Let’s Talk Ligaments
Today we’re talking about ligaments. First of all, what exactly is a ligament? According to Childbirth Connection,
A ligament is a short band of tough, flexible, fibrous connective tissue that holds structures together and keeps them stable. In pregnancy, the round ligaments hold the uterus in place and gives the woman a little extra abdominal support during pregnancy.
Sometimes these ligaments can become taut and tense, causing what is referred to as “round ligament pain” and also restricting blood flow to the uterus. A good chiropractor can gently relieve this pain by helping the ligaments relax and relieve tension- ultimately freeing up the blood flow and helping you feel like a million bucks.
So how does this affect your workouts?
First of all, remember and repeat after me: EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.
Some women feel more round ligament pain than others. Some never feel it at all. When we caution pregnant moms about certain movements such as
- Kipping pullups
- Knees to Elbow or Toes to Bar
- Box jumps
- Jumping rope
Each of these movements can potentially put strain on the round ligaments. Now that you’ve seen the picture above, you can see how an overly exaggerated kip could start to feel painful because of the ligaments being overly stretched. The solution to this would be to focus on your strict pull-ups- which never hurt anybody anyway. We can all use some strength work!
Now let’s talk ballistic movements- aka jumping movements such as box jumps, running and jumping rope. Again, some women are fine with it and continue to run and jump rope until the day they go into labor. As for me, the day I peed on the stick I had no desire to run again. Many women find running to become uncomfortable around 25- 28 weeks as their bodies go through a growth spurt and their bellies are, all of the sudden, way larger. Remember, the ligaments have to also stretch and adjust to this growth spurt, so you may feel stretching or cramping after a run. Does this mean you shouldn’t run? That’s hard to say. It’s ultimately your call.
What’s hard here is for women to put Ego aside and stop running. Hey, I just call it how I see it.
If it becomes uncomfortable for ANY movement or exercise, you need to stop. Period. And that’s what we, at BirthFIT, are here for- to provide modifications so you can continue to be active.
Now that we have that out of the way…. One thing I like to recommend to women who are either on their feet all day or want extra support while exercising is to wear some sort of belly band. I wore one when I was teaching and pregnant. It made all the difference. I swear. I did feel like I was an 80 year old woman wearing a girdle, but it made such a big difference I didn’t care!
Hopefully this helped you see why we make the recommendations we do and will help you utilize caution and care as your belly (and ligaments) continue to grow.
Remember, I’ll be hosting the BirthFIT U: Pregnancy 101 Seminar at CrossFit Central on Sat. March 22 from 9am-1pm. I’d love to see you there!
Contact our own Dr. Lindsey Mathews for a chiropractic consult: Lindsey@Birthfit.com
- You should always be able to maintain a conversation during this workout. After the row, give yourself a rest of at least 60-90 seconds before beginning the burpees
- Break the burpees up into sets if needed
- You will rest the same amount of time it took you to complete the round. If it took you 5 minutes to complete one round, you will rest for 5 minutes.
- Make your rest “active”- don’t just sit down. Walk around, stretch, keep loose and active.