T Nation

Training With a Broken Hand

So after a litlte run-in with some drunk idiot outside of my house, my left hand has a fracture above the metacarpel. This means gripping is impossible. I plan on centering my workouts around the squat, good mornings and ab work, but I was hoping someone would have some suggestions on how to maintain upper body strength in light of the fact that I can’t grip anything. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Use machines, not as good of a workout, but when you can’t grip, balancing a bar is pretty tough. Just make sure to not do anything that hurts your hand, it should only take 6-8 weeks to heal (if you rest it properly).

i dont know if id even use machines. i broke my hand similarily not to long ago, and could not grip or press for that matter. It was hard to resist the urge to try and lift, but u can reinjure your hand so easy its really just not worth it. Look at it as a way for ur body to rest up and rebuild. I was only out 4 weeks before i could lift again.

perhaps some of the PhD.s on the cite can find the study…but their is a study that shows that if you train just one side of your body (e.g. for chest one arm DB bench press) the other side of your body will maintain it’s muscle and might make some gains…it sounds counterintuitive, but I do recall reading about the study…the context of the article i read was you should consider doing body side training for a period of time, alternating between left and right side…sorry i don’t have more info.

I completely tore my right pec a couple of years ago, but all I did was train the left side of my body until I was able to resume working out with the injured side.

There are several studies that show a neurological crossover effect when only training one limb.

In other words, while the trained side gets stronger, so does the untrained side.

While I certainly wouldn’t expect to experience any growth or real progress on the injured side, you’ll probably be able to keep most of the size by training unilaterally.

So, one-arm dumbbell bench presses, one-arm rows, curls, extensions, etc.

WHich finger is this broken closest to… If it’s the 4th or 5th finger the fracture of the metacarpel is called a boxer’s fracture and is common when striking a hard object with either of the smaller knuckels. If it is turned into the palm your grip will suffer. If the fracture is rotated your finger will not close along with the others. This is a fracture that needs to be watched by your doctor and cared for correctly by you.

If it’s a finger fracture does it include the joint surface?

Each has it’s own healing potentials and use potentials.

For hands off use: most Pec-Decks use your forearms. You could create a set of velcro straps to hold dumbells that attach to your wrist. I’d do high volume lower weights because I wonder how much the velcro could hold. The same velcro straps could work for a cable cross over. SKull Crushers with the straps would also be a possibility once you know what the straps hold and you are sure they wont let-go with the weight over your face…

Improvise Adapt and Overcome

Wow guys! awesome info, thanks so much. Yea the one-arm training seems counterintuitive but i’ll def. give it a try, I’ve been meaning to work on those one-arm chins anyhow. So it seems that this cross-stimulus effect will spare me from losing muscle mass in the injured side, but can it cause muscle imbalances, possible tendinitis(sp?) issues with the non-injured side? As far as the fracture, I haven’t seen an orthopedic yet, but from the xrays and what the general practitioner gathered, it does seem to be a boxer’s fracture, on the knucle of the index finger. Thanks a lot fellas, gotta love T-Nation!