How to train around a hand injury
So you’ve sustained a hand injury, and you can’t grip anything with that hand. Would you still be able to complete an upper body workout?
Many people would be forced into a training layoff in that scenario. If you are unable to grab a barbell, dumbbell or machine handle, how can you possibly workout?
Funny you should ask 🙂 .
At Rock Solid Fitness, we have a “No Hands Workout”.
So if you came in with a hand injury, the only upper body muscles you would miss would be the muscles in that injured hand. The rest of your upper body muscles would get a full workout, with no drop off in intensity.
(By the way – we can also train around foot/ankle injuries, knee injuries, shoulder injuries, or practically anything else. We jokingly say to our clients “if you’re in a body cast come in anyway, we will prop you up in our neck machine and train your neck”.)
We accomplish this primarily in 2 ways.
First, we have specifically selected certain exercise machines to fit in with our injury programs. For example, we have several upper body machines that allow you to train your chest, back or shoulder muscles without using your hands.
For lower body workouts, we have machines that avoid using your feet, in case you have an ankle or foot problem. We can also train one leg at a time on some of our machines.
The second way we can train around a hand injury is using a technique known as manual resistance.
Manual resistance is when a second person, in our case a Fitness Coach, provides the resistance instead of a free weight or machine. The coach does this by applying pressure with their hands to the limb that will be moving during the exercise. The Coach is able to adjust the resistance so that the trainee can complete a given number of reps, and reach muscular failure by the last rep.
*SEE THE VIDEO BELOW FOR A DEMONSTRATION OF TRAINING AROUND A HAND INJURY USING MANUAL RESISTANCE*
There are manual resistance exercises for virtually every muscle group, so it is a great method if you have a training partner but limited equipment. As mentioned, it’s great for training around injuries, but also for variety. It’s a great way to mix things up if you’re getting a little stale with the same old exercises. And since you only need another person to do it, it’s very versatile. For example, a football team could perform a manual resistance workout by pairing up right on the practice field.
So whether you have a hand injury you need to work around, or just need to “shake things up” in your workout a little to rejuvenate your motivation, ask your Fitness Coach about adding some manual resistance to your workout.
But remember, it’s not an “easy way out” – be ready for a challenge!