Crossfit while Pregnant


When I found out I was pregnant I searched the internet for all Crossfit blogs about how to be pregnant and crossfit.  I found the awesome website www.crossfitmom.com that tells you what you should do during your first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester.  It also showed these movements and how to substitute them. This helped me tremendously, but what I didn't find was every movement and how real women were working on each thing. 

Luckily, my awesome coach at Crossfit Caveman had just crossfitted (is that a word?) through her pregnancy. I knew there were a couple other people who were pregnant there too, but I didn't want everyone to know I was pregnant.

By looking at the Crossfit mom website I found out that for my first trimester I was probably good.  I told the coaches so they didn't push me too hard. 

The "What to Expect When You're Expecting" Book says that your baby LIKES the change in heart rate and breathing and it emphasizes getting 30 minutes of exercise most days.  Although the whole time I try to maintain a normal heartrate/breathing. Kind of difficult while working out though.  I always make sure I can talk.

Take note that I started Crossfit in January and I got pregnant in July, so I had 6 months of Crossfit beforehand.  I started as a skinny weak girl, so I wasn't RX'ing every movement pre-pregnancy.  I talked about starting crossfit here.





Here's what I have done so far - this doesn't mean it works for everyone!:

First Trimester:

  • I felt very weak and tired (no sickness) just pure exhaustion.  So I lowered the weight/intensity on everything.
  • Continued to do all movements though.
  • Took breaks to keep heart rate from getting too high.
Second Trimester (so far) at 19 weeks:
  • Took breaks to keep heart rate from getting too high. Made sure I can talk during the WOD
  • don't squat below 90 degrees (takes a lot to get used to)
  • burpees - still do them, just much more controlled
  • box jumps - do step ups instead
  • broad jumps - I will sub those out, they're probably "too jumpy"
  • Deadlifts - use KettleBell (45#)
  • double unders - my double unders are UGLY, and my doctor said not to do anything "too jumpy" so I've done singles instead because they're more controlled and efficient
  • farmer carry - less weight or whatever is comfortable
  • front squat - without being able to squat below 90 my form is awful on the front squat, so I've used a Kettlebell (goblet squat) and just don't squat the whole way
  • goblet squats - do them, just not full depth
  • handstand pushups - Can't do anything upside down (and I hate it/can't do them anyway), so I do seated dumbell push press
  • KettleBell Swings - I had been doing 35 pounds, now I do 25 pounds.
  • Lunges - still feel good, but I've heard these will get difficult
  • overhead squats - attempt with less weight and not full depth
  • power clean - do from hang position
  • prowler push - I don't do this anymore, there's no way to keep your heart rate down during that
  • Pullups - I could do a few kipping pullups pre-pregnancy, I then moved to purple band, then red band, and now I'm at blue band. 
  • push press/shoulder press - still do, just less weight (about 75%) - which is 35/45 pounds rather than 55.. like I said, skinny weak girl to start :)
  • pushups - still comfortable for me, recently switched to knees
  • ring dips - maintained current band
  • row - still do, just not for time
  • run - still do, just no sprinting
  • situps - the scale is knees to elbows, but I hate those so I'm doing russian twists
  • slam ball - still do full depth, just slower and only 10 pounds
  • snatches - attempt with less weight, hang position
  • sumo deadlift high pull - use kettlebell and don't go full depth
  • supermans - I do them on the GHD (and I actually do about 20 at the end of each class to strengthen my back)
  • toes to bar - still attempting to do them, I can do a few in a row
  • wall balls - still do, just not full squat
  • wall climbs - nothing inverted (and let's be honest.. I hate being upside down), so I've done what looks like a backward inchworm
Third Trimester - 29 weeks so far!

