Can you do CrossFit while Pregnant? Question Answered!

Jeff Baldelli
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Believe me, I get it

As a busy CrossFit athlete myself, I’ve had my fair share of excuses when it comes to maintaining a workout routine while pregnant. I have always been active and consider working out and eating healthy my top priorities. However, once I found out I was expecting, I felt like I had to give up one of the two when it came to CrossFit.

So, I turned to Google to find the answer to my question: “Is CrossFit safe during pregnancy?”

I won’t lie. The results weren’t always so comforting. Some articles claimed that my body weight would cause me to deliver a preterm baby. Others went as far as to say that I could injure myself or cause the baby to be born with a defect from the strenuous workout.

Although I couldn’t find any medical advice on the matter, I knew deep down that if I cut out this important part of my lifestyle, I would be missing out on a critical opportunity to maintain and improve my health and strength, just like I had before I got pregnant. After all, if I made the decision to put my health and that of my baby first, CrossFit activity during pregnancy would be a great way to do so!

Can you identify?

{1}. Increased core temperature during exercise
{2}. Decreased cardiovascular performance
{3}. Decreased strength and power
{4}. Increased levels of exercise-induced hormones that may weaken fetal development
{5}. Increased risk of injury to both mother and baby

Answer is Yes!

So, can you CrossFit while pregnant?

According to Dr. James Andrews, CrossFit trainer and physician, the answer is a resounding no. He says that pregnant women shouldn’t exercise in a free-weight gym at all.

When a woman is pregnant, she already feels like a baked potato because of the additional weight.

CrossFit’s combination of cardio and strength training can pose additional problems if the stress is placed in the wrong place.

There are many parts of the body that are worked together in CrossFit, and Dr. Andrews feels that the risks outweigh the benefits.

Some of the potential risks to the mother and the child include detaching or tearing the placenta, falling, injury, and more.

CrossFit is very intense and should be performed by the dedicated athletes. CrossFit is a tough sport to play, and it is even worse for pregnant women. Doctors should always be consulted before beginning an exercise regimen during pregnancy.

CrossFit isn’t for everyone, but it works very well for those who work out fairly often and are looking for a challenge.

CrossFit should always be practiced with a good instructor and on top of a good base of fitness.

Trying to get into CrossFit during the last 6 weeks is a recipe for disaster. It’s more likely that your spouse will be doing the workout with the baby.

A word of Caution: Disclaimer

While CrossFit involves a lot of rapid movements and jumping, it doesn’t necessarily involve a lot of weight-bearing movements. That said, you can still work up a sweat and get in a good workout doing CrossFit while pregnant.

If you’re not sure what types of activities you can and can’t do, it’s safest to stick to the gentler “WODs” (or Workouts of the Day). Your doctor will be able to tell you which activities are safe for you as your pregnancy progresses.

Remember that every pregnancy is different, though. Some women feel comfortable doing more strenuous exercise, such as the ones used in CrossFit, during their pregnancies. Other women feel more comfortable doing lower impact activities that will keep their joints from being overworked, such as swimming.

It’s impossible for us to know exactly what is right for you, so consult your doctor. If you feel the need for an extra level of protection, wear a heart rate monitor while you train and be sure to listen to your body. Remind yourself that the more fit you are going into your pregnancy, the healthier your pregnancy will likely be.

The CrossFit Journal Resource

CrossFit is a fitness program that was developed by Greg Glassman and has been around since 2000. The CrossFit Journal, then an online magazine, was created in 2007 to support and inform the Crossfit community as a whole. It was then officially incorporated as its own entity in 2010.

The CrossFit journal publishes general fitness information as well as scientific articles that support the CrossFit philosophy. The CrossFit Journal is the website for the crew that produces The CrossFit Games.

In the article entitled “Why Do We Need to Stretch?” Russ Greene answers the question of why the CrossFit Journal is needed. He claims that the CrossFit community is diverse and has members who share a common love and enthusiasm for Crossfit and strives to provide them with information about health, nutrition, and fitness that is needed to become an effective CrossFitter.

