Finding a Workout that Works

Exercise has been a struggle the last 8 weeks with my broken wrist. I have my bike in an indoor trainer, but that's not really the same and I'm still having issues with grip. I can't do most of my usual yoga routine cuz…wrist!

So I've been looking for something else. I'm not a gym rat, so looking for something at home. Something that has weights and cardio. I've tried some YouTube videos which are sort of working – I have to modify anything that requires bearing weight on my wrist like push ups or planks. I have to be careful with the weights, but I just drop it down if need be. The biggest problem I'm having is pacing. Even with pretreating, I seem to triggering my exercise induced asthma around 20 minutes. And this is the gentlest videos I've found! A lot of the strength training / flexibility ones have too much time spent bearing weight on the wrists/hands. 

What do you guys do for exercise routines? Videos? Roll your own routine? Give up and embrace being a slug


Comments 13

  • Pljohns

    Kathy- on your wrist and trying to exercise with it.  I can't imagine how hard that is.  I've struggled with the same thing-can you do kick boxing?  You don't necessarily need a punching bag-when I was in karate, we had what was called 'kata"-it was basically going through all of the moves but in a series of steps that was preset depending on what kata it was.  Definitely a good cardio or you can slow it down and it's sort of modified yoga without anything on your wrists.

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Kathy, About 3 years ago I worked out in a group with a trainer while struggling with tendonitis in one of my wrists. Rather than not go to the session (I was paying for them!), I just did alternative exercises when they did wrist weight bearing exercises (push ups, planks, etc). I ended up doing A LOT of core exercises. Some of my favorites were:

    • ankle touches
    • Lunges
    • Modified bird dog–on your elbows instead of your wrists
    • Dead bug 

    The Arthritis Foundation has a bunch of exercise videos on their that you might find helpful (including dead bug)…the names are kind of funny and the actual exercises are hard to explain in words, so I thought a link to the video might be helpful. The Arthritis Foundation also has upper and lower body strengthening exercise videos too.

    Thanks for posting this topic, because I'm now remembering all of the core exercises hat I used to do…and can still do at home–regardless of the outdoor air quality!


  • Shea

    I am also contemplating low impact exercises. I am going to look for sone Tai Chi exercise books– I have done it before in a class and liked it. I saw one online geared toward kids, and I thought itd be fun to do with Tommy.

    Branda, thanks for the link above– i just did the dead bug– it was fun   ( i love exercises with cute named)

  • LK

    Kathy,  !  It is such a challenge when one body part isn't up to doing what the rest of the body can do!  Sorry you are not able to enjoy your bike rides!  

    I have a few physical limitations that make my exercise routines a bit more complicated, too.   Trouble with both wrists – had carpal tunnel release surgery a few years ago.  Bone spurs on heels.  Bad knees.  Injuries to both shoulders.  Lower back, SI chronic problems.  Then add in asthma just to liven up the list!    

    All that to say I haven't found many exercises to do that don't involve at least one of these trouble spots.  The only way I have found to adapt an exercise to I still get the same benefit/work the targeted area is when I go to PT and the PT is so good at adapting the workout.  I have been surprised more than a few times at how little movements with simple pieces of equipment can work certain muscle groups/areas of the body.  Would that be an option?  Go to one or two sessions with a PT to get some exercises tailored to your situation?

  • K8sMom2002

    Ugh on the workout struggles. I like Brenda, Lynn, Lisa and Shea's suggestions.

    I've discovered that Tai Chi takes a lot more effort than it looks. I've been experimenting with learning some of the very basics, and for something very slow and gentle, it can kick my butt. The morning after I tried it the first time, I woke up with sore muscles! 

    What sort of pace sets off your asthma? That might rule out something like Zumba or even a dance type routine, or finding some stairs to climb. 

  • Kathy P

    Thanks for all the ideas!

    I love Tai Chi and used to go to a Chen Style class – I started learning it twice! It was just hard for me to get to the class on a Tuesday evening across town with no parking. But I do love it – I don't remember the whole routine (why I started a second time as beginner), but occasionally, I do parts of the routine. And while it does take effort, it's more flexibility than strength training for me. I guess I sort of replaced that w/ yoga for the flexibility. I still do the standing and moving meditation.

    Lisa – I realized last night while I was doing a quick 12 min arm and core video, that some of the moves were things I'd done in PT when I was going for my shoulder. I still have rotator cuff issues and did PT for that for a while. I've kept up with some of those exercises using weights and bands. But there were some I did in the PT gym equipment that I was never given for home – but I do remember some and I can correlate those to things in the video. So, I know how to adapt those already KWIM?

    The ortho PA offered me PT initially or the handouts to do it at home. For my wrist, it's really only targeted to the wrist. I'm looking for more of a whole body workout. I'd probably have to go back to the sports med guy to get more general PT.

    We have a total of 1 step in our house! I have done a step routine on the Wii, but that is not convenient since I have to rearrange the family room to have enough space every time. But maybe I need to get back to that. I had a whole strength/balance training circuit built out and then would do some of the other aerobics options like the step routine or kick boxing. I would have to skip some like the planks (can't modify on Wii).

    Last night I did a 50 min spin on the bike. I did a couple of sprint in there and it was a good cardio workout. I'm still having a little issue with my wrist, but I can sit up and relax it, so it's not too bad. Then I did a 12 min arm workout video. I was fully expecting not to be able to move today, but it's not too bad! I still have to keep the weights light, but I'm pushing it as much as possible. It was a little iffy getting through my 20 min EIB threshold, but once I was through that, my asthma was OK. And I just adapted for wrist when needed. The longer videos have more that I need to adapt. So far, I have 3 that work for me, so yay!

  • LK

    Kathy,  That is great that you were able to do some workouts!  What does  KWIM stand for?

  • Melissa G

    You're welcome, the only reason I know most of the abbreviations is because of my kids….. 

  • LK

       Know what you mean!  When DD was here yesterday she showed me that some of the emojis are that I use on my phone don't mean what I thought they meant and I have sent them many times!!    Guess the recipients figured out what I meant because they have continued to correspond with me!  

  • Melissa G

    That's funny Lisa! My dh got a new phone from work…he went from a blackberry to an iphone and I have had to "school" him on the emoji's a few times..

  • Melissa G

    Kathy, how are you doing with bike riding? Bake to your old routes and getting more miles in?