#WorkoutWednesday - Week 4 #MMMomWOD

Welcome to the fourth week of #WorkoutWednesday - I decided to do a workout that is popular for the 4th of July, since that will be next Wednesday. A little ironic that this week is also the 4th week of me doing this series...I wanted the readers to have some ideas on scaling if this workout shows up at their gym. LTF CrossFit did a version of "1776" last year for the 4th, see it below.

Again, special thanks to my hubby, Bill Bacarella, owner & head coach of Light the Fire CrossFit, for allowing me to use his programming for this series of blog posts. 

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Warm up

  • For pregnant athletes, I recommend modifying the run to the bike, either going for a similar distance or time.

  • For postpartum athletes, I only recommend running if cleared by pelvic floor PT and has no symptoms.

    • If someone has just been cleared to run, this is a great opportunity to see how they do, with a short distance.

  • I would recommend pregnant athletes perform squats instead of lateral lunges.

    • Lateral lunges can possibly place too much stress on the already stressed and possibly irritated pubic symphysis.

    • Use a box/ball/bench if needed.

  • Postpartum athletes may perform lateral lunges if symptom-free, modifying depth as necessary.

    • Inhale down, exhale up.

WOD

  • A popular workout for the 4th of July.

  • My goal for athletes here would be to choose an amount of reps they can perform with no symptoms and without taking rest breaks.

    • This may mean that the reps aren’t evenly distributed – it’s ok because pregnant athletes are already doing a heck of a lot of work inside their body!

  • For both pregnant & postpartum athletes, all movements should be performed without coning.

  • Box jumps:

    • I recommend that all pregnant athletes modify to step-ups for safety purposes. Risk vs reward mindset.

    • If step-ups cause symptoms, squats or a monostructural movement would be my next choice.

    • I don't recommend postpartum women perform box jumps until cleared for impact by a pelvic floor PT.

    • Breathing with box jumps: Exhale through the jump and landing, inhale as you step down.

  • Push-ups: Elevate hands on dumbbells for all options performed on the floor once the belly is showing. Lower to depth of shoulders to the dumbbells.

    • Options for modifications:

      • Regular push-ups, elevating hands on dumbbells to make room for belly.

      • Push-ups on knees, still elevate hands on dumbbells.

      • Incline push-ups with hands on box, bench or wall.

    • Inhale down, exhale up.

  • KB Swings: I always recommend Russian-style swings to my athletes unless training for specific competition.

    • Adjust weight as needed. Focus should be on engaging glutes.

    • Exhale on the swing, inhale down.

  • Lunges:

    • If these are symptomatic, I recommend scaling to squats.

    • Inhale down, exhale up.

  • Pull-ups: I do not recommend kipping beyond the first trimester, due to the stretch and stress it puts on the abdominals.

    • Options for modifications:

      • Strict pull-ups – I used a ratio of 1 strict pull-up for every 3 kipping reps programmed. For a WOD like this, I’d do 2 pull-ups one round, then 3 pull-ups the next round.

      • ***only for athletes who had several strict pull-ups prior to pregnancy and must be performed with no coning.

      • Strict pull-ups with a band (be careful getting in/out of the band)

      • Ring rows

      • Seated pull downs using a band and a PVC (band is attached to rig as if one was doing pull-ups, slide the PVC through the band and athlete sits under. Try to start with arms as straight as possible, and pull down on PVC until it is below athlete’s chin, simulating a pull-up).

    • Exhale through the pull, inhale down.

  • Double Unders:

    • I do not recommend that pregnant athletes jump rope. There is a blog post coming up about this topic this weekend!

    • I do not recommend that postpartum athletes jump rope until cleared for impact as well by a pelvic floor PT.

      • Once cleared, begin with single singles, and slowly build from there.

      • There should be NO symptoms!!!

      • Rather than go for reps, I recommend the athlete perform the movement for a certain period of times, i.e. 20 reps = 30 seconds.

    • Optional movements would be other monostructural movements (bike, row, etc.).

      • Perform for an amount of time that is consistent with how long it would take to perform "X" amount of DU.

  • Sit ups: Pregnant athletes SHOULD NOT PERFORM this movement. I also don't recommend postpartum athletes perform until it has been determined they have good strategy and can perform with no symptoms (coning). At least 12 weeks postpartum, most likely more.

    • Couple options for scaling here- either choose a movement that also has hip/trunk flexion or an isometric core contraction.

    • Some examples would be slamballs (though also in this WOD, so I'd choose something else), KBS (again, also in this WOD, see previous parentheses), bridges.

    • Isometric contractions would be plank hold, overhold hold or farmer's carry.

  • Push Press:

    • Choose a weight the athlete can perform with no symptoms and good alignment.

      • If the athlete cannot perform without coning, modify to strict press.

    • Exhale up, inhale down.

  • Slam balls:

    • Choose a weight the athlete can perform with no symptoms and good alignment.

      • Pregnant athletes may need to perform to a box, rather than the floor due to the belly.

      • Another option would again be a similar movement, such as the KBS, if this is uncomfortable for athletes to perform.

    • Exhale up, inhale down.

  • Wallballs:

    • Choose a weight the athlete can perform with no symptoms and good alignment.

    • Scale to squats if going overhead causes symptoms.

    • Exhale up, inhale down.

  • Burpees: I do not recommend that pregnant women perform "Rx" burpees once they begin to show.

    • Watch for coning with burpees in the plank/push up portion.

    • Can modify to plank and then step in (not going down to ground).

    • Another popular modifcation is squat and incline push up.

    • Focus on breathing out throughout the movement.

  • Calories: Watch for coning on the rower. Bike is usually a safe alternative.

    • If rowing, exhale on the pull.

    • Choose a speed that can be performed with no symptoms.

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This is the first workout I've broken down that I actually completed while pregnant. As you can see, I did a lot of scaling at this time. I attempted to complete the same amount of reps as my teammates, sometimes I did less and sometimes more, depending on the movement. Focus was on breathing and just moving.

That's a wrap & overview of one day of CrossFit programming. Please note that CrossFit gyms program very differently, some with minimal to no specific strength training, less/more hands-on coaching. This post and it's contents are to be used for inspiration, and not specific instruction.


Coaches - 

When considering scaling an athlete, try to keep in the mind what functional movement is being performed. Is it a variation of the squat, hinge, pull, push, etc.? Try to maintain the integrity of the functional movement, while modifying it a level that is appropriate for your individual athletes. If you would like to learn more about coaching pregnant and postpartum athletes, please look into Brianna Battles' coaching course here. For questions regarding scaling/modifications for the injured athlete, please feel free to contact me and/or work directly with the athlete's healthcare provider.

***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.

***I recommend all postpartum women get assessed by a pelvic floor physical therapist. Find one by you here. I also highly recommend finding a Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism coach by you to go over strategy with specific exercises, programming and recommendations. Find one here.

***At any sight of coning with any movement, stop. Stop if you begin experiencing "leaking", sensation of something "falling out" and/or anything that doesn't feel right. Take more breaks as needed, if it's due to fatigue. Focus on your breathing and movement strategy. If you continue to have symptoms, scale the movement more or stop the workout. If you haven't consulted with a healthcare provider and/or postpartum fitness specialist regarding your symptoms, please do.


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.