20 Pregnant Women Who Could Kick Your Butt: Why CrossFit Rocks

Photo: Copyright Christopher Nolan @

The idea that pregnant women are fragile and unable to exert themselves doesn’t stand a chance against the women featured in this post. These pregnant CrossFitters defy the old recommendations that expecting women should “take it easy.” These to-be moms are prepping their bodies for their biggest challenge yet: Childbirth. And it’s working. Not only do these women kick butt in CrossFit, but they also kick butt during labor.

When the owner of the CrossFit affiliate my wife coaches at was in labor and began pushing, her doctor told her, “Good, now take a break.” She replied, “No, doc, I got this.” And she pushed her son Gunnar out in 5 minutes. This rockstar mom readily admits that her labor and recovery were easy and she thanks CrossFit for it.

See her and other pregnant CrossFitters in action, and learn more about CrossFitting while pregnant after the jump. The final photo will BLOW you away! Talk about strong.

  • Back Squat with Chains 1 of 20
    Back Squat with Chains
    This movement improves core and trunk stability as well as helps perfect squat technique. Having a solid core, especially when pregnant, can reduce back pain.
    Photo: CrossFit Threshold
  • Freestanding Handstand 2 of 20
    Freestanding Handstand
    Handstands strengthen arms, wrists, and shoulders all of which are incredibly important for lifting baby! Handstands also stretch the abdominal muscles and help alleviate the effect of gravity on the heart.
    Photo: Gregory Ferenstein
  • Snatch 3 of 20
    Yes, that's the actual name of this CrossFit movement. It's a complicated movement that develops strength and power in a dynamic fashion. The athlete pulls weight upward with force and speed, and then maneuvers the body to land in a squat with the weight still overhead.
  • Power Clean 4 of 20
    Power Clean
    No, we're not referring to the quick tidying up we all do when unannounced visitors suddenly arrive. This movement works your posterior chain hard: calves, hamstrings, glutes & lower back, but also your upper-back & traps. It's a great movement to get you ready for baby!
    Photo: CrossFit Central
  • Squat Clean 5 of 20
    Squat Clean
    Like the power clean, this movement also works your posterior. And what mom doesn't want a firm posterior? The squat clean also improves your hip mobility, another plus for childbearing.
    Photo: CrossFit Silicone Valley
  • Strict Press 6 of 20
    Strict Press
    The strict press builds upper body strength and core strength, which are both key elements to mommy-hood.
    Photo: Spartan Performance
  • Split Jerk 7 of 20
    Split Jerk
    The split jerk allows your body to get even deeper than the traditional push jerk. This action also requires a great deal of leg, back, shoulder, and hip strength to drive the bar from the shoulders with sufficient speed to get under it. Strong bodies make for strong mommies!
    Photo: Lisa Okie
  • Prepping for a Back Squat 8 of 20
    Prepping for a Back Squat
    Again, the back squat improves hamstring and glute strength, and also targets hip mobility. Talk to any mother who has given birth and she'll tell you that having mobile hips is definitely a plus for the birthing process.
    Photo: Consuelo Werner
  • Push Press 9 of 20
    Push Press
    The push press is a dynamic overhead pressing movement designed to increase shoulder and hip strength. Get ready to lift those heavy babies, ladies! They don't get any lighter...
    Photo: Xplore Crossfit
  • Strict Pullup 10 of 20
    Strict Pullup
    If you can lift the weight of your own body, just think how light your bambino will feel! This movement focuses on shoulder strength and stability.
    Photo: Walnut CrossFit
  • Ring Dips 11 of 20
    Ring Dips
    Ring dips utilize numerous stabilizer muscles in your core and shoulders, which goes a long way in building core strength. Your core (aka, your abdominal and back muscles) needs to be stronger than ever in pregnancy in order to support the extra weight and allow your body to cope with being unbalanced.
    Photo: Strength and Beauty
  • Kipping Pullups 12 of 20
    Kipping Pullups
