If you have a broken hand, it can limit your ability to exercise. A cast or brace may prevent you from bending or gripping with the injured hand and some exercises, such as pushups, may cause pain or even further injury. However, there are chest muscle exercises you can perform even with a broken hand. Remember not to start or resume an exercise program until your doctor gives you permission.
Wrist Weights Instead of Dumbbells
Although it is unlikely you will be able to lift a barbell when you have a broken hand, there are some chest exercises you may be able to perform. Pullovers and flyes are normally done with dumbbells but could also be done with wrist weights. The wrist weights provide the resistance that helps strengthen the muscles. Even if you can’t wear a weight on your in injured wrist, you can still go through the same motions. A cast in itself may provide an effect similar to a wrist weight.
Pullovers and Flyes
Pullovers are chest exercises in which you raise your arms behind your head and pull a bar down with your arms. You may be able to use a pullover machine with a broken hand; experiment to see if it's possible. Flyes are normally performed with equipment called a pec deck machine, but you must be able to grip the handles in order to use the machine. You can also perform flyes while lying on an exercise bench and using dumbbells; this exercise could be modified to use weights on both arms to accommodate a broken hand.
Some cable machines have handles, allowing you to insert your hand through the handle rather than grip it. If you are able to do so, you can perform flyes with the cable machine. Another exercise you may be able to perform with a cable machine is the cable crossover. The only way to know if you can use a cable machine is to experiment; the size of your hand plus the cast or brace may affect your ability to put your hand through the handle.
Considerations and Warnings
Exercising with an broken hand increases the risk of injury. Don’t attempt to lift, push or pull with the injured hand itself as you may not have the necessary strength. If an exercise causes pain or if you are sore after a workout, you may be doing too much, too soon. Rest for a day or two before resuming exercise. If you still have pain in the injured hand, consult a health care professional.