In pain? You can still gain.

While writing my last blog post, I fell and twisted my ankle at practice. This put a serious damper on my off season plans. Kind of hard to work on apex jumps when you can’t ankleeven take a step in skates. But just because I can’t run or jump doesn’t mean my off season is going to waste. It just means I have to train around my injury.

During our season, my home team decided that anyone injured could still participate in practice off skates. Most of us know how frustrating it is to sit on the sidelines. The team captains would come up with an off skates workout designed around the player’s injury, so her level of fitness wouldn’t slip while she was healing. The idea was that if a player has an injured shoulder, for example, she could still do things to work her legs and core. If you’re like me, and don’t want to have to fully retrain once recovered, there are some things you can do in your own time.

If you have a serious injury like a torn muscle or broken bone, talk to your physical therapist about safe exercises. For the rest of us, I’ve researched a few things to try.

1. Cross training. There are tons of work out circuits you can try that won’t aggravate your injury. I found a good list of circuits here that concentrate on different areas of the body. You can also scroll through Roller Derby Athletics and compile your own cross training circuits.

2. Swimming. When I injured my knee, my doctor recommended swimming as a way to rehab the muscles. A few of my derby friends also swear by water aerobics. This article on staying in shape while injured also recommends trying deep-water running. I haven’t tried it, so talk to your physical therapist or a personal trainer about proper technique before trying it yourself.

3. Hiking, strolling, whatever gets you moving. Currently, I can’t run at all (a simple jog across the store I work in nearly killed me yesterday). I can walk just fine as long as it’s on an even surface. When I could run, my route would take me past a cemetery. Since the cemetery has evenly paved paths, I’ve taken to walking through now. Adds some mileage to my walks, and it’s quiet (even if my husband thinks it’s a bit creepy). So get off your couch and go for a stroll around the neighborhood or a hike in a state park.

4. Yoga. Yoga gets your heart rate up, tones your arms and legs, and strengthens your core. It’s also fairly easy to make modifications that won’t aggravate your injury.

Remember, I’m not a physical therapist or a doctor, so if something hurts or seems to aggravate your injury, for the love of the Derby Goddess, stop.

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