for:  Working your core and pelvic floor muscles, toning, strengthening, stretching and some cardio

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2.)    barre3–  Another at-home barre favorite, barre3 has two prenatal videos but you can also easily adapt their other online workouts for your prenatal practice.  The prenatal videos generally move at a slightly slower pace than the regular videos and you get more opportunities to stretch, so you may want to incorporate this into the regular barre3 classes by pausing the video.  Also, I generally don’t do much of the core work or I modify it based on other moves I’ve learned.

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Intensity:  Low to Moderate

Length: 30 to 40 minutes for the prenatal classes, 10 to 60 minutes for the regular classes

Perfect for:  Working your core and pelvic floor muscles, toning, strengthening, stretching and some cardio

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3.)    YogaGlo– A new find for me!  I love their prenatal yoga classes.  There is a great variety with everything from trimester yoga, yoga for beginners to more advanced practices.  The yoga classes are generally pretty easy and slow so you don’t have to worry about hurting yourself when working out at home.  They offer a chance to stretch, meditate and do some basic strength moves.  The stretches feel great on my tired and sometimes sore body!

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Intensity:  Low

Length: 20 to 60 minutes

Perfect for:  Stretching, meditation, relaxation, toning, newbies

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4.)    MyYogaWorks– Another great online site with prenatal classes.  There are a good range of prenatal options and they are divided into three levels from beginner to advanced although I’m not sure the advanced practice is equal to a non-prenatal advanced class.  However, I do think the advanced classes are slightly more challenging than the YogaGlo intermediate or advanced classes.  I would love to see even more classes added!

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Intensity:  Low

Length: 20 to 60 minutes (with some shorter classes for specific issues like edema, meditation, etc).

Perfect for:  Stretching, meditation, relaxation, toning, yogis

5.) BBF Studio: Online Pilates & Barre Videos–  BBF Studio includes online streaming and downloadable pilates & barre videos.  If you hate the spinning wheel then you are in luck with this one!  The classes also include real music that you’ve probably heard on the radio from artists you know and love (not that tinny royalty-free stuff!).  One of my favorites is the Trimester Program that provides pilates & barre classes by trimester.  Plus it is always being updated and includes postnatal classes as well!

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Intensity: Moderate to High

Length– 20 minutes to 60 minutes

Perfect For– Strengthening, stretching, trimester workouts, downloadable or streaming, great music, feel good workouts, challenging workouts

*Some of these links may contain affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting this little blog!  This list is based on my own thoughts, opinions and experiences.  Every pregnancy is different and what works for me, may not work for someone else.  You should always consult with your physician before starting any of these or any other workout program.

 Readers, what workouts are you loving lately?  Moms, what was your go-to prenatal workout? Are you a fan of working out with DVDs?

By Brittany, July 15, 2014
  • 18
18 Comments
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