WEEKLY WORKOUT: Training With Injuries
Injured? That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to abandon your workout.
“You want to check with your doctor,” says personal trainer, Angie Gallagher. “Sometimes they’ll give you recommendations as to what you should be doing or not doing.”
Angie helped me find a few ways to workout while recovering from a serious ankle sprain last fall. My doctor and physical therapist recommended swimming and the stationary bike. Angie took the workout up a notch, by putting me on a stationary bike equipped with arms. The arms increase the aerobic output by about 12-percent.
“You wouldn’t think it, but it’s hard on the heart because you’re able to use the lower body, the big muscles, without putting pressure on the joint as you would if you were standing.”
If you absolutely can’t use your lower body, try using your arms to elevate your heart rate. A punching sequence using three to five pound weights will get your heart rate up in no time.
Resistance bands can also come in handy during recovery. Angie shows us an exercise designed to increase strength after a shoulder injury. Using both hands, hold the band in front of you with arms extended. Pull the band outward, while keeping the arms straight.
“That’s an excellent one to strengthen the shoulder if you have an injury there – once you’re cleared from the doctor,” says Angie.
Again, let your doctor and your body be your guide. Take it slow and stop if the exercise is painful. Too much too soon will only exacerbate the problem.
“Because you know your body,” says Angie. “It needs time to heal. If you go past that you’re just going to delay the healing process and that will be even more frustrating.”