HALE W18 Masthead

HerBaby: Prenatal Roadtest – Xtend Barre

Bronwen Stead

I love to exercise. Dancing, weightlifting, yoga, walking the lake or up one of our beautiful mountains, it doesn’t matter really. So long as it involves physical activity and gets me breathing – I love it.

As a competitive fitness model, before my pregnancy I was up and at the gym before 6am every day of the week, attending gridiron training several afternoons; and working out with my PT buddies on a Saturday was one of my favourite things to do. A massive drop in my energy levels was one of the first signs I noticed before the pregnancy was confirmed, and throughout my first trimester – for the first time ever – I lost my love of exercise and all I wanted to do was sleep. Rather than fight against this, I embraced it and decided to not put any pressure on myself to get up and moving, knowing I would do as much as I felt able on any given day but to also listen to my body when it needed rest.

Come my second trimester, those days of being completely zonked out are fewer, and with the nausea mostly gone I have a lot more energy. Whilst I have had to stop my gridiron training for now, I am still training in the gym, getting out for walks and intend to try prenatal yoga (soon).

I always wanted to try Xtend Barre and so when I discovered they modify  movements for pregnant women – I was there!


The studio space is elegant and welcoming, adorned with beautiful flowers and chandeliers hanging in the foyer. The staff were super friendly upon arrival as I filled out my enrolment forms and purchased my grippy socks. Before the class, my instructor, Belinda, talked me through a few modified exercises and what equipment I would need throughout the class.


There is the option to add small hand weights – and so with my background I was glad I had a friend already warn me to go light on the weight! Whilst  it might feel easy, you will do many reps! Even 500 gram weights will get you a great burn!!!

The classroom itself is bright and lovely, with mirrored walls and  a barre that runs around the complete perimeter of the room. I have always been involved in some form of dance but I have never actually done ballet so whilst  there is an occasional reference to “fifth position”, even without formal ballet training the instructor demonstration is easy to follow.


The choreographed  movement sequences were challenging but enjoyable; they certainly got my heart rate up but never into that uncomfortable place, so I never felt as though I had to hold back due to my pregnant condition . Throughout the class , the instructor  will advise when you need to adjust a movement slightly, as Belinda did with me. She was so friendly about it, and with all the participants so focused on their own movements I never felt like the odd one out, which was a refreshing change.

After the class I felt great! My body was warm all over from both working out  and stretching  – and it was the first night in a long while that my upper back was free from pain and tension.

Xtend Barre is a great exercise  alternative for anyone after a full-body workout , but especially for  pregnant women who are looking for a more active workout. The benefits of continuing to exercise whilst  pregnant are well documented to assist with both birth and recovery. Long-term benefits aside, the community experience at Xtend Barre Canberra  is a wonderful feeling and it was great to exercise knowing you were doing so with the right advice for a mum-to-be.

Special offer for HerCanberra readers

Xtend Barre Canberra is offering HerCanberra readers 10 Days of Unlimited Classes for $49 – available for purchase now through their online store. If you choose to purchase a Membership or a Class Pack on completion of the 10 Day New Client Special, they’ll offer a further 15% off class packs OR 25% discount off your first month’s membership fee. This offer is available until 31 August 2015 on mention of this editorial.

The essentials

What: Xtend Barre Canberra
Where: 1st Floor, 35-37 London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601
Contact: (02) 6247 8899 or email [email protected]
Web: www.xtendbarre.com/canberra


Bronwen Stead

Bronwen loves to celebrate life and all things Canberra, which is why she is passionate about writing for HerCanberra and promoting the amazing people and activities that Canberra contains. She is a mother, wife and a creative with a passion for wellbeing and health. More about the Author

MEJ Leaderboard