When (and How) To Train With An Injury
by Jackie Burgmann, creator of "Hot at Home" - The Transformation Solution for People Who Hate The Gym
Just when you thought you were getting somewhere with your training program, the worst happens and you find
yourself with an injury.
Do you stop training completely in the interest of healing up that injury? Or are there strategic ways to keep working out, injury and all, without causing it more harm?
You'll be glad to know that there are lots of ways to plan your workouts so you can still get your sweat on and keep your injury out of the way of any further harm.
What kind of injury did you sustain?
The area of the injury will play a large part (obviously) in deciding how and what other body parts you can work out.
If you've sustained an arm injury, its perfectly okay to work those legs hard.
Unless your injury is causing mobility problems in your shoulders, you could go for a run or a cycle and possibly even a swim (careful with your choice of stroke, or just do back strokes using your legs only).
And if your injury does happen to be causing those upper body mobility issues, then dial it down slightly to a hard powerwalk, climb some stairs, or even hop onto a stair-climbing machine.
Don't forget all the great weight training moves you can still do.
There are several variations on the squat and lots of different kinds of lunges that will get your heart rate up and give your legs a good burn. Or, do some step-ups onto a ledge or bench. Try some calf raises, too.
What about if you've injured a foot or a leg?
Try challenging just the healthy leg (and your core strength and balance) by doing almost every move you'd ordinarily do, just on one leg.
Yep, you can even do plyometrics hopping around on one leg if you really want to. Let the injured leg catch up when it's healed. For now, keep that healthy leg in tip-top condition.
Lower body injury or not, there's tons of upper body workouts you can do without ever using your legs.
Moves such as ez bar curls, hammer curls, zottman curls for your biceps ...... bench press, incline chest press, chest flyes for your chest ...
... tricep kickbacks (or even more fun are skull crushers) for your triceps ...
... reverse flyes, lateral raises, front raises, shoulder presses for your shoulders ...
... and dumbbell, cable or barbell rows and lat pulls or pull-ups for your back.
All of these moves can be done in a sitting or lying position and you never have to put any pressure on your legs or feet whatsoever. You can even do some of them standing or kneeling on one leg to promote more core stability!
How about cardio with a lower body injury? Impossible, right?
Nope. There's lots of ways to get your heartrate up and get yourself breathing hard without using your legs.
There's always the rowing machine. Just take the leg portion out of it if there's too much pressure on the injury and give 'er with your arms and back. Wow, you can get a good sweat going that way.
Swimming might also be an option if your doctor approves.
You can also crank up your strength training routine with heavier weights. Lifting heavy will get your heartrate up, no question. Or, lower your weights and reduce your rest periods cycle your different exercises to make Super-Sets or Super-Circuits. That will provide you with a good cardio workout even if you're only doing upper body exercises.
Just because you've experienced the set-back of an injury is no excuse to let your workouts suffer and let all your previous hard work go to waste.
Get back in there and use your creativity to keep working towards your goals.
Hope that injury heals up fast!
Who says you MUST go to a gym to get in shape?
I used to HATE working out because I hated going to the gym.
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... I couldn't take it anymore.
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