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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm recovering from a broken arm. I went for my first couple off-road rides in a couple months this weekend and realized quickly that a lot of my off-road prowess is the result of some upper body strength that I no longer have.

Anyone have suggestions for workouts at home, on the bike or at the gym that would help me get it back?
 

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I would suggest a few things:

- Start off with light weights and progress up slowly.
- If your concerned about fitness you might want to try some other mode of training such as an elliptical, stationary bike, or at least road biking for a few weeks. Road biking will have less impact on the arms than off road.
- I would at least weight train for 4-8 wks before going off road again.

I say all these things because not only do you lose muscle strength/size but everything in the arm weakens down due to inactivity/immobilization. The tendons, ligaments, joint surfaces, etc. If you expose these tissues to a stress above and beyond what they are used to, you risk developing a tendinitis, etc. that can set you back even longer. The joint surfaces themselves (cartilage) can actually weaken if the immobilization was long enough. If you subject these joints to impact and stress soon after getting a cast off you risk increased wear and tear to that joint. In other words it can lead to premature osteoarthritis.

I'm not sure what shape of upper body fitness you were in prior to your fracture, but keep in mind that you have most likely lost strength throughout your upper body, including arms, shoulders and upper back, so really a well balanced exercise program would be in order.

By the way, what bone did you break and where was it? Also how bad was the break and how long were you casted? The longer the time period of immobilization, the longer you want to wait before going off road. Hope this helps.
 

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Push-ups and chin-ups are good ways to increase upper body strength. Don't try too hard too fast. Tendons ligaments grow/strengthen at about 1/3 the rate of muscle due to lower blood flow to them. Light weight at first if you lift weights, mainly high reps. Then later as you feel stronger, go for heavier weight. Increase weight as you feel capable of doing so. Cyclists don't need to lift heavy to get maximum benefits. Light weight and high reps works well for pedal pushers. Lift slowly and concentrate on the negative aspect of the lift for good gains.

I broke my arm in 89 and when the cast came off I thought someone stole my arm it was so small.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I broke my radius 2/3 - 3/4 of the way up to the elbow. it was a clean break I guess, but they put a Ti rod in to reinforce the bone in addition to a splint while it was healing for 8 weeks. The doc said that at that point it looked all healed so he yanked the rod out. But a month later the x-ray showed that the bone had "drifted" and was only just starting to heal again. I suspect he might have re-broken it when he yanked the rod out, but what do I know. Another month in and out of a brace and I got a clean bill of health 3 weeks ago and he said I could return to normal activities, just not too much pounding.

I'm also recovering from a pulled quad I injured while hiking 2 months ago. So for the past month I've been doing about 6-8 hours of easy riding on the road bike a week. So, really I think I'm ready for some careful mountain biking. My main concern is making sure my leg heals up right this time, but after these couple MTB rides I'm realizing just how far my upper body has to go too. In short, I'm a mess.

Thanks for the info so far, I had no idea about the tendon and ligament issues.
 
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