Post-op Non Weight Bearing Exercises Recovery Exercises – Best 7 Workout

Post-op Non-Weight Bearing Recovery Exercises

Non weight bearing exercises are activities that can be done without supporting your weight and are crucial for regaining strength and mobility after injury or surgery. 

Non weight bearing exercises

By engaging in non-weight-bearing activities, individuals can boost cardiovascular health, enhance balance, and strengthen their muscles without putting pressure on injured or recovering areas. Additionally, using aids such as crutches or a walking frame can assist in mobility during the non-weight-bearing period, facilitating a smoother recovery process.

Regular engagement in non-weight-bearing exercises can significantly aid in rehabilitation and improve overall physical well-being.

Non Weight Bearing Exercises

When recovering from a foot, ankle, or leg injury or after undergoing certain surgeries, individuals may be advised to avoid putting weight on the affected limb. This restriction can make it challenging to maintain a regular exercise routine, but it is essential to continue staying active and maintaining muscle strength and flexibility.

What Are Non-Weight Bearing Exercises?

Non weight bearing exercises refer to physical activities that do not require the individual to support their body weight with the affected limb. These exercises are designed to minimise impact and strain on the injured or surgical site.

Non-weight-bearing exercises can help individuals maintain overall physical fitness and prevent muscle atrophy while allowing the injured area to heal correctly.

Importance Of Non-Weight Bearing Exercises

The importance of non-weight-bearing exercises cannot be overstated, as they play a crucial role in both rehabilitation and maintaining overall health. These exercises help to prevent muscle weakness, improve blood circulation, and aid in maintaining joint flexibility during recovery.

By engaging in non-weight-bearing exercises, individuals can also work on improving their balance, which is particularly beneficial for those with mobility challenges.

Upper Body Non-Weight Bearing Exercises

When you are non-weight-bearing due to an injury or surgery, it’s essential to maintain your upper body strength through specific exercises. These exercises not only aid in maintaining muscle tone and strength but also help in promoting overall well-being. Here are some non-weight-bearing upper body exercises you can incorporate into your routine to help you stay strong and healthy during your recovery.

Seated Arm Circles

Seated arm circles are an excellent way to engage the shoulder muscles without bearing weight on your lower body. Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, then extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Start by moving your arms in small, circular motions and progressively enlarge them. Complete a set in one direction and then switch to the other direction. This exercise helps in improving shoulder flexibility and strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint.

Tricep Dips

Tricep dips can be performed using a sturdy chair or a low countertop. Sit on the edge of the chair or the countertop with your hands gripping the front edge, fingers forward. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows and keeping your back close to the edge. Once at the bottom of the movement, push yourself back up to the starting position using your tricep muscles. This exercise targets the triceps and helps in maintaining upper body strength without putting weight on the lower body.

Modified Pushups

Even when not weight-bearing, you can still perform a modified version of pushups to work your chest, shoulders, and arms. Start in a kneeling position, place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and lower your chest towards the ground while keeping your back straight. Push back up to the starting position, engaging your upper body muscles. This exercise provides an effective way to maintain upper body strength without causing strain on the lower body.

Lower Body Non-Weight Bearing Exercises

When you are unable to bear weight on your legs, it can be challenging to maintain your strength and flexibility. However, there are exercises you can do to keep your lower body strong and mobile. Here are some effective lower body non-weight-bearing exercises that can help you stay active and maintain muscle tone.

Seated Knee Tucks

Seated knee tucks are a tremendous non-weight-bearing exercise that targets the abdominal muscles, including the hip floors and lower abs. To perform seated knee tucks:

  • Sit on a sturdy chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  • For support, hold on to the chair’s sides.
  • Slowly lift one knee towards your chest, then lower it back down.
  • Alternate between each leg for a set of repetitions.

Leg Raises

Leg raises are an effective way to strengthen the muscles in your hips and thighs without putting weight on your legs. Here’s how to do leg raises while non-weight-bearing:

  1. Lean back and stretch both legs out.
  2. Engage your core muscles and lift one leg off the floor, keeping it straight.
  3. Slowly lower the leg back down to the floor.
  4. Repeat with the other leg.

Hip Lifts

Hip lifts are a beneficial non-weight-bearing exercise for targeting the glutes and hamstrings. To perform hip lifts:

  • With your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, lie on your back.
  • Place your arms by your sides for support.
  • Engage your glutes and lift your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Lower your hips back down and repeat for a set of repetitions.

