CrossFit Open 19.3

Couple firsts this week for the CrossFit Open- single arm overhead DB lunges, DB box step ups & strict HSPU!

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: This is very likely not a great workout for you.

  • Couple options here for the overhead lunges:

    • Scale the weight.

    • Use the unaffected side only.

    • Modify to a front rack/shoulder carry or side carry.

  • Find a position that you can comfortably hold the DB in for the box step ups.

  • If you can do strict HSPU & get to them, small sets or even singles.

    • Consider scaling to another pressing movement- potentially single arm DB/KB on the unaffected side, or use different weights for each side.

  • If you can handstand walk with no symptoms, go for it. If you have some symptoms, consider keeping the distances short or scaling to shoulder taps or the scaled version.

Hip/Knee/Leg Injury: First part of the workout is going to the tough part here.

  • Consider scaling the DB weight.

  • Consider scaling the lunges to a farmer’s carry (maybe go a little heavier than prescribed weights here).

  • Modify box height as needed as well.

  • Squats/KB swings may also be an appropriate alternative here.

Back Injury: The single arm movements will require your core to work harder, which could be a good thing or could be too much stress on your system.

  • Consider going with no weights or lighter weights on the DB movements.

  • Make sure to keep core engaged during the lunges as well, the single arm overhead may cause some people to overextend their spine. If lunges are painful, consider modifying to farmer’s carry.

  • Focus on good alignment with HSPU and handstand walking. Keep your core engaged & don’t go into crazy “C” shapes.

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!

  • Overhead Walking DB Lunge:

    • Choose a weight that is manageable. Can also scale distance as needed.

    • Consider scaling to a front rack/shoulder hold or weight by your side. The single arm overhead can be very challenging to the core & could cause coning.

    • If lunges are painful (may be with pubic symphysis dysfunction), I would recommend scaling to 200ft farmer’s carry.

      • Another option would be squats or KB/DB swings.

        • I would scale reps for this around 50.

    • Inhale down, exhale up.

  • DB Box Step Ups:

    • Choose a weight that is manageable.

    • Consider scaling the box height.

    • Exhale throughout the step up, and as stepping down.

    • If step ups cause symptoms, I would choose another scaling option as mentioned above- squats or KB swings. Farmer’s carry could also be an option.

  • Strict HSPU: I would not recommend pregnant athletes perform HSPU. Risk vs. reward. The risks associated with going upside down, stress on the core are not worth it IMO.

    • Scaling options:

      • HSPU off box/bar

      • Push Press

      • Strict press

      • Dumbbell press (seated)

      • Push Up (Wall, incline, floor)

    • Focus on keeping good alignment with whatever position: head over shoulders, shoulders over ribs, ribs over pelvis.

    • Exhale with the push, inhale down.

  • Handstand Walking: Risk vs reward…again. I would not recommend any pregnant athlete do handstand walks. Take everything I said about the HSPU, plus the increased risk associated with handstand walks.

    • Being pregnant changes our weight distribution. While handstand walks may have been fine before, your body is changing & this may prove to be challenging and put you at risk if attempting.

    • Things to consider- can you go upside down without coning? How about once you start moving?

    • IF you do decide to attempt handstand walks, please have a coach take a look at your alignment. If you’re going into a lot of trunk extension, with your legs dangling & making that weird “C” position, that’s going to put a lot of extra stress on your abdominals. Definitely not something I would recommend, especially with for a diastasis.

      • Alignment in a handstand position should ideally be the finish position of a press - ankles, knees, hips/pelvis, ribs, shoulders, head and hands in a straight line.

    • Scale to the scaled version or consider handstand holds/taps if appropriate, AND can be performed with good alignment and no symptoms.

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!

  • Overhead Walking DB Lunge:

    • Choose a weight that is manageable. Can also scale distance as needed.

    • Consider scaling to a front rack/shoulder hold or weight by your side. The single arm overhead can be very challenging to the core & could cause coning.

    • If lunges are painful (may be with pubic symphysis dysfunction), I would recommend scaling to 200ft farmer’s carry.

      • Another option would be squats or KB/DB swings.

        • I would scale reps for this around 50.

    • Inhale down, exhale up.

  • DB Box Step Ups:

    • Choose a weight that is manageable.

    • Consider scaling the box height.

    • Exhale throughout the step up, and as stepping down.

    • If step ups cause symptoms, I would choose another scaling option as mentioned above- squats or KB swings. Farmer’s carry could also be an option.

  • Strict HSPU: I would not recommend newly postpartum athletes perform HSPU. Risk vs. reward. The risks associated with going upside down, stress on the core are not worth it IMO.

    • Scaling options:

      • HSPU off box/bar

      • Push Press

      • Strict press

      • 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.

  • Handstand Walking: Risk vs reward…again.

    • Things to consider- can you go upside down without coning? How about once you start moving?

    • IF you do decide to attempt handstand walks, please have a coach take a look at your alignment. If you’re going into a lot of trunk extension, with your legs dangling & making that weird “C” position, that’s going to put a lot of extra stress on your abdominals. Definitely not something I would recommend, especially with a healing diastasis.

      • Alignment in a handstand position should ideally be the finish position of a press - ankles, knees, hips/pelvis, ribs, shoulders, head and hands in a straight line.

    • Scale to the scaled version or consider handstand holds/taps if appropriate, AND can be performed with good alignment and no symptoms.

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.