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Pregnancy Is My Reason, Not My Excuse

When it comes to my personal prenatal fitness regimen, this quote that I stumbled upon while searching for nursery ideas during my first pregnancy so loudly rings true: “Pregnancy is my reason, not my excuse.” It continues as a mantra I follow closely still now that I’m pregnant with my second — a baby girl, due May 2018.

As a competitive CrossFit athlete and coach, maintaining a level of fitness through pregnancy is one of my highest priorities. While I may not currently be climbing ropes, lifting for personal records, competing or even training hard enough to be sore the next day, I still could physically continue to do many of these things. However, my training during pregnancy shifts to focus on the generalities: performing functional movements in a manner that challenges the heart rate to safely maintain a level of strength and endurance, all while considering pelvic floor and core health.

Along with maintaining fitness levels, there are many other benefits to continuing an exercise regimen. The American Pregnancy Association lists a few of these benefits:

  • Help reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
  • May help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
  • Increase your energy
  • Improve your moodHelp you sleep better

Our overall health during pregnancy also directly affects the health of our babies. Experts have found that moms-to-be who regularly exercise have babies born with healthier weights, and it may positively affect fetal neural development.

Below is an example of one of my moderately intense interval training workouts that combines metabolic conditioning with functional weight training. It is meant to elevate your heart rate and encourage strength. Bonus: It can be done in the comfort of your own home (or gym):



Reverse Lunges With Knee-up

Incline Pushups

Dumbbell Thrusters

Dumbbell Deadlifts

Finisher: 10-minute interval walk. Every 45 seconds walk at a quick pace, then a moderate pace for 15 seconds. Repeat until 10 minutes of walking has been completed.


Complete 20 repetitions of all four movements. At the end of the full round, rest exactly one minute (20 Reverse Lunges, 20 Incline Pushups, 20 Thrusters, 20 Deadlifts, rest one minute). Then perform 16 reps of each movement, rest one minute exactly, repeat this way for 12, then 8, until the round of 4 reps is complete.


Pregnant woman demonstrating reverse lunge with knee-up.

Reverse Lunge With Knee-Up: 

Beginning with the right leg, step back to a lunge position, back knee slightly hovering over the ground. Then bring your right foot forward once again, passing through the standing position (do not let your foot touch the ground) and lift the right knee to create a 90 degree angle to complete the rep. Complete half the amount of reps on the right side and then the left side. For the first round, for example, complete 10 lunges on the right side, then 10 on the left to total 20 reps.

Pregnant woman demonstrating incline pushups.

Incline Pushups:

Using a sturdy surface that is approximately 30 inches or higher (such as a countertop) place your hands down, in line with your shoulders. Lower yourself so your chest just lightly touches the surface, keeping your elbows close to the body. Then push up extending the elbows completely to finish the rep.

Pregnant woman demonstrating dumbbell thrusters.

Dumbbell Thrusters: 

Using a set of light dumbbells. (5-15lbs depending on your current strength level. If you don’t have dumbbells, try using full water bottles!) Place the heads of the dumbbells on your shoulders, and set your feet about shoulder width apart in a squat stance. Then squat down, pushing the knees out, chest up and keeping feet flat on the ground. As you drive up out of the squat, thrust the dumbbells off of your shoulders with arms straight overhead to complete the rep.

Pregnant woman demonstrating dumbbell deadlifts.

Dumbbell Deadlifts:

Beginning with the dumbbells at mid-shin with your knees slightly bent and back flat, drive your heels down, engage the glutes and lift, opening the hip and knee joints simultaneously, and straighten upright to complete the rep.

Madeline Mosier Timm has coached CrossFit and fitness classes since 2011 and has been a competitive CrossFit athlete participating at the CrossFit Games Regional events, as well as numerous local unsanctioned CrossFit competitions. She is a momma to an energetic toddler, with baby number two on the way! She works hard to empower others to live a confident, sexy, and active lifestyle by focusing on overall wellbeing, proper nutrition and fitness.

Join the Mommy Brain private community where members can have open and honest discussions about all the parts of motherhood, whether that’s parent/child-related, self-care, life after becoming a mom, divorce, career changes, intimacy with your partner — there are many layers to who we are as women and as mothers. This is the space to talk about it all!

Story photos provided by the author. Cover photo from on Unsplash

By Mommy Brain, January 13, 2018
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