Don’t let a sprained ankle stop you from doing cardio exercise that burns fat.

First of all, make sure your sprained ankle is only that; no broken bones.

Make sure it is securely stabilized with a compression bandage. Compression bandages expedite healing of this injury.

Obviously, the cardio exercise that comes to mind for people with sprained ankles is the stationary bike, but there are other cardio modalities as well, and I’ll get to those shortly.

I’m a former personal trainer who’s had her share of sprained ankles.

I never let my sprained ankles stop me from doing aerobic exercise, and you shouldn’t either.

Pedaling Machines: Do HIIT

When using the stationary bike, if possible, strap both feet into the pedals, and employ a fat-burning technique known as high intensity interval training.

It’s possible to use an elliptical machine while recovering from an injured ankle — but keep the injured foot flat on the pedal pad at all times. Again, employ the fat-burning technique of HIIT.

Note: If at any time, a cardio routine starts aggravating your sprained ankle, stop the exercise.

The cardio exercises mentioned in this article have the potential to allow you to work out, without aggravating your injured foot.

Another fat-burning, cardio-based exercise you can do without compromising your ankle is that of standing in place and socking away at a heavy bag.

Make sure your ankle is securely taped and, ideally, in a brace. Of course, stop if your foot begins hurting.

Shutterstock/Dmitry Kalinovsky

If you know how to deliver punches, believe me, this will definitely count as cardio exercise and burn fat: hooks, crosses and uppercuts, as hard as you can and/or as quickly as you can, will elevate the heart rate and burn fat.

Ever see people sitting on the floor in a machine and rowing? This is safe for sprained ankles and will have a cardio effect.

Rowing machines have adjustable settings; find the settings that will get your heart really pumping and your breathing going, and this will burn fat.

“Pedaling and rowing with a taped/braced ankle is safe, as long as the individual knows to exercise up to his/her tolerance level,” says Dr. Bruce Pinker, DPM, who specializes in sports medicine and surgery of the foot and ankle.

“Meaning, if the ankle becomes painful, he/she may need to slow down or stop.”

Always ice your sprained ankle after any kind of workout, and for a total of three or four times a day, 20 minutes maximum.

And remember, if there is any pain while exercising, stop immediately.

Dr. Pinker is with Progressive Foot Care, which provides state-of-the-art, full diagnostic testing and treatment of the foot. He’s a professional foot and ankle health and wellness speaker who delivers many original seminars annually such as “Keep On Running.”
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 


Top image: Shutterstock/fongbeerredhot