This post is full of pregnancy CrossFit workouts!
If you’re a CrossFit gal, continuing your CrossFit workouts during pregnancy is the perfect way to preserve your fitness, as well as make your birth and postpartum experience much smoother!
As I’ve journeyed through my first pregnancy, continuing my consistent CrossFit routine has had a number of benefits: It’s kept me feeling good, I’ve gained minimal weight, and I don’t experience a fraction of the negative symptoms I’ve heard so many women complain about.
In this post, I’ll share 10 safe and effective pregnancy CrossFit workouts you can do from the gym or from home. I’ll also give you ALL the details on how to scale for CrossFit during pregnancy, which exercises are safe to do, and which you need to refrain from!
Enjoy this post all about pregnancy CrossFit workouts!
This post contains affiliate links. This post is in no way affiliated with CrossFit. We are not giving medical advice. You should consult a doctor if you have any concerns about exercise during pregnancy. You can read our full disclaimer here. ☺️
10 Pregnancy CrossFit Workouts
You can do these pregnancy CrossFit workouts from anywhere! All you need is a pair of dumbbells. (I’m also including the option to add resistance bands for some extra muscle building, if you have them.) Enjoy these pregnancy HIIT workout options that’ll help you keep your CrossFit game strong!
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 1
25 min. EMOM:
Min. 1- 12 single arm overhead DB walking lunges (left arm)
Min. 2- 10 DB renegade rows
Min. 3- 12 single arm overhead DB walking lunges (right arm)
Min. 4- 15 DB bicep curls
Min. 5- 10 box/chair step-ups
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 2
6 rounds for time (12 min. time cap):
5 DB front squats
10 deadbugs (add a band for extra resistance!)
15 DB hang power cleans
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 3
For time: 21-15-9
alternating DB snatches
*You may take the snatches from the hang if the power position is uncomfortable for your belly.
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 4
For time: 40-30-20-10
Marching wall sit steps
Handstand push-ups (or regular push-ups with hands on a box/chair)
DB upright rows
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 5
27 minutes to get as far as possible…
Work for 3 min., rest for 1 min.
15 plank shoulder taps
15 DB push press
15 American KB swings (or use a dumbbell)
20 plank shoulder taps
20 DB push press
20 American KB swings (or use a dumbbell)
25 plank shoulder taps
25 DB push press
25 American KB swings (or use a dumbbell)
30 plank shoulder taps
30 DB push press
30 American KB swings (or use a dumbbell)
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 6
15 min. AMRAP:
5 DB thrusters
10 DB floor press
15 heel taps
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 7
20 min. EMOM:
Min. 1- 30 double unders (trade for quick step-overs over a DB if DU’s are uncomfortable)
Min. 2- 10 box tricep dips
Min. 3- 10 DB reverse lunges
Min. 4- 10 plank burpees (NO push-up at the bottom)
Min. 5- rest
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 8
20-18-16-14-12 alternating DB snatches
*So you do your 10 push-ups, then 20 snatches… 8 push-ups, then 18 snatches, and so on.
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 9
Tabata (:40 work, :20 rest) x5 rounds (so 30 min. total):
Min 1: walking lunges
Min 2: Zottman DB bicep curls
Min 3: American DB swings
Min 4: ski jumps
Min 5: chair/bench tricep dips
Min 6: deadbugs
Pregnancy CrossFit Workout # 10
20 min. EMOM:
Min. 1- Max DB lunges
Min. 2- Max flutter kicks (make sure your lower back is pushed into the ground)
Min. 3- Max DB strict press
Min. 4- Max 5-pulse goblet squat
Stop and rest for the last 15 seconds of each minute.
*Side note: always remember to stretch after your workouts! Your body is going through a lot and needs a bit of extra lovin’ right now.
Q&A: Pregnancy CrossFit Workouts
Is CrossFit OK during pregnancy?
So many women ask the question “are HIIT workouts OK when pregnant?” The answer, according to my OB, is YES! While some of your CrossFit goals may temporarily need to change, it is safe for you to continue doing whatever form of exercise you were doing prior to getting pregnant.
The biggest thing as far as working out while pregnant is not to start anything new. So if you didn’t do CrossFit before you got pregnant, this probably isn’t the best time to try and start.
However, if you weren’t exercising before you got pregnant, you definitely do need to start. But start with gentle exercises like walking, pilates, or yoga. That way you can ease your body into exercise and are sure not to do anything that will hurt you.
How do you scale CrossFit while pregnant?
Here is a complete guide on CrossFit pregnancy modifications so you never have to guess what’s safe or beneficial and what’s not!
CrossFit and Pregnancy: First Trimester
During your first trimester of pregnancy, CrossFit workouts may feel great… or they may not feel good at all due to the fatigue and nausea your first trimester may cause. (This was the case for me, at least.. You can read more about this in my first trimester recap.) Every woman’s body is different and handles pregnancy differently!
With that being said, during your first trimester (and for all of your pregnancy) you’re basically just going to be moving at a pace that feels good to you. — A good rule of thumb is to never let yourself get to a point where you couldn’t have a conversation with someone.
Remember, if you’re not getting good oxygen flow, the baby’s not either.
To prevent this, you may choose to incorporate extra rest intervals into your workouts (for example, in a 15 min. AMRAP, maybe you take a 10 second rest every minute on the minute.)
Other than that, there are only a few movements you will want to avoid during your pregnancy, and I’ve listed those in a section below!
