Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Crossfit, Pregnancy & Recovery

Push presses with 65# at 35 weeks. 

I'm five months postpartum and I am happy to say that staying active and going to Crossfit Greenpoint during my pregnancy made my recovery smooth and effortless. I unexpectedly ended up having to get a C-section (another post for another time). The day after my surgery I was able to sit up, get out of bed and walk around on my own.  Apparently some of the staff didn't believe that I was recovering from a surgery because I was walking around like nothing had ever happened.

I sincerely believe this was due to Crossfit!

I didn't really have a plan in terms of modifying movements when I found out that I was pregnant. Thankfully my coaches had experience working with pregnant women and were able to coach me through my pregnancy safely and effectively.

One important thing to note is that because I had been doing this type of exercise for well over a year before becoming pregnant it was OK by my doctors and my coaches to continue on. Much of the time I was at the gym it was summertime and very hot and humid. Regardless of what the workout was, I made sure to always do the following:

- Stay hydrated

- Make sure I didn't get too winded (I made sure I was able to talk/sing during a workout in order to pace myself)
 
- Breathed through my lifts with no holding of breath
 
- Kept my core and back as tight as possible

- Listened to my body
 
Also, if it was over 85 degrees I just skipped the gym entirely and stayed home to rest in the AC.
 
1st Trimester
 
All movements were basically the same except for the following.
 
- Stopped handstands and handstand push-ups and did elevated push-ups with my feet up on a bench
- Lowered box jump height to reduce risk of falling
 
2nd Trimester
 
- No sit-ups, subbed GHD hip extensions for sit-ups.
- No bench press
- Kept up with cleans and snatches until my belly got in the way of the bar path and I no longer felt comfortable in the movements. Switched to front squats and presses/push presses/split jerks off the rack
- Did sumo deadlifts instead of regular deadlifts to accommodate my growing belly
- Step ups instead of box jumps
- No rope climbs!
- Double unders were OK until my belly started getting bigger
- Kept the weights heavy but comfortable and never maxed out
- Instead of running I would row or use the assault bike
 
3rd Trimester
 
- Same as above. The biggest difference was making sure the weights were lighter and focused a lot on mobility, especially for my lower body. Also did a lot of squats (always squat!) and shoulder to overhead movements.
- Capped long WODs at 30 minutes max
- Basically it was a win for me towards the end if I showed up and moved a little bit and picked up some weight. I went to the gym up until the last couple weeks of my pregnancy and lost very little strength.
 
5 months postpartum, about to deadlift
 
If you are pregnant I would not recommend starting Crossfit now. However, staying active and making sure that you get regular exercise during pregnancy is important. Make sure to discuss with your physician before starting any new fitness program. Most importantly, be kind and patient with yourself during this time.

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