Most of your modifications during pregnancy will be scaling back the weight or switching from a barbell to dumbbells. In those cases the movements are the same, just lighter therefore we don’t have a visual for those, BUT if you need a visual, a great website to checkout for this would be Catalyst Athletics they have an endless amount of videos along with strength programming.
Option 1: What we recommend first and what we both used throughout our entire pregnancy is to stack ab-mats. Start with 1, 2, 3.. after three you’ll probably want to move to the second option. Lay the ab-mats down to where your thighs will touch those, creating a space for your belly, preventing it from hitting the floor. This version can also be used for the traditional push-up. (our demo model: Heather 🙂 is in her second trimester)
Option 2: When you start to our grow those ab-mats but still want to mimic the movement as closely as possible. Standing next to a wall do an air squat directly into a wall push-up. Arms don’t have to be overhead for the air squat, just focus on keeping the chest up and go to a comfortable depth.
Option 1: When scaling back the traditional “toes to bar” we would first go to knee tucks. As long as you’re comfortable hanging from a rig, just bring your knees up like a tuck.
Option 2: When the workout doesn’t call for “toes to bar” but maybe crunches, we typically would do a plank hold. Let’s say the workout calls for 30 sit-ups, then we would do a 30-45 sec plank hold. These holds can be from the elbows or from a straight arm (a slightly easier version).
Rope Climb Mod
Start by laying on your back with your knees bent, the rope directly in front/between the legs. You will pull up from the ground to a standing position and then lower yourself back down. Typically the scale is to do 3 rope pulls to 1 rope climb, but scale back to whatever you need to, 2:1 or 1:1.
Option 1: Depending on where your pull-ups were before pregnancy, you may move to these quickly or you may not have to scale back at all. A ring row can be done many ways to make more or less challenging. Foot placement and how parallel to the floor is a quick adjustment to make either direction. With the ring row make sure to keep your hips in control, don’t let them sink at the bottom, notice Heather is very straight and controlled. Also when doing the pull, keep your hands facing in, don’t rotate the rings.
Option 2: We don’t have a visual for this, but to mimic the pull-up more closely you can set up a barbell on a squat rack, sit down and stretch your arms above, the barbell height should be right at the wrists. From there you can do a “strict” pull-up from the seated position.
Handstand Push-up Mod
Instead of going upside down, risking a fall we recommend getting 2 light dumbbells and doing a strict press seated from the floor with your legs directly out in front of you. Similar to the ring row, keep your hands facing inward throughout the whole movement.
When your belly starts to grow in size it tends to interrupt the bar path, making any pulling from the ground movement awkward. For this we recommend switching to a kettle bell. Same movement, lighter weight and our hands are inside our legs instead of outside.