    Besides making you look like a badass, kipping pullups build elasticity and strength in your shoulders, help develop a sense of rhythm and coordination, and done at a high volume, they build muscular and cardiorespiratory endurance. Which translates into mommy talk as: This will help you chase that little bugger around the house and catch him more quickly.
    Photo: The Strong Mama, Alex Cooke Walden
  • Squat Snatch 13 of 20
    Squat Snatch
    This movement works on power, explosion, balance, and speed. As a member of the squat family it also works your hip mobility.
    Photo: The Strong Mama, Alex Cooke Walden
  • Prowler Push 14 of 20
    Prowler Push
    The prowler push develops lower body power by driving forward with hips, glutes and hamstrings. Keep your backside tight, ladies, and you won't ever have to worry about how you look in those mom jeans.
    Photo: The Strong Mama, Alex Cooke Walden
  • Push Press 15 of 20
    Push Press
    Again, this movement builds upper body strength and core, and looks really awesome when it's done by a woman in her third trimester.
    Photo: crossfitbrandx
  • Pullups 16 of 20
    You might be one of those women who say they've never been able to do a pullup. But what are you waiting for? If this pregnant woman can do, so can you! You can start out using assisted bands and work your way up to doing one all on your own. And trust me, it feels amazing when you do your first unbanded pullup. Go for it!
    Photo: 808crossfit
  • Prepping for a Front Squat 17 of 20
    Prepping for a Front Squat
    Front squats build glutes and quad strength, and help maintain core tightness. Again, a key to being strong during labor.
    Photo: RainierCrossFit
  • Ring Rows 18 of 20
    Ring Rows
    This movement provides a functional and effective horizontal pulling motion that helps correct muscle imbalances, improve midline stabilization, and works muscles that you don't see in the mirror. But guess who does? Your significant other, that's who. Keeping your body in shape isn't always just for ourselves.
    Photo: West Coast Strength and Conditioning
  • Pushups 19 of 20
    Done correctly, the pushup is a super demanding whole body movement. It strengthens the chest, triceps, and core. And, along with the other movements mentioned earlier, pushups helped this mom have a labor that consisted of a 5-minute push. No, that isn't a type-o.
    Photo: Collar City CrossFit
  • Weighted Pullups with Kettlebell Belt 20 of 20
    Weighted Pullups with Kettlebell Belt
    Meet Heather Bergeron, quite possibly the most famous CrossFit mom who trained throughout her pregnancy. Here, she's performing a pullup with a kettle bell tied to a weight belt. She's competed in numerous CrossFit competitions and is an inspiration to CrossFitters worldwide. To see more of her pregnancy CrossFit photos taken by Evan Saint Clair and to hear more of her pregnancy fitness journey, check out this awesome article. And for more information about CrossFit and pregnancy, scroll down past the thumbnail photos below.
    Photo: EVAN SAINT CLAIR shooting for Again Faster Equipment

Pregnant CrossFitters require scaling differently because of their changing bodies and their changing center of mass. Always check with a doctor before starting any exercise routine.

All photos have been approved for use by either the person responsible for taking the photo or by the person in the photo. I ask readers to refrain from making negative comments about any of the women featured in this post, as all have made informed decisions about their own fitness plans and routines, and were highly conditioned athletes before pregnancy. Additionally, all have either given birth to healthy babies or have experienced healthy pregnancies thus far. For those who are unfamiliar with CrossFit, it may appear extreme, but each of these athletes exhibits control over her movements and bodies. I recommend any and all women to find their nearest CrossFit affiliate and give it a try! It truly is a sport for everybody.

Thanks to my wife and CrossFit coach, Sara Hill Mass, for her help in explaining the CrossFit movements. Check out her fitness blog!

Click here to read the CrossFit Journal’s “CrossFit Training During Pregnancy and Motherhood: A New Scientific Frontier”

Main Photo: Copyright Christopher Nolan


Article Posted 4 years Ago

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