Exercises for Upper body/Core and Hips

I feel like I have turned a corner, though I am still wearing the boot 24/7, I am getting more and more functional in the boot. I can now walk without crutches, though the awkwardness of the boot still doesn’t allow for a very comfortable walk. I am enjoying getting back to more challenging exercises. I can now ride on the stationary bike for over an hour and push it hard enough to feel a slight muscle fatigue in my quads, though still not enough to break a legit sweat. Here are a couple of the strengthening routines that I have been doing this week. Feel free to try them out and let me know what you think!:

Arm/Core Day: 

   Sets of 20 (alternating exercises- repeat for 10 minutes per group)

Group 1: Pushup with release and Star Crunches

  • Pushup with release- I had to do this on my knees, since I can’t be on my feet. Do a pushup, but go all the way down until your chest is on the floor. Then lift your hands up off the floor as you squeeze your shoulder blades together on your back.
Top of the pushup
Bottom of pushup with scapular retraction

Star crunches- If you have any problems with your low back, only do these lifting shoulders rather than back up off ground. To do this appropriately, you should be able to keep your belly button drawn to your spine throughout the whole movement. Lie on your back with legs and arms out in a “X” position. Reach the opposite arm and foot toward each other.

Group 2: Overhead press up and Ball roll-ups

  • Overhead press up- Sitting on a ball, hold weights by your shoulders, palms facing your body. Press weights up overhead. 

Ball roll-ups-Start with upper back flat on ball, feet on the floor. Pull the belly button to the spine as you roll up on the ball. You can place your hands gently behind your ears to support the neck.

Group 3: Skull Crushers and Heel tap crunches

Skull crushers- Lie flat on your back, knees bent. Hold one dumbbell with both hands. Position upper arms perpendicular to the ground, elbows directly over shoulders. Bend and straighten your elbow so that the weight lowers to just above your forehead when bent.

The starting position picture turned out really poorly, so just imagine that there is a picture with my elbows straight, the weight up in the air.
  • Heel tap crunches- Lie on your back with feet off the ground, knees directly over hips. Pull your belly button to your spine as you lift your head up and reach your fingers toward your heels. If you can’t keep your back flat on the ground while doing this exercises, try with your feet on the ground.
Start with back flat, then reach toward your heels/boot if you have one!

  I finished this workout with: Plank on the BOSU ball (because I can’t hold on my toes right now)x 30 seconds, Toe reach crunches x20 and push up with ball curl x10- alternating these 3 exercises for 5 minutes. 

Plank on BOSU Ball
Toe Reach Crunches

Hip/Quad Day:

Quadruped hip series (see description here)-3 sets of 10:

Ball wall squats- Keep your feet directly under your ankles in front of you as you put your back against the ball on the wall. Roll your back down the ball as you bend your knees into a squat. Keep your chest up. Normal squats don’t work with a boot on, but since a ball wall squat doesn’t require your ankle to move positions, I was able to do these. 1 set of 30

Straight Leg Raise- Lie on your back with one knee bent, the other, straighten out your leg, squeeze your quad muscle and lift and lower slowly. 3 sets of 10 each side

Sidelying hip series- Lie on side, lift top leg up and down 10 times, keeping hips stacked. Next, Hold leg up and bend and straighten knee 10 times. Last, Hold leg up and twist in and out at the hip 10 times. 3 sets on each leg.

It’s hard to tell, but my hip is rotating up and down in this picture.

Side plank bridges: Holding a side plank (or on knees, like I have to do right now). Dip hips up and down from neutral position to the floor. 3 sets of 10 each side

Ball Squeeze: Holding a ball between your legs, draw belly button to spine and then squeeze the ball. Hold for 3 seconds 30 times

I finished this workout with 3 sets of assisted pull-ups (I can finally stand enough on my boot leg to get my other leg into the straps), 3 sets of 10 Knee tucks and my chest and back series to prevent shoulder injuries: YTWA’s over ball, and Chest opener series on ball (I will post videos for these in net week’s post about healthy shoulders!)

With slight modifications, I am trying my best and staying active, despite giving my ankle some needed recovery time. These workouts would help anyone looking for a good strengthening program. If you need more challenge, you can always increase reps/weights depending on the exercise. I would love to hear your feedback if you give any of these workouts a try!

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