CrossFit, Pregnancy/Postpartum

CrossFit Open 19.4 Movement Strategy Playbook for the Pregnant and Postpartum Athlete

Hello and welcome to week 4 (!) of the 2019 CF Open! I can’t believe that we are more than halfway through already. Here is some background on me if it’s your first time here. Hi! My name is Kerri Grace. I am a Level 2 CrossFit Coach, Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach, Certified Pre-Postnatal Coach, and Level 1 USAW Coach. I have focused my coaching on the pregnant and postpartum populations after my own experience feeling lost and confused during pregnancy and postpartum, and through diastasis recti and an umbilical hernia. If you’d like to read more about my story you can do so here and here.

Onto the workout.. 19.4 has been announced and woah: I don’t think we’ve ever seen a built-in rest? Videos are up so check them out below! Here is what’s on the whiteboard:

3 Rounds For Time:
10 Snatches (65# is RX)
12 Bar Facing Burpees

-3 Mins of Rest-

10 Bar Muscle Ups
12 Bar Facing Burpees
*12 Min cap, including the rest*

Notes on mindset and overall considerations. This is meant to be two very quick workouts. Keep a reasonable pace throughout. For my pregnant athletes, try to stick to a pace that you can easily breathe through. If you can’t talk, you’re going to fast. Two alternatives to think about are either working at a comfortable pace and skipping the rest -OR- working at your own pace, keeping the rest in and forgetting the 12 minute time cap.

This brings me to a breathing strategy. Breathing through the movements is going to be very important. Try to exhale on the exertion, the difficult part of the movement. You can inhale either between repetitions or while resetting: for example as the object (bar or dumbbell) is coming down in the snatch.

As always, if you experience any symptoms of pain, pelvic pain or discomfort, incontinence, pressure or feeling of something falling out or your vagina, or pressure/discomfort in your abdomen/midline please stop. Try one of the alternatives for that movement, or, if the symptoms do not dissipate stop the workout. Your long term health and athleticsm is much more important than this workout.

Pregnant Athletes:

Snatches: Risk vs. reward in terms of whether or not to use a barbell here. You have worked so hard for months or even years to create and maintain a good, straight bar path. Having to go around the baby bump is re-training all of that training, and you will have to train it again after baby is born. It took me months of working my bar path to get back to somewhat normal. There is no right or wrong answer, but ask yourself: Is the potential reward of using that barbell worth the risk of having to re-train your bar path?

Alternatives: Using a dumbbell in place of the barbell. In terms of weight, I would recommend choosing a weight that you can cycle through easily, while breathing through the movements. If you are using a dumbbell, you can choose whether to make L/R 1 rep (so in essence double the reps) or L=1 and R=2. Gauge how you feel in terms of exhaustion and ability to breathe. If this workout is taxing, I wouldn’t recommend doubling up the reps.

Bar Facing Burpees: If you have even a little bit of a baby belly showing, I would not recommend RX burpees. Even if you are trying to not slam your belly down to the ground, as you get tired that will become increasingly difficult and can come with risks right to baby.

Alternatives: You can do a modified burpee where you jump your feet back, and don’t lower yourself to the ground. If you find you can’t breathe through this movement you can step back into a plank and step back up. All of these options are only appropriate if you have no coning or doming (when you see a ridge or bulge popping out down the midline of your belly, see this post for more info). Please be aware of this, and even have someone watch for it for you if need be. If you do have coning, consider either doing your burpees on a box (again, only if you can do this without coning) or substituting a squat and an incline push up.

**I would not recommend jumping over the bar, step instead because no one wants to risk a fall or trip over the bar**

Bar Muscle Ups/Pullups – I would not recommend bar muscle ups past 12 weeks, maybe even sooner if you are showing. This movement is so dynamic and the possibility of hitting your belly on the bar is pretty good. Also, kipping places additional tension on the already stressed abdomen from growing baby.

Alternatives:

-Ring row/ring dip or combo: Consider doing the reps as ring rows followed by any version of a ring dip (that you can complete with no coning). Full ring dip, scaled with a box under feet, with feet on the ground ot help support etc.

-Simulating the muscle up movement with rings attached to the pullup rig with bands. This can be done standing, from a kneeling position, or sitting. Bonus here is you never have to leave the ground. Again watch for coning.

-Lat pull downs with band attached to rig.

Postpartum Athletes:

*If you have not already slowly re-introduced the movements outlined, I would not recommend trying them in this workout for the first time. Risk vs. reward here.

Snatches: If you are less then 12 weeks postpartum and/or have not yet incorporated barbells back into your training, I would not start with this workout. Consider using dumbbells if this is the case. If you have re-introduced barbells, use a weight you are very comfortable with, can breathe through, and have good form and alignment (think ribs over hips, ribs not flaring out).

Burpees: Consider scaling these if burpees or jumping causes any symptoms (coning, incontinence, or the urge sensation). See above for some alternative options. Make sure you are breathing through this movement and not holding your breath.

Bar Muscle Ups/Pullups – If you are newly postpartum (under 3 months) and/or had a c-section, please use this as an extra consideration with how your scar area feels as it may come in contact with the bar for bar muscle ups. Also, if you have not worked back up to these yet, I would not recommend using this workout to see if you can still do them. Risk vs. reward

If you are less than 3 months postpartum OR have a diastasis to consider, I would not recommend kipping these. Kipping puts an enormous amount of stretch on your already very stretched abdomen from pregnancy. Also, watch for coning.

Alternatives:

-If you can perform strict reps for pullups, this is an option as long as there is no coning. Do fewer reps when subbing in strict.

-Ring row/ring dip or combo: Consider doing the reps as ring rows followed by any version of a ring dip (that you can complete with no coning). Full unassisted ring dip, scaled with a box under feet etc.

-Simulating the muscle up movement with rings attached to rig with bands. Bonus here is you never have to leave the ground. Again watch for coning.

-Lat pull downs with band attached to rig.

[Please do not participate in the work out if you do not have clearance from your Doctor, and follow any restrictions they may have in place for you]

I hope this helps! Comment your questions below or contact me directly. I will do my best to help you, but please keep in mind that an in-person assessment is the best way to give recommendations. If you are interested in meeting in person, please contact me. You can reach me on FacebookInstagram, or email me at kerri@gracefitnessandnutrition.com. I am here to do my best for you. 

I am available to work with you in person in Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts, and also can work with you remotely online. For more information about me and how I can help you through this chapter, please schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation here, contact me directly at kerri@gracefitnessandnutrition or visit  Grace Fitness and Nutrition.]]

Stay strong, stay beautiful!

Coach Kerri

http://www.gracefitnessandnutrition.com

kerri@gracefitnessandnutrition.com

401-680-0330

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