Monday 17 January 2011

Ankle Arthroscopy Rehab Workout... Take 1!

Shhh, I'm not meant to be on here blogging about *recent* events, I'm meant to be catching up on the past year! However, I've had a couple of great workouts so I thought I'd share them with you.

I'd like to add the caveat that these are 'great' for me right now as I'm fairly immobile... they are, however, drastically less energetic than my usual ones and might be quite boring for you, dear reader! Also, as I've never had an ankle arthroscopy in the past, so not had to deal with recovering from one, a lot of what I'm doing is of the suck-it-and-see nature of things given how limited my movements are right now!

Friday 14th January 2011

So after a week of total foot-up-in-the-air rest, I thought it was time to do a little gentle exercise.

I'd had Joe bring down some exercise equipment from the loft for me:

I've still got a Swiss Ball, a kettlebell and a case of lightweight dumbbells up there but, aside from the last item, I don't think it would be sensible for me to attempt to use the other two right now!

Firstly I worked my triceps and biceps. I could really do with a dumbbell tree, but for now I have a pair of adjustable York dumbbells which are pretty cool and you can go up to 10kg (which includes the bar - 1kg and the two end spinners - 0.25kg each) if you're using both at once... or more if you just want to load up the one dumbbell.

I started with an upper body workout, my usual biceps and triceps one to be exact:
(click here for links to pics/video clips)

1) Biceps Concentration Curls
1 x 7kg dumbbell
3 x 10 reps

This first exercise proved tricky from the outset as I didn't want to be resting any weight on my right foot, no matter how slight. I'd been told that I could be 'partial weight bearing' from the second day after the op, depending on how it felt (i.e. walking with crutches with teeeeny bit of weight on foot, but it was proving too painful - and indeed still is, so I figured I'd just go with how my body was feeling!)

To remedy the foot issue I did my concentration curls with my right leg up on my bed:

2) 1 arm Overhead Triceps Extension
1 x 5kg dumbbell
3 x 10 reps

This was the easiest exercise for me (no, not just because it was the lightest weight ;-)) as I always do these seated and had to make no modifications.

Zottman Curls
2 x 7kg
3 x 10 reps

The Zottman curls were trickier as I do these stood up to get a better range of movement. So for this exercise I stood on my left leg with my right leg bent and resting on the stool behind me. That worked a treat :-)

Triceps Kickbacks
1 x 7kg
3 x 10 reps

Again, these were a little tricky due to not being able to place my right foot down on the floor so instead I did these knelt on my bed... hey, whatever works huh?! ;-)

Core work

After I'd exercised my arms I thought I'd move to my abdominals.

I have a medicine ball... well, it's Joe's... I'd have a) bought one with handles and b) not bought such a heavy one!

Still, it makes for a challenging workout I suppose ;-)

So, firstly I did

Medicine ball Sit-up with Oblique (aka 'Russian') Twist

I'd not tried these before, they're pretty cool!

1) Start lying flat on your back with knees bent and arms behind your head holding onto the ball.

2) Slowly sit up to about 1/4 way (45 degrees) (if you don't come all the way up you end up engaging your core muscles for longer and improving the efficacy of the workout :-) ) at the same time moving the ball over your head so you end up holding it in front of you, arms bent.

a)Next slowly rotate your torso to the right, keeping your hands steady on the ball in the same angle so it moves in the same direction that you do.
b) Return to the middle again
c) Repeat the twist to the left before returning to the middle again, like so:

4) Slowly lower yourself back down bringing your arms back over your head with the ball so that it came to rest behind you on the floor again.

Repeat 10+ times!

I managed 3 sets of 10. I might have been able to do more but that felt like a good number and I didn't want to over do it. I did the sit-up first before the twist to work my upper abdominals as well as my transverse abdominis. The twisting movement brought into use my obliques... so it really was a multi-action exercise!

The next time I do this exercise I'm going to lift both feet off the ground at point 2), like so:

This is just to make the exercise even *more* effective as this will ensure that I'm using lower abdominals to help as stabilisers!

Evil >:-)

P.S. if you don't have a medicine ball you can easily do this exercise with a dumbbell or weight plate - no excuse!

Straight leg hip raise

At this exercise I utilised a pair of Everlast Ankle Weights I'd bought a while ago but not as yet put to use:

They're not terribly heavy at less 5lbs for the pair (less than 2 1/2 kg), but they do provide an additional layer of difficulty to already challenging exercises like this one, so that can't be bad! :-)

Click the image below for a video clip demonstrating this move in action:

I managed 3 sets of 10 of these - again, very challenging!

Lower Body Exercises

Before I called it a day I thought I'd experiment with some gentle leg exercises and see what, if any, effect they had.

Ankle weights are *not* cool, they will never be, or look so, but they are useful, so I kept them on during these exercises. I might buy a heavier pair like these if I continue to find that they help me with my ankle rehabilitation.

1) Straight leg raise with ankle weight

What I *would* have liked to have done was this exercise:

But it would have required some weight being placed on my right foot while I extended my left leg, and right now I can't bear any weight no matter how slight!

I did find a solution to this problem with my next workout but more about that in the next post :-)

So this is the exercise I did:

I think the picture is pretty self-explanatory but I would make a few notes.

1) Although the idea is to keep the leg straight, ensure you do not lock out the knee as you do this.
2) At the top of the leg raise, hold for a few seconds before beginning to lower back down again.
3) When returning the leg towards the ground, hover slightly above it to increase the challenge in the exercise.

2) Lying glute kick back

I *wanted* to do a glute-kickback on all fours:

But I was concerned that I might put pressure on my foot so I did them lying on my stomach instead. Definitely *not* as effective, as provided a reduced range of motion... but I thought it better to err on the side of caution than risk hurting myself!

3) Single Leg Reverse Curl

I don't have a picture for this, but it's not too difficult to explain:

1) lie back on a mat and prop yourself up on your elbows with both legs straight out in front of you (like in the pic for the first exercise), toes pointed.

2) very slowly, curl your right leg towards your stomach, hold for a few seconds and then extend and lower back down ensuring your knee doesn't lock out entirely and your leg doesn't touch the ground but hovers slightly above it.

3) continue until you've completed 10 repetitions.

4) swap legs and repeat on other side.


As I mentioned earlier, these exercises were all quite experimental and none of them were repeated exactly during the next session - instead, variations/modifications were brought into play - but as we all know life is a learning process and I really wanted to keep a record of them for future reference.

Finally, I donned my oh-so-attractive (and I've just discovered thanks to a 'surprise' hospital invoice - bloody expensive!) waterproof foot cover...

...and literally hopped into the en suite for a nice sit down shower... hmm, can't wait until I can have one standing up again!!

So that's all for me and my rehab workout part 1... will hopefully get part 2 up tomorrow.

Bye for now!


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