Scaling for CrossFit: First Trimester

During my experience as a CrossFit coach over the past several years, I have encountered and worked with a number or pregnant clients that wanted to continue “crossfitting” throughout their pregnancies.  The good news is that, especially if you had already been doing CrossFit for 6 months or more before you found out you were pregnant, it is fairly easy to modify the movements so that you can still participate in a group class if you choose to.  Right after you find out you are pregnant you may freak out and worry about what you can and cannot do.  Thankfully, there are very few modifications that you need to make during your first trimester.  Just remember that this is a time for maintaining your fitness not a time to increase your weights or intensity.  And, as always, you should consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise program or to get their ok to continue your current exercise routine.

Barbell Movements:

Some women may feel comfortable continuing with the same weights they were doing before becoming pregnant and some may want to reduce the weight right away….but whatever you decide, as long as you aren’t going up in weight or trying for new PR’s (personal records) you will be fine!

Gymnastics Movements:

At this point in your pregnancy, you can still do almost all gymnastics movements: pullups, pushups, dips, squats, even ring muscle ups if you were comfortable doing them before you got pregnant.  In fact, a good rule of thumb is don’t attempt anything that you weren’t doing comfortably before pregnancy.  Advanced gymnastics movements such as ring muscle ups and handstand pushups are still ok if you were doing these before but listen to your body and if anything feels wrong then you should discontinue these movements.  You may also consider doing these movements strict instead of kipping. The only movement I would really recommend against is bar muscle ups…not worth the risk of hitting your belly.

Cardio Movements:

Running, rowing, and double unders are all ok as long as they feel good to you.

Core Exercises:

During the first trimester, sit-ups are ok so are toes-to-bar and knees-to-elbows.  But, I would stop the ghd situps.

Other Movements:

Kettlebell swings, wallball shots, ball slams, etc are all ok!

Workout Tips:

Don’t exercise to the point of exhaustion.  Rest between rounds/reps…pregnancy is not the time to push it.  You should be able to carry on a conversation while working out.  Finally, drink lot’s of water before, during, and after your WOD’s.



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