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Stop Letting Your Injuries Hold You Back

By Alexander VanHouten, Master Trainer & Life Time Education Specialist

Body Composition During Injury Recovery

Now I’ve done it. I was so close to reaching my body-fat goal, and I’ve just blown it.

I work out almost every day. You’d think tripping over the toys at the top of the stairs wouldn’t even faze me. I guess Iron Man’s million-dollar suit trumps my balance skills even when he’s only 2-feet tall and made out of plastic. Caught my foot and sent me right down the stairs.

It could be worse. At least, it was only my wrist that broke during the fall. It could have been a leg bone! I can walk, talk and still dress myself.

But dang, I can’t do push-ups, pull-ups or handstands. Heck, I can’t even grip a handle. No barbell strength for me.

Does this mean I should take 12 weeks off until my cast is removed? That’ll just set me back. There’s gotta be a way I can at least maintain—if not make a bit more progress while I heal. Let’s see…

Alternatives

On the activity side, I’ve been really into lifting, climbing and running lately, and it’s gotten me some great results. But, maybe there are more activities to dabble in until my wrist heals.

I have always wanted to try yoga. The teacher said most movements don’t even require my wrist, and the ones that do can be modified. Closed-chain exercises for flexibility, balance, body awareness and stress relief would be good too, right?

I could do cycle classes instead of running for my cardio. The jarring bounce of running hurts, but in spin class, I can rest my elbows on the handlebars. Time to get my bike jams on.

But what about weights?

Work on Weaknesses

I guess this is my chance to really focus on leg day and build the heck outta my core. Why go from 5 days of weight training each week to only 3? I’ll stay at 5 days and make sure to let my legs rest when they need it. There’s a lot that doesn’t require using my wrist.

With a bum scaphoid bone, most weighted squats, deadlifts and lunges are out of the question; however, body weight is effective with circuits and explosive movements. Time to start jumping.

And this is a great reason to use the machines! FM squat, glute press, hamstring curl, quad extensions are all good. I’d much rather be deadlifting, but while this heals, machines can help me maintain the muscle mass I’ve built.

Speaking of muscle mass—I wonder how much more I can build my core with Pilates. I’ve seen the reformer classes, and it looks like they don’t use wrists at all. Now, when are those classes again?

Uh oh. “Pilates” is spelled pretty close to “pie plates.” I should probably deal with my food choices too, if I’m not going to let this wreck my summer.

Nutrition

I’ve been so active that I haven’t had to change my diet much to see results. But now with this injury, I’m going to have to trade out a few of my treats to maintain results.

I’m not a big drinker, but I do love a few glasses of red wine each week. I’m sure I won’t miss it for a month or two if it means I’ll heal without gaining weight in the meantime.

I’m not a big sugar-fiend, but we do go out once a week and I always get dessert. Skipping that for now won’t be the end of the world either.

And last, but not least: I know I won’t need quite as many carbs as usual, so I’ll trade one of my fruits for a veggie each day. Sorry, Mr. Peach! But I’m planning a getaway with an orange pepper for a while. Don’t worry—I’ll come back to you when I’m ready for more sugar.

Who’s Discouraged?

Taking a tumble down the stairs wasn’t the way I wanted to change up my workout program, but here I am. Life is what I make it, and I’m playing the best I can with the hand I’ve been dealt.

Being injured doesn’t have to stop my progress.

With some creative alternatives available, I can explore new ways to exercise that I wouldn’t have picked up before. And who knows? Maybe I’ll find another passion. Since I have to work around an injury on the weight floor, I will learn new exercises and strengthen muscles that don’t get as much attention as they should.

And as long as I make better food choices while I’m less active, the changes aren’t so hard to start and maintain. I am what I consistently do.

When I get injured, I find a way to keep moving forward.

How about you?

The posts on this blog are not intended to suggest or recommend the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease, nor to substitute for medical treatment, nor to be an alternative to medical advice. The use of the suggestions and recommendations on this blog post is at the choice and risk of the reader.
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