Exercise has been hard since my hip replacement surgery back in February and I really haven’t been able to do much exercise at all because my one leg doesn’t bend and there is only so much you can do that don’t involve leg movement. I do hip exercises given to me by physical therapy to improve my hip strength but I don’t consider that exercise because I don’t break a sweat. Resistance training exercises have been my go two but since that is all I have done the last few months they are no longer effective. Core workouts are next to impossible unless I stick to crunches because most core workouts either require you to hold your leg in a certain way or move it a lot and I can do neither of those things! My strength training routine is not the same as it was because prior to surgery ninety percent of my workout was bodyweight movements like planks! Strength training surprisingly has always been my least favorite way to exercise but lately, it’s the only way I can exercise so I am learning to love it! I wasn’t sure how successful strength training would or if I could lift weights at all because moving around is not easy but I made it work with modifcations. In this post I am going to to talk about my first experience with working out while still recovering from hip surgery and having less mobility than I usually would.
I gained strength-Most people who don’t work out for several months have setbacks and end up losing a lot of strength but not me! I have not done any challenging workout since I had surgery in February and was fully prepared to do need my lighter weights but I was suprised I didn’t need them and could do my workouts better than I could before surgery. I was stronger than I was before and was able to complete routines with my heavier weight that I have never even been able to get halfway through with my lighter ones. I’ve been wanting to increase my weights because they were starting to get easy but I put a hold on that when I had surgery. I wasn’t sure how much strength I was going to lose because for all I knew I could have had major setbacks that took me years to get back How did I improve strength without doing a set workout? My hip flexibility and mobility was not great and just to lift my leg two inches off the ground took a lot of energy and basically is like doing an arm, ab and cardio workout all in one. It’s not hard as it was in the beginning but its still hard and takes a lot more effort than it ever used to. During my hip recovery I was also doing two minutes of several different seated resistance exercises which I think also helped.
It was hard to find an accessible routine- I knew that finding a fitness routine was going to be hard because I have limited mobility and a lot of the exercises I would normally do like planks to keep my strength are not possible. You can’t do a plank with one of your legs bent because trust me I have tried and if there was a way I would find it! I knew it would be hard finding an accessible strength training routine because most of my workout consist of planks where you use your own body to improve your strength but I didn’t think it would be this hard. It doesn’t sound like it should be that difficult to create a seated strength training but apparently because there are very few of them! I get excited when I come across a seated arm workout only to be discouraged when I see the first move is a plank. What part in a plank are you sitting? As far as I know you are literally on all fours and not doing any sitting! When I see creators titling their workouts “seated arm workout” and then have planks as the first move I honestly want to tell them to look up the definition of seated because planks do not qualify as something that is seated or even come close to it. Many disabled people can’t even do planks and you shouldn’t even be including this in seated routines because most people who do these kinds of routines are disabled or elderly. Abled people that have no problem standing usually do workout standing and don’t choose seated workouts!
I have better stabilty-Exercise is harder when you have limited hip mobility or flexibility because most moves do require some hip movement and you would think everything would be harder but actually only some things are. Transitioning to a new position was a lot easier before surgery because I could do transitions twice as fast as I am able to now. When I have to get in a new position now while I am working out I have to pause the video because there isn’t enough time to position myself and by the time I would be positioned we would be halfway through the next move. I don’t have a lot of stability or mobility in my new hip because of the lack of movement but even with the lack of mobility, it is better than it was. I had pain prior to surgery that affected my stability in my workouts and it was really difficult to do even the simpliest of moves and not fall over. I still occasionally fall over during my workouts but that is to be expected because my disability will always have some kind of instability but I can at least do a shoulder press without worrying I am going to fall!
The wrist pain is the worst- The worst part of starting strength training again was the constant wrist pain I started getting a few months before I had surgery. I don’t have the grip strength to lift even light things so I had to be extra careful when starting strength training and lifting something heavier. Wrist problems is common when you are a blogger and type a lot but my pain was so weird and unexpected because it came out of the blue and one day it was just there. I haven’t had this checked out because I have two hands and can do most things with my other hand. I don’t think I need an official diagnosis because some things are harder but it hasn’t affected my life that much. The wrist pain was the most challenging part of my routines because I don’t have the strength to lift heavy weight easily. I wore gloves to make it easier and have more control which seemed to help protect my wrists. I still had to take more breaks than usually but the extra protection made me feel better that I wasn’t going to break something.
I was given medical clearance to start normal activities in April or May and would have resumed exercise as soon as my doctor gave me clearance like I have with all my other surgeries but this one was different. I could not get on my knees comfortably for several months and until I was comfortable it was not safe for me to try especially with a heavyweight in my hand. I could probably make resistance training more effective by doing different exercises but what I am learning about myself is that I am not consistent with my exercises unless I have a coach even if it’s a virtual one! I don’t think creating routines or doing routines on my own is fun and I can’t motivate myself to do workouts I am basically yawning through! I knew strength training was going to be a challenge and not the same as it was before surgery but I had to try because I was basically doing nothing. I was doing something occasionally but it was not consistent and when it comes to exercise you want to try and be as consistent as you can to get the benefits of it. I didn’t start strength training because I thought I needed it but there are some moves that don’t specifically target hips but it can help with hip mobility. I need something that will speed up my record-breaking slow recovery because every little bit helps and it can hurt! How do you exercise after hip replacement surgery and have you considered weight lifting or any other kind of strength training?
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