Modifying your Crossfit workout while pregnant can be defeating at first, but staying active is the right thing for you to do for your body and your baby’s development. If anyone understands this, it’s me. I had been training consistently and when I became pregnant I found that consistent CrossFit was challenging in a number or ways.
You’ll probably never see your body transform as much as it does while you’re pregnant, so changing your CrossFit routine naturally comes with the territory. From one woman to another, let me give you 3 tips on how to modify your CrossFit workout while pregnant.
Not even sure if you can do CrossFit while pregnant? I wrote some content addressing this topic here –> Can I Do CrossFit While Pregnant?
Scale Your CrossFit Workout
One of the easiest ways to modify your CrossFit workout is to do the scaled version provided. The scaled version offers lighter weights, lower rep schemes, or shorter time limits. Scaling is especially a great option for the first trimester. At this point, your body hasn’t changed much physically but you are probably fatiguing quicker.
Your blood volume is increasing during this time which means it takes longer to oxygenate your muscles. You may find that you can not sustain 20-30 minute cardio blasts. Remember, this is NORMAL and something that’s supposed to be happening while you support a fast developing baby.Trade Out The Barbell You’re Using for Your WOD
Trade Out Your Barbell During CrossFit WODs
The barbell is an integral piece of equipment for CrossFit, but it may not be the best option for a pregnant woman. As your belly starts to grow you simply can not do a proper clean or many other movements with a barbell.
A better option is to use dumbbells as an alternative. This clears your mid-line up but still allows you to get the benefit from the lift. Dumbbells can also be used for deadlifts, overhead press, or any other power lifts. Don’t mistake dumbbell workouts for being “easier workouts.” When your trade your barbell for dumbbells it can actually make the WOD more difficult since you lose the stability the barbell provides.
Rethink Overhead CrossFit Lifts
A proper overhead lift such as a jerk or overhead squat requires major core activation for stabilization. Later into your second trimester and definitely your third, you naturally lose some of your core stability as your abdomen expands. Without a stable and active core you’ll likely find that keeping yourself centered is more difficult.
Don’t be defeated if you need to steer away from overhead weightlifting later into your pregnancy. The most important part of you exercising is that you’re staying moving which is good for you and baby.
See this review of literature speaking to the benefits of exercise during pregnancy –> Physical Activity and Pregnancy: Past and Present Evidence and Future Recommendations
Dr. Brianna Williams DC is a chiropractic physician practicing at AccessHealth Chiropractic in Cary, NC. She treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries using chiropractic manipulation, Graston Technique, rehab exercise strategies, and other supportive therapies. Primary areas of focus include pregnancy related conditions, back pain, neck pain, muscular pain, extremity pain, and orthopedic injuries. Dr. Williams is experienced in treating pregnant women, especially those who're exercising and want to stay moving during their pregnancy.
If you're interested in whether she or another AccessHealth provider can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.