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
** Want to really work on improving your upper body strength? Join our April “Sun’s Out, Guns Out” Challenge to work on your push-ups or pull-ups with me and other derby skaters from around the world! Click here for details and to register.** Starts April 3, 2017!
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
PS If you’re looking for more challenging (and full body) strength training, you should check out the StrideBooster program.