CrossFit and Pregnancy: Second Trimester
Scaling your pregnancy CrossFit workouts in the second trimester is very similar to the first trimester. — However, you may notice that you are feeling better and have more energy than you did in your first trimester! YAY!
This means you may be able to move more quickly through your workouts. However, you still need to remember to keep a pace where you could still have a conversation with someone.
By this point in your pregnancy, you’re most likely starting to get more of a noticeable bump and you may not feel like some movements feel as good as they did before. Listen to that. If something doesn’t feel right, scale it to a different movement. Especially if you feel any sort of pulling in your abdomen.
Show yourself grace and remember: you’re growing LIFE!
When should I tell my CrossFit coach I’m pregnant?
Tell your coaches that you’re pregnant as soon as you go to take your first CrossFit class after finding out. It’s important that they know why you’re scaling certain things, and also so they can give you feedback that’s right for you!
CrossFit is expensive and you want to get everything you can out of it for where you are currently.
Personally, I told my coaches right away for these reasons and I just asked them to please keep it a secret since we were waiting to tell people. ☺️
What CrossFit exercises should I avoid during pregnancy?
CrossFit movements to avoid during pregnancy:
- Toes to bar
- GHD sit-ups
- Any other movements that involve crunching of the core
^ You’ll see some women still performing these movements while pregnant, but there’s just no point in it when you could be doing movements that work WITH your body, and what you actually need it to prepare for right now, rather than forcing it to do something that’s uncomfortable.
For example, if you see sit-ups in a workout, you can easily switch those out for bird dogs which are great for your TVA (transverse abdominals,) which will help your core stay strong through your pregnancy, and make birth and recovery easier!
- Box jumps (You can do these as long as you are 100% confident that you won’t trip. Once your bump starts getting of any noticeable size, you will probably want to stop. Your balance is probably going to be a little off during this time and it’s absolutely not worth tripping and potentially hitting your belly.)
- Burpees (scaling option for these mentioned below.)
- Kipping and butterfly pull-ups (These are also okay to do as long as they are COMFORTABLE. Personally, by the end of my first trimester it just didn’t feel right to stretch my abdomen in these ways anymore, so I stopped and started doing strict pull-ups with bands instead. Listen to your body.)
- Push-ups where you lay all the way down on your stomach (you can perform these from your knees or with your hands on a chair/box instead.)
Is it OK to do burpees while pregnant?
“How long can you do burpees when pregnant?” is a common question new pregnant ladies ask. The truth is, smacking your belly down on the ground just isn’t smart at any stage of pregnancy, so once you find out that you’re pregnant, start scaling to no push-up burpees (or “plank” burpees.)
Can I do jump squats while pregnant?
Yep! There’s no evidence that jumping during pregnancy harms your baby. Your precious babe is protected by the amniotic fluid inside your uterus!
You can do jump squats as long as they are comfortable. However, you will probably find that as your belly (and boobs) get bigger, jump squats simply won’t feel good. At this point, switch to regular air squats.
Can I do hip thrusts while pregnant?
Yes! Hip thrusts are completely fine while pregnant. However, you don’t want any weight bearing down on your belly, so don’t add weight across your hips with a dumbbell or barbell. Instead, if you want more resistance you can add a band around your thighs.
Can I do leg raises while pregnant?
You can do leg raises while pregnant. Make sure you are practicing diaphragmatic breathing so that you are bracing your core properly and protecting your belly.
Are Russian twists OK when pregnant?
Russian twists are okay during your first trimester. However, once a noticeable bump starts to form, they probably won’t feel very good (again… listen to your body) and it’s going to be a lot more beneficial for you to do another TVA movement that truly benefits your body during this time, instead of just forcing yourself to do something because you “can.”
Can I do core exercises while pregnant?
There are definitely core movements that are not only safe, but also extremely beneficial, that you can practice during pregnancy!
Make sure to avoid any movements that involve crunching (sit-ups, toes-to-bar, etc.) and also avoid holding planks for longer than 30 seconds at a time because the weight of your belly pulling on you isn’t good for your core/back.
Below is a list of incredible exercises that’ll help keep your core strong during pregnancy, make birth easier, and help you recover more quickly:
- Banded bird dogs
- Banded dead bugs
- Heel taps
- Half kneeling windmills
- KB side bends
- Single leg deadlifts (this is very challenging to your core/stability, which is a good thing!)
- Overhead DB/KB carry (also challenging to the core)
- Other balance movements like standing on one foot or Bulgarian split squats
Can I do jumping jacks while pregnant?
Doing jumping jacks isn’t going to hurt your baby as your baby is protected by the amniotic fluid. However, they may not feel very comfortable and you need to listen to that. Trade your jumping jacks for alternating side-steps with your arms pumping overhead.
Can I do kettlebell swings while pregnant?
Yes! Kettlebell swings are totally fine while pregnant. Once your bump gets bigger (closer to third trimester), you may want to switch to single-arm KB swings.
Are deadlifts OK when pregnant?
Deadlifts are fine in your first trimester, and even beyond that if they are comfortable. Personally, in my second trimester, deadlifts started feeling like they were pulling in my belly area and giving me back pain, so they weren’t worth doing anymore.
At that point, I switched to single KB deadlifts, which has been perfect! I also add a band around my thighs for extra resistance.
Are lunges OK to do while pregnant?
Yep! There’s nothing wrong with lunges while pregnant. In fact, they will only strengthen your TVA, which is incredibly helpful during pregnancy, birth, and recovery.
This post was all about pregnancy CrossFit workouts!