The CrossFit Games season officially begins today with the announcement of 21.1 – the first workout of just three this year for the CrossFit Open. Anyway…Who is this blog for? You are in the right place if you are pregnant, postpartum, have any pelvic floor considerations (leaking urine at anytime including jumping and lifting, diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse), or if you are a coach.

Some background on me if it’s your first time here. Hi! My name is Kerri Grace. I am a Level 2 CrossFit Coach, Level 1 USAW Coach, Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach, and Certified Pre-Postnatal Coach amongst others. I have focused my coaching on the pregnant and postpartum populations after my own experience feeling lost and confused during pregnancy and postpartum, and through diastasis recti and an umbilical hernia. If you’d like to read more about my story you can do so here and here <3

Onto the workout! 21.1 has been announced and here is what’s on the whiteboard:

CF Open 21.1

1, 3, 6, 9, 15, 21
Wall walks

10, 30, 60, 90, 150, 210
Double unders/Lateral Hops

15 min time cap

Notes on mindset and overall considerations. Don’t worry about racing through this to make the time cap. 15 minutes is a LONG time to spend going between only two movements, two metabolically challenging movements at that. Pace is going to be key! Start out at a very reasonable pace, you don’t want to start out too fast and burn out quickly. Try to stick to a pace that you can easily maintain for the 15 minutes. 

This brings me to breathing strategy. Breathing through the movements can be important. Try to exhale on the exertion or the difficult part of the movement. For this workout, that would mean exhaling on the lift up in ground to overhead, and inhaling as the weight comes back down or in between reps. For burpees, inhale on the way down and exhale as you push up until standing. 

As always, if you experience any symptoms of pain, pelvic pain or discomfort, incontinence, pressure or feeling of something falling out or your vagina, or pressure/discomfort in your abdomen/midline that may be a sign from your body to stop. Try one of the alternatives for that movement, or, if the symptoms do not dissipate stop the workout. Your long term health and athleticsm is much more important than this workout.

For a short and sweet breakdown in a swappable graphic…check out the info on my instagram and be sure to follow me for more! Otherwise, keep on reading below…

Pregnant & Postpartum Athletes:

Wall Walks

Wall walks during pregnancy can be difficult with that baby belly not letting you lie flat on the ground. Some athletes will also choose not to go upside down during this time for risk of falling over. Postpartum mamas may have discomfort at a c-section site or general tenderness of the abdomen and want to sub out this movement. Here are some ideas:
– Inchworms with no push up. If a full plank is not an option you can also do these from a tall kneeling position.
– Bearwalks
– Seated alternating strict press (1 rep = each arm)

Double Unders

Ok I’m going to start with something that you may not like. I don’t generally recommend that pregnant athletes jump rope. Single unders are not a modification for double unders when you are pregnant. It is the same movement pattern, and puts so much pressure on the pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is already under extra pressure from carrying baby. Consider the risk vs. reward here when you are deciding and remember there is no wrong answer. If you are leaking at all, this is a sign from your body to stop. 

I would not recommend jumping rope if you are less than 6 months postpartum, risk vs. reward with regards to your healing body. If you are past six months postpartum and are able to jump rope with no symptoms (incontinence, have prolapse, and overall comfort) go for it! Focus on your breathing through the movement, breath holding can increase pressure making it harder for your pelvic floor to not leak. Keep in mind this is a LOT of reps as you get on in the rounds. If at any time you experience discomfort or any symptoms, please stop. Keep in mind that incontinence while jump roping is a common symptom, but there is help for it. 

Some potential movements to sub out for double unders:

  • Russian Kettlebell swings
  • Quick steps: Grab a 15# or 25# plate, it does not need to be tall to be effective, and step up with one foot then the other. The idea here is to have quick feet, landing as softly as possible. You do not want to be creating impact. Don’t forget to switch the foot that you are leading with, doing half of the reps on each side 
  • Consider the bike/rower for calories as an option here. I’d recommend sticking with the same rep scheme as the Wall Walk movement. When rowing, keep note of coning as you lean back. If there is try to keep your torso upright through the movement and see if that alleviates it, see video below

Want some ideas on what to substitute movements for? I have created this free resource for YOU! If you are pregnant, postpartum, or have pelvic floor considerations and want the confusion taken out of how to modify the most commonly asked about CrossFit movements, you need this.

I go through what, when, how, and also provide video demonstrations for modifications of the following movements:

– Sit-ups
– Burpees
– Pull-ups
– Toes-to-bar
– Muscle-ups

Sign up here to receive the FREE guide to your inbox!

Stay strong, stay beautiful!

Coach Kerri