For Lower Body Injuries
Whether it’s your knee, your ankle, your hip, or your foot, a lower body injury can substantially impact your regular workouts. “For some lower extremity injuries, aquatic exercise may be an option which avoids impact to the injured area,” Bowden says.
=Gentle water aerobics
=Using the arm bike (or upper body ergometer) at the gym
For Upper Body Injuries
Upper body injuries can limit mobility in your shoulders, wrists, arms, hands, or back. “For upper extremity injuries and back injuries, a certified physical therapist can provide instruction in exercises that are safe and will promote your recovery,” Bowden says.
=Walking or a gentle cardio class
=The elliptical machine, or an arc trainer
For Back Pain
Back pain can occur for a variety of reasons, but sitting at a desk all day can often exacerbate the problem. Simple stretches to soothe the spine and abdominal exercises to strengthen the core can help ease and prevent pain.
=Pilates or other abdominal exercises to strengthen your core
=Gentle yoga. Try poses to alleviate the pain of chronic sitting or poses to help unwind the lower back.
For Shin Splints
Shin splints are incredibly common among runners and dancers. They can occur from overuse, stress fractures, overpronation or “flat feet,” or weakness in the stabilizing muscles of the hips or core.
=Cross-training with other forms of cardio such as swimming or biking that don’t involve repetitive impact
For Plantar Fasciitis
Many runners are familiar with the stabbing pain of plantar fasciitis, which is the most common cause of heel pain. The repetitive motion of running can cause the shock-absorbing band of tissue known as the plantar fascia to tear, leading to irritation and inflammation.
=The elliptical or stationary bike
=Weightlifting—try machines and moves that don’t require you to put weight on your heels