CrossFit While Pregnant. Modifying Her Tabata Workout

Watch how this pregnant CrossFitter modified her Tabata workouts throughout her 9 months of pregnancy with Tabata Songs (Song “House Mix Tabata” by Tabata Songs).

Megan R, an assistant CrossFit coach at Pioneer Valley CrossFit (Hadley, MA. USA), never stopped moving throughout her pregnancy before giving birth to a healthy baby boy. Through the support of her CrossFit community she worked out multiple times per week, constantly scaling the exercise movements to her body’s changing limitations. Watch Megan scale movements such as burpees, box jumps, cleans, snatches, push-ups and ring rows as her body undergoes the amazing transformation of pregnancy.

PREGNANT CROSSFIT

“I remember after finding out I was pregnant, I looked up “pregnant crossfit” on YouTube just out of curiosity.  What I watched was really intimidating and completely beyond my ability level.  I immediately felt anxious about continuing to train throughout my pregnancy after seeing kipping pullups and handstand push-ups completed by very fit, very pregnant women.  I imagine some women out there have had similar experiences and now having been a “pregnant crossfitter,” here are my general thoughts:

It’s true about CrossFit that every movement can be modified — even to accommodate growing bellies, loosening joints, and swollen ankles.  Beyond having a structured and safe environment to move in, the community of which CrossFit provides is nurturing and encouraging.  Being pregnant can be isolating. So having gym members and other moms cheer you on makes a big difference.  I was lucky to have a wonderful coaching staff and good friends who supported me throughout the pregnancy.

BEFORE PREGNANCY

I worked out at at Pioneer Valley CrossFit about three times a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less if I was getting outside a lot.

MODIFYING MOVEMENTS

As my belly started to get bigger, I stopped using the Olympic bar. In my opinion, it really compromised the muscle clean — I know it’s possible to swing the bar around the belly but I felt that created poor economy of movement, so I switched to kettle bell and dumbbell cleans to maintain rapid hip extension without risking hitting my belly. As my hips started to loosen, slow and controlled squats felt better.

The burpee box jump combination probably slowed down the most. My push-ups weren’t great to begin with so that deteriorated quickly and I went from jumping on the higher box to stepping up on the lowest.

I changed the angle of the ring rows and pushups to make them easier as I got bigger.

It really depended on how I felt on any given day.  Sometimes I felt great and wanted to do more, other days my body just wasn’t up to it. By the end of the pregnancy, just moving at all was important.

MOVEMENTS I STOPPED DOING

I think the biggest modification was stopping rapid acceleration — so hip extension with cleans/kettlebell swings and jumping on the box weren’t comfortable as I got bigger

WHY TABATA DURING PREGNANCY?

If you just pick a few movements to stick with, Tabata provides structure when you really don’t feel like thinking too hard about what you need to do. Plus, it’s over quickly!

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

All of it! When it’s challenging to put your socks and shoes on, it’s definitely tough to think about doing squats or pushups.  Climbing up the stairs made my heart pound, so I dreaded going to the gym.  I was always happy after working out, but I really had to talk myself into it.

Megan- Pioneer Valley CrossFit