    Deadlift with Kettlebell

    Deadlift with kettlebell

    Kettlebell swing

  • Took breaks to keep heart rate from getting too high. Made sure I can talk during the WOD
  • don't squat below 90 degrees (takes a lot to get used to)
  • burpees - pregnant burpees, wall push up and squat = 1 burpee
  • box jumps - do step ups instead
  • broad jumps - I will sub those out, they're probably "too jumpy"
  • Deadlifts - use KettleBell (45#)
  • double unders - my double unders are UGLY, and my doctor said not to do anything "too jumpy" so I've done singles instead because they're more controlled and efficient
  • farmer carry - less weight or whatever is comfortable
  • front squat - without being able to squat below 90 my form is awful on the front squat, so I've used a Kettlebell (goblet squat) and just don't squat the whole way
  • goblet squats - do them, just not full depth
  • handstand pushups - Can't do anything upside down (and I hate it/can't do them anyway), so I do seated dumbell push press
  • KettleBell Swings - I had been doing 35 pounds, now I do 25 pounds.
  • Lunges - oh goodness, these suck.., I'm still doing weighted ones ,etc but they're tough!!
  • overhead squats - yesterday we did 75 of them for "nancy", I used a PVC pipe
  • power clean - do from hang position using dumbells to get around the belly
  • prowler push - I don't do this anymore, there's no way to keep your heart rate down during that
  • Pullups - I could do a few kipping pullups pre-pregnancy, I then moved to purple band, then red band, and now I'm at blue band.  (Still at blue band!!)
  • push press/shoulder press - still do, just less weight (about 75%) - which is 35/45 pounds rather than 55.. like I said, skinny weak girl to start :)
  • pushups - knee pushups
  • ring dips - maintained current band
  • row - still do, just not for time
  • run - starting to get more difficult, I don't do much more than a 200m run at a time
  • situps - the scale is knees to elbows, but I hate those so I'm doing russian twists (I've now moved from a 10lb slam ball to a 4 pounder..)
  • slam ball - still do full depth, just slower and only 10 pounds
  • snatches - doing one armed kb snatch
  • sumo deadlift high pull - use kettlebell and don't go full depth
  • supermans - I do them on the GHD (and I actually do about 20 at the end of each class to strengthen my back)
  • toes to bar - I've chickened out on these now
  • wall balls - still do, just not full squat
  • wall climbs - nothing inverted (and let's be honest.. I hate being upside down), I did 2 pushups and a 10 second plank hold, if back starts hurting then wall pushups and 10 second hanging knee raise
One funny the other day was attempting mountain climbers, yeah right, that's not happening with a big ol' belly in the way.

32 Weeks


  • Took breaks to keep heart rate from getting too high. Made sure I can talk during the WOD
  • don't squat below 90 degrees (takes a lot to get used to)
  • burpees - pregnant burpees, wall push up and squat = 1 burpee
  • box jumps - do step ups instead
  • broad jumps - I will sub those out, they're probably "too jumpy"
  • Deadlifts - use KettleBell (35#)
  • double unders - my double unders are UGLY, and my doctor said not to do anything "too jumpy" so I've done singles instead because they're more controlled and efficient
  • farmer carry - less weight or whatever is comfortable
  • front squat - without being able to squat below 90 my form is awful on the front squat, so I've used a Kettlebell (goblet squat) and just don't squat the whole way
  • goblet squats - do them, just not full depth
  • handstand pushups - Can't do anything upside down (and I hate it/can't do them anyway), so I do seated dumbell push press
  • KettleBell Swings - I had been doing 35 pounds, now I do 20 pounds.
  • Lunges - oh goodness, these suck.., I'm still doing weighted ones ,etc but they're tough!!
  • overhead squats - yesterday we did 75 of them for "nancy", I used a PVC pipe
  • power clean - do from hang position using dumbells to get around the belly
  • prowler push - I don't do this anymore, there's no way to keep your heart rate down during that
  • Pullups - I could do a few kipping pullups pre-pregnancy, I then moved to purple band, then red band, and now I'm at blue band.  (Still at blue band!!)
  • push press/shoulder press - still do, just less weight (about 75%) - which is 35/45 pounds rather than 55.. like I said, skinny weak girl to start :)
  • pushups - wall pushups
  • ring dips - maintained current band (red band)
  • row - still do, just not for time
  • run - I'm only rowing now
  • situps - the scale is knees to elbows, but I hate those so I'm doing russian twists (I've now moved from a 10lb slam ball to a 4 pounder..)
  • slam ball - air squats
  • snatches - doing one armed kb snatch
  • sumo deadlift high pull - use kettlebell and don't go full depth
  • supermans - don't do these anymore
  • toes to bar - I've chickened out on these now
  • wall balls - still do, just not full squat
  • wall climbs - nothing inverted (and let's be honest.. I hate being upside down), I did 2 pushups and a 10 second plank hold, if back starts hurting then wall pushups and 10 second hanging knee raise

