Ever since I started working at a newspaper back in college, I’ve had mild carpal tunnel syndrome. Most of the time, it’s a minor annoyance; tingly fingers and sore forearms, but it can be quite painful. It’s pretty dependent on how many days I work in a row and what other activities I’ve been doing. It’s been pretty bad lately, so I’ve been trying to scale back the types of exercises I do to give my poor little wrists a break. Given that Jillian videos and circuit training typically comprise my workouts, that puts me in trouble! Push-ups, planks, mountain climbers, etc., are integral to those routines.
To shake things up and give myself the chance to recover, I’ve been doing my regular videos but modifying exercises that require me to be in push-up or plank position. Instead of mountain climbers, I’ll do jumping jacks; instead of push-ups, I’ll do dumbbell rows; instead of plank twists, I’ll do bicycle crunches. You get the idea. This enables me to get the general benefit of the original exercise without aggravating my injury. I’ve also found that it helps to use a set of hand weights as hand holds for push-ups and the like. Instead of placing my hands flat on the ground, which puts them at a 90-degree angle, I’ll set my weights down where my hands need to be and grasp them like a handle while I do the exercises. This keeps my wrist straight and reduces the amount of strain I put on my forearms.
These modifications seem to work for me, and I don’t have to sacrifice my workout. What do you do to work around injury and give yourself a chance to recover?