Greene also mentions that members of the community and crossfit affiliates aren’t just people who want to be “beach body ready” or to join the ranks of body builders. The goals of the community go beyond this and consist of achieving physical fitness, improving life performance, and healthy living.

Find the Right trainer

As with any activity, it’s important to find the right trainer. That person can help you develop a custom-made regimen that is safe and appropriate for the stage of pregnancy that you’re in.

The first step is to ask your primary care provider if CrossFit is a feasible option and if so, to recommend a suitable trainer. You can ask questions like:

  • What is the risk of injury?”
  • Can I do it at home or only in a CrossFit studio?”
  • Is partner coaching a better option?”
  • Is it safe for me to do pull-ups or just weight-lifting?”
  • Is there anything I should avoid?”

Keep in mind that CrossFit is the brand name of a training regimen. There are many CrossFit-style workouts that are safe and appropriate for any stage of pregnancy, so you may prefer to seek out an accredited CrossFit trainer instead of a CrossFit gym to find one that is right for you.

Listen to your body!

To begin, let me just say that programming and exercise selection are basically the same as they were for the women who were not pregnant. The key to a successful CrossFit pregnancy is adherence, and it is very important to listen to your body. To be an effective CrossFit athlete and athlete, you need to learn how to listen to your body. To make that a little easier, I’ve developed a checklist that you can use.

Body Weight: Just as when you’re not pregnant, you need to establish and maintain a baseline body weight.

Heart Rate: The combination of CrossFit and pregnancy will most likely elevate your heart rate, because you are carrying an extra 20+ pounds of weight around. But the heart rate needs to be in the right zone. The recommendation for heart rates while expecting is 140-160 bpm. This means that you should not exceed that number. If you push too hard, even if you hit your target time, you may suffer some fatigue and swelling the next day.

Number of repetitions: You need to determine your number of repetitions per set to maintain your baseline fitness level. For most women, this number is the number of repetitions that you can perform unbroken. The number of repetitions can be adjusted the first few times based on fluid control and fatigue through the workout. As you progress through the pregnancy, you can adjust your numbers to maintain fitness.

You CAN CrossFit While pregnant: 3 workouts to try

When a woman finds out she’s expecting, it’s inevitable that she will have many questions: Is it safe to work out? Can I still compete? How do I get my body back after the baby is born? More often than not, these questions apply to activity and training, but it’s not just a fitness athlete who experiences the joys of pregnancy.

If you’re pregnant and are a CrossFit athlete, you may be wondering if it’s still safe to continue working out. There are plenty of misconceptions about what pregnant women should and shouldn’t do during this time, and CrossFit is no exception.

You can do CrossFit while you’re pregnant

The short answer is yes. Yes, it is safe to do CrossFit while you’re pregnant.

Remember that the key when exercising while pregnant is to be sure to listen to your body.

At the same time, however, certain movements need to be avoided.

Researchers from the University of Tampa recently published their findings in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning that activities such as running can, in fact, be safe for pregnant women.

However, when it comes to areas where the field of study and research is somewhat incomplete, things get slightly more complicated.

25 Minute Prenatal Bodyweight Workout

One of the most common questions asked by women who are pregnant is, “Can I workout while pregnant?”

When done safely and with the help of your doctor, workouts can help you prepare yourself for labor and delivery, reduce body aches, ease constipation, and even boost your mood.

While you should check with your practitioner about your fitness goals, and which workouts are safest for you, studies have shown that women who exercised during pregnancy had a shorter labor, a lower C-section rate, and fewer complications.

However, you must take into consideration that your body is growing another life, and you need to push yourself in a way that’s not dangerous for either you or your growing baby.

For this reason, you need to adjust the intensity and duration of your workouts. The more intense your workout is, the less you should exercise for.

The shorter your workouts are, the better you can preserve your overall health and energy levels.

