Crutches Workout: Safe and Effective
Being on crutches sucks. Your arms are tired, your armpits get rubbed raw, and everyday tasks are infinitely harder. Cooking a meal and figuring out how to carry food to the table is hard work! You need help from friends, family and teammates for simple things and it can be frustrating!
What’s even more frustrating about crutches?
Being forced to be inactive and to rest. Oftentimes, athletes on crutches are told to take it easy and assumed to be incapable of exercise. This is frustrating and can get your rehab process off on the wrong foot. Not to mention, it goes against our natural rhythm as athletes to be inactive!
The truth is there is a lot you can do in the gym to maintain your fitness, get a sweat in and help yourself feel better while being safe on crutches.
There are a few safety precautions:
- Balance and falls: Always make sure you are in a safe environment with someone to help you move weights and equipment. Make sure you have plenty of space where other gym goers won’t run into you or knock you over.
- Infection risk: We typically recommend players avoid gym settings and heavy sweating activities until any surgical sites are well closed and healed. This may take 7-14 days after surgery, depending on the size of the incision and how the incision was closed.
- Surgical precautions: If you had surgery, always follow your doctor’s precautions and recommendations for weight bearing status and range of motion restrictions on the involved leg.
Rather than focusing on what you can’t do while you are on crutches, focus on what you can do!
- Upper body strength training
- Upper body conditioning
- Uninvolved leg exercises
- Core strength
Crutches Workout Routines
Here are a few examples of routines you can do while you are on crutches:
Upper Body Strength
Upper Body Conditioning
Uninvolved Leg Routine
Give these exercises a try if you are stuck on crutches and want to stay active, maintain your fitness and attack the first stage of your rehab!
Do you feel like you are getting pushed in your rehab? Do you have a plan to not only get back to your sport, but return to your sport at a high level? At Kinetic Sports Medicine and Performance, we specialize in helping competitive and recreational athletes recover from injury. Schedule a free consultation today to learn if you are a fit for our performance physical therapy model.