Exercise in a Moon Boot, what can I do?

posted Aug 16, 2017, 10:34 PM by Rebecca Smith

Injuring the lower limbs such as an the ankle or the foot can have a negative impact on self-confidence and an easy excuse to stop attending the gym, by saying you’re in a moon boot and that you cannot exercise until it is fully healed. This is not the case, there are many possibilities of training while in a moon boot and it should not hinder you in your journey in the gym. 

Although being in a moon boot or having a lower limb injury can affect what you are able to do, it also opens many different doors as to what you can do. There should be no weight bearing exercise for the lower limbs (i.e. squats, lunges, deadlifts) nor should there be any walking or running on a treadmill, cross trainer or bike, as this may exacerbate the pain in the lower limbs while they are trying to recover from the injury. 

What I like to focus on if a client of mine has a lower limb injury, is their core and upper body, this can be done using free weights or machine weights depending on the clients confidence in the gym, it is safer to stick with machine weights during this time of recovery. Machine weights such as chest press, shoulder press, lat pull down, seated row are all very good machines that are non-weight bearing for the lower limbs, but still give the client a workout where they have to exert energy. You can superset this with core work as to give the upper body a rest in between sets. Core work can include Russian twists, ankle touches, leg raises, crunches, bicycles… the options are endless when it comes to core work.

By staying active and in the gym, when the lower limb injury does recover, the transition that would usually occur where the motivation and routine has been thrown out the window and it will be hard to rediscover this, but by staying active and keeping in routine, you can start to incorporate lower limb exercises into your exercise program and build your strength and confidence to where it began before the injury. You will need to start light when you do start weight bearing exercise as to not reinjure the limb, and to build strength into the left or right (or both) lower limb before you can start lifting heavy again.

So being in a moon boot will not restrict you fully in the gym, you still will be able to keep up physical activity and keep the routine for when your limb does recover. By focusing on the upper body and core aspect of training it will help with the mental side of things during the injury, where mentally clients may struggle during an injury, keeping active and healthy will definitely help with self confidence.


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