coffeetime: (Default)
coffeetime ([personal profile] coffeetime) wrote in [community profile] lifting_heavy_things2017-01-09 10:39 pm

yoo hoo? anybody here?

Hey, lifters, is anyone still around? I'm still having issues and still trying to lift and not giving up, darn it! And I could use some company.

Since I had the metal taken out of my leg (if you were here a while ago, you'll remember I broke it badly in 2015) I have had full range of motion and I still do a lot of physical therapy exercises to maintain balance, improve small muscle coordination etc. That leg is still not the same size and shape as the other one. I am also doing a lot of yoga to improve balance and stability, and I know from doing one-legged standing poses that the formerly broken leg is also not as strong as before I broke it. I wish I could hit on the exercise(s) that would best help me build that leg back up and get its strength back. Calf raises just don't target more than a small area and also there's a weird hollow on the outside of my shin a few inches below the knee, like I just lost mass there and it will never return. What brilliant plan am I not thinking of?
rydra_wong: Tight shot of the shins and arms of a young woman (weightlifter Zoe Smith) as she prepares for a deadlift. (strength -- zoe deadlift)

[personal profile] rydra_wong 2017-01-10 08:53 am (UTC)(link)
Have you tried any single-legged strength exercises? E.g. one-legged squats (assisted, unless you are already super-strong), or one-legged deadlifts.

Those might help to pinpoint which muscles need strengthening, as well as being helpful in themselves.
rydra_wong: Two bare feet and ankles sticking out of rolled-up jeans. (body -- barefoot)

[personal profile] rydra_wong 2017-01-15 08:55 am (UTC)(link)
They work my hips and glutes more than my lower leg, though.

By "lower leg" do you mean "below the knee" or "below the hips"? Just wanted to check before I started answering re: the wrong thing.
oracne: turtle (Default)

[personal profile] oracne 2017-01-10 02:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm still here! And just back to lifting recently after a quad injury.

Do you have one of those weights that can be strapped around your ankle? I used one for my wrist while exercising after a broken elbow healed (after I got past the point of the whole arm shuddering with weakness).
lyorn: (Default)

[personal profile] lyorn 2017-01-10 04:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Still around, also recovering from torn ligaments in my ankle... six months now since I fell out a wall, bouldering, and still not OK. Plus two minor accidents. Waiting for the doctor's OK now before hitting the gym again... next week, if all goes well.

My plan to strengthen the ankle and calf is to do a lot of step-ups, front and side. While holding on to something for the beginning. Also, goblet squats. And raising myself up on my toes (can't manage tiptoes yet, range of motion not there). However, right now with the snow and the cold, walking is not going too well.

Can you identify what the missing muscle does by getting it to work on the other leg? I think it might be the one that lets you lift your front foot when your heel is on the floor. Whatever it is that makes that muscle work on the good side, try it on the bad one.
xenacryst: One arm hang on aerial rope (Aerial rope)

[personal profile] xenacryst 2017-01-11 07:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Definitely not a PT here, but what I would do is work on a lot of small motor strength in that leg - balance, ankle weights, etc. You might find tai chi-like poses and slow movement helpful. Looking at my anatomy program, it looks like that muscle area might do a lot with balance-y sorts of things and foot flexion, much more so than calf raises.

I'll also note that about 5 years ago I had a bit of the outer quad on my left leg (prolly the vastus lateralis) carved out in a car accident. I still have a noticeable hollow there, but the remainder of the muscle is fine, and it as well as the others in the area have taken up the slack. I don't know if the muscle groups below the knee will behave similarly, but they might. Which is to say that in the long run, having a divot taken out of a muscle might not impact your strength or range of motion.

[personal profile] indywind 2017-04-12 02:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Just wandered by and noticed this post. In case it's still useful,
I'm wondering if the muscle you have noticeable atrophy in on your formerly-broken leg--is the tibialis anterior.
Here's a site with a diagram showing where it's located, its functions, and links to exercises for it:
The "see also calf exercise analyses" link at the bottom has more good stuff.
Here's a highly specific targeted exercise for tibialis anterior strengthening/growth:

If you want exercises you can to without special equipment, I think anything that requires ankle dorsiflexion under load would do some good, especially if you try to keep the big muscles of the upper leg from taking over the work. So, squats, but with focus on ankle flexion rather than knee and hip. You mentioned yoga, so, utkatasana variation 3 from hot yoga -- that's the squat with knees pressed together and torso upright, stabilizing the knees and limiting hip flexion -- might be a good one.
Or just draping something heavy over your toes and lifting them, or walking through deep sand.

Or, apparently, riding horses hunt seat with deeply flexed ankles/ dropped heels -- that muscle got massive on me back in my horse-riding days. But that's probably not very accessible just for rehab!

Good luck!