CrossFit & Pregnancy- 2nd trimester reflection

Reflecting on my second trimester of pregnancy and crossfitting, I truly feel like I’m one of the lucky ones. I don’t think I could feel any better at 7.5 months pregnant. My energy is high, my aches and pains are so minimal they’re basically non-existent and I am still getting to the box 5 days a week to train. I don’t feel that exhaustion that most pregnant women feel on a daily basis and I believe I have CrossFit to thank for that. My activity level is reflecting on the rest of my healthy pregnancy and I’m reaping the benefits. Yes, I feel like a fat meatball, but I don’t think there is way to actually avoid that. It’s a personal/mental challenge to see my own body like I’ve never seen it before while only being able to control so little. I eat clean 85% of the time, but that 15% includes delicious unhealthy carbs and sweets. Hey, don’t judge…I gotta live a little!

As far as my training goes I just recently began to modify some of the standard movements like burpees. In the last 5 weeks or so I’ve noticed how much my belly is sticking out so it’s no longer conducive to throw myself on the ground and risk getting hurt. To modify burpees, I like using a 20 inch box. It’s mostly a kick out with both legs and a push up on the box so I get the cardio mixed with some muscle fatigue and tricep gains 😉 The other way I’ve modified for burpee pull-ups and burpee to plate is the old school “squat thrust”- aka the burpee without the chest hitting the deck/no push up- just keeping the arms locked and kicking the legs back.

Chest to bar and strict pull-ups are long gone due to carrying around the extra weight, but so far I can still manage small sets of kipping pull-ups. Toes to bar have finally become an issue with having the big belly in the way so as of the 6 month mark, I’ve switched to kipping/hanging knee raises.

The main thing that has by far given me the hardest time is running. It’s dreadful. Disclaimer, I was never a great runner, but I was able run without pain and I could generally keep up with the group. Now, when I run, it feels like my legs each weight 100lbs and I’m dragging bricks. From the knees down, my legs automatically lock up and it’s just flat out uncomfortable. I physically can’t go faster, even though I can hold an entire conversation without gasping for air. I hate feeling that way but if it’s my only major downfall I guess I can’t complain too much. Note to self, become a killer runner before the next pregnancy and see if that helps. But, for now I just go slow or modify the distance based on the intended purpose of the WOD, or even row instead.

Weightlifting for the most part still feels great! and I’m so thankful for that. I do not squat very heavy anymore because I feel too much strain on the body on the way up, but as far as cleans, snatches, and jerks I typically feel great. Yes, more tired than normal and I need to take more breaks but overall I don’t feel pain or too much strain on the body. I know my limits, when I feel like my core is being stretched too much, I don’t go any heavier. I have noticed my bar path is beginning to change to accommodate for the belly so keeping the bar close to the body is not exactly possible anymore. While I’m still able to perform these movements with decent form, as I continue to grow and the bar path starts causing me poor form, I will know when it’s time to switch to dumbbells.

I’ve concluded that it all comes down to how your body feels. I must admit I don’t give my Doctor the detailed rundown of my workouts because I’m afraid he’ll restrict me from things that still feel good. Please note, that is not my advice for everyone to take, just the way I’m personally going about it. I try to research as much as I can and I will ask my doctor if I can’t make the decision on my own. Realistically, this baby is so well protected and a lot of this comes down to the risk of injuring myself. Bottom line is, if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it and if there is any risk of falling, don’t do it. I have done some research on jumping rope because I am questioning risk with all the bouncing. Double unders still feel awesome. They are exhausting but they physically don’t bother me. I read about risks and there really aren’t any. It’s similar to running in the sense that as you get closer toward the end of pregnancy having the baby in position, if there is intense bouncing and pressure you could push yourself into early labor, but it’s not overly likely. So, for now I’ll keep them up and see how I feel as the weeks close in on my due date.

Now that I’ve entered my 30th week of pregnancy, we’ll see what the next couple of months bring! My goal is to keep my activity level up for as long as possible up until this baby is born. Wish me luck 😉

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