With race season upon us, the higher intensities of training and competition can make the risk of a triathlon injury become more frequent. But if you've hobbled out of a workout or race lately and complained about "not being able to exercise" in the presence of a shoulder, knee, back, or ankle triathlon injury, then you may want to keep reading.
While you should certainly a follow a physician's recommendation for movement and rehab when you have a triathlon injury or "messed-up" joint, there's no reason that you can't stay in lean, fit shape while recovering. It's just going to take a modification of your training program - with the key being to keep stress off the triathlon injury. Try the following workout programs with these 4 common triathlon injuries, which allow you to train your cardiovascular and muscular system without stressing the injured joint (you can see videos of any of the exercises below at http://www.youtube.com/bengreenfieldfitness):
1. Ankle & Foot Triathlon Injury
Perform the following workout 3x/week, with 48 hours rest between each workout.
Complete 15 repetitions for each exercise.
Complete the two exercises back to back with minimal rest, then move on to the cardio booster.
Complete 60 seconds for each cardio booster.
-Move 3-4x through these 3 stations (exercise 1 + exercise 2 + cardio booster)
-Then move on to the next triple set!
-Perform 30-60 minutes non-weight bearing cardio, like swimming or cycling, on the non-weight lifting days.
-Machine Leg Extensions + Machine Leg Curls + Bicycle Cardio Booster
-Incline Dumbbell Chest Press + Lat Pulldown + Rowing Machine or Elliptical Cardio Booster
-Stability Ball Push-Up + Single Arm Dumbbell Row + Bicycle Cardio Booster
-Weighted Crunches + Hanging Leg Raise + Bicycle Cardio Booster
2. Knee Triathlon Injury
Complete the following series of exercises as a circuit, moving from one exercise to the next with minimal rest.
Do the entire circuit 3-4x.
Complete 10 repetitions for each exercise.
Do Circuit 1 and Circuit 2 on alternating days
-Seated Overhead Shoulder Press
-Pull-Up or Assisted Pull-Up
-Lying Dumbbell Chest Press
-Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
-Seated Med Ball Torso Twist
-Med Ball Crunch
-Side Plank Raises
-Med Ball Push-Ups
-5 Second Front Plank Hold
-Corkscrew Rotations in Push-Up Position
3. Shoulder Triathlon Injury
Complete the following mini-circuits 5x through every day for three days. do #1 on Day 1, #2 on Day 2, #3 on Day 3. Take one day rest, then repeat.
-2 minute bicycle at 100%
-20 Barbell Squats
-20 Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts
-2 minute elliptical at 100%
-20 Incline Crunches
-20 Low Back Extensions
-2 minute treadmill at 100%
-20 Lunge Jumps
-20 Horizontal Jumps
4. Low Back Triathlon Injury
Complete the following circuit 3x during the week.
Perform 30 seconds for each exercise, then rest 15 seconds and move on.
Do the entire circuit 4-6x.
Complete 30-60 minutes of non-weight bearing cardio on the non-weightlifting days.
-Machine Chest Press
-Machine Shoulder Press
-Stability Ball Squats
-Machine Leg Extensions
-Machine Leg Curls
As you can see, there are a wide variety of ways to stay fit when you have injured a specific body part - and this can often keep you sane and keep you from losing your fitness the next time you're laid up with a triathlon injury.