Some people let the tiniest things, like rain or no fresh socks, get in the way of their workouts — others won't even let major life changes, such as growing a human inside them, derail their exercise regimen. For Dr. Anna Hulda Ólafsdóttir, weightlifter and competitive CrossFit athlete, that means continuing her high-intensity workouts up into her 39th week of pregnancy! The Icelandic fitness influencer and assistant university professor used Instagram to document the CrossFit workouts that she modified throughout her second pregnancy, performing everything from burpees and kettlebell swings to deadlifts and pull-ups while rocking a growing baby belly.
Intense exercise during pregnancy is always a controversial topic, especially in the late stages; however, doctors have defended workouts like Anna's when the expectant mother was involved in high-intensity exercise before becoming pregnant. "If you were doing it prior to getting pregnant, it's great to continue," OB-GYN Jennifer Daif Parker, MD, told Shape about another viral CrossFit mom. "But I wouldn't recommend starting a new routine that intense if you never did it before during pregnancy," she added. The general consensus seems to indicate that pregnant moms can participate in workouts that don't exceed their prepregnancy fitness levels — as long as they listen to their bodies and pay close attention to physical signals. Since Anna regularly competed in the European CrossFit circuit before her pregnancy, she certainly fell within those parameters.
In response to controversy about her workouts, Anna told her followers, "A whole bunch of people seem to have an opinion about how I train now. Just to emphasize one more time, I only do things that me and my team of specialists believe is good for me. I would never do anything that I would believe to danger the baby." In posts throughout her pregnancy, the CrossFit athlete emphasized the "safety" of her workouts and modified moves that worked with her changing body.
When The CrossFit Games shared Anna's 39-week workout video on its Facebook page, plenty of other moms chimed in to comment on their own experiences with CrossFit while pregnant. "Being able to do CrossFit throughout my entire pregnancy made it so much easier for me to deliver, recover and just stay mentally happy and healthy," wrote one. Other moms shared photos from their own pregnant CrossFit workouts.
Although working out hard during pregnancy isn't for everybody, Anna's commitment is inspiring! Check out some of her pregnancy workouts ahead.