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5 Modified Exercises for Injured Feet or Ankles

If you have gotten injured and your doctor recommends that you stay off of your feet, please listen. However, if you’re allowed to resume some moderate exercising but aren’t sure where to start, this is a list of modified exercises you can do to stay healthy while you heal.

  1. Swimming NOT Running – If you are a runner and you would like to keep your cardio up, you can switch to swimming. Swimming allows you to move freely without putting any weight on your injured foot or ankle. Just be careful when you’re stepping in and out of the pool!
  2. Stationary Bike – You can still use a stationary bike, but with the uninjured leg only. It may take a little getting used to at first, but once you get into the right rhythm you can still get the exercise you need. Be careful not to get hit but the pedal that is not being used and leave your foot sitting out in front and out of the way.
  3. Sit with Free Weights – Sit or lie down on a bench and use weights to strengthen your arms, shoulders, and torso. You can do every exercise you normally do standing up and even add a few where you dip below the bench when you lie down. Just make sure to keep all weight off of your feet and ankles when you are seated.
  4. Superman – Abs can be worked out in a number of ways. The best way to avoid further injuring your foot or ankle is to lie down with your stomach on the floor and raising all of your limbs toward the ceiling (creating a “Superman” effect.) Stay away from exercises that involve too much movement for your feet or ankles.
  5. Quad Machine NOT Lunges – And no wall sits either. For leg exercises you may have to turn to machines to help keep the weight off of your feet and ankles. The quad machine helps keep your quads/thighs strong without putting extra stress on your feet and ankles.

If you’re not quite comfortable getting back to exercising just yet, or your injury is still too severe, try working on modifying your diet so that you are making up for the lack of exercise. Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients in the Centreville, VA area for over eighteen years. If you have any questions call our office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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