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The CrossFit Open 22.3 For The Pregnant & Postpartum Athlete

Here we go! We are at the final week of the CrossFit Open and here is the workout:

For time: 21 pull-ups 42 double-unders 21 thrusters (weight 1) 18 chest-to-bar pull-ups 36 double-unders 18 thrusters (weight 2) 15 bar muscle-ups 30 double-unders 15 thrusters (weight 3)

65 lb, then 75 lb, then 85 lb

Time cap: 12 minutes

Before diving into strategies for 22.3, I want to remind you of a few important things during this chapter:

  • Athlete brain is real, especially during a competitive time like the Open. The Open puts most athletes in a different mindset to allow them to push harder and faster than they normally would. Before going there, think about your current AND long term goals, way beyond pregnancy or trying to prove something early on postpartum.

  • Pregnancy is not forever, but postpartum is. Just because you can do something right now, it doesn't necessarily mean you should.

  • Pregnancy and postpartum is a really great time to hone in on your movement strategies, as well as to build and maintain a solid foundation for your core and pelvic floor. This is to help set you up as best as you can for long term health, strength, function, and performance.

  • This is not the most appropriate time to PR a workout or hit a new max.

  • Think about the risk vs. the reward of doing each movement and whether or not it will serve your long term goals.

Now, on to the workout for pregnant and postpartum athletes.

This workout has pretty HIGH volume, so finding a pace that you can manage throughout the workout will be important. Remember that you can rest if you need it and try to maintain a good breathing strategy through the movements.

This is just ONE option on how you can adjust this workout to fit what you need:

12 min. AMRAP (moving for quality vs. quantity)

15 ring rows

30 quick plate step ups

15 landmine thrusters

Ring row: Try to breathe as you row (vs. holding your breath).

*Even though you may still feel okay doing pull-ups or even muscle ups, the kipping movement and hanging from the bar puts quite a bit of stress on already vulnerable tissue in pregnancy and postpartum. For more on pull-ups, read THIS BLOG.

Quick plate step ups: Use one or a couple of bumper plates or a low box to step up and down quickly. Try to breathe throughout the movement so you aren’t holding your breath. If you notice any leaking, pressure, etc. (or even the sensation of), slow them down a bit and don’t be afraid to scale the reps back if the higher reps aren’t feeling good for you.

*Even though you may still feel okay doing double unders, they put a lot of stress on already vulnerable tissue in pregnancy and postpartum. Remember: just because you can, it doesn't mean it's appropriate.

AND although single unders are often a sub for double unders for general athletes, they still put a lot of stress on the pelvic floor and I would not recommend them in pregnancy or early postpartum (this varies greatly woman to woman, but I definitely wouldn't suggest them until after 3 months postpartum, once a good foundation has been established and progressed back into impact).

**For more in-depth information and considerations on jumping during pregnancy and postpartum, check out THIS BLOG.**

Landmine thrusters: Breathe so you can maintain reps intentionally, without getting too winded. One option to try is exhaling as you come up out of the bottom of the squat (inhale down). Keep the ribs stacked over the hips and try not to flare the ribs up.

You could also sub dumbbell thrusters if you don't have the space for setting up a landmine.

*Navigating a barbell in pregnancy can get a bit tricky-read THIS BLOG for more on barbell use in pregnancy.

If you experience any of the following symptoms (even if just a little bit), it may be time to make an adjustment, switch to another exercise, or consult with your OB, pelvic floor physical therapist or coach:

  • Coning or doming along the midline of the abdomen

  • Pulling sensations in the abdomen

  • ANY amount of unintentional leaking (urine or feces)

  • Pelvic pain or pressure

  • Heaviness or a bulge feeling in the vagina

  • Pain during or after exercise (back, hips, pelvic, belly)

  • Fatigue, exhaustion, or excessive soreness-this is likely a sign you need to back off a bit

  • Spotting or bleeding

Other things to be mindful of (as they may not be the most appropriate during pregnancy and postpartum):

  • Holding your breath

  • Working to complete failure/exhaustion

These are ways you can learn to “listen to your body”. Remember that this won’t be forever, just for now and it can really help set you up long term! How each exercise should be adjusted for each individual is going to vary greatly based on their experiences, and it’s one way I help my clients navigate exercise during this chapter. Remember that this is for fun!! Enjoy the community atmosphere and if you don't feel like participating, don't! Being intentional about what is most appropriate for you and your body can help you maintain activity, without pain or symptoms, and help with recovery postpartum. Want more info on how you can navigate symptoms, exercise, and your journey? Fill out THIS FORM to schedule a FREE call with me to discuss how you can get better guidance with exercise and managing symptoms in pregnancy!


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