I had to learn how to maintain my love of working out recently with an injury. I had to have surgery on my wrist. Somehow, even my surgeon was baffled with the injury, my tendons that connect to my thumb, swole up and created a knot. Any movement, even driving, caused constant pain. And of course, this happened on my dominant wrist, the right one.
Our only solution was to go in and surgically slit open the tendons to release the pressure and remove the knot. My first thought was “Thank goodness I work from home” because I couldn’t drive. My second thought was “How am I going to workout?” Even more interestingly, barely a month later my husband tore his ACL playing basketball and had to have surgery too. This started to get me thinking, how could we maintain our workouts with an injury? For both of us working out is so important.
Keep reading to learn how to maintain your workouts with an injury and continue to crush your goals.
Keep Your Workouts Simple
One of the best things you will be able to do for your body includes keeping your workouts very simple. Take it back to the basics with body-weight workouts whether it be for cardio or strength. Do not be afraid to ditch those weights, you can still build muscle by throwing your body around. If you have a lower-body injury, try this workout:
Now if you are struggling with an upper-body injury, try this workout:
- Warm-Up Stretches
- Stationary cycling for two minutes at a moderate pace and two minutes at a higher intensity
- Leg Press
- Elliptical trainer for two minutes at a moderate pace and two minutes at a higher intensity
- Ab Crunch
- Walking Lunge
- Low Back Extensions
- Treadmill walking for two minutes, maintain a moderate pace and two minutes at a higher intensity (or incline)
- Wall Sit
Unilateral Workouts for Injury
If one side of your body has been injured lift on the side that is not. Unilateral exercises will help you continue to improve strength and it will work both sides of your body as it struggles to balance itself. I use kettlebells a lot when I train unilaterally, but if you have a dumbbell, you can use that too. Try this fun unilateral workout without weights:
- Side lunge
- Forward lunge
- Backward lunge
- Single-leg or “pistol” squat
- Box step-up
Or add some weights to build serious strength:
Single-arm dumbbell shoulder presses or lateral raises
One-arm row or chest press
Single-arm standing dumbbell rows
Single-arm triceps extensions and biceps curls
Depending on your injury you can add unilateral plyometric work to get your heart rate up:
- Single-leg push-off (low)
- Lateral push-off (low)
- Lateral box jump (medium)
- Jump split squat (medium)
- Single-leg vertical jump (high)
- Single-leg tuck jump (high)
Weightless Cardio for Injury to Maintain
The absolute best form of cardio you can do, especially with an injury, is in the pool. It is one of the most effective forms of cardio and far easier on your joints. Try a few laps or practice pool-running, the same movement as regular running but in the pool!
Remember to always listen to your body and ask your doctor what is safe to do. You never want to run the risk of further injuring yourself or doing any kind of permanent damage by pushing your body when you shouldn’t. Use common sense. If you have such a serious injury that you cannot do any of the above, move whenever you can and remember, sometimes you just need to heal, and that’s okay.
FAITH ENGEN ELLIS
Faith is a southern girl, born and raised in North Carolina. She enjoys spending time with her husband and fur-baby.
Faith is living a healthy lifestyle and her ultimate passion is to inspire others to do the same.
She decided to change the way she was living 4 years ago, but she wasn’t expecting to actually fall in love with it!
Now she enjoys experimenting with different kinds of fitness and challenging her body to new heights whether it be pilates, plyometric training, or weight training, and she aims to inspire others to realize the strength within themselves as well.
Faith’s favorite product for pre-workout is the Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy line. Her favorite flavor so far has been the peach lemonade, but next on her list is Mocha Cappuccino, yum! The use of natural caffeine sources is a real win for this product and it mixes easily, so there is no grainy texture.
For protein sources, she enjoys Oh Yeah! One Bars for a quick and filling snack on-the-go, of which she has many favorite flavors! Or Gaspari Precision Protein to mix up a shake. Faith’s favorite recipe uses 1 scoop of the Cinnamon Cereal Crunch flavor, mixed with 1/2 a banana, 1/4 a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, and 1 cup of ice.
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