One legged pedaling.

What if, when I'm on crutches for three months after surgery, I take the left pedal off my bike, clip in with my right foot and do my five rides a week on the indoor trainer pedaling with only my right leg?

At least my right leg won't atrophy and I'll keep my cardio up to scratch. I'll just be doing wheelies when I finally get back on the road.

Replies

  • bjdw_1977
    bjdw_1977 Posts: 438 Member
    Or the recumbent exercycle at the gym might be easier to use one legged.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    You're going to get bored quickly. It's also very cumbersome (been there done that with two major knee surgeries that involved 12 weeks non-weight bearing). Your unaffected leg also won't get a whole lot of atrophy regardless and what strength it does lose will come back significantly faster than your affected leg. Walking on crutches without the assistance of one of your legs is also pretty tiring, especially if hills are involved. Regardless, you're not going to get the same cardiovascular benefit as if you were peddling with both legs.

    Honestly I found it a losing battle to try to exercise while also being non-weight bearing for 12 weeks. I did my PT exercieses as if my life depended on it (and that started the same day as both surgeries), and at one point I got especially bored and did single leg planks on my bed (which my very athletic PT thought was crazy). But actual cardio? No. I also didnt have enough physical energy to do that on top of healing.

    TL;DR rest, let your body heal, and know that this is a regular occurance among athletes (I took a lot of inspiration from J.R
    Celski last time around).
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    They show one legged bike workouts, but usually with alternating sides!
  • GiddyupTim
    GiddyupTim Posts: 2,819 Member
    I had ACL surgery with a cartilage repair. Because of the cartilage procedure, I was required to be on crutches and avoid any weight bearing on the surgical leg for 12 weeks.
    I went to the gym and just did the upper body machines (where I could sit or lay down) for those twelve weeks.
    I don't know of if you are serious about one legged cycling, but I suspect you would find it untenable.
    You cannot catch yourself on a bad leg on a bicycle. And, sitting on an exercise bike, with your leg splayed out of the way of the unused pedal, is likely to be really uncomfortable.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,831 Member
    I could barely stand once a week spin class while with broken ankle healing up, that's only 45 min and decent music.
    Of course, literal standing was a tad difficult.

    Now - when the boot was given a tad more flex and weight was increased to like 20 lbs - I tested that and found I could do both legs - still no standing, and careful on the push, but the flex needed was just right in clip-on's, so off the boot came.
    Hardest part was getting unclipped since no sideways motion, and moving too quickly around bike.

    But I kept that up as more weight was allowed every 2-3 weeks. Along with lifting that worked. Kept boot on for calf presses of exactly the weight limit and max flex allowed.

    2 days after getting out of boot, did 40 mile end of season group ride.

    Depending on what you had done - some manner of workout may be possible, but I asked and told Dr of my plan and how I'd limit myself to his limits.
  • puffbrat
    puffbrat Posts: 2,806 Member
    I would be worried that doing that much one-legged pedaling would exacerbate a muscle imbalance between the left and right sides which will already inevitably develop with the crutches. Personally I would suggest reducing the biking for this time period and focus more on upper body.
  • bjdw_1977
    bjdw_1977 Posts: 438 Member
    Tarso-metatarsal(midfoot) fusion
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    edited April 2019
    bjdw_1977 wrote: »
    Tarso-metatarsal(midfoot) fusion

    So I think I may have given you this advice when you were first asking about what to do after your impending surgery, though maybe I didn't so here we go. My primary suggestion is to find a physical therapist now who has a lot of experience working with athletes. If you're lucky they'll have experience working with elite athletes as well as non-elite athletes. Either way, what you want is someone who more than willing to not stop at functional goals that are related to basic living tasks, but rather willing to meet you at your cycling related goals. Also do your PT exercises like your life depends on it.

