CrossFit Open 19.2

I bet a lot of you are happy for a barbell this week! Pregnant & postpartum athletes, please read below for my recommendations- because there’s a good chance I would recommend you modify most, if not all of the movements.

I’m going to bold this next part because it’s very important. IT IS NOT NORMAL TO PEE OR LEAK DURING JUMP ROPING OR ANY ACTIVITY FOR THAT MATTER! IT IS COMMON, BUT THIS MEANS THERE IS DYSFUNCTION OF THE PELVIC FLOOR!!!!! Ok, please read that again. If you do experience leaking with any activity, please go see a pelvic floor physical therapist- it doesn’t have to be that way!!!

For the pregnant & early postpartum (4-6 months or less!) athletes- this workout is designed to be a test of the engine. Please keep in mind that your body is already doing so much work already- whether it’s growing a baby or recovering from giving birth, and/or nourishing a baby. Those things are a priority for you body, this workout is not something I would recommend you going out & pushing the limits on.

Symptoms for injured athletes: Pain, numbness, tingling, etc.

Symptoms for pregnant and postpartum athletes: Coning, leaking, pain, pelvic discomfort, pressure (in stomach/belly, pelvis or “down there”).

Injured Athletes

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

Shoulder/Arm Injury: T2B is probably the biggest problem here, consider scaling to hanging knee raises if that can be performed with no symptoms, or perform the movements with minimal kipping. Modifying the load for the squat cleans may be necessary as well.

Hip/Knee/Leg Injury: If jumping rope causes pain, please consider another monostructural movement such as the bike or rower that can be performed with no symptoms (perform for the amount of time it would take to do 50 DU). Modify the squat cleans to power cleans, and/or decrease the load.

Back Injury: Make sure you’re bracing properly for the squat cleans, and modify the load. You may also want to consider catching the barbell in a power clean instead of a squat.

Pregnant Athletes - Focus on moving at a consistent pace. Don’t get hung up on the weights or the movements, scale it appropriately & just move!

  • Toes to bar:

    • I would not recommend pregnant athletes perform T2B, especially past the first trimester.

    • Instead, I would recommend modifying with another movement that follows a similar movement pattern, a common choice is slamballs.

    • Focus on breathing strategy- make sure there is no coning!

  • DU: I do not recommend that pregnant athletes jump rope. See here for my blog post on this topic.

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

      • Perform the movement for an amount of time that is consistent with how long it would take to perform 50 DU.

  • Squat cleans:

    • I do not recommend that pregnant athletes perform full cleans, due to the added stress that catching in the squat position places on the pelvic floor. I instead recommend performing a power clean & front squat.

    • I would also recommend to pregnant athletes that have a “bump” to consider perform the movement from the hang instead of from the floor. This will keep you from developing a deviated barbell path to get around your belly. You worked hard on that barbell path & don’t want to have to completely relearn after a baby!

    • With a larger bump, consider using dumbbells instead of a barbell to avoid hitting the bump.

    • Modify the weight as necessary, so the athlete can perform the reps in 2-3 sets.

    • Exhale during the pull and “catch”. Inhale back to the hang position.

    • If there are any symptoms with this movement, most likely “leaking” or not feeling right in the pelvic floor, scale the movement.

Postpartum Athletes - Focus on moving at a consistent pace. Don’t get hung up on the weights or the movements, scale it appropriately & just move!

  • Toes to bar:

    • I would not recommend early postpartum (4 months or less) athletes perform T2B.

    • 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.

    • If you are unable to hang from the bar without coning, I would recommend slamballs as an appropriate substitute.

    • If you can hang from the bar with no symptoms, but are not able to do T2B yet, scale to hanging knee raises or knees to chest as long as there are no symptoms.

    • Focus on breathing strategy- don’t hold your breath & make sure there is no coning!

  • DU: I do not recommend that postpartum athletes jump rope until cleared from impact by a pelvic floor PT. See my blog post here on how jumping rope can affect your pelvic floor.

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

    • There should be NO symptoms!!!

    • Rather than go for reps, I would recommend the athlete perform the movement for a certain period of time, in this workout I would say 1 minute of jump rope.

    • If jumping rope causes any leaking or symptoms, then I would recommend modifying to another monostructural movement such as the bike or rower.

  • Squat cleans:

    • I do not recommend that early postpartum (4 months or less) athletes perform full cleans, due to the added stress that catching in the squat position places on the pelvic floor. I instead recommend performing a power clean & front squat.

    • Modify the weight as necessary, so the athlete can perform the reps in 2-3 sets.

    • Exhale during the pull and “catch”. Inhale back to the start position.

    • If there are any symptoms with this movement, most likely “leaking” or not feeling right in the pelvic floor, scale the movement.

Good luck!!!

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 courses 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.