Scaling and WOD Options for Pregnant Crossfitters

Hey Ladies,

Jess here! I had promised a post on scaled movements for Crossfit Mommies in my earlier posts on Crossfit and Pregnancy here and here, oh and here. I think breaking it down by trimester may be the best way so here we go:

First Trimester (0-12 weeks)

During the First Trimester you’re getting used to your new body and the potentially dramatic shift in your ability. Chances are your cardio has rapidly declined…. having a hard time breathing? Yeah. That’s you. You may feel exhausted and potentially be suffering from some nausea, but hopefully not. Try your best to stay active inside and outside the gym during the first 12 weeks. Personally I was never sick, but my fatigue and what I can only describe as ‘listlessness’ sometimes kept me out of the gym. Don’t beat yourself up about your lack of activity or the changes in your body. You’re going to get used to the way things feel and by 12 weeks you’ll be back to your old self, ready to WOD. Here are a few suggestions for scaling during the first trimester that I found useful. As long as you feel comfortable, you should be able to continue with Crossfit throughout your entire pregnancy. Scaling back on intensity and weight is key. Listen to your body (and baby). You’ll know when to slow down.

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  • Handstand work (until 8 weeks) scale with S2OH
  • T2B: keep going for as long as you feel comfortable! Scale with K2E. I kipped my Pullups and T2B well into my second trimester. Ensure you are stretching properly before and after all activity.
  • Olympic Lifts: keep going for as long as you feel comfortable and controlled! Scale weights accordingly. Focus on technique, not weight. I scaled to about 60% of previous 1RM’s and worked on longer sets, ie 3×8.
  • PowerLifts: Scale weights accordingly (60% 1RM working weights). Squats are awesome for us ladies! You may find front squat easier than back as you progress.
  • Pullups: No alteration necessary first trimester. Note: If you are using bands, be careful not to get caught up with your foot in the band. Use a box of appropriate height so you can ‘dismount’ easily 😉
  • Muscle-Ups: Bar Muscle-Ups are a no go, but rings are fine up to 8-9 weeks.
  • Pushups will be your best friend for the next nine months 🙂 Work on technique!
  • Skipping: Oh yeah baby, now is the time to perfect those DUs! Especially before you, ahem, start to leak tiny pees during any unexpected sneeze or jump…

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Second Trimester (13-24 Weeks)

Alright ladies, this is where we blossom. I’m currently in my 20th week. (We find out the genders of our twins this week! Yahoo!). Chances are you’re feeling better. You’re energy has returned along with your desire to keep a bit of definition in your arms and that Crossfit butt you’ve worked to hard to maintain 😉

Last week I had to stop Olympic Lifting. I still felt very comfortable with the movements, but my bump is now most definitely ‘in the way’. I figure it’s for the best, but it was a sad day… see ya on the other side Snatch!

This trimester is all about maintaining your fitness. Create a plan and stick to it. I’ve reduced my membership from Unlimited to 3 days a week. I plan to WOD three days and exercise outside with my husband and dogs the other days (especially now that Spring has finally Sprung!). Three days will give me plenty of time for recovery (and to motivate myself if I’m feeling a bit meh).

Instead of scaling options, I thought I would let you know which movements I’ve been working on throughout my second trimester.

  • Kettle Bells (AKA your new best friend). I’ve been rocking the KB WODs lately. Here are a few different KB movements I’ve been really focusing on:
    • American KB Swings
    • KB Snatch
    • KB Strict Press/Push Press
    • 1 leg KB DL (Tone that tush and work on your balance!)
    • KB Step Ups
    • Goblet Squats
    • Farmers Carry
    • KB Sumo DL
  • Skipping and DUs – this is getting a bit more difficult, still, I try.
  • Rowing – I’ve been rowing to China and back. Focus on your technique to engage all your muscles. Talk about a low impact, full body workout!
  • Pushups- These are starting to feel weird to me. I may need to discontinue these soon, but the added bonus of reaching full depth when the tummy touches really does make me smile.
  • Powerlifts
    • Squats, squats, squats.
    • Light, Higher-Rep Sets of Deadlifts
    • I’m avoiding Bench and any other movements that require me to lay on my back.
  • Olympic Lifts
    • OH Squats
    • Jerk
  • Pullups – I’m still able to kip my pullups. Actually I did Fran last week with Rx Standards. My added weight is making my pullups/ T2B a bit difficult now though. Kipping is becoming awkward so I’m easing off work on the bars.
  • T2B are scaled to strict Knees to Elbow
  • With the warmer weather here, I’m avoiding tire flips, atlas stones and any of those other fun favourites.

I’ll keep you guys posted with scaling options for the Third Trimester once I get there. If anyone has any advice, questions or comments, please reach out and comment below! We love to hear from you. 🙂

xo Jess

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Jess and Hil


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