Staying in shape with leg incast 3 months


Original Post
John Conzone · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 60

Broke my leg with 8-12 weeks in cast. I know #1 is watch calories as no matter what I do my burn will go down.

Upper body seems pretty straight forward same same.

But what about cardio? Anyone come up with a way to maintain or improve cardio with one leg in cast? No one leg jump rope jokes please.

Thanks.

Best

John

wayne willoughby · · SEATTLE · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 95

Try doing sets of pull-ups, various weights, and walking with your crutches in between nonstop for a couple of hours a day.  Should get your heart rate up, and keep it up if you work at it with enough intensity.

Eric L · · Roseville, CA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 105

One legged stationary cycle (with foot strap).  See here for upper body cardio: http://www.podiatrytoday.com/blogged/how-patients-can-get-aerobic-workout-while-staying-their-feet  Again, good luck on the recovery, even after the cast comes off (that will be disappointing for a while, don't let it get you down.) 

Tyler Osborne · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

How did you break your leg?

John Conzone · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 60

Great link Eric. Thank you!

Tyler, fell off climb. No one's fault freak thing..remember "rock climbing is inherently dangerous" ;>)

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 290

I used a stationary arm bike for some rehab.  You might get some cardio out of that (if you have a PT facility to use one).  If nothing else, it'll keep your arms and shoulders in shape.

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053
Tyler Osborne wrote:

How did you break your leg?

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/113038452/fell-20-on-top-rope

Bad belay is the concensus ;)

John Conzone · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 60

Wasn't bad belay was new climber inexperience...new climber being me. Lets not drag that shit over here. This is about rehab..please. Thank you

Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 1,471

I was out for 4 weeks earlier this year, so, 8 weeks is a lot longer.

For me, my "cardio" was spent on the Arm Bike/Arm Mill.  It's mind-numbingly dull.  Probably 10x worse than the treadmill.

I got one of these so I was still mobile: http://iwalk-free.com/.  That allowed me to stay on my lifting route.

A lot of time on the hangboard!  Get some movies going and just "hang around."

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 95

One really fun impromptu exercise to do on crutches is to lean up against a wall and do leg lifts; sets of ten or twenty.  When I was injured I made a point of doing at least 150/day, and it REALLY improved abs and core.  Combine this with all the other upper body, and you'll be super strong by the time you have your leg back.  

Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 250

I was non-weight-bearing for two months after a knee surgery a couple of years back, followed by a month of partially-weight-bearing-with-crutches. While the suggestions you got here are good, I found it to be too frustrating and boring, and ultimately didn't do much other than the PT exercises and some pushups. The PT did include a fair bit of core exercises.

Once I was able to partially load the leg, I did a month of hangboard workout, Rock Prodigy style (I thought i could do it earlier, but discovered that it was not possible to do hangboard with full non-weight-bearing if you can't bend the knee... but in your case, since it's the ankle that is broken, you cna bend that knee, and so you are in better spot than I was...).  

Cardio fitness declines fast, but also comes back fast, the things you would be doing in the next couple months are likely not enough to maintain your cardio fitness, anyway. But if they keep the boredom at bay... go for it.

jaredj · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 165
Lena chita wrote:

I was non-weight-bearing for two months after a knee surgery a couple of years back, followed by a month of partially-weight-bearing-with-crutches. While the suggestions you got here are good, I found it to be too frustrating and boring, and ultimately didn't do much other than the PT exercises and some pushups. The PT did include a fair bit of core exercises.

Once I was able to partially load the leg, I did a month of hangboard workout, Rock Prodigy style (I thought i could do it earlier, but discovered that it was not possible to do hangboard with full non-weight-bearing if you can't bend the knee... but in your case, since it's the ankle that is broken, you cna bend that knee, and so you are in better spot than I was...).  

Cardio fitness declines fast, but also comes back fast, the things you would be doing in the next couple months are likely not enough to maintain your cardio fitness, anyway. But if they keep the boredom at bay... go for it.

