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EMMA'S BABY STEPS TO TOP 50 FITTEST IN EUROPE!

Team firefly™ CrossFitter, Emma Lewis, tells us about qualifying for Reebok CrossFit Games Regionals just 5 months after having a baby!

Team firefly™ CrossFitters put on an amazing show of strength during the recent open workout competition to qualify for the European Regionals in Copenhagen next month. Emma Lewis qualified in 44th place, despite having a baby only 5 months ago! Here Emma tells us about how she kept herself in shape during pregnancy and following the birth of her baby girl: 

"Training and exercise when pregnant is a grey area, but is something as a former Welsh International Hockey Player and an Elite CrossFitter I was keen to do throughout the whole 9 months. I was late to find out of my pregnancy and competed qualifying workouts for the CrossFit Games 2013 not realising that I was pregnant! When I found out I was determined to keep training to ensure that I gave my baby the best opportunity to grow healthily inside the womb and when she was born.

During the first trimester not a lot changed. The intensity was very much the same. I was able to perform all CrossFit movements including pull ups, hand stand push ups and Olympic lifting, the only thing that had to give was the sit ups. In the second trimester I found myself getting a little breathless during some workouts and hand stand push ups had to go due to the extra weight and being upside down! But I was amazed at the movements I was still able to do. Throughout the whole pregnancy I trained 5/6 times a week, including CrossFit, Rowing and Swimming.

Pull-ups at 6 months pregnant

My bump started to get in the way of lifting in the last trimester which was jeopardising form so I changed from dynamic lifting to isolation exercises such as bench press and strict press to maintain form and muscle memory. For the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy I swam a mile a day even on the morning of the day that I gave birth!

We welcomed our baby girl in to the world on 16th October following a very quick labour (I got into the birthing pool at 5:55pm and she was born at 6:33pm). There is no doubt that all the training I did prior to giving birth gave me the stamina and muscle strength I needed for the hardest workout I will ever have to do in my life – child birth!

If you are used to exercising before pregnancy then I would 100% recommend continuing with what your body is used to. It also helps post pregnancy to return to training sooner. Ten days after giving birth I was back at the gym working hard to get into shape for the 2014 CrossFit season. I’ve even built a gym in the garden and do my Olympic lifting in the drive way (much to our neighbours amusement) while our baby girl is sleeping!

I’m delighted that I made the top 48 in Europe to go through to the Regionals in May.”

Emma used the firefly™ recovery devices during her pregnancy to help her legs recover, she said: “During the latter part of the pregnancy the swimming combined with squats and lunges made for very heavy legs. The firefly™ device definitely helped me to train continually throughout the pregnancy and post pregnancy as part of my recovery strategy leading up to the Open Workouts.”