Murph Considerations for the Pregnant & Postpartum Athlete



With Memorial Day approaching, athletes from all over will join together with their communities to take part in the workout "Murph" to honor those that have fallen while defending our freedom. This one is named after Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy who was killed in Afganistan in 2005. The prescribed workout is as follows:


1 mile run

100 pull-ups

200 push-ups

300 squats

1 mile run

*while wearing a 20lb. weight vest


For the pregnant and postpartum athlete, we need to take a few things into consideration before jumping right into this one.


Let's first look at the overall workout-it is LONG with high volume of the movements. You may be used to pushing past discomfort in a workout-it's how we get better, right?!

Not so much during this season... This is not a time that I would suggest "pushing past the pain".


Just because you can (or someone that isn't qualified to give advice in these seasons is trying to convince you that you can), it doesn't always mean that you should, or that you have to.

Working at a pace and intensity that you can easily maintain will be important so you don't overwork yourself or become symptomatic.


You could even set yourself a timer for the full workout if you are not sure if you want to do the whole workout. For example, if you know you can manage 20-30 minutes of a workout, set a 20-30 minute timer and just work through the movements during that time.


To ensure that you are moving with quality and allowing yourself time to check in with how you are feeling, take rest periods (maybe even more than you think you will need).

With this, don't be afraid to cut the reps down; significantly if needed!


Depending on where you are located, the temperature outside may not be in your favor-here in Arkansas, it will likely be pushing mid-90 degrees and HUMID. If you are somewhere where it will be warmer, consider doing it earlier in the day when it isn't as hot.

Staying hydrated will be super important here. Drink water before, during, and after. And take water breaks!



With all of the movements, the following symptoms should be a sign that you should scale back a bit:

  • A growing belly

  • Coning/doming along the midline of the abdomen

  • Tugging/pulling sensation in the abdomen

  • Leaking (incontinence) of urine or feces

  • Pelvic pain, pressure/heaviness, or discomfort

  • Pain in the hips, back, belly, etc.

  • Cannot catch your breath or feel like you are getting overheated


Now, on to the movements and some modifications we can make.


Run

Running in general is a high impact movement which will put a lot more stress on the pelvic floor than there already is during pregnancy and while still recovering postpartum or if you have any pelvic floor dysfunction.

Modifications:

Quick walk

Bike or row

Banded marches

Carries-farmer's, front rack, etc.