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Workout Tryout: PROnatal Fitness

The Basics

Led by Brittany Citron, a certified personal trainer and group instructor, with an expertise in pre- and postnatal exercise, PROnatal Fitness features well-balanced, thoughtfully designed hour-long classes. Going beyond simple modifications that make working out doable during a pregnancy, Citron’s brainchild addresses the specific needs of pregnant and post-baby bodies. Integrating advice from OBGYNs and scientific research on pregnancy fitness, the program is a great fit for both moms-to-be who want to keep moving and new moms eager to start working out again.

The Experience

Our class had eight pregnant participants, including one just a few weeks from her due date and four former marathon runners and Ironman triathletes. (Citron works with all athletic levels and even the occasional high-risk pregnancy.) We began with a refresher on the importance of engaging the transverse abdominal muscles (key during the push phase of birth) and an overview of Kegels (go-to pelvic floor strengtheners). You are encouraged to keep both in mind throughout the workout, which makes PROnatal feel like exactly what it is: a class focused on maintaining and maximizing fitness during pregnancy and the postnatal period.

After a quick warm-up, we jumped into alternating bouts of cardio and strength training. Combinations like a front lunge, a side squat and a back lunge done in succession on each side, punches and upper cuts done with step-touches and running in place kept heart rates up. Everything is modifiable; those who would rather not jump or push the pace can adjust accordingly. Strength moves included bicep curls and rows with resistance bands and deep squats (with pulses and holds) at the barre. At the end of class we took to our mats for glute work (composed of various leg lifts) and core moves like side and front planks done fully extended or supported on knees. We ended with a light stretch.

The Verdict

Citron (a mom herself) is unfailingly cheerful and knows her stuff. The workout lets you ratchet up the intensity based on how you feel. New moms get the advantage of the attention paid to the pelvic floor and Kegels; pregnant women get the same, plus the added bonus of learning to focus elsewhere when, say, a deep squat starts to get uncomfortable. (Nice prep for labor, no?) The flow of movements and specific combinations are well thought out and tailor made for its core audience. And it’s fun to work out side by side with women who are all in essentially the same boat—something you don’t normally get at the gym. Classes ($25) take place at Ripley-Grier Studios in Midtown (939 Eighth Ave.) and on the Upper West Side (131 W. 72nd St.) and at Asphalt Green (555 E. 90th St.);

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