Training with an Injury, Alternatives to Your Normal Routine
You’ve been working out year round and you’ve been going at it hard. Now you find yourself nursing an injury – whether it be an overuse injury or a traumatic injury (accidents happen to even the most coordinated of individuals). Now what? Has all your hard work and dedication been for nothing? It doesn’t have to be. With a little creativity and open-mindedness, you can continue to maintain (and even build) strength and endurance as you recover. Remember, never begin an exercise program with an injury without consulting your physician first.
For lower body injuries:
- Are you on crutches? If so, crutches can be a great workout themselves. Performing daily tasks on crutches can burn a lot more calories and require a lot more energy than if you were performing them on two feet. Another option is to go for a walk on your crutches, go with a friend to a local mall and walk (or hop) around. Crutches are great for endurance as well as toning your arm muscles.
- Stick with an upper body toning program. Perform triceps/biceps curls and extensions as well as overhead presses while seated. Lower body injuries will often have no effect on your upper body workout program.
- Ask your doctor about low-impact cross-training. Depending on the nature of your injury you may be able to participate in low-impact exercise. This may include swimming, riding a stationary bike, or using an elliptical machine.
For an upper body injury:
- Perform lower body strengthening exercises – lunges, squats, calf raises or use a leg press machine.
- Take a walk.
- Talk to your doctor about the possibility of swimming or riding a stationary bike. If you are able to safely hold on the support bars, you may also be able to use a treadmill or an elliptical machine.