The CrossFit Open and pregnancy


This time last year I participated in the CrossFit Open at 32 weeks pregnant. My best friend was in her first (?) trimester. We achieved some PB's and felt comfortable scaling the WODs or workouts to suit our needs. There is no doubt in my mind that each and every CrossFit workout can be tailored to suit anyone.

Here is what you need to know if you plan on competing during your pregnancy.

Contraindications (when to seek medical advice):


  • Severe anaemia
  • Unevaluated maternal cardiac dysrhythmia
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Poorly controlled type 1 diabetes
  • Extreme morbid obesity
  • Extreme underweight or eating disorder
  • History of extremely sedentary lifestyle
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Poorly controlled hypertension
  • Orthopaedic limitations
  • Poorly controlled seizure disorder
  • Poorly controlled hyperthyroidism
  • Heavy smoker
  • History of spontaneous abortion or premature labour
  • Anaemia or iron deficiency (hb < 100g/L)
  • Twin pregnancy after the 28th week


  • Hemodynamically significant heart disease
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Multiple gestation at risk for premature labour
  • Persistent 2nd or 3rd trimester bleeding
  • Placenta previa after 26weeks
  • Premature labour
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Pre-eclampsia/pregnancy-induced hypertension


  • Gradually increase activity from sedentary level
  • Avoid contact sports, sports/activities that cause balance loss or trauma
  • Avoid exercising in the supine position after the 1st trimester to prevent venous obstruction
  • Avoid valsalva movement (vigorous breathing) & isometric muscle actions

All of my athletes are advised to tune into their own body. Each woman is so different, and dare I say each pregnancy can be so different too!

Hydration is extremely important now (Aussie summer/autumn) and when bub comes, even more so for the breastfeeding athlete, yes ladies it CAN be done ;)

Please train with an experienced coach xx
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Tim McDonaldComment