How to Exercise When You've Sprained or Broken Your Foot

Posted on: 10 August 2015


A large number of foot sprains or breaks occur as a result of exercise – often thanks to the foot being turned while running. This isn't just unwelcome due to the pain and general inconvenience, but because it means forgoing that activity until the injury can properly heal. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to keep exercising effectively, even when you're down to just one foot.

High Intensity Interval Strength Training

If you look after your body, you're probably already committed to some kind of resistance training; the trick is to optimise those workouts for cardio, as well as strength training, benefits.

The best thing to do is to concentrate on keeping up the intensity. You'll want to do several sets of each exercise, and keep your rest time between them down to a minute or less. You might not be able to concentrate quite as much on lifting the heaviest weight possible, but you'll maintain the intensity needed to keep your heart pumping.

Upper Body Focused Swimming

You should be able to start swimming normally before you can begin something as high impact as running, but you can jump in the pool even earlier if you know how to play it.

Just make sure you concentrate on using your upper body rather than moving yourself with your feet – which will put strain on them through the changing current. If you're a strong enough swimmer, you can simply stop using your legs, but anyone else can help themselves out by placing a small float under their feet. You might not swim as fast as everyone else, but you'll provide yourself with a solid workout.

Boxing Inspired Cardio

If your gym offers a set of classes, chances are good that it offers boxercise, or something similar. You'll have to sit out the routines which involve kicking, but most of the class will be focused upon punching – usually either shadow boxing or taking turns holding pads for a partner.

Boxercise is a great example of cardio which doesn't require much leg movement. Instead, you'll focus on tightening your core and engaging all of your upper body muscles. Exercises will vary between hard, controlled punches and fast, heart-pumping jabs.

Hand Biking

We've placed this workout last because whether you can do it will really depend upon your gym. A hand bike – otherwise known more technically as an 'upper-body ergometer' or more engagingly as a 'krankcycle' – is essentially the same as a stationary exercise bike, except you hold in with your hands instead of pushing with your feet.

Your arms, shoulders, chest, back, and core are all worked, but the focus is more on endurance than it is on strength building. That's great, because upper body stamina is something which even many fitness enthusiasts lack. As an added bonus, you should see yourself becoming leaner.

Having to temporarily give up on your favourite exercise might be annoying, but it's actually an opportunity to add a new dimension to your fitness regime. See the glass as half full, and use these exercises to challenge yourself in a whole new way.

You can also talk to a local podiatrist from a place like Galleria Podiatry to see what they might recommend.