Training Cardio with a Leg Injury

We all get hurt, we all have to take some time off.  Sometimes it’s from overtraining and sometimes it’s from things out of your control (accidents, illness, etc.).  With injuries it can be frustrating, you hurt your arm and can’t workout most of your upper body. A small injury in one section of your body can set back your fitness and growth in another section.  Thankfully it does not have to be that way with everything.

When it comes to cardio there is really no excuse, in terms of injuries, to skip it.  If you planned a run but hurt your leg there are options.  The great thing about cardio is that it’s easy to train using any part of your body.  Here are some ways to keep up your cardio with a leg injury.

With cardio your options when you mess up your leg might seem limited, but there is always a way.

1.) Go for a Swim– swimming is great cardio.  Even if your legs are totally toasted you can drag them through the water it will be harder but that’s the whole point.  This is where knowing how to swim will really help your training. Here’s a bonus, train for a triathlon (or Ironman) and you will have even more reason to swim.

2.) Stationary bikes can be fun –  This one depends on the type of injury you are dealing with but the low impact of a stationary bike will be fine for most.  This one is also a good one if you’re training for a triathlon because you will need your bike training.  If you have injured only one leg it’s okay to favor it in the time it takes to heal you won’t get unbalanced.  Load some shows onto your phone or tablet and go for a bike.

3.) Train your upper body for speed – This is tough but doable.  Do things like push-ups as fast as you can, switch to sit-up and bicycle abs.  Or hit the gym and lighten the weight but do as many reps and sets as you can as fast as you can. Anything that gets your heart beating and blood pumping is working your cardiovascular system.

There are other options but they all use your legs and feet to some degree.  You could use the elliptical or a rowing machine , there is a long list of alternatives but it will depend on where your injury is.  The three above are the easiest to do even if your whole leg is out of commission.

Remember to keep training, even if you’re hurt as long as the injury is manageable.  You have to rest the hurt part of your body but that does not mean you need to rest your whole body.  There is always something that can be done and by getting your blood flowing you might even speed up the healing process.