If you’ve been following me on social media at all, you may have seen that I had a small surgery on my wrist thanks to a ganglion cyst. I was in a soft cast/splint for 2 weeks which meant I had to make some adjustments to my typical workout routine.


My plan has been this:

Get my 10K steps in every day and buckle down on my nutrition.

That’s it. Nothing complicated or stressful. Anything additional, such as a weightless arm workout or pilates was a bonus. The way I got my steps in varied depending on the day. Many days I would just download a few podcasts and hit some trails local to us. Other days, I would go to one of my favorite places to workout in my city. I was able to do a few different things with my legs. (skip a step, lunges, wall sits, step-ups)

Regarding nutrition there’s one (of a few) very simple rule I follow–your nutrition should support your activity. So if you are a very active person (either via a job such as fitness instructor, mail carrier etc or because of daily exercise) then you need to add more carbs to support what you are burning. If you are less active, then you can bump up the fat intake and go lighter on the carbs. (Fats and carbs are always inversely proportional) Protein stays the same. Of course quality of food matters too so I have less leeway with the splurges that I normally have. I am very intentional about my water intake (although in general, getting in my water every day isn’t so much of an issue for me!)


I know what some of you are thinking. (It’s probably what you thought when I said I worked out on vacation) “JUST TAKE THE 2 WEEKS OFF!” And yes- I get it. I definitely gave myself permission to ease up so I didn’t feel guilty one bit. But as I’ve mentioned before, exercise for me is more than weight loss. It is a place for me to mentally clear my mind, meditate on God’s word, deal with my internal frustrations, and socialize with friends! Plus, objects in motion stay in motion. I think I’m disciplined enough to have gotten back into my routine after 2 weeks, but I certainly didn’t want to test it if I had no real reason to!

The cast is now off but I am still limited on what I can do. Still no weight-lifting (over 5lbs) or planks/push-ups, so I am still modified, but with the cast off, I feel like I can run, sprint, and generally move just better.

Now for the workout!

I did head into the gym 1 day to work my legs, so here it is. I do have access to a gym, so one of the exercises (leg press) you may not be able to do at home, but that’s ok. Just omit that and do the rest! ( You could sub out with various squats or lunges) I also reference a recumbent bike which you also may to have access to, but you can pick some other cardio machine for that.

(My terrible handwriting on a paper towel. I pieced a workout together as I was warming up!)


TABATA: (done on a recumbent bike but choose whatever cardio you like)

Pedal with resistance pretty high for 20 seconds

Rest for 10 seconds (decrease resistance, slow pedal, or stop)

Repeat for a total of 8 rounds which will be 4 minutes.

You might not think that is too hard but goodness, my heart was pumping hard!

Then I got off the recumbent bike and did bodyweight walking lunges down the length of the gym and then duck walked back. (See the video below for the duck walk. Yes it feels odd) Repeat.

Duck Walk : www.claresmith.me

Head back to the recumbent bike for another tabata if you want, or move to the next section.

Hands-Free Lower Body Workout:

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Alternate between the exercises in the supersets until the 5 minutes run out. (So each superset will be 5 minutes.) Repeat as many times as you want! Leg press stance options pictured below!

Superset #1:

Leg Press (wide and narrow stance): 12 reps each

Squat Pulse Jump: 5 pulses, 1 jump. Repeat x5

Superset #2:

Leg Press (Plie): 12 reps

Squat/Lunge/Squat: 10 reps

Crossover Lunge: 10 reps

Leg Press Stance Options: www.claresmith.me

(Click here if you can’t see video!)

Here it is summed up in an easier format.

Hands-Free Lower Body Workout : www.claresmith.me


Hope you enjoy this new workout and a little glimpse into how I adjust when roadblocks come in my health! If you have any questions, please ask away!

p.s. If you are curious how I kept my soft cast smelling decent, I used 2 essential oils on it regularly—purification and thieves.  They totally worked at keeping any smells or mustiness away!!