First thing, if you get injured, don’t go it alone. Go see your doctor and get the injury evaluated. It might be more serious than you think. By not knowing exactly what was injured and how bad, you risk injuring it again if you start training that injured area too soon.
With some injuries, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy in order for the injury to heal properly. Don’t play “tough guy” and blow this off. Go get the therapy. It really does help you heal faster. While at the doctor or at physical therapy, ask what exercises they recommend so you can still keep training, but not further damage the injured area. Depending on the location of your injury, here are some they could recommend.
If your injury happens to be from the waist down, then you will want to focus on exercises where you can lay down or sit and use your upper body. Chest presses, overhead dumbbell presses, lateral pull downs and seated rows are all good as they take the pressure off of the area that is injured. For something different, try seated boxing or working a hand bike.
If you have an ankle sprain you could also include different plank variations from the knees as long as it does not aggravate your injury. Or try doing push-ups; just cross the injured ankle over the good one and do normal push-ups.
With an upper body injury, you will most likely be limited to lower body exercises, like leg extensions and lifts, lunges, squats and step-ups. If your injury is to your hand or wrist, you can probably also do some plank variations and exercises that work your abdominal core. If the injury is your elbow then probably not. Depending on where your injury is located, you might be able to use a stationary bike.
Abdominal Core (Neck, Back or Shoulders)
These injuries are tricky as your back and neck are used in most exercises as well as your shoulders if you do anything with barbell or dumbbells. You will want to focus on doing lower body exercises from a laying position – something that will support your back.
Listen to Your Body
While you may be able to do the above recommended exercises, don’t overlook what your body is telling you. If you are experiencing pain at a level of 5 or 6 (on a scale of 10), then you most likely should not do that exercise until you are healed.
Because of the poses and the way yoga is done, you may benefit from it as an alternative form of exercise while injured. The Hatha yoga style is a slower style of yoga. Explain to the master why you want to do yoga and get some recommendation from him.
As you can see, there are options to keep exercising even while injured. Use common sense and listen to your body. By exercising smartly, you can keep the other areas of your body in shape while the injured area is healing.