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How to get an almost-cardio workout without standing up

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I have lots of trouble with my feet & ankles, so I've accumulated a lot of odd exercises I can do without actually standing on a bad leg. I've been writing them in responses to message board queries, but I figure I should keep a list in my blog, to remind myself of the variety next time a foot gets touchy:

How to get an almost-cardio workout without standing up:
* Shadow boxing from a chair
* The top half of jumping jacks, also in a chair (don't laugh--with resistance bands, you can work up a sweat doing this)
* Bicycling your legs in the air while you lie on your back on the floor
* Swimming
* Modified crunches, where you start with your hurt foot in the air, such as bicycle crunches, frog-leg crunches (bend your knees and put the bottoms of your feet together or near each other), leg lifts (and holds)
* Inverted yoga poses (get into & out of them carefully)--holding them for a long time can increase your heart rate quite a bit
* One legged squats, with a chair or counter top nearby to grab, so you don't put your bad foot down if you lose your balance

If you can kneel but not stand on the foot, you can get a good quad workout & aerobic blast if you:
1. Sit back on your heels (or as far back as you can go without pain).
2. Tighten your butt muscles to support your back.
3. Use your quads to rise up to an upright kneeling position.
4. Return to the original position.
5. Repeat until you feel the burn.

Check out this Spark People topic for tips on getting your ankle ready to go again:

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
-RESAMARIE 1/12/2013 12:12PM

    Wow... thanks so much!

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BECKYWW 7/9/2010 4:20AM

    My left heel hurts with plantar fascitis. Thank you for terrific ideas!

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STITCH777 11/3/2009 9:59AM

    I tried some of these suggestions I was surprised how some of them really got my heart rate up and didn't pull the tendon in my heal . Thanks

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AGENT32 6/29/2009 12:04PM

    Thanks for your response to my message board post! These are some great ideas.

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