An injury can disrupt an entire routine. You might feel inclined to forego working out while you’re healing, but that could do more harm than good as you lose ground. If you’re cleared for modified exercise, we have some great workout ideas to help keep you moving.
There are many ideas that work especially well alongside most physical therapy regimens so e set out to collect them here. So read this then get off the couch and get a workout in.
Circuit training is ideal for injury recovery because each workout is different, so you can tailor the routine to accommodate specific needs. Circuit training is an intense way to keep in shape that combines aerobic, strength and endurance training. This type of workout has you perform numerous exercises in short intervals, incorporating equipment, such as resistance bands and weights, to cover as many muscle groups as possible — but that makes it fairly easy to skip over injured limbs or areas while focusing on others.
There are a multitude of possibilities with a strength training workout. Make sure to start light and work your way up to heavier weights so you don’t inadvertently add to your injuries. But like circuit training you can focus on areas other than those that are injured, making it adaptable to a variety of situations.
Pilates generally combines equipment with core-strengthening poses to condition a wide variety of muscle groups. Many injuries stem from poorly maintained muscles, making Pilates the perfect choice to correct problems related to strained muscles or poor posture. Pilates can be incorporated into many physical therapy courses for maximum benefits and having an instructor in the know on what's going on with you can really help to keep you in tip-top shape even while you heal.
Yoga combines sets of poses and gentle stretches to improve flexibility, strength and circulation. It’s a good choice for people healing from injuries because the difficulty level is easily adjusted as a workaround, and slowly reintegrating different muscle groups is a great way to bring inured areas back into the routine in a controlled way. In some cases, yoga may be as beneficial as physical therapy in its ability to reduce the effects of chronic pain. Use alongside physical therapy to maximize results.
Tai chi is another excellent choice for incorporating into nearly any physical therapy regimen. It relies on gentle, flowing movements that exercise multiple muscle groups, placing a focus on balance, posture and strength. Tai chi can work around nearly any functional limitation while improving flexibility and range of motion, making it a great choice for people of all age groups and abilities.
Consider the little-known handcycle the next time you're facing a leg injury. Many gyms have one but few people use it or know what it's for. This is a bike where you pedal with your arms for a great cardio and strength-building workout.
An injury might slow you down, but it doesn’t have to stop you in your tracks. You still have plenty of great options to keep yourself in shape if you're willing to change it up. It’s important to discuss your limitations and any adjustments you might need to make to your new workout routine, so talk to your doctor or physical therapist before you get started but get out there and get it done.