    For instance, my PT asked for three goals that I had at the beginning of our time working together. My three goals were related to swimming, cycling, and running (but shockingly I didn't say "I want to do a sprint triathlon", which would have made her very happy). What we did was honestly primarily tailored to running goal because it was a very long term goal. That said, along the way some of my PT exercises involved cycling and swimming. Swimming was the first sport I was allowed to do once I could bear weight, but I had to be very careful on the pool deck and was still on crutches.

    Had my goals involved doing things like taking care of a toddler, we would have worked on things that were more related to that. Things like crouching, getting off the ground, kneeling, etc. I eventually did spend a fair amount of time working on getting off the ground, because it was a persistent issue that was getting in the way of numerous things.

    Feel free to PM me. While I haven't had any foot or ankle issues, I have had four major knee surgeries all of which involved being non-weight bearing for 12 weeks. The exercises you end up doing for PT will probably look pretty different from mine, but the attitude of both you and your PT needs to be similar. I would be unsurprised if you end up getting back to 100%. From your other posts it sounds like you're going into your surgery really strong which is a big deal and will likely have a very positive impact on your recovery.

    Good luck and again, feel free to ask me anything about my surgery recoveries.
  • bjdw_1977
    bjdw_1977 Posts: 438 Member
    Thanks @aokoye

    Goal wise it's going to be cycling, long walks with the dog, and a little jogging now and again.

    Post surgery ACC (our government funded Accident Compensation Corporation) will pay for a certain number of sessions with a physiotherapist, but their focus will on general recovery, mobility and getting back to work.

    It seems like it might be a very worthwhile investment to dig into my own wallet and do a few sessions with a personal trainer and have them devise a training / nutrition program for me while I'm off my foot. There are a few around town so I'll have to do a bit of asking around and find out which one will be best for me.
  • 307114882
    307114882 Posts: 45 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    I could barely stand once a week spin class while with broken ankle healing up, that's only 45 min and decent music.
    Of course, literal standing was a tad difficult.

    Now - when the boot was given a tad more flex and weight was increased to like 20 lbs - I tested that and found I could do both legs - still no standing, and careful on the push, but the flex needed was just right in clip-on's, so off the boot came.
    Hardest part was getting unclipped since no sideways motion, and moving too quickly around bike.

    But I kept that up as more weight was allowed every 2-3 weeks. Along with lifting that worked. Kept boot on for calf presses of exactly the weight limit and max flex allowed.

    2 days after getting out of boot, did 40 mile end of season group ride.

    Depending on what you had done - some manner of workout may be possible, but I asked and told Dr of my plan and how I'd limit myself to his limits.

    Maybe you should do some exercise and have a health eating habbit.
  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,294 Member
    Interesting discussion but bad idea.
  • bjdw_1977
    bjdw_1977 Posts: 438 Member
    I'd spend the time pumping some serious iron and building some arms and shoulders, but I'm a little concerned about the possible aerodynamic detriment should I happen to get too swole. ;)
    ae2i5svtsw8d.png

  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    bjdw_1977 wrote: »
    Thanks @aokoye

    Goal wise it's going to be cycling, long walks with the dog, and a little jogging now and again.

    Post surgery ACC (our government funded Accident Compensation Corporation) will pay for a certain number of sessions with a physiotherapist, but their focus will on general recovery, mobility and getting back to work.

    It seems like it might be a very worthwhile investment to dig into my own wallet and do a few sessions with a personal trainer and have them devise a training / nutrition program for me while I'm off my foot. There are a few around town so I'll have to do a bit of asking around and find out which one will be best for me.

    If you can find a personal trainer who has experience working with injured athletes and that would be idea, yeah. Unless you're able to pay out of pocket for physical therapy. Really it's making sure you don't get a person who knows next to nothing about injuries/recovering from surgery with regards to a personal trainer. A physical therapist would be very well versed in that, but might not be used to athletes.
  • vrmshoes
    vrmshoes Posts: 14 Member
    I had to have surgery years back on my right foot. I bought a rowing machine & rowed with one leg everyday. I winded up losing weight while i was home injured. :)