Core Strengthening Non-Weight Bearing Exercises

Non weight bearing exercises

Suppose you are unable to bear weight due to an injury or medical condition. In that case, it is still possible to effectively strengthen your core through a series of non-weight-bearing exercises. These exercises not only help maintain core strength but also aid in stability and balance. Let’s explore some effective core strengthening exercises that can be performed without bearing weight.

Seated V-sit

The seated V-sit is an excellent non-weight-bearing exercise that targets the core muscles. Sit on the edge of a chair with your back straight and extend your legs in front of you. Lift your legs upward, forming a V-shape and hold the position for a few seconds before lowering them back down. Repeat this movement for a set number of repetitions to engage your core muscles effectively.

Modified Planks

Modified planks are a great way to strengthen your core without bearing weight on the lower body. Start by kneeling on the floor and place your forearms on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Extend your legs straight behind you, ensuring your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Hold this position, engaging your core muscles for a set duration to effectively work on your core strength.


Performing crunches while in a non-weight-bearing position can effectively target your abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and lift your head, neck, and shoulder blades off the ground, focusing on engaging your abdominal muscles. Slowly lower back down and repeat for a set number of repetitions, ensuring controlled movements to avoid strain.

Non-Weight Bearing Exercise Benefits

Engaging in non-weight-bearing exercises can have several benefits for those with injuries or mobility limitations. These exercises, which do not put pressure on the legs or feet, promote strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Examples include modified push ups, leg raises, and swimming.

Non-Weight Bearing Exercise Benefits

The importance of non-weight-bearing exercises cannot be overstated. They offer a range of benefits that can help maintain strength, improve flexibility, and enhance balance. Despite the constraints that come with being unable to bear weight on a particular limb or body part, there are exercises designed to work around these limitations. Here are some key benefits and advantages of non-weight-bearing exercises:

Maintaining Strength And Lean Muscle Mass

Non-weight-bearing exercises are vital for maintaining strength and lean muscle mass without unduly stressing the affected limb or body part. This is especially beneficial for individuals recovering from injuries, surgeries, or with certain physical limitations. By engaging in exercises such as modified push ups, leg raises, hip lifts, modified planks, sit-ups, crunches, and more, it’s possible to target and strengthen different muscle groups without the need to bear weight, thereby facilitating a more comprehensive recovery process.

Improving Flexibility And Balance

Incorporating non-weight-bearing exercises into a fitness regimen can significantly contribute to improving flexibility and balance. Activities like swimming, certain types of floor exercises, and modified strength movements enable individuals to work on their flexibility and balance without placing undue strain on the body. This is particularly beneficial for rehabilitation, as it allows for a progressive, controlled approach to regaining and enhancing vital physical attributes without risking further injury or setbacks.

Non-weight-bearing exercises offer a viable solution for staying active and maintaining overall physical well-being, even in circumstances where weight-bearing activities are limited or not possible. These exercises provide an avenue for individuals to target specific fitness goals and rehabilitate effectively while minimizing the risk of exacerbating their condition.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Exercises For Non-Weight Bearing

What exercise can you do when you are Non-weight-bearing?

You can do seated exercises such as leg raises, knee tucks, tricep dips, and marching to maintain strength and flexibility.

What Are Non-Load Bearing Exercises?

Non-load-bearing exercises are activities done without supporting your weight, like swimming. These exercises don’t cause strain, helping improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Examples include modified pushups, leg raises, and seated chair cardio routines.

How Can I Strengthen My Legs Without Weight-bearing?

Strengthen your legs without weight-bearing with non-weight exercises like seated leg raises, hamstring curls, and hip abductions. You can also do seated chair cardio exercises to maintain strength and flexibility. Avoid impact or strain while increasing cardiovascular health, balance, and lean muscle mass.

How Do You Get Around a Weight-bearing?

To move around when non-weight bearing, use walking aids like crutches or a walking frame. You can also do non-weight-bearing exercises to maintain strength and flexibility. Consider consulting a physiotherapist to learn safe and practical mobility techniques.


Incorporating non-weight-bearing exercises into your routine can aid in injury recovery and maintain overall fitness. By focusing on body weight movements and seated exercises, you can build strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health without placing strain on the injured area. These exercises offer a practical solution for individuals navigating mobility restrictions and can contribute to a well-rounded fitness regime.

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