So if we have interacted at all in the past week I have probably complained to you about my broken toe. And if we haven’t interacted (which is probably the case for everyone reading this) you should know that I broke my toe. If you have any interest at all in knowing the hows and whys of what got me to this point of a shattered grape like foot digit check it out here. Basically it has been irritating to say the least, especially with the whole walking a million miles around campus a day thing. Okay, I promise no more complaining from here on out. The best thing about this little injury of mine is that it inspired this awesome post about workouts to do while wounded. Basically I would love to provide the most effective workout tips I can think of for the random inconvenient injuries that plague even the fittest gym studs.
When I heard the crack my immediate thoughts were awesome how am I supposed to workout with this? How out of shape will this make me? and oh my gosh look how ugly my toe is right now!!? And a plethora of other overly dramatic negative thoughts that are too pitiful to put into writing.
Although irritated, I have enjoyed finding new ways to get in fitness while dealing with nagging injuries. These things happen all the time and they usually lead to less effort and commitment. I didn’t want to take this opportunity to slack off because even I’ll admit, it’s not like this was anything major. No matter what your fitness level is, your routine should be leaving you with a few aches and pains. Instead of spiraling into a state of hopelessness use your injuries to explore further options that you may have no previously considered.
So here is what I have found works if you are dealing with toe/foot issues. Anything from a stress fracture to a break you want to be sure of how far you can go. Seeing your doctor to establish what you should and shouldn’t be doing is obviously the first step, seriously! In this case I am assuming that you can put weight on it without doing further damage, you probably have a little bit of a limp, and running would bring you to tears.
Strengthen: Trying out some new moves with weights can let you keep building strength. Seated upper-body exercises remove the strain from your toe and give you a sweat blinding upper body workout. Adding weights only ups the intensity and results trying seated press, flys, and rows let you experience the upper body strain of moves that typically get a little help from your legs (at least if you cheat a little).
Some other upper-body focused exercises:
- Floor Flys + Tricep Press
- Skull Crushers
- Tricep Rope Pushdown
- Tricep Kickbacks
- Medicine Ball Chest Toss
- Around The Worlds
Cardio: Not being able to run when you have been doing so nearly every day, until the bone-headed move that shattered your toe, can make you feel like a caged animal. How are you supposed to burn off all of that energy without causing further damage? Find a stiff shoe, or one that hurts your foot the least to put pressure on and hit the bike. Biking at low resistance can provide therapeutic results on your injury by getting blood flow to the area while getting in the cardio (only if your doctor approves remember!!). So things are really injured and biking is a no go? The pool is going to be your new best friend. Swimming is extremely low intensity on the joint, walking as lightly as you can, swimming laps just using your arms, or treading water can all be new challenges with modifications that you normally overlook.
Row: this machine has become my new best friend. Being seated allows me to take the pressure off my foot and works my core and legs for a great strength building cardio session. A mere 15 minutes on the rower can feel like 45 would on the elliptical. The more aggressively you row, the better workout you get. Don’t be afraid to look like you are paddling for you life here, people always stare at the rowers. Why? Because you look awesome doing it. Rowing is a Share It Fitness FAVORITE!
Elliptical: As much as I hate to resort to it, the elliptical with simple resistance is another excellent machine in your cardio upkeep. I really have nothing against the elliptical, but just have a hard time maintaining the attention span to pump my legs back and forth for so long while watching CNN. White House congressional meeting footage, and level 5 resistance are enough to rock me to sleep. Find what program works for you. If there is a random option you can be sure to get a good workout. Nothing works better than keeping the body guessing.
Absperiment: This has probably my favorite excuse ever to focus solely on abs. Even if you loathe ab workouts, your injured foot has left you no other choice. Seated or floor exercises for your abdominal moves require little to no effort form your feet which means, abs all day every day!! If you are wondering how laying on your back obsessively doing crunches is going to get you results try a new approach. Take your favorite, or my recommendation the hardest, ab moves you can think of and turn it into a little tabata workout.
- Heel touchers (20 sec on 10 sec off x8)
- Bicycle crunches
- Leg lifts
- Oblique crunch (or with an exercise ball)
- Scissor kicks
- Barbell Ab Twists
- Windshield Wipers
All keep you horizontal to the ground and target all of those soon to be sore ab muscles. Repeat each move 8 times for 20 seconds taking a 10 second rest in between. Who knew one measly broken toe could yield 6-pack abs!
Use these tips to keep your fitness going. There is nothing worse than an injury holding you back. Especially one that was induced by unavoidable clumsiness. By slowing down a little, and replacing with safe and effective moves you can still have the activity level you desire, even with those pesky fit people injuries.