My Fitness During Pregnancy: Things I Modify

 

First and foremost I am not a medical professional. All of my recommendations are personally made with the help of my midwife, two years of Crossfit training, college courses on nutrition, health, and fitness, and two healthy active pregnancies. You should consult your practitioner prior to starting a new fitness routine.

Link and videos for each movement is provided along with my impression of the exercise, why reason for its safe or unsafe status, modification I use or suggest, and any substitutions.

  • Burpees (video) – Safe, Land in plank position then jumping back to the top
  • Box Jumps (video)- Do not Perform
    • Why: To prevent injury to baby from high jumping
    • Substitution: Box Step Ups (video)
  • Deadlifts (video)- Do not Perform
    • Why: I avoid lifting from the ground to prevent injury/strain to back, belly, and knees due to the loosening effects of the relaxin hormone on joints and ligaments during pregnancy.
  • Substitution: Good Mornings (video) or Kettlebell Swings (video)
  • Double Unders – Do not Perform
    • Why: Avoid anything “too jumpy” to prevent injury to baby, plus they make me pee.
    • Substitution: Box Step Ups (see above) or Dumbbell or Body weight Jumping Lunges  (video)
  • Farmer Carry – Lower Weight as needed, insure hold isn’t bumping baby
  • Front Squat (video) – Safe, do not squat below 90 degrees
    • Why: It is suggested women should not squat below parallel (in which the knees are at a 90 degree angle) during pregnancy due to the loosening effects of the relaxin hormone on joints and ligaments during pregnancy.
    • Substitution: Kettlebell Goblet Squat (see below)
  • Goblet Squats (video)- Safe, just not “full depth” ie below 90 degrees
    • Why:  It is suggested women should not squat below parallel (in which the knees are at a 90 degree angle) during pregnancy due to the loosening effects of the relaxin hormone on joints and ligaments during pregnancy.
  • Handstand Pushups – Avoid upside down movements [I can’t do them anyway]
    • Why: Extra blood flow increases risk of light headedness and fainting while upside down
    • Substitution: Barbell or Dumbbell Push Press (video)
  • KettleBell Swings (video) – Lower weight as needed to maintain form and prevent bumping belly.
  • Lunges (video) – Perform with or without weight, maintain form
  • Overhead Squats (video)- Not “Full Depth”, lower weight as needed
    • Why:  It is suggested women should not squat below parallel (in which the knees are at a 90 degree angle) during pregnancy due to the loosening effects of the relaxin hormone on joints and ligaments during pregnancy.
  • Power Clean – Do not lift from ground
    • Why: I avoid lifting from the ground to prevent injury/strain to back, belly, and knees due to the loosening effects of the relaxin hormone on joints and ligaments during pregnancy.
    • Substitution: Hang Cleans (video)
  • Pull-Ups – Perform until personally uncomfortable, if needed utilize assistance bands, avoid “dropping” from bar
    • Why: To prevent injury to baby from high jumping
  • Push Press/Shoulder Press (video) (aka shoulder to overhead)- Safe Lower weight as needed
  • Push-Ups – Perform until uncomfortable, modify to knees and then plates when belly requires *in video below*
    • Why: To prevent injury to belly by bumping the floor
    • Substitution: Wall push-ups (video)
  • Ring Dips (video)- Perform until personally uncomfortable, avoid dropping from rings [I can’t do them]
  • Row – Perform until uncomfortable
    • Substitution: barbell or ring rows if needed
  • Run – Safe, avoid sprinting
  • Sit-Ups – Safe
    • Substitution: Knees to Elbows (video)
  • Slam Ball (video) – Safe, lower weight as needed
  • Snatches – Do not Perform
    • Why:  I avoid lifting from the ground to prevent injury/strain to back, belly, and knees due to the loosening effects of the relaxin hormone on joints and ligaments during pregnancy.
    • Substitution: Hang Snatch (video)
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull – Do not go full depth
    • Why:  I avoid lifting from the ground to prevent injury/strain to back, belly, and knees due to the loosening effects of the relaxin hormone on joints and ligaments during pregnancy.
    • Substitution: Perform with Kettlebell Swing (see above)
  • Supermans – Not safe
    • Why: Avoid laying on belly while pregnant
    • Substitutions: Planks (video) for strength, Good Mornings (video) for reps
  • Toes to Bar (video)- Safe 
    • Substitutions: Knee Raises (see video above)
  • Wall Balls (video) – Safe, do not go full depth.
    • Why:  It is suggested women should not squat below parallel (in which the knees are at a 90 degree angle) during pregnancy due to the loosening effects of the relaxin hormone on joints and ligaments during pregnancy.
    • Substitution: Barbell Thrusters (video) or Dumbbell Thrusters (video)

 

These restrictions and modifications are created to enable my fitness during my pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different just a every athlete is different. Use this list as a guild line for your own workout routine and modify based on your skill set and current health status. Here are a handful of link to provide a well rounded resource outlet for mommies looking to maintain their workout routine during pregnancy and through the postpartum recovery phase.
Crossfit SoCal- Pregnancy Dos and Don’ts for Each Trimester
Tabatatimes – Squats During Pregnancy 
Inside the Affiliate – Crossfit Coaches Guide to Training Pregnant Women

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