Here's to another week of programming, working out, training or movement. Has there been anything you've seen so far that you have questions about? Are there any movements/specifics you're looking for that I haven't gone over yet?
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.
I would recommend pregnant athletes (past first trimester) ride the bike or do the rower for the duration instead.
I would not recommend newly postpartum athletes run until cleared by a pelvic floor physical therapist (PFPT).
Those that are cleared to run, should be able to do so without any symptoms (leaking, pubic pain, etc).
Consider scaling the distance of the run for those that are just returning to running.
15/15/15: x15 air squats / x15 pass throughs with PVC / x15 OHS with PVC
Use a box/bench/ball to squat to if necessary.
Y's - T's - W's: These are performed in a bent over position, depending on how far along the athlete is, they might not be comfortable to perform and/or may also cause coning.
I would recommend scaling the athlete to perform standing or sitting with neutral posture, and use of a band. Keep the same movement pattern.
Exhale with pull.
Strength/Skill - Snatch
I like to take percentages off of 70% of the true 1RM for pregnant athletes.
Postpartum athletes- find a weight that feels light and you can perform each rep with good technique.
Once past the first trimester, I recommend athletes perform a power snatch + overhead squat.
Catching the barbell in the bottom of the squat can put additional (& unneeded) stress on the pelvic floor.
Exhale on pull and during the catch.
I also recommend athletes who are further along consider going from the high hang position, to avoid contact with the belly.
If athletes are finding that they are having to take the barbell way around the belly, consider performing overhead squats for the strength/skill work instead.
Inhale down, exhale up.
We work so hard to establish a good barbell path - continuing to perform barbell movements around a belly causes a deviation from that good barbell path. That means after the pregnancy, you have to re-learn your barbell path!
Choose weights that allow the work to be performed with short rest breaks only.
Work through the squats as quickly as possible.
Try to get the KB swings in 2 sets.
I do not recommend that pregnant athletes jump rope. See my blog post on this topic here.
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.
Should be performed to a depth that comfortable and symptom-free.
Use a box/ball/bench if needed.
Inhale down, exhale up.
Kettlebell 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.
I personally experienced coning with push jerks later in my pregnancy, due to the increased demand on my core, dynamic nature of the movement, combined with postural demands.
If this is the case for an athlete, scale the weight. If that doesn't decrease symptoms, perform push press instead.
Choose a weight that feels light to moderate.
No less than sets of 3-5 reps.
Exhale up, inhale down.
Watch that the athlete maintains a neutral posture - avoid overarching in the back with the ribs flaring up.
If the athlete lacks the mobility to perform the movement, consider decreasing the weight and emphasizing technique through available range.
I don't think I did this workout, there's nothing logged in my app and Thursdays were usually my rest day during the week. I got nothing to compare it too!
If I were to perform this workout today, it would look like this:
Perform as many DU in 2 minutes with no symptoms.
Air squats as prescribed.
KB swings as prescribed.
Push jerk weight would probably be at 85-95#, depending on how I was feeling that day. I've been building back to the Rx weights recently.
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.