Can't believe we're on week 9 of this series & the summer is almost over! 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.
Tabata Jog/Jumping jacks: 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/jump 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).
This is a great opportunity to "test the waters" for athletes who have been recently cleared to run.
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.
I would not recommend performing this stretch once there is a "bump". This stretch can put additional stress/stretch on the abdominals, which is not needed! Modify to another stretch the athlete can perform comfortably and with no symptoms.
Postpartum this should be ok, but possibly very tight from hip flexors tightening during pregnancy. Go for a comfortable stretch, not aggressive!
I would not recommend pregnant and newly postpartum athletes perform HSPU.
Risk vs. reward. The risks associated with going upside down, stress on the core are not worth it IMO.
HSPU off box/bar
Dumbbell press (seated)
Push Up (Wall, incline, floor)
Postpartum athletes may want to scale the number of reps if going up on the wall.
Focus on keeping good alignment with whatever position: head over shoulders, shoulders over ribs, ribs over pelvis.
Exhale with the push, inhale down.
I would not recommend pregnant and newly postpartum athletes perform toes to bar.
Instead, I would recommend modifying with isometric holds (see my previous blog post on training the core during pregnancy & postpartum).
Examples: Planks (modify to incline), Side planks (modify to incline or go on hands and knees), overhead holds, bridge holds, etc.
Focus on breathing strategy with movements- there should be no coning!
For postpartum athletes who have a diastasis recti (DR) and have seen a PFPT, if you have any exercises they’ve given you, this would be a great place to do them!
I would also recommend postpartum athletes focus on hanging from the bar in a hollow position without coning if possible. You could do this for :30 seconds, approximately the time it would take to perform x12 T2B. Break that :30 up or decrease the amount of time if needed to avoid symptoms.
Once that becomes easier, start doing leg raises or knees to chest.
Watch for coning on the kipping- particularly the arch portion.
There should be no symptoms. Focus on breathing out and not holding the breath!
Choose a weight that can be performed for the x15 reps unbroken as indicated in the coaching notes, but does not cause symptoms.
Pregnant athletes may choose to perform high hang power cleans to avoid hitting the "bump".
Another option would be dumbbell hang power cleans- don't have to worry about hitting the bump!
Exhale throughout the pull & catch of the clean. Inhale the bar back down.
The "catch" of the clean can be a place where "leaking" could occur. Focus on breathing out to help decrease stress on the pelvic floor.
Avoid overextending at the top of the movement - fully open the hips, but keep the ribs stacked over the pelvis (no overarching of the back!).
I do not recommend pregnant or newly postpartum athletes do box jumps. Instead, substitute with step ups.
If step ups cause pubic discomfort, consider decreasing the target height, such as a 45# plate.
Risk vs. reward mindset.
Postpartum athletes who have been cleared to run/jump, focus on landing softly.
Consider starting with a smaller box/plate.
Exhale on the landing.
When I performed this workout, I was about 12-13 weeks pregnant, so I was still quite comfortable performing all of these movements. The weight was manageable as well, and I had no symptoms at this time.
Looking back, I would probably recommend scaling the T2B to hanging leg raises (strict)- less demand on the core, and an opportunity to build strength. Strict HSPU as well.
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.