  • 36 Weeks

  • Took breaks to keep heart rate from getting too high. Made sure I can talk during the WOD
  • don't squat below 90 degrees (takes a lot to get used to)
  • burpees - pregnant burpees, wall push up and squat = 1 burpee
  • box jumps - do step ups instead
  • broad jumps - I will sub those out, they're probably "too jumpy"
  • Deadlifts - use KettleBell (35#)
  • double unders - my double unders are UGLY, and my doctor said not to do anything "too jumpy" so I've done singles instead because they're more controlled and efficient
  • farmer carry - less weight or whatever is comfortable
  • front squat - without being able to squat below 90 my form is awful on the front squat, so I've used a Kettlebell (goblet squat) and just don't squat the whole way or take the bar off the rack so I don' thave to clean the bar.
  • goblet squats - do them, just not full depth
  • handstand pushups - Can't do anything upside down (and I hate it/can't do them anyway), so I do seated dumbell push press
  • KettleBell Swings - I had been doing 35 pounds, now I do 15 or 20 pounds.
  • Lunges - oh goodness, these suck.., I'm still doing weighted ones ,etc but they're tough!! Not anymore, I'm now holding onto something so I don' t fall over do lunges.
  • overhead squats - use a very light bar or PVC
  • power clean - do from hang position using dumbells to get around the belly
  • prowler push - I don't do this anymore, there's no way to keep your heart rate down during that
  • Pullups - I could do a few kipping pullups pre-pregnancy, I then moved to purple band, then red band, and now I'm at blue band.  (I'm now at ring rows, the band on my belly is weird)
  • push press/shoulder press - still do, just less weight (about 75%) - which is 35/45 pounds rather than 55.. like I said, skinny weak girl to start :)
  • pushups - wall pushups
  • ring dips - maintained current band (red band)
  • row - still do, just not for time
  • run - I'm only rowing now or walking
  • situps - the scale is knees to elbows, but I hate those so I'm doing russian twists (I've now moved from a 10lb slam ball to a 4 pounder..) Note to self: do situps or knees to elbows because russian twists ARE NOT working your abs.. I've learned the hard way.
  • slam ball - air squats or slam balls with a big med ball
  • snatches - doing one armed kb snatch
  • sumo deadlift high pull - use kettlebell and don't go full depth
  • supermans - don't do these anymore
  • toes to bar - I attempt knee ups
  • wall balls - still do, just not full squat
  • wall climbs - nothing inverted (and let's be honest.. I hate being upside down), I did 2 pushups and a 10 second plank hold, if back starts hurting then wall pushups and 10 second hanging knee raise
  • Pin It!

    20 comments:

    1. Found you while searching for crossfit exercises. WOW. you are doing it while pregnant. :) I am seven months post-pregnancy and I want to tone. :)

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. How is the CrossFit post pregnancy going?

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    2. Is that a WODding for 2 shirt (pic at the top of this blog)? Where did you get it from?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Yes, it is! I got it from CrossFit Caveman. You could probably contact them to see if they'd ship it!

        Delete
    3. Thanks for sharing this. I found your site while obsessively goggling how I'm going to continue my love affair with CrossFit while pregnant!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I'm so happy to hear that it helped! How's the pregnancy going?

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    4. I am so happy I found this site. I have been crossfiting for about a year, but I'm not as strong as the elite-type athlete women who have 95 lbs within their 75% effort. I am in my first trimester and i am SO TIRED ALL THE TIME. When I do make it to the box, I feel like I can hardly do a 10th of what I was able to do pre-pregnancy.This gives me so much hope - it will get better :)

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. You'll do great! Trust me, it'll get easier after the 1st Trimester! You and your baby will be so happy you worked out during pregnancy!! Just make sure to okay it with your doc!

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

      ReplyDelete
    6. Thanks sooo much for this site Camille, there is nothing like this in the UK!! I am 8 weeks & struggling to keep up with my crossfit 3 times per week but you are now my inspiration!! Plus now I know I can keep coming back to see variations of WOD moves i can do throughtout my pregnancy!!***

      ReplyDelete
    7. where did you find this gray "wodding for two" tshirt/tank? I can only find cheesey ones!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. CrossFit Caveman! Email them and maybe they'd send one!

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    8. I am sooo thrilled to have found this!!! Already print it out and hanging it on my garage gym!!!! I am 18 weeks and some exercises are becoming challenging, great to have this as a reference!!!!

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    9. So glad I found this!!! Thanks for all the info!!!! I'm currently 25 weeks and constantly get told 'don't push too hard' you should just swim' so I'm glad to have found other people the same as me

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    10. Thank you Camille - this is fantastic advice! I'm 13 weeks and have been wondering to what degree I should still be doing a lot of the movements! Thank you so much and good luck with the last few weeks!

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    11. This is really amazing! Others may get cynical about the safety of staying in shape during pregnancy, but I think it's safe to do so, as long as the expecting mothers don’t force themselves to do the heavier sets. Anyway, you did a great job in countering that after-pregnancy stage. Cheers!

      Cathy Stewart

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    12. Love your blog! It gives me so much hope! I am in my first trimester and I'm so worried already about weight gain. Do you mind me asking what your weight gain was while pregnant and crossfitting?also how was the process of losing the baby weight afterwards? I've crossfitted for about a year, but have taken a few breaks due to work and moving and such, so I'm definitely not as fit as I would like to be, and now just afraid it's going to get worse. Any tips on maintaining weight, meal plans, dieting ?

      ReplyDelete
    13. can you tell me what the reason is for not doing some of the exercises like squatting to full depth or deadlifts and power cleans from the floor? I understand the reason behind the situps is because of abdominal wall separation but what's the reasoning for the other modifications? Thanks!

      ReplyDelete
    14. can you tell me what the reason is for not doing some of the exercises like squatting to full depth or deadlifts and power cleans from the floor? I understand the reason behind the situps is because of abdominal wall separation but what's the reasoning for the other modifications? Thanks!

      ReplyDelete