A seated upper-body workout for a lower-body injury

Seated upper-body teaserBeing injured sucks.

But it especially sucks if you’ve been training for an event, such as your first Boston Qualifying-attempt marathon, when a lower-body injury occurs just five days before your race.

If you’re lucky, it won’t be too serious and you can bounce back within an month. You may have to miss your race, but at least you can ease back into training sooner once you get the A-OK from your physiotherapist or doctor. Other times, you might be sidelined for 12 weeks or more, depending on the type of injury.

Being sidelined is hard, especially when running or exercising in general is your natural state. Although complete rest with physio and other rehab methods (such as IMS, massage or chiro) is best, you may be cleared to do some upper-body exercises if you happen to be dealing with a lower-body injury.

Because I am not an athletic therapist and because certain injuries require certain means of recovery and repair, I can’t tell you specifically what to do to help you return to training. But I can share some general injury recovery guidelines and a sample seated upper-body program you could bring to your physiotherapist or doctor and check to see if you’re clear to try something like it (but modified, of course, based on your injury).

This is a program I’m doing right now with one of my clients who has a severe knee injury. While this program was cleared and given the A-OK by his doctor, it might not be suitable for you. Please check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially when injured.

Seated upper-body workout for a lower-body injury

Do each set of grouped exercises (1A and 2A is one set of grouped exercises, 3B and 4B is the next set of grouped exercises, etc.) for 8-10 reps each for three sets before moving to the next set of grouped exercises. Rest for 30 seconds between each exercise, and one minute in between each set. All of the exercises can be performed on a weight bench.

Seated upper-body workout for a lower-body injury

1A) Dumbbell chest press
2A) Bent-over seated row

3B) Seated overhead press
4B) Chest flyes

5C) Seated lateral raise
6C) Tricep extensions

7E) Seated twist with weight
8E) Bicep curls
9E) Leg lowers from bench

What injuries (major or minor) have you had an what did you do to recover? How long did it take? How did you ease back in?