So I've been on crutches now for 6 days since my ACL reconstruction and meniscal repair surgery on my right knee, and I'm feeling very frustrated. Knowing that I cannot simply go do some cardio is literally killing me. Instead of letting it get me down, I decided yesterday to test the waters, and see what I can and cannot do for exercise while on crutches. Below is a photograph guide to what exercises I think are doable after ACL surgery. Remember, you should focus on the exercises that your physiotherapist gives to you - these are just some extras for home.
Exercises to do while on crutches
Normally I would do triceps dips with straight legs, but obviously because of surgery I cannot straighten my leg. Instead, hoist yourself up to a comfortable level, bend both legs and ensure your hands are aligned with your shoulders ( or however close you can get them). Once in this position, lower your body, ensuring all weight is in your arms. You should feel a burn in your triceps, which means you're doing it right! Continue to lift yourself up and down with your triceps muscles.
Only do these if you can get your knee in a comfortable position!! Simply out your legs at a comfortable height, hands behind your head, and pull your body up with your abs.
One of the few cardio components that you can do while on crutches is boxing! I simply sat down, and punched the air as fast as I could for 1 minute, with a 10 second break in between. Not only will this get your heart rate up, but will also release those much-needed endorphins that your body craves!
Sit down where is comfortable, and grab a heavyish weight. Simply do your normal amount of reps! Upper body weights are a great way to stay in shape while on crutches, and I know these are how I'm going to get through this ordeal!
Now I wasn't too sure what to even call this... so please forgive me. With this manoeuvre, you want to be tensing your arms and abs. Spread your crutches about 30cm either side of your body and tense - here comes the fun part! As demonstrated in the below picture, lift both legs off the ground, using your ams and abs to stabilise your body. Stay up there for as long as you can! This really is a test of balance, but make sure you land properly, or you could damage your leg again!
This one is pretty self explanatory! Using your good leg & crutches as support, simply squat down, and repeat! It's harder than it looks and will take some practice!
I hope these exercises have helped someone out there! Do not give up hope, together we are unstoppable. Crutches are not the end of the world!