I was in a similar situation recovering from a tib/fib fracture in an ice climbing fall in 2009.  I found that my cardio fitness came back relatively quickly after I was healthy enough to do normal activity; various "creative" efforts I undertook while healing were generally frustrating or "fussy" in such a fashion that I couldn't really achieve anything on the regular that I felt was fitness-preserving.  I mostly spent my energy focusing on other things (work) and tried to watch my diet a little more carefully.  

I'd recommend some real basic hangboarding that feels like "maintenance" to avoid losing a lot of finger strength.  Also accept that it'll be a couple of month on-ramp once you come back.

To each their own, but I think the isolated leg stuff seems like it could be whack-a-mole by elevating risks associated with having imbalances.  

John Conzone · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 60

Great ideas. Thanks! My biggest challenge is going to be stay off it. The put a soft splint on today because its still too swollen to cast or do CAT scan (may need screws)

That things lasted about 2 hours and I ripped it off. I couldn't take it. There is my biggest chanllenge, the mental aspect of not pushing and trying to walk or use it. Gonn abe hard but I keep telling myself it will just be longer.

But this soft thing was just to bulky I mean like Herman Munster shoes it had to go!

Eric L · · Roseville, CA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 105
John Conzone wrote:

Great ideas. Thanks! My biggest challenge is going to be stay off it. The put a soft splint on today because its still too swollen to cast or do CAT scan (may need screws)

That things lasted about 2 hours and I ripped it off. I couldn't take it. There is my biggest chanllenge, the mental aspect of not pushing and trying to walk or use it. Gonn abe hard but I keep telling myself it will just be longer.

But this soft thing was just to bulky I mean like Herman Munster shoes it had to go!

John,  I'll say this once.  The mental part is the hardest.  Keep it on, the rigid cast will be worse.  Prepare yourself for the long haul and do it right the first time.  I was told to wear an e-boot for a month 24x7.  I didn't.  When that didn't work they put me in a cast for another month. Don't be stupid like me and do it twice or heal more slowly because you didn't do it right.  OK, taking my responsible shmuck hat off now; do what you want and heal on the timeline you decide to take. :)

John Conzone · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 60
EricL wrote:

John,  I'll say this once.  The mental part is the hardest.  Keep it on, the rigid cast will be worse.  Prepare yourself for the long haul and do it right the first time.  I was told to wear an e-boot for a month 24x7.  I didn't.  When that didn't work they put me in a cast for another month. Don't be stupid like me and do it twice or heal more slowly because you didn't do it right.  OK, taking my responsible shmuck hat off now; do what you want and heal on the timeline you decide to take. :)

Thanks Eric. I realized I had to do what doc said also, and reapplied it shortly after. Just have to accept the deal and pray 8-10 weeks go by quick. In the meantime work upper body, do whatever cardio I can (I think stationary bike may work at some point) go real low calories and just hang tough. 

I've always taken adversity in my life and turned it around, using the frustration, pain, whatever situation it may be (my divorce comes to mind) and turned that negative energy into positive energy and improve myself and my life. This will be no different. I'll find a way to take this and make it a psotive as well. Thanks for writing! 

Scott Phil · · NC · Joined May 2010 · Points: 196
EricL wrote:

John,  I'll say this once.  The mental part is the hardest.  Keep it on, the rigid cast will be worse.  Prepare yourself for the long haul and do it right the first time. 

This ^^

It is well worth it to take the time to heal properly the first time. Otherwise you run the risk of not healing completely (resulting in lost range of motion, re-injury, etc.). 

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 251

Core workouts are great when the legs are out of commission.  In fact, we should all probably do more core workouts when are legs are in commission...

John Conzone · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 60

My girlfriend is xfit nut and she suggested a modified xfit routine similar to what wheelchair folks use for xfit. Great Idea! I googled it and on youtube there are some people in chairs (for life not just broken leg like me) doing stuff that would put normal two legged people to shame. Just goes to show what determination and the human spirit can accomplish.

Best

Jphn

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 45

Yeah, the adaptive climbing folks at Brooklyn Boulders really put my ankle sprain in perspective. I can't complain that I have to top rope routes with easy footwork and lower carefully for a few weeks when these guys are campusing 5.9 because they don't have use of their legs.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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