Do you need an exercise routine that takes a load off your feet? If you’re living with a lower-body injury, finding an effective strength and conditioning circuit can be challenging. So many workouts require healthy feet and ankles for support and balance, so it can be tempting to take time off from training until your affliction heals.

But rather than count the minutes until your lower body mends, use this time to improve your single-sided skills, flexibility, range of motion, core strength, and upper-body power. With a little creativity, you can modify most exercises to suit your mobility level without compromising the safety and stability of your hurt foot or ankle.

Here’s how:

Before starting new exercises, consult your physician for clearance. This is especially important after injury or surgery.

You will need a set of free weights for this workout. For best results, repeat the entire circuit three times.

Happy hips

  • Begin by using an elevated, sturdy platform such as a bed. This will prevent the risk of unintentionally placing pressure on the wounded foot or ankle.
  • Lie on your side, with your legs stacked and head resting on your arm. If necessary, shift your foot slightly to avoid putting weight on the injured foot or ankle.
  • Using your hip strength, pull your upper leg away from your lower leg. Avoid shifting your stance while doing so.
  • Squeeze your glutes for two counts, then slowly return your leg to the starting position. Continue 12 to 15 times, then switch sides.
Happy hips.
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Happy hips.

Tummy torcher

  • Remain on the bed for this exercise. Adjust to a supine position, extending your arms to your sides with palms facing down.
  • Elevate your legs so they form a 90-degree angle at your hip.
  • Push through your palms and use your core muscles to lift your hips from the seat’s surface. Your legs should move straight up as if an invisible rope is pulling them. Hold for two counts, then lower your hips back to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
Tummy torcher
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Tummy torcher

Upper-body blitz

  • Continue to lie on the bed with your legs bent 90-degrees at your hips. Hold a free weight in each hand and keep them close to your torso. Your hands should be facing each other.
  • Push the weights up toward the ceiling. Hold for a count, then bend at your elbows, dipping the weights so they stop at your ears. Keep your arms parallel and elbows pointed straight up.
  • Now use your triceps to raise the weights back to an overhead position. Slowly bring the weights down to the starting pose. That is one repetition. Repeat this 10 to 12 times.
Upper body blitz
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Upper body blitz

Stay strong during an injury and you’ll be sure to land on your feet.

Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more about her virtual training program, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.