Two weeks ago I broke my left shoulder after falling off a motorbike, which has obviously left me immobilized to some extent, but the worst thing of all is that I know I won’t be able to lift any weights for several months until my shoulder is fully healed.
I will soon have to focus on trying to get my full range of motion back with the help of a physical therapist, and will just have to accept that I will experience some muscle loss in the coming months due to the lack of training.
However the good news is that I don’t have to cancel my gym membership altogether because I still intend to keep fit during this time so that I can stay in pretty good shape.
Indeed after starting to do some cardio workouts myself, I felt motivated to write this article to share with you some of the cardio exercises and workouts that you can do if you have a broken bone, whether it’s a broken shoulder or a broken arm, hip, leg or ankle, for example.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a physical therapist or a qualified medical practitioner, so this article should only be used as a general guide. You should always consult your doctor or physio before starting any exercise program because they will be able to tell you which exercises you can and cannot do based on your own personal injury.
Cardio Exercises For Broken Arms, Elbows And Shoulders
If you find yourself with a broken arm or a broken shoulder like myself, the good news is that there are still lots of cardio options available because you still have a fully functioning lower body.
You don’t necessarily want to be doing anything at all for the first week or two because you may find that any slight movement of your body causes a lot of pain, but once the pain starts to subside, you can then start using an exercise bike, elliptical trainer or treadmill to stay in shape.
A recumbent bike or a recumbent-style elliptical are probably the best options because these will obviously have a comfortable seat that will prevent your upper body, and therefore your arm and shoulder from moving.
Fitness Workouts For Broken Legs
If you have a broken leg, your options are a lot more limited because it is hard to burn calories when you are not allowed to put any weight on your leg at all.
Nevertheless you may still be able to use your upper body to help maintain your cardiovascular fitness to a certain degree.
One easy option is to use to a hand bike, which is essentially a desk exercise bike that has pedals for your hands and will work your arms, shoulders, back and chest, and burn some calories.
Alternatively there are certain upper body exercises that you can perform in the gym with resistance bands, cable machines or a light set of dumbbells if you have someone to help you.
Cardio Options For Broken Ankles
If you are nursing a broken ankle, it’s important to rest for several weeks before resuming any cardio exercises. Once you have been given the all-clear by your doctor, you can then start doing some ankle-friendly exercises.
Any upper body exercise that you can do whilst sitting down is a good option (longer sets with lighter weights are better from a fitness perspective), and the hand bike is another great option.
Boxing-style workouts and martial arts workouts, for example, are two that will both get your heart pumping whilst you are sat down in a chair.
Exercise bikes and ellipticals are another good option after a certain amount of time, particularly the recumbent ones because your feet will always be supported by the pedals and the seat will cushion most of your weight.
Exercises For Broken Hips
If you are recovering from a broken hip, it is not generally advisable to do a lot of exercise independently because you will generally be given some exercises to do as part of your rehabilitation program.
These could include walking, swimming or cycling on an exercise bike, for example, with the aim being to gradually improve your strength and mobility over time.
Once your hip feels a lot better and you are able to move around quite freely without any pain, you can then start doing some low impact fitness workouts on a treadmill, elliptical trainer or exercise bike, for instance, to get back in shape.
It is really tough trying to deal with a broken bone because as well as being extremely painful for the first few weeks, you have to take plenty of rest and be patient whilst the body tries to heal itself.
Furthermore, you won’t be able to do a lot of intense strength training for several months, but hopefully I have demonstrated that it is still possible to stay fit and healthy during the long healing process because there are always certain cardio exercises that you can do either at home or in the gym in the meantime.