18.2 AND 18.2A has been announced...it'll be fun to watch the healthy and fully healed people go balls to the wall! However for all of my fellow athletes out there who are nursing an injury, growing a human or recovering from growing a human, please continue to read.

Injured Athletes

As a physical therapist, my professional recommendation is, if something hurts, don't do it.

Shoulder/arm injury:

  • This one shouldn't be too bad for those with shoulder/arm injuries.

  • If you do have pain in the front rack position, I would recommend scaling the weight on the dumbbells and also consider not going to heavy with the cleans.

  • I could see burpees potentially being an issue, but rep count isn't too high. Be smart with your body mechanics here.

Hip/knee/leg injury:

  • This week is going to be a hard one for those who have a lower body injury.

  • If you cannot squat without pain, I recommend you modify the workout, and perform the dumbbell squats to a box or to a depth that is pain-free.

  • Consider scaling the burpees if you cannot jump without pain. That will allow you to step out, step in and over.

  • A power clean will probably be more comfortable- build to a weight that you can do comfortably.

Back injury:

  • Squat down to pick the dumbbells up. I know your legs will be toasted, but your back will be happier.

  • Avoid "worming" your way up from your burpees. Keep your core and abdominals engaged as you go through the plank position. Consider scaling if you can't jump your feet out or in without pain.

  • Build to a clean weight that you can perform comfortably. If you don't know how to properly use a belt (it's not just putting it on as tight as you can), don't start now.

Pregnant Athletes

  • 18.2 is meant to be a burner and to go hard for the average person. You are not the average person, so don't go hard. I know that's hard to read.

  • DB squats: Choose a weight that you can perform comfortably and breathe through. Use a box to squat down to if necessary. Don't worry about the depth, do the range that you have no symptoms in.

  • Burpees: If you have even somewhat of a belly, please don't do burpees. Stepping out to a plank position, and stepping back and over the bar may be appropriate IF YOU HAVE NO CONING. If you do, consider substituting a squat and an incline push up. Please don't jump over the bar, step instead because no one wants to risk a fall!

  • Cleans: Please do not build to a 1RM clean. Pregnancy is not about gaining, maintaining or proving your strength. I would advise to limit your weight to moderate, if you have time to build towards additional attempts, consider staying at the same weight and just performing a rep every minute or so. Also consider how the barbell path is affected by your belly. You have a couple options here- do a high hang and basically "muscle" the clean or sub dumbbells instead. Whatever weight you choose to do, you should not be holding your breath through the movement!

Postpartum Athletes

  • DB Squats: Choose a weight that you can breathe through. I highly recommend utilizing piston breathing strategy (check out Julie Wiebe if you haven't heard of this yet!). Focus on alignment, trying to begin/end the movement with ribs stacked over the pelvis. It helps me to think to squeeze my glutes and quads at the top- it keeps me from overcorrecting. Also, try to avoid the buttwink- it means there is a loss of core stability and this will put increased pressure on the pelvic floor. Squat to a depth that you can maintain a neutral spine.

  • Burpees: Consider scaling these if jumping causes incontinence or the urge sensation.

  • Cleans: Unless you are in the running to get to Regionals this year or are at least 6 months into your postpartum journey, I would not recommend finding a true 1RM. Incontinence with a heavy lift is a common symptom, BUT NOT NORMAL. Catching the barbell is probably more likely where this will come into play. Also utilize piston breathing here- don't hold your breath!

***All pregnant and postpartum women should have their physician's approval to workout. If you don't, please do not workout. If you have any physician restrictions, to ignore them is placing you and your baby's health in jeopardy.

***At any sight of coning with any movement, stop. Take more breaks as needed, if it's due to fatigue. Focus on your breathing and movement strategy.

If you have specific questions regarding this post, please comment below or contact via social media or email. I'm happy to help- but remember my advice is not accompanied with a hands-on assessment, which is the best way to make recommendations. If you are interested in meeting with me, please contact me. If you're interested in finding an appropriate healthcare provider/coach, please contact me and I will do my best to help you find one.