If you love going to the gym, you probably hate getting injured. Injuries cause physical discomfort, limit your mobility, and worst of all, get in the way of your fitness goals. While everyone tries to avoid injuries, it remains an unfortunate truth that if you live an active lifestyle, at some point you will most likely get hurt. Here are some ways to stay in shape when your body is not 100% — after having your injury evaluated by a doctor, of course.
Ankle, Foot, and Knee Injuries
If you’ve hurt your ankle, foot, or knee, there are still many exercises that you can perform. You can do pretty much all upper body exercises that do not require you to stand, such as the bench press, lat pulldown, and shoulder press. Exercises that you normally may do standing, such as bicep curls, can easily be converted into seated curls. Also, if you’ve just injured your ankle or foot, it doesn’t mean that you need to totally neglect your lower body. You can still use the leg extension and leg curl machines. If you’ve injured your lower body, you probably won’t be able to do any cardio until you have healed. This can be frustrating if you are someone who enjoys endurance exercise, but use the injury as an opportunity to explore other facets of training that you may be less familiar with.
Elbow, Shoulder, and Wrist Injuries
Unless your elbow, shoulder, or wrist injury is severe, you should be able to continue cardiovascular training. Walking, running, and stair climbing are all activities you can perform. You can also do lower body exercises such as the leg press, leg curl, and wall sit. Abdominal exercises such as the crunch are a possibility as well. Unfortunately, elbow, shoulder and wrist injuries usually do not permit you to perform any upper body exercises.
Lower Back Injuries
Back injuries can be a little bit tricky. Walking and recumbent cycling to maintain levels of cardiovascular fitness are usually ok, but any other type of exercise could be off limits depending on the type and severity of your back injury. Before doing any physical activity with a back injury, you should definitely consult with your doctor.
In the case of any injury it is always best to visit a doctor to have your injury evaluated before beginning any sort of training regimen. But once you are aware of the exercises you are allowed to perform, get out there and get active; don’t let your injury set you back.
By Gabe Sansone