Moms in Training: Scaling Tips During Pregnancy & Postpartum

While going through my own pregnancy and postpartum journey, I quickly realized how much information was out there around fitness for expecting and new moms. After furthering my education and becoming a Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism coach I’ve gained a whole new mindset on what matters most during this stage of life; safely training during pregnancy, mindset, strategy, and preparing your body for the postpartum journey.  I often tell my Moms in Training, “Train to train another day!” What are you gaining from doing pull-ups at 30-weeks pregnant? A coning abdomen and a more significant separation of the midline postpartum? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s not worth the risk.

There are numerous scaling modifications for the movements we do inside the gym, at our home gyms, and in our everyday life. The questions I get asked the most are when to scale barbell movements, pull-ups, and loading? I wish there were an exact answer I could give, but every woman and pregnancy are different.

I’ve put together some questions you can ask yourself that help you know when it’s time to start scaling the above movements. Please understand that these are just a few of the possible signs and you should always consult with your doctor.

Barbell movements:

During my own workout, I am constantly working on making my bar path better, but once my belly started to grow I hung up the barbell and got comfy with dumbbells and a kettlebell. I found that by compensating for a growing belly I was beginning to develop bad habits and It wasn’t worth the risk for me.

  • Has your baby made enough gains to throw off your bar path in a snatch?
  • Are you hitting your belly with the barbell? (Obviously, one I know! ☺)
  • Do you compensate form and pull the bar around your belly?
  • Do you feel pain, discomfort, pressure, or feel heaviness in the pelvis?
  • Are you leaking urine?

Pull-ups:

Pull-ups can put stress on your mid-section. How much is too much?

  • Is your belly coning or does it have a doming shape during pull-ups?
  • Do you feel a pulling, stretching, or ripping sensation in the midline?

Overhead barbell movements:

Overhead movements can also put stress on a prenatal or postpartum woman. Make sure you're not ignoring any of these signs.

  • Is your belly coning or does it have a doming shape when putting a barbell overhead?
  • Do you feel a tugging or pulling sensation of the midline?
  • Is your rib cage flared up/overextended?
  • Do you feel pain, discomfort, pressure, or heaviness in the pelvis?
  • Are you leaking urine?

My goal is to help as many moms as possible with their journey. I’m super excited to be partnered with SugarWOD to Train, Educate & Empower MOMS everywhere! If you would like more guidance for your own journey, please reach out I’d be happy to help you!

-Coach Kaylee

If you’re a pregnant woman or a coach training pregnant women, check out Moms In Training for programming resources for pregnant women. 

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