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What Exercises Can You Do With a Broken Toe?

Regardless of location, a broken bone is at best very uncomfortable and, at worst, too painful to contemplate exercise. But don't pause in working toward your fitness goals, even with a broken toe. Unlike most breaks, few toe breaks require a cast. Buddy tape your toe to support it and keep it in proper position. With your doctor's permission, focus on exercises that don't place strain on the broken bone. This makes exercising a challenge, but won't stop your activity.

Strengthening Exercises

Seated upper-body strengthening exercises don't engage your lower body, removing any strain on your foot and toe. Use either gym machines or a weight bench and free weights to work out your upper body. Focus on seated biceps curls, bench presses to focus on your chest and shoulder presses while seated to work your shoulders. If you don't have access to a gym, use gallon jugs filled with water or soup cans to add resistance.

Outdoor Options

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If it's not too painful, an outing on your bike maintains your cardio goals. Use a stiff-soled shoe on the broken toe's foot to prevent bending or moving your toe. If biking is too painful, head to the pool. Use a pull buoy to support your legs and get a core and cardio workout by swimming laps using just your arms. As your toe heals, start walking, but don't jog, run or jump to prevent jarring the toe until it's fully healed.

Exercises At The Gym

Both the elliptical trainer and rowing machine provide cardio benefits without involving foot movement that could set back your healing process. The rowing machine enables you to remove almost all pressure from your feet, since you work in a seated position. The elliptical removes all jarring activity from a jog, so helps you keep physically fit without further damaging your broken toe.

Core Exercises

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If you are not able to bear weight on your toe while it is healing, use the time that you're healing to focus on strengthening your core. For example, perform situps, Plank position holds as well as Side Plank to strengthen and engage your back, upper thighs and abdominal muscles. Bicycle crunches are extremely effective at working your abdominal and oblique muscles, and don't require any engagement of your feet beyond moving them as you lift and alternate sides.