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I broke my arm a week ago and am now in a cast to my elbow. I've been working on pull-ups/pushups/crunches for over three months, but now I obviously can't anymore. What are some body-weight exercises I can do with one hand that work approximately the same muscles (minus my right arm muscles)that I can manage with one hand?

Thanks

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You could focus on the lower body--squats, lunges, sprints, jumps... –  Dave Liepmann Jan 21 '13 at 1:09
    
pushups leaning against a wall? They're usually a rehab exercise, but with one arm, it may be a challenge. to do with one hand –  DavidR Jan 21 '13 at 16:46
    
If you get a dumbbell or kettlebell, lots of good stuff becomes available: overhead presses, Turkish get-ups, windmills, side presses, cleans, snatches... –  Dave Liepmann Jan 22 '13 at 14:19

1 Answer 1

I strongly suggest AGAINST working on one arm only. It will only make a bigger disproportion between your arms. One arm would get a workout and improve from its current state, while the other would get weaker because of the immobility causet by the fracture.

Take it easy, give yourself a break and dont do any training with one arm that cant be accomplished by the other. As David suggested, work on your abs, glutes, legs, back etc.

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-1. Research suggests that contralateral training does produce beneficial effects in the immobilized/injured limb. There is some small debate as to whether it is muscular or neurally related, but the effect is there. Here is a study and a meta-analysis of other studies for reference: jap.physiology.org/content/101/5/1514.short jap.physiology.org/content/96/5/1861.short –  JohnP Jan 22 '13 at 14:35
    
I'm going to agree with @JohnP. While I see your point... The OP doesn't have to try to bulk up while his arm is broken. He can workout using a maintenance routine to not lose muscle mass in both arms. Then post recovery and upon doctor's approval, can start to work his weakened arm back as close to equal as possible. –  Grohlier Jan 22 '13 at 14:41
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There's an argument to be made for just chilling out, letting your injured arm heal, and accepting that you're going to be injured and maybe weak for a little while. I've personally made things worse by trying to "work around" an injury too aggressively. I don't have any great or consistent guidance... When I lift hard, I tend to subconsciously tense up a lot of the muscles in my body. Once, doing a hard set on a leg press machine I felt like I was irritating an injured elbow. –  DavidR Jan 22 '13 at 21:12
    
I dont have those studies handy, but i read that even visualisation of a workout brought a small strength increase in muscles that werent actually used - maybe that explains the beneficial effects you mention? Also, the very study you recommended claims that probably most of the strength increase was neurally related. We both could argue on our points of view, but to be frank, in my humble opinion, the potential gain of one-sided training is minimal, while the risks are higher. Tree weeks of hard training on one arm could make a disproportion, while a brake 3 weeks long wouldnt hurt so bad. –  K.L. Jan 22 '13 at 23:18
    
@K.L. - You wouldn't "hard train". Basically you would be doing maintenance workouts. There is going to be some loss of fitness over the time frame, the goal is to mitigate that loss as much as possible. –  JohnP Jan 23 '13 at 14:58

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