Tips And Advice

Trainer Ed shares exercises to do with injuries or limited mobility!

By Ed Stephenson, Healthy Man Trainer

Exercises to do with injuries or limited mobility!

We’ve learnt from the last 18 months of gyms opening and closing at random due to lockdowns that it’s important to be able to exercise and have flexibility in your exercise routines. While this process can become relatively easy if you are able-bodied or have no injury concerns, it can be difficult to set a routine to adhere to if you o have injuries or other inabilities to train in a certain way or without the gym.

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We’re going to go through a few exercises which can be great if you have injuries or impairments to your body.

NOTE: This is to be used as a guide only and if you do have any pre-existing injuries which require specific attention it’s important to seek medical clearance before undertaking any strength or resistance routines.

Knee pain

First up, knee pain. If you suffer from knee pain on a daily basis or after leg exercises such as lunges, jumping, squats or excessive walking or running, you’ll find yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to outdoor exercises and most programs created during a lockdown. This doesn’t mean you should stop exercise completely or skip your leg exercises altogether.

If you know the cause of your knee pain, naturally you can work around it with variations in exercises. If you do not know the cause, then seeking further medical advice can assist you.

There are several lower body and leg exercises that do not cause knee pain but can actually aid in growing the muscles around the knee, increasing the stability of the knee and hip joint which will, in turn, reduce knee pain in the future.

Pain-free knee exercises to include in your routine!

Glute Bridges

A simple but effective movement to increase glute strength without loading up the knees. Lie down on the ground in a sit-up position with your feet flat on the ground. With your core tight, drive your hips up into the air by clenching your butt muscles. Relax your muscles and lower your hips back down to the ground. Make sure you feel this in your bum and not just your hamstrings.

Try 4 sets of 12

Single leg glute bridges

A more advanced variation than the standard glute bridge. While maintaining proper form and control, perform a single leg glute bridge by setting up the same as a standard glute bridge, only you drive up with one leg at a time instead of two. Similar to your standard glute bridge, you want to feel this through your bum and not your hamstrings.

Try 4 sets of 10

Banded leg extensions

Ed showcasing banded leg raises

Perfect for your quad muscles around your knee. Anchor a band opposite your body and step into it so the band will be around the back of your knee. Ensure you have tension against the band with a slightly bent knee. Facing the anchor point with both feet flat on the ground, extend your banded leg and hold a locked out position for 10 seconds then reset.

Try 4 sets of 12

Squats to a high seat

While full-motion squats performed incorrectly can aggravate knee issues, squatting, or more like sitting on a high box can help to increase muscle tone and stability in the hip joint.

Find a surface that is higher than knee level, how high depends on your ability and level of pain or muscle. In a controlled manner with knees out and without collapsing your upper body, slowly sit down on the box. Keeping the knees out over the toes, drive up through the ground back into a standing position.

Try 4 sets of 10

Full leg mobility issues

If you’re unable to complete any leg movements for whatever reason, there are still plenty of exercises you can complete from a seated position. A few are outlined below.

Seated boxing

Basic and great for your cardio and arm strength. Boxing movements can be done with a partner or without, or even with gloves or without. Throw punches for a designated duration and sets. For example:

  • Jab Cross punches for 45 seconds
  • Hooks for 45 seconds
  • Overhead punches for 45 seconds

Repeat for 5 rounds with minimal rest

Seated lateral raises

Ed showcasing how to do lateral raises steps 1 – 4 from left to right

A simple exercise to complete but is very efficient and taxing on your shoulders with minimal weight.

With strict form, hold a weight in each arm down by your side. With control, slowly raise the weights up laterally until your arms reach shoulder height. Slowly return the weight back down to your side.

Try 4 sets of 12

Seated dumbbell curl and shoulder press

Holding weights down by your side with arms fully extended, perform a bicep curl and bring the weights to shoulder height. From there, perform a shoulder press by driving the weights up to the ceiling. Reverse the motion back to the starting position.

Try 4 sets of 12

Read more tips and advice from Ed here.

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written by:

Ed Stephenson

Ed is The Healthy Man's Trainer and Ambassador, he has 7 years of experience in the fitness industry. His qualifications include a Certificate III, Certificate IV in Fitness, with a Certificate in Nutrition. He's here to help men get fit, lose weight and gain strength through exercise, nutrition and making the right decisions.