CrossFit, Pregnancy/Postpartum

CrossFit Open 19.5 Movement Strategy Playbook for the Pregnant & Postpartum Athlete

We are in the final week of the 2019 CF Open, this is it! 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.. 19.5 has been announced and… surprise! Thrusters and chest to bar pull-ups. Just kidding, that’s no surprise at all. Videos are already up so check them out! Here is what’s on the whiteboard:

33-27-21-15-9 reps for time of:

Thrusters (65/45)
Chest-to-bar pull-ups/Jumping Pull-ups

Time cap: 20 minutes

Notes on mindset and overall considerations. This is a lot of volume in one workout. 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 too fast. Two alternatives to think about are either working at a comfortable pace until you hit the 20 minutes -OR- don’t be afraid to scale down the number of reps. Depending on where you are in your journey, and any symptoms you may be managing, that might be my first recommendation.

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 thruster and exhale as you drive the bar up. 

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 athleticism is much more important than this workout.

Pregnant Athletes:

Thrusters: If you are past your first trimester you may consider using dumbbells in place of a barbell. The thruster is broken down into three parts: the squat, the press, and the weight.

The squat – If you are experiencing any symptoms of pain or leaking in the squat, modify the depth and/or consider squatting to a box.

The press – If you are finding that the press is either too taxing, winding you too much, or causing pain, consider taking the press out of it and only do the squat. Focus on keeping your ribs down, as opposed to flaring out.

Weight – Choose a weight that you are extremely comfortable moving for large sets. This is not the workout to do Rx if you are only able to do sets of 10 or less at that weight. This is not to say you can’t break the reps down into sets, just that you should be capable of large sets at the weight that you choose.

Chest to Bar Pull-ups/Jumping pull-ups: I would not recommend kipping if you are past 12 weeks along. Kipping places additional tension on the already stressed abdomen from growing baby. I also would not consider jumping pull-ups to be an appropriate scaling option during this chapter. Your pelvic floor is already under additional stress with the addition of baby, jumping will only add to that.

Alternatives: There are so many! Be sure to watch the video for different variations.

-Ring rows: Consider doing ring rows with as much difficulty as your body can handle. Be on the lookout for coning.

-Lat pull downs with band attached to rig in all different variations.

Postpartum Athletes:

Thrusters: The thruster is broken down into three parts: the squat, the press, and the weight.

The squat – If you are experiencing any symptoms of pain or leaking in the squat, modify the depth and consider squatting to a box.

The press – If you are finding that the press is either too taxing, winding you too much, or causing pain, consider taking the press out of it and only do the squat. Focus on keeping your ribs down, as opposed to flaring out.

Weight – Choose a weight that you are extremely comfortable moving for large sets. This is not the workout to do Rx if you are only able to do sets of 10 or less at that weight. This is not to say you can’t break the reps down into sets, just that you should be capable of large sets at the weight that you choose.

Chest to Bar Pullups/Jumping 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 before attempting. 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 and healing abdomen from pregnancy. Also, watch for coning.

Jumping pull-ups could be an appropriate scaling option if you are over 12 weeks postpartum, have worked jumps back into your workouts, and have no symptoms (pain, leaking urine, feeling anything low or falling out of the vagina).

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: Consider doing the reps as ring rows with as much difficulty as your body is ready for.

-Lat pull downs with band attached to rig in all different variations. See video below.

[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

www.gracefitnessandnutrition.com

kerri@gracefitnessandnutrition.com

401-680-0330

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