A Modified Mindset (and Workout Routine) for Injured Go-getters
So, I broke my ankle. I wish it were a glamorous story. I mean, I was snowboarding after all (which, apparently can be dangerous in your 30‚Äôs). But it was an ungraceful injury‚Äîa slow motion fall while descending from a ski lift in Crested Butte when my board (and foot) got wedged in some slushy snow and the rest of my body decided to flip the other way. Crack. And yes, we were headed to the bar for happy hour: total buzz kill!
My first thought: I‚Äôm officially old. I just had a ski injury. ¬†My second thought: I own a fitness company and I can‚Äôt work out. Hmmmm‚Ä¶..
I have never known what it means to have an injury that affects your ability to work out. Backup, I did have two C-sections with my daughters, but somehow, was able to bounce back and at least start some simple stretching. And I was walking pretty quickly after both. Maybe it‚Äôs age, or maybe it‚Äôs this particular injury‚Äîeither way, I just kept thinking, I have fallen and I can‚Äôt get up. (That‚Äôs for all of you 30 and 40-somethings out there.) For those of you who have suffered an injury or who deal with chronic pain, you deserve a mention and if you were standing in front of me, I‚Äôd give you a hug. It was much harder than I imagined it would be, and it‚Äôs hard to stay positive and happy when so many things in life that were once simple, became so very tough. (It‚Äôs a humbling experience to be pushed in a wheelchair in an airport and to have to climb stairs by scooting up and down, butt first, or to not be able to open doors because you have crutches). That said, I vowed to not let this get me down. Attitude is everything. And with basically three months of having to stay off of my ankle, and several months thereafter of taking it easy, I had to become innovative about staying fit and healthy. Nope, I didn‚Äôt give up! Instead, I developed a workout routine. It‚Äôs actually a pretty great circuit workout, so I thought I‚Äôd share it for those of you in a similar situation. Here it is‚Ä¶.
Use a medium or heavy weight. I chose 8 lbs, and would have used 10 if I‚Äôd had a pair handy!
(1) Seated Shoulder Press 20 reps: 2 seconds up/1 second hold/2 seconds down. (Use this timing for each exercise unless otherwise noted below). Sit down on a chair or bench. Holding your weights, lift both arms out beside you and bend your elbows so that your hands are pointing at the ceiling. Now, straighten your arms up for 2 seconds so that the tips of your weights touch each other, hold 1 second, and then take 2 seconds to bend your elbows and lower your arms back to the bent position. Repeat. (2) Seated Bent-Over Fly 20 reps Sit down and bend slightly forward, keeping your back flat and your eyes on the floor in front of you. Start with your weights in front of you, holding them in your lap. Keeping your elbows bent, move your arms out to your sides and imagine squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades. Then bring your arms down in front of you so that your weights touch. Repeat. Make sure you keep your back flat and your neck relaxed during this process. (3) Chest Press 20 reps Lay down on your back on the floor with your knees bent. (For more of a challenge, raise your legs to 45 degrees). Holding your weights, bend your arms up so that your hands are pointing up and elbows are resting on the ground. Extend your arms straight so that your weights touch each other at chest level, and then bring them back down so that your elbows are about one inch off the ground. Repeat. (4) Leg Lifts 20 reps Lay on the ground. Straighten your legs and raise them about 12 inches off the ground. Then lift them about one inch and lower back down an inch. Repeat. Make sure your back is flat against the floor during this exercise and it does not arch. Also, don‚Äôt forget to breathe! (5) Leg Press 20 reps Lay on the ground, straighten your legs and lift them so your feet are pointed straight up to the ceiling. Flex your feet (if you can; in my case, one foot was in a boot). Lift hips off the ground slightly (even an inch will work) and then slowly lower back down. Keep your arms down by your side or out to the side of you against the floor for support. Repeat. Now‚Ä¶the kicker. Do 5 sets. In between sets, after you finish your leg press, sit up with your legs straight in front of you. Raise your hands to the ceiling and, keeping your back flat, lean forward and reach so that you are stretching your legs for 30 seconds.
When you finish, you‚Äôll have done 100 reps of each exercise (500 total reps!!!) and if you aren‚Äôt sweating we should talk!
Now, this is where my former attorney half screams at me I should have a disclaimer here. I wish I could shake all of those years of training, but the other half of me is also acknowledging the smart thing to do is tell you that this workout is obviously not for everyone, and you should listen to your doctor, and first and foremost, to your body. So, if it hurts, don‚Äôt do it, and definitely be sure you are ready to get back into the game if you are recovering from any kind of injury. But, I found myself burning to do some kind of exercise and really not knowing what to do, so I‚Äôd like to help those of you in the same circumstance. Hang in there‚Ä¶you will get through it. Keep your head up and your mindset in the right place. ¬†You CAN be fit with an injury (even though I spent the first three weeks of this injury fretting and believing I was going to pile on the pounds and get weak and pasty as I healed.) It‚Äôs all about mindset! I was determined to not let this injury get me down, or prevent me from continuing to prioritize my fitness and health! You can do the very same thing. :)