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How to Exercise With a Walking Cast

author image Sam Ashe-Edmunds
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.
How to Exercise With a Walking Cast
You can create calorie-burning exercises without using your legs.

In addition to working your upper body while you're in a walking cast, you can continue to work your lower body while you're recovering from a leg, ankle or foot injury. Using a variety of seated and standing exercises, you can rehabilitate your injured leg or strengthen your uninjured limb. Discuss with your doctor how much pressure you can put on your casted leg, then begin cardio and resistance exercises to keep you in shape.

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Step 1

Meet with your doctor or trainer to learn how much stress you can put on your casted leg, and for how long. Don't assume that if it's OK to walk and from classes or around the office or home, you can exercise walk for miles without stressing your injury.

Step 2

Perform seated exercises using weight machines. Use machines that have a bench to perform upper-body exercises, such as lat pulls, pec decks, biceps curls and chest presses. Lay on your stomach and perform hamstring curls, moving the weights up by moving your heels toward your buttocks. Reverse your position or sit on the bench and raise the weights upward by raising your feet from the floor to hip height.

Step 3

Perform exercises on machines that use arm pulls with cords or levers. Use rowing machines that allow you emphasize the arms, chest and back muscles without requiring significant leg use. Use ellipticals that have arm levers if you can work the machine using your arms, rather than your legs.

Step 4

Exercise with weight machines, home gyms or rowing machines using less weight or lower resistance settings to create cardio workouts.

Step 5

Sit in a chair and use dumbbells or resistance bands to perform strength or circuit training workouts. Using approximately 50 percent of the maximum weight you can lift, perform 10 repetitions of an exercise, take a 60-second break, then begin a set of another exercise. Use enough weight that you are breathing hard, but not so much weight that you'll have to take long breaks or stop after a few minutes. Keep the circuit going for 30 minutes or longer to create a cardio workout.

Step 6

Ride an exercise bike with a setting that doesn't require too much pressure to pedal to create cardio workouts. Swim for 30 minutes or more if your cast is waterproof to create non-impact cardio workouts. Walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes or longer if your doctor or trainer has advised you this will not affect your recovery.

Step 7

Perform body-weight exercises such as ab crunches, sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, chair dips, chin-ups and ab roller exercises. Be careful when performing chin-ups, pull-ups and chair dips that you do not slip and land heavily on your casted leg. Add weights to core workouts to create exercises such as the Russian twist, which has you holding weights or an exercise ball at arms length and moving side to side. Perform exercises sitting on an exercise ball to add core work to other exercises.

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