CrossFit has the proven ability to deliver world-class fitness to all—including women who are pregnant.
Given all the misinformation out there about fitness and motherhood as separate issues, it’s no surprise that women who exercise during pregnancy get a perfect storm of conflicting advice. However, CrossFit programming is designed to be scaled and suitable for all ages and physical conditions including pregnancy.
At CBX CrossFit, it is our responsibility to bring the workout to life for every athlete who comes to our classes and we do so by scaling the workout. Our approach at CBX CrossFit is simple and we acknowledge that every woman’s experience is different—and that the most important thing for women is to listen to their bodies.
Pregnant women, in general, are more in tune with how their bodies are responding to certain physical movements. The idea behind doing CrossFit while pregnant is to listen to your body and take part in as much as you can whilst staying inside your comfort zone. It is a total misconception for mum’s not to exercise during pregnancy. Mums who have been doing CrossFit for a while, with clearance from their Obstetrician, have no reason to stop their workouts.
‘Listen to your body’ is the mantra for pregnancy fitness, and for good reason.
32 weeks pregnant and still attending regular classes, CBX CrossFit Athlete Fiona Harris (pictured) explained her CrossFit and pregnancy experience,
“Trying to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy has been a priority of mine. Prior to becoming pregnant I would exercise daily, either by lifting weights, CrossFit classes, or a jog. Now that I’m 32 weeks pregnant, my exercise routine has changed slightly… I walk instead of jog, I don’t lift as heavy, and the CrossFit classes at CBX are amended to suit me! I think the CrossFit classes have motivated me to continue with fitness throughout my pregnancy because the classes are always fun, challenging and I get to work out with some really great people!! Keeping fit and continuing these classes has helped me feel really good through pregnancy. I highly recommend pregnant women continue their exercise regimes for as long as they’re feeling up to it and as long as their doctor is okay with it!”
An international study in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal studied 5,300 pregnant women and found those who exercised were 20 per cent less likely to have a caesarean section. Obstetrician Dr Drew Moffrey said, “labor can use up the same amount of energy as a marathon and exercise can speed up the labor.” He also stated, “It can decrease your chance of gestational diabetes and having an instrumental birth but also increases the pleasure of pregnancy because all of your happy endorphins are active.”
Kasey Heim, 35 weeks pregnant and still attending regular Personal Training sessions with CBX CrossFit coach, Adam, said,
“At first I wanted to keep training when I fell pregnant because I didn’t want to put on too much ‘baby weight’. As I continued and looked into it a bit further it became so much more than that. Training with Adam has helped me not only strengthen my body but also my mind. I have gained a new confidence in myself and instead of dreading labor I feel ready to take it on. I cannot express how thankful I am for that.”
The functional movements we do in CrossFit are extremely beneficial for helping women get through labor. Squatting is one of the best exercises for the pelvic floor. We, as coaches, are entirely aware that each day will be different and certain movements may begin to feel awkward or uncomfortable. However, pregnant athlete or not, form is key. As coaches, we ensure that the form of the pregnant athlete is never compromised when performing a lift or during a workout. The size of the athletes growing belly will become a factor in whether or not she can safely and/or comfortably perform certain movements and eventually becomes impossible to maintain an optimal bar path. This means there will come a time where a switch to kettle bells or dumbbells is called for. With the guidance of your CrossFit coaches this transition can be monitored and tailored to the requirements of the individual and ensure optimal safety and results.
“I am currently 34 weeks pregnant and have been exercising with CBX throughout my pregnancy. Charlotte has been fantastic at modifying my exercise programs for me week after week and I have noticed many benefits of exercising throughout my pregnancy. After a workout I feel that my motivation and energy levels are much higher, I feel that I am likely to drink more water on a day that I have had a PT or gone along to one of the CBX classes and I am more likely to crave healthier foods after exercise. I have noticed improvements in my strength and my ability to cope with pregnancy weight gain. Charlotte had also helped me work on exercises to strengthen my glutes and back to help my body cope with the extra weight gain. I would highly recommend Charlotte and Adam at CBX for any expectant mums who are hoping to stay healthy and active throughout their pregnancy. Exercise has been the one thing I feel I can do for myself and the one thing I really look forward to each week. I have had a few complications with myself and my baby throughout pregnancy yet keeping myself active has been the one thing my obstetrician has highly encouraged me to sustain. It is not only beneficial for the mum but also for bubs health and fitness, as well as your babies ability to better cope with the stresses of labour.”
“Keeping active was always important to me, so maintaining my active life while being pregnant has been beneficial to my physical and mental health , keeping motivated was easily achievable with support of Charlotte and CBX CrossFit. Tailoring to my needs and still being able to reach my goals as I train, this is a happy time for me and I’m glad I can still train and enjoy being an active mum.”
If you are pregnant and have never done CrossFit before, firstly always consult your health care professional and let them know your intentions. Secondly, we’d recommend you start with our ‘CBX Mums’ program. Our experienced and knowledgable coaches will not only know exactly what scaled movement is best for you, but will keep a very close trained eye on you as you stay strong and fit, whilst looking after your baby bump.