Here's another day of CrossFit programming from Light the Fire CrossFit. This workout was an especially tough workout.
Special thanks to my hubby Bill Bacarella, owner and head coach of Light the Fire CrossFit for letting me use his programming for this blog series.
Jog: 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.
Walking Lunges: These may be symptomatic for pregnant athletes.
I would recommend another lower body substitute such as squats instead.
Perform with good alignment- ribs stacked over pelvis.
Inhale down, exhale up.
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 crunches, toes to bar or sit ups.
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.
Once that becomes easier, start doing leg raises or knees to chest.
Watch for coning on the kipping- particularly the arch portion.
All movements should be performed with no symptoms. Focus on breathing out during the movements and not holding the breath!
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.
HRPU: Unless performing push ups from the ground, do not worry about the hand release portion.
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.
Chest press with DBs, laying on the ground or bench.
Inhale down, exhale up.
DB/KB Step Overs: Choose a weight that is manageable. Due to the high amount of reps, I'd recommend overscaling.
For pregnant athletes, I would recommend scaling to a smaller box.
Exhale throughout the step up and as stepping down.
If step overs cause symptoms, scale to another monostructural movement. I would also recommend farmer's carries as an appropriate substitute to maintain a similar stimulus.
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, KBS, bridges, etc.
Isometric contractions would be plank hold, overhold hold or farmer's carry.
DB/KB Lunges: Choose a weight that is manageable. Due to the high amount of reps, I'd recommend overscaling.
If these are symptomatic, I recommend scaling to squats.
Inhale down, exhale up.
Here's what I did when I did the workout at 11 months postpartum. It was definitely tough, I was really challenged by the step overs, which is why I'd recommend overscaling them for pregnant and newly postpartum athletes.
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.