The Gun Show Workout

Posted on: August 18th 2015

Like taxes and rain on your holidays, lower body injuries are both incredibly irritating, and almost inevitable.

After eight years of roller derby, I recently found myself rocking a set of crutches for the first time ever, and searching for some ways that I could still get some exercise, and not feel like a total lump.

I was also reminded of the many times I’ve had athletes contact me looking for exactly the same thing – a workout that they could do while laid up with an injured paw.

So, whether you’re sprained, strained, torn, fractured, or just overworked in the leg department, this workout is dedicated to you!

But!! let’s not let the injury brigade have all the fun – this workout is perfectly great for any fully healthy athlete to add to the mix, to improve her upper body and core strength for hits and bracing. It will also, of course, allow you to direct folks to the gun show with appropriate pizzazz.

Now, whether you’re perfectly healthy, or working hard on healing up, it’s always a good idea to listen to what your body tells you, and modify workouts accordingly. In this session, I’m showing some exercises that I’m able to do comfortably with a torn muscle in my left calf. You’ll see that in one exercise, I have to modify on one side to accommodate my injury, and that I’m doing all my push-ups from my knees. You might find that your injury requires you to make some different changes, or eliminate some moves altogether.

Go with what feels right, and with what your doctor or physiotherapist have recommended for you at your stage of recovery.

With the warnings out of the way, here’s the programme (be sure to check out the notes on form below!):

All-Star subscribers – your printable handout is here!

Here’s how the workout goes – you only need a mat to do this workout, and you can even do it on the floor after practice with your teammates!

First: Warm up with some arm circles and arm swings.

Then, do 2 or 3 sets of the following:

  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 30 Penguins (both sides = 1 rep)
  • 20 Tabletop toe-taps
  • 20 Side bridge leg lifts, each side
  • 10 Tricep Push-Ups
  • 20 Supermans
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 30 second V-sit


Tabletop toe-taps: Ensure that you are engaging your lower abdominal muscles to initiate the movement of your legs. Try to keep your hips and upper body still, and your lower back in contact with the mat. You may hold your head raised, or keep it resting on the mat.

Side bridge leg lifts: Maintain a straight line from your head through your shoulders, hips, and heels. It helps to line yourself up with the back edge of the mat. I show three modifications in the video. On side 1 I show the full movement, with hips raised and my lower (right) leg bent and taking my weight. On side 2 I’m unable to bear that weight on my injured leg, so I’ve modified to just keep my hips on the ground and do a simple leg lift. You can do this with your upper body raised up onto your elbow, or lying down fully.

Tricep Push-ups: A little hard to see the difference in the video, but for these, simply set up with your hands slightly wider than shoulders, and keep your elbows close to your ribs as you lower and rise.  For the regular push-ups, your hands may be a little wider (if that’s comfortable for you) and your upper arms will make about a 45-degree angle with your torso, in the down position.

V-Sit: The easier modification is with bent knees, shins making a table top. If you’re strong enough to maintain a flat lower back in this position, you may try the harder version, with legs extended.

Question for you!

Are you currently or recently injured? What exercise have YOU found that works well while you’re injured? How did you stay active? Please leave a comment and share your successes with our community so everyone can benefit!

xo Booty Quake

9 thoughts on “The Gun Show Workout

  1. Ah, such great timing! I was already 4 weeks into your Basics Builder program, but I hurt my knee last night at practice (feels overstretched at one side) and I want to give it some rest. This seems like a perfect program for now. Thanks, Booty!

    1. Ooh, bummer! Good idea to play it safe and give it some rest! Hopefully just some soft tissue damage. Good luck!

  2. This is great. I’m currently suffering with a foot tendon thing which is cramping my skating and means no impact. This is ideal. Thanks.

  3. YAY!

    Broke my leg on June 7th … while in the last bit of your CoreBuilder! DAMN! haha I was SO looking forward to Stride Builder after that and the other sad thing…this was 7 days before my minimums test. *insert sad music here*

    But what has worked for me is a sit down (fully seated) yoga series I found on YouTube and a seated upper body (with weights) also found on YouTube. I was able to do my 21 Day Fix pilates video a couple times when I was in the cast but it was a bit much. I would like to try it again since I am out of the cast and starting to build up to some distance walking.

    Staying in shape through this injury was hard and staying motivated (fighting off feelings of depression) was even harder! I am glad to be up and walking again and taking steps forward. This will be a great addition to my workouts.

  4. Broke Fib and Tib on July 18th, Surgery (Pins & Plates) July 29th. Still in cast & using crutches. I have to come up carpeted stairs to get to my living area so I use those as a workout. Balance using crutch and stair railing. Lower myself to sitting position, using arms to lift myself up each step, at the same time I am lifting I keep my core tight & bend at waist down then back up, once get to the step I do 5-10 leg lifts per leg, Once upstairs I have to scoot myself backwards to the ottoman to be able to get off the floor. I lift my body up on ottoman with my arms and my good leg then I do 10 or so chair dips.

    Also when “crutching” around I try to tighten all my core and butt muscles as I move. When sitting with my leg elevated I tighten & release my leg muscles. I try to concentrate and isolate the ones I am tightening.

  5. I think you just read my life BQ. I injured my right quad on Sat so perfect timing. Looking forward to trying this out!

  6. I love combining this with Jump N Jive to get a little extra warmed up and for a full body workout!

    1. Good call! I made each of those partly for people who can’t do one or the other due to injuries, but combining the two is a great option for healthy folks!! :)

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