Exercising while pregnant provides a number of benefits into the lives of a pregnant woman. Let’s take a look at the different exercises you can do during pregnancy.

Stretching

When it comes to stretching, there are a number of different exercises that you can do during pregnancy. The first is your basic stretches for the lower body and hip joints.

First Trimester Pregnancy Workout

During the first trimester many women may not feel up to an intense workout session, while others may have no problem at all.

The best advice I can give is to listen to your body.

Most women will be able to move through their normal workouts without too many problems until about the 13th week, when fatigue usually sets in.

The type of exercises that you do during the first trimester will be limited because of the stress involved on your body. Your focus should be on learning and proper form, not the amount of weight used. If you are comfortable with the exercise, continue to add weight, reps or number of sets. You will rest longer between each exercise and will need to keep warm during this time.

Compound exercises are more appropriate in the first trimester because they use multiple muscle groups, which requires less weight.

You will not be able to go as heavy as you’re accustomed to, and you should not focus your workout on isolating one group of muscles. Focus on compound exercises that include legs and upper body, as this will help to prevent injury and prepare your body for labor.

The importance of core strength will eclipse any other muscle group in the first trimester, as most women will not be getting their sweat on at the gym.

Try to maintain a heart rate between 120 and 140. This means that you will be working out at a low intensity level.

5 Best Workouts for Pregnant Women

Resistance Bands.

Resistance bands are an excellent form of exercise during pregnancy. Every workout, even walking, will tone and strengthen your baby. The power of the bands means you can do everything from squats to crunches.

Swimming

It’s a great full body workout and easy on the joints. You also have no worries about slipping or falling. Water is also soothing on joints, muscles and ligaments.

Weight Training

This is not for the inexperienced. You should have already taken personal training courses in CrossFit or weight training.

Biking

You can do it in your home or outdoors. You can also do it with a partner.

Yoga

Yoga is very gentle on the body and soul. There is something for everyone.

Resistance Bands.

Resistance bands are an excellent form of exercise during pregnancy. Every workout, even walking, will tone and strengthen your baby. The power of the bands means you can do everything from squats to crunches.

Swimming

It’s a great full body workout and easy on the joints. You also have no worries about slipping or falling. Water is also soothing on joints, muscles and ligaments.

Weight Training

Benefits of working out while pregnant

When a woman is pregnant, she needs to maintain some very important levels of health. Proper nutrition, rest and exercise are essential to ensure that the baby receives all of the nutrients it needs to grow and develop. A famous quote says “if you want to have a healthy baby, you need to make sure your body is healthy too.” So, why should pregnant women do exercises?

The main benefit of exercise for pregnant women is weight loss. When a woman is carrying a child, it’s important to remember that she’s also carrying extra weight. At the same time, she needs to provide fuel to the baby, so she should eat as healthy as possible. On top of that, the faster the baby grows the better. So, pregnancy equals weight gain. It’s not just about weight gain, but also about weight management. A pregnant woman needs to eat healthy and eat the right amount of food to feed herself and the baby. Exercising is the best way to lose those extra pounds, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.

So, CrossFit while pregnant?

There is no doubt that exercise during pregnancy can improve your fitness level and keep you in good shape. Most of us, however, run into some unforeseen difficulty that we didn’t consider before. You cannot lift weights like you used to. You cannot jump like you used to. You cannot participate in sports like you used to.

All of this is due to the changes in the female body that occur during pregnancy.

Crossfit is a high intensity training that focuses on strength training and cardio. This may not be the best choice of training for women in their third trimester.

On the other hand, Crossfit has been proven to improve the health and fitness of people in a variety of ways.

We suggest consulting with your doctor first. See what he recommends, and talk about it in depth. Consider what is most important to you, and what you can realistically do during this time.

If you do not have a doctor who knows anything about Crossfit and high intensity training, Crossfit is an excellent choice for getting in shape. The combination of strength training and cardio will do wonders for your body.

Remember, though, that you may be pregnant, and that there are things you will need to avoid to ensure the safety of you and your growing baby.