CrossFit Open 19.4

It’s going to be a fast one - at least it’s intended to be! This will be a week for a lot of people to hopefully get their first bar MU.

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:

  • Snatches: Going overhead into a snatch or may not be painful for you. The weights are intended to be lighter with this workout, so keep that in mind. Consider the following if the snatch is painful:

    • Scale the weight.

    • Scale to cleans.

    • Scale to DB snatch & use the non-injured side only.

  • Bar over Burpees:

    • Consider if “dropping” to the floor may feel better compared to lowering down into the bottom position or vice versa.

  • Bar Muscle Ups:

    • If kipping/hanging from a bar bothers you, I would highly recommend modifying this movement to either a lower level gymnastic movement, adding a band or isolating into a pull & press.

Hip/Knee/Leg Injury:

  • Snatches: The weights are intended to be lighter with this workout, so keep that in mind. Consider the following if the snatch is painful:

    • Scale the weight.

    • Scale to a hang if it’s painful to pull from the floor.

    • Scale to seated alternating DB snatch if unable to do much with your lower body.

  • Bar over Burpees:

    • Consider “kicking” your injured leg out as you go down and & use primarily your non-injured leg.

    • Step over the bar rather than jump.

    • Modify to another cardio type movement if necessary- some examples:

      • Bike (use arms more)

      • Rower (use arms more)

      • Slamballs (can do to a box if necessary)

  • Bar Muscle Ups:

    • If you have the strength, just be careful with jumping up/down from the bar.

Back Injury:

  • Snatches: Definitely make sure you’re lifting with good technique, keep hinging & don’t just bend over. The weights are intended to be lighter with this workout, so keep that in mind. Consider the following if the snatch is painful:

    • Scale the weight.

    • Scale to hang snatch if pulling from the floor is problematic.

    • Scale to DB snatch (can do from the hang as well).

  • Bar over Burpees:

    • Take a little extra time & keep your core engaged on the burpees.

    • Don’t “worm” your way back up.

    • Step over the bar if jumping is painful.

  • Bar Muscle Ups:

    • If you require a big kip to do a bar MU, the big positions may cause symptoms.

    • Consider modifying to a lower level gymnastic skill, strict movements, adding a band or isolated pull/press movements.

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!

  • Snatch: This is intended to be a lighter weight that you can move quickly through. Ideally the snatches should be done in 2 sets of less.

    • Choose appropriate weights that cause no symptoms.

    • 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 the athlete is uncomfortable using a barbell or has bumped their “bump”, scale to dumbbells instead. In this scenario, I would have the athlete do alternating DB snatch.

      • If DB snatches cause symptoms, try modifying to DB clean & jerk.

      • If there are still symptoms, modify to DB clean.

  • Bar Facing Burpees:

    • Once the bump begins to show, I would not recommend “dropping” to the floor on burpees as some athletes do. If athletes still feel comfortable going all the way done to the floor, on their belly, I would recommend they do so carefully.

    • Consider going down to just a push up plank position instead of the ground.

    • Step out & up instead of jumping out/up (that jumping thing again!).

    • Watch for coning in the bottom position (if not on the floor), and as pushing back up.

    • Another popular modification is incline push up and air squat. Basically you want to find an appropriate movement that can serve as a cardio stimulus- this could be slamballs, KB swings, bike, rower, etc.

    • As for the jumping over the bar part, I’d recommend stepping over the bar. It’s probably a little slower, but the last thing you want is to trip & fall when pregnant (that’s a straight to the hospital thing, if you didn’t know).

    • Inhale down, exhale up.

  • Bar Muscle-Ups: I would not recommend any pregnant athlete to do muscle-ups past the 1st trimester. The associated risks are not worth it IMO.

    • Modifications: You could pair one of the “pulling” movements with a “pressing” movement to mimic more of the MU. Your choice.

      • Ring rows

      • Seated MU transitions: Rings on bands- hang rings from rig with bands, athlete sits on ground and goes through the “pull”, “transition” & “dip”. Could also do this with a PVC pipe & band.

      • Seated or standing straight arm pull-downs (lat). With band alone or band & PVC.

      • Box dips

      • Seated or standing tricep extension with band.

    • I don’t think the position that many MU transitions put the body in are a “reward” at this point.

    • Focus on exhaling throughout 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!

  • Snatch: This is intended to be a lighter weight that you can move quickly through. Ideally the snatches should be done in 2 sets of less.

    • Choose appropriate weights that cause no symptoms.

    • Exhale on pull and during the catch.

    • If the athlete has symptoms going overhead, consider modifying to a clean.

  • Bar Facing Burpees:

    • I would not recommend jumping over the bar if the athlete has not been cleared by a pelvic floor physical therapist to jump.

    • Step out & up instead of jumping out/up.

    • Watch for coning in the bottom position (if not on the floor), and as pushing back up, especially if newly postpartum.

    • Another popular modification is incline push up and air squat. Basically you want to find an appropriate movement that can serve as a cardio stimulus- this could be slamballs, KB swings, bike, rower, etc.

    • Inhale down, exhale up.

  • Bar Muscle-Ups: Postpartum athletes, I would not recommend attempting a MU until pull-ups & CTB pull-ups are solid, with no symptoms.

    • Modifications: You could pair one of the “pulling” movements with a “pressing” movement to mimic more of the MU. Your choice.

      • Whatever pull-up movement you can perform with no symptoms (ring rows, chin over bar, chest to bar, etc).

      • Seated MU transitions: Rings on bands- hang rings from rig with bands, athlete sits on ground and goes through the “pull”, “transition” & “dip”. Could also do this with a PVC pipe & band.

      • Seated or standing straight arm pull-downs (lat). With band alone or band & PVC.

      • Box dips

      • Seated or standing tricep extension with band.

      • Traditional MU transitions - as long as there are no symptoms.

    • Focus on exhaling throughout 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.