How to keep exercising with a sprained ankle
I was just getting started with a new workout routine, and was feeling very motivated, when I was felled by a badly sprained ankle. I’d like to keep working out despite the injury, but don’t know what I can do without being able to put weight on one of my ankles. I have access to basic gym equipment – treadmill, elliptical, stationary bikes, free weights, yoga mat, exercise ball, etc. What are some exercises I can do to get in shape with my current disability? I really don’t want to lose my momentum!
Oh, BUMMER. Nothing like an injury to put a cramp, har har, in the old fitness routine.
If you have pain or limping when you put your weight on that foot, you need to rest and stay off the ankle altogether, and take it easy once you’ve mostly recovered because your chances for re-injury are now increased as much as 40-70%.
Here’s a helpful article on post-injury care and rehabilitation exercises for regaining motion and re-strengthening.
As for workouts you can continue to do now, I’d suggest focusing on upper body work: back, arms, shoulders, abs. You can sit on a fitness ball and lift weights, or use free weight machines. Another idea would be something like a Pilates mat class DVD.
As your ankle gets better and you can put weight on it, some boxing-type workouts are a great way to get in cardio without putting a lot of stress on your lower body. Swimming—or water aerobics—is a good option, and cycling is another good non-weight-bearing way to get your heart rate up.
Readers, have you dealt with this issue before? What’s a good way to keep the workout momentum going while injured?