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Old 08-31-2009, 08:39 PM   #1
Davi Cohen
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upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

Hi folks.

I'm developing a program for myself while my foot is immobilized.

I'm on my 6th week of nothing-involving-my-left-leg workouts and I have 5 more weeks to go (an unfortunate false start with respect to treatment has made this a longer process than it probably needed to be, but that's how it goes sometimes)!

What I found, unsurprisingly, during the initial "no legs" (and/or one-legged - I did a lot of pistols and I'm fine to continue them) period was that I started to have some irritation in the biceps tendon from an inordinate number of ring dips.

I want to be sensible and while I'm healing one set of tendon problems I certainly don't want to send myself down the road to another set.

I'm also on crutches, which wreaks its own special brand of havoc on the body (though, so far, not too bad).

I do not have black box access at the moment due to financial and mobility constraints.

I do have access to:

a swimming pool (no kicking)
the top of a power rack (which makes a great pullup bar) and my doorway pullup bar
dumbbells
some heavy plates (not bumper plates)
assorted machines
various heavy household objects (which I used yesterday for weighted pullups)

Other info:

I'm 29, female, 5'2", 132#

Yesterday I did:

1-1-1-1-1-1-1
weighted pullups (all dead hang, first time with this WOD)

11#

28.5#

28.5#

32#

32# (failed to get chin over the bar)

28ish# - a set of three (oops, did an extra PU)

Today I did 5 rounds of 10 v-ups, 10 pushups, and 10 strict pullups (not for time, left the stopwatch at home).

What can I add to this list in terms of exercises and how can I best combine them?

pistols
1 leg burpees
pullups (L-pullups)
pushups
v-ups
situps
knees to elbows
toes to bar
HSPUs (with great caution and/or not fully inverted - I don't want to come down on my left foot)

I'd like to steer clear of one-legged deadlifts for now and, truthfully, in the interest of being as safe as possible I might also want to avoid pistols and HSPUs - anything where I'll likely need/want to put my left foot down (for some reason with pistols this tends not to be a problem and I can always stabilize with the wall or a crutch and I'm more in control upside down than I am with heavy SLDLs - they're sort of a goat for me, I guess).

what about strict presses from a seated position?

I'm considering doing some aerial training (I'm a dance/theater performer) when my ankle heals, so fortifying the upper body now while I am healing the lower body will definitely benefit me down the line.

I welcome any and all suggestions, warnings, insights.

Thanks!
Davi
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:01 PM   #2
Davi Cohen
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Re: upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

I was also doing single leg turkish get-ups, but I think that should also perhaps be off limits for now.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:14 AM   #3
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

OH presses from the seat or a floor press sound alright.

3x5

Push element
Pull element
Midline element
Leg element

3 rounds of:

L-sit/Planche pushup lean ( get into a pushup and lean forward towards like a planche ) for a total of 10s + 3-5 pushups or pseudo planche pushups, ring pushup, floor/overhead press

Tuck front lever on bar/K2E hold. If you cannot do this, just do K2E. If you cannot raise your K2E, do a set of pullups and follow with a set of hanging leg lifts

Pistol/SLS work

ab wheel work.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:16 AM   #4
Davi Cohen
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Re: upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

ah yes! the planche pushup!

I don't have access to rings right now since I don't have any at home and my pullup set up leaves much to be be desired (only suitable doorway in my apt has the bar virtually on top of this sharp-cornered shelving unit). There's not a straight bar at the crappy gym in the rec center...though I'm sure I can find somewhere to hang them if I can find someone willing to lend or donate a pair.

I just realized there might be another doorway option!

what's ab "wheel" work?

Thanks Blair! Much appreciated.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:38 AM   #5
Davi Cohen
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Re: upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

oh, and there's the top of that rack for the rings...not very high off the ground, but that's fine for now, I guess.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:18 AM   #6
Noel Welsh
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Re: upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

A lot depends on just how much you can use your foot. You mentioned a tendon problem. When I had an inflamed Achilles tendon I could certainly put weight on the foot, but flexing the ankle was bad. So things like an overhead press weren't really a problem so long as I took the bar from a rack. Jumping on/off a pullup bar also wasn't a problem. Assuming you don't have to be super cautious, here are some exercises:

Upper body work:
  • Overhead press (seated or standing)
  • Bench press (or floor press -- a bench press done lying on the floor)
  • Weighted pullup
  • Body row or other horizontal row
  • Fooling around on a bar (KTE, skin the cat, etc.)
  • Pushup variations

Lower/mid body work
  • Hanging leg raise / l-sit
  • One leg step up. Less balance involved than a pistol, so less chance of stacking it. See (WFS) http://beastskills.com/Pistol.htm
  • Press to headstand against a wall
  • Back extension work (GHR or other)

I wouldn't put yourself under pressure to work out, say, five times a week. With all the load going on only half your body you'll probably give yourself another overuse injury if you do all out. I would do, say, 2-3 strength workouts a week, and maybe hit the pool for another two days a week. I'd just fool around in the pool.

For strength I find I respond well to 1-5 reps with sufficient sets to get to around 15 reps total (less for singles). Try to balance pushing and pulling exercises, and hit both vertical and horizontal planes.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:47 AM   #7
Davi Cohen
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Re: upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

My foot is in an immobilization boot and I am non-weight bearing. So nothing that involves standing.

I have a longitudinal tear in my tendon, so I really need to let it rest and allow scar tissue to do its thing.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:49 AM   #8
Davi Cohen
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Re: upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

And I can't fool around in the pool because fooling around is how I'm most likely to keep things from healing (and unfortunately I have yet to find an ankle brace made for swimming).

I'm not a much of a pool lover - I just want something that gets the endorphins flowing and the heart rate elevated.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:53 AM   #9
Davi Cohen
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Re: upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

In essence, when I say "immobilization" I actually mean "immobilization".

And I do headstands every day - piking up to headstand in the middle of the room is part of my job (I'm a yoga instructor).
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:12 AM   #10
Justin Algera
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Re: upper body programming during lower body immobilization period

Hey Davi,

I would recommend only 3-4 days a week... Which rec ctr (Asser Levy I am assuming) are you at? I would also add in hollow rocks, and some tabata stuff (push-ups, L-sit holds, planks, sit-ups, etc). As far as strength, basic presses (bench, shoulder, etc) and some row variations (one thing that will help your deadlift would be doing Kroc rows, although I know stuff like this is frowned on in CF, you are limited right now so I would give them a go), and of course weighted pull-ups (never can get enough of those!!). If you find a place to hang rings, let me know and Ill let you borrow mine until your are better and/or back at the box.
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