CrossFitting While Pregnant – My Pregnant CrossFit Modifications

When me and my family found out we were pregnant, two things came to my crazy mind: HOW am I going to manage hiking Mt. Whitney, and what kind of pregnant CrossFit modifications am I going to have to do at the box? Then of course, joy/excitement/terror/gas…in that order.

I consider myself very, very, fortunate in that my pregnancy was free of most of the usual symptoms like nausea, fatigue, etc. I am not sure if it was due to me being so active before the pregnancy (yoga and CrossFit 4x/week), my genes, luck, or a combination of the three but I was able to keep up with activity all the way through to the very end. Hiking, cycling, kayaking, SUP’ing San Diego Bay, swimming, CrossFitting, yoga-ing…nothing stopped me! To be honest, the only symptoms I really had issues with was RLS and really itchy skin. The only thing that really helped was by keeping active and lots of homemade peppermint-infused body butter.

My fit pregnancy

My fit pregnancy

After checking with my doctor, I was encouraged by her to keep up all of my usual activities. She told me squats are the new kegels, and explained that labor is the single most physically demanding event I was going to experience, so I should absolutely train for it! My doc did warn against trying new stuff, however. That meant if I wasn’t do handstand walks before my pregnancy, now was not a good time to start. If you weren’t CrossFitting before, I wouldn’t recommend starting a new program now that you’re with child.

But of course, check with your doctor first before continuing on with these pregnant CrossFit modifications! 

My Pregnant CrossFit Modifications

These modifications will all come at different times for everyone, I kept the movements the same until my belly got in the way, or it became uncomfortable. As far as how heavy I would go in the lifts or the equipment-I would just listen to my body and went as heavy as I could to break a streak without straining, which ended up being around 60-70% of what I normally could load up on a bar. I didn’t try to hit any new PR’s, but I definitely wanted to make sure I got a decent workout in. Ask your doctor if you there is any weight maximum she wants you to stay away from.

Pregnant CrossFit Equipment:

One of my personal favorite items I bought while pregnant and CrossFitting was this girdle belt for anytime I would be doing anything “bouncy” like walking fast or jogging, over-the-shoulder movements, and deadlifts.

Another thing to note is when you’re pregnant, you become super flexible thanks to the release of the peptide hormone, relaxin, but that doesn’t mean you can’t injure yourself by overextending. I made sure to note this and not go any farther than I normally would in my squats, stretches, or overhead movements that open your shoulder up like snatches or pull-ups off the rig.

Be sure to wear wrist straps for the reason above also. I think of wrist injuries like an Achilles heel to CrossFit, there isn’t much you can do in CrossFit with a jacked up wrist, on top of the extra modifications you’ll be doing because you’re pregnant!

Pregnant Burpee Modification

Pregnant Burpee Modification

Pregnant Burpee Modification

  • Get a box set at a height that is comfortable for you to complete a push-up
  • Start the burpee from a standing position about a foot away from the box
  • Hands on the box, jump back to a plank
  • Complete a box push-up
  • Jump back to the start position

Pregnant Burpee Box Jumps Modification or Pregnant Burpee Bar Jumps Modification

Pregnant Box Burpee Modification

Pregnant Box Burpee Modification

  • Get a box set at a height that is comfortable for you to complete a push-up, and a smaller box in front of it for stepping up
  • Start the burpee from a standing position about a foot away from the box
  • Hands on the box, jump back to a plank
  • Complete a box push-up
  • Jump pack to the start position
  • Complete a step-up

Pregnant Clean and Jerk Modification

Pregnant Clean and Jerk Modification

Pregnant Clean and Jerk Modification

I did clean and jerks without modification up until around six months when I started to “rainbow” the bar to get out the way of my belly. Once your bump starts to get in the way of the bar keeping close to your body, it’s time to move onto dumbell clean and jerks!

  • Get two dumbells and a short box to rest your weights on (this way you don’t have to bend all the way down to the ground)
  • Perform a clean and jerk as usual, but instead of keeping the bar close to your front, you are focusing on keeping the weights close to your side, until you clean the weight to your chest.
  • Ask your coach for recommendations on this modification if you’ve never used dumbbells before!

 

Pregnant Snatch Modification

Pregnant Snatch Modification

Pregnant Snatch Modification

Same as the clean and jerk, I did not modify this movement until the bar started to “rainbow” to get out of the way of my belly. Once I was too big to do the movement correctly and safely, I switched it up to a one-armed kettlebell snatch.

  • Get a kettlebell (or a dumbell)
  • Using a wider stance than you would for a typical snatch to accommodate your belly, perform a one-armed snatch.
  • Like the clean and jerk, ask your coach to show you this movement in case you haven’t done it with a kettlebell before!

Pregnant Pull-Up Modification

Pregnant Pull-Up Modification

Pregnant Pull-Up Modification

Once pull-ups become uncomfortable with the sudden shift in body balance, you can swap our pull-ups for ring rows.

  • Find yourself some rings, hold on, and angle your body to the ground to wherever you feel most comfortable. The more parallel to the ground you are, the more challenging the pull.
  • Keep your core tight, your back straight, and pull up to your chest, keeping your arms close and tight to your body.

Pregnant Deadlift Modification

Pregnant Deadlift Modification

Pregnant Deadlift Modification

Deadlifts are my favorite lift of all, so there wasn’t anyway I was gonna stop doing them. Good thing is, the pregnant modification for deadlifts is pretty easy! I moved onto these once my belly got in the way for me to properly get to the bar with my feet in line with my hips.

  • Get your bar loaded, and approach it in a wide, sumo stance.
  • Pick up the bar with a narrow grip, and be sure to have your hands placed as evenly in the middle of the bar as you can since this will be a balance test. If your grip is slightly off-center, your bar will tip to the right or left when you pick it up.
Well, that about wraps up all my favorite pregnant CrossFit modifications! With these modifications, I was able to CrossFit right up until 39 weeks, and I was able to jump right back to the box after the birth six weeks later. If you have any questions on movements not covered, or if you’re a CrossFitting, momma-to-be, comment in the section below!
Box buddies in and outside the womb

Box buddies in and outside the womb

Big shout out to my beautiful pregnant model featured in all the GIF’s, Gretchyn

Aspectcreatio.com is not a licensed medical care provider and represents that it has no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition. I am just stating what I did, and hopefully that helps you. Don’t sue me bro. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge aspectcretio.com from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of aspectcretio.com’s negligence.

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