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So, you’re excited about starting your new exercise program, and you energetically go through the first series of workouts. Within a week or so, you’re laid up with an inflamed foot, injured knee, sore back, or aggravated shoulder. If this hasn’t happened to you, you have probably heard someone share a similar story.
It is not always possible to avoid workout-related injuries, but when injuries happen, don’t let it set you back in your fitness regimen. In fact, it is not unusual for athletes to be fit after rehabilitating from an injury since they get the opportunity to try new forms of training while healing.
Here are a few workout ideas for when you have a foot injury:
Swimming is not a weight bearing exercise, which makes it a great workout for when you have a foot injury. Provided you don’t have a cast, it’s safe to get into the water gently, taking care to keep your weight off your injured side. Swim near the sides so you have a place to hold on as you kick your legs. If you feel pain in your legs as you kick, try laying your legs over a kickboard and doing swim strokes with your arms to workout your upper body and core.
- Cross Training
If your injury is stress related, your doctor may permit you to continue with your weight-bearing workout every other day. However, don’t rush back into your normal exercise routine. Instead, try gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workout to avoid further injury.
Try not to exert any pressure on the injured area as this may lead to additional complications. Instead of doing high-impact and vigorous exercise, try using an elliptical trainer on alternate days with push-ups and crunches. If the injury is not very bad, you can try strength training and interval training.
During the first few weeks of recovery, a stationary bike will offer the safest form of cycling, since there is no risk of falling or relying heavily on the injured foot for extra power. A recumbent or upright bike is effective for building calf and thigh muscles, as well as providing aerobic workout with minimal impact or strain to your injured foot.
A foot injury does not mean that you are completely useless at the gym. So, consider doing the following exercises as you recover:
- Stability ball push-up + bicycle cardio booster + single arm dumbbell row
- Incline dumbbell chest press + elliptical cardio booster or rowing machine + lat pull down
- Machine leg curls + machine leg extensions + bicycle cardio booster
- Hanging leg raise + weighted crunches + bicycle cardio booster
For most of these exercises, it’s recommended that you workout only 3-4 times a week with 24-48 hours of rest between workouts. 15 repetitions of each exercise should do the trick.