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12 Mar


Competitive cyclists are potentially at risk of suboptimal bone health. Although cycling is excellent for cardiovascular fitness, this type of non skeletal loading exercise does not mechanically stimulate osteogenesis (bone formation). This situation of low mechanical osteogenic stimulus to build bone can be compounded by restrictive eating patterns and associated hormone dysfunction of relative energy deficiency in sports (RED-S)

The pic shows how different sports exert site specific effects on the bone mineral density of the skeleton. In general terms, hip femoral neck BMD is more dependent on mechanical loading osteogenic stimuli, whereas lumbar spine BMD is more dependent on nutritional and Endocrine status.
What are the most effective mechanical osteogenic stimuli? Evidence from animal models demonstrates that bone responds to exercise that is dynamic, non-repetitive and unpredictable.

Load and repetitions are not such important factors. This is shown in a study of track and field athletes, where sprinters were found to have higher BMD at load bearing sites of the skeleton than long distance runners due to a local loading effect rather than a systemic effect associated with repetitive loading nature of longer distance running.

The other important consideration is that sprinters and rugby players tend to weigh more with higher lean mass than distance runners, providing higher skeletal loading forces.

These differences in anthropometric and body composition metrics are also associated with different nutritional and Endocrine status.

Swimming and cycling are similar in that both these types of exercise do not provide mechanical skeletal loading osteogenic stimulus.

Skeletal loading exercises for cyclists would have to be effective and practical, not requiring access to gym and possible to fit into training schedule throughout the season.

Walk Jog Run Sprint!!!

16 Oct

Increasing interest with running marathons, whether full, half 5k or 3k has opened a serious of discussions on technique, training, shoes, injuries etc. There are so many doubts in an avid runner on how to go about it. Most runners are recreational runners / joggers whose objective is to keep fit, healthy and stress free.

Health Fitness & Medical Screening:

This should be the first step any novice runner should embark on before starting the physical activity. If you are a male and above 40 and not used to vigorous form of exercise or activity, it’s

a wise option to undergo the medical screen & clearance with a physician’s consultation.The next step is to meet a Health & Fitness Specialist or a Sports Physiotherapist and get

evaluated on your Cardio vascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition. A good posture evaluation to find out if you have any bio mechanical faults (like,

flat foot, knock knees, etc) soft tissue tightness, preexisting injuries, if any  and based on the findings she/he may advice you on a corrective exercise program, which can help you to enhance

performance and prevent injuries. Get your running mechanics evaluated.

Shoes & Terrain:

Investing on a good pair of shoes is of paramount importance. Shoes with good cushioning, toe room and arch support are things to look for in a shoe. It’s also important to pick up the shoe in

the evening when the toes are little expanded. Remember to change your shoes roughly after every 500kms of use.

Hard surfaces give you a push or bounce to run, with more impact, softer surfaces like the lawns, beach sand might offer less impact, but increases the muscle force or activity. So choose

a firm running surface like the running tracks, level grounds or good treadmills to train. Running up hill and downhill , cross country will enhance your fitness, but also will cause

injuries. If you are running out doors, be aware of the environment.

The FIT principle of training:

How often, how long and how intense should you train? It is the frequency, Intensity and the duration principle. If you are doing a less duration (less than 60mins) and low intensity (walk-

jog speed) you need lesser recover time and hence can train 5-6 days a week. If you are training at a high intensity (say running or sprinting) or longer duration (70 minutes

or more) you need longer recovery time and hence 2-3 times a week, not on subsequent days is advisable. You can however cross train those days with swimming, cycling or yoga.

Always start slowly and build gradually, giving time for the tissues to adapt. When you can walk or jog without going out of breath, you can progress to running!

Always warm up before the training, if you are planning to jog, a brisk walk for 5-10minutes would be a good option, followed by stretches of the muscle groups that are going to be in

action, obviously your calf, thighs back and shoulders. Do the same for a cool down.

Types of Training:

There are different types of training, the common ones are continuous training (steady speed through out), interval training ( 3 minutes run and 2 minute walk ), cross country (different

terrains) and fartlek training, which blends the continuous and interval training. If you are someone beginning to jog use the interval training and progress to continuous mode after

gradually increasing your percentage of jog.

Strength & Flexibility:

A 2 to 3 days a week of strength training on non-subsequent days to strengthen the core amd legs with moderate intensity with 8 to 12 repetitions, 2 sets for each major muscle groups

will be ideal.

Flexibility exercises like yoga or sports stretches can be done for 20-30minutes for the major muscle groups with 15 seconds hold for each, without breath holding, 2 sets each will be good.

Add to that the foam roller for glutes, hamstrings, IT band and calf muscles and foot.

Running Injuries & How to handle them!

Injuries happen, if you try and progress too quickly, if your frequency, intensity and duration are high, if you have poor strength and flexibility, improper foot wear, poor running mechanics

and bio mechanics, and other external factors, like fall etc.

Remember RICE; Rest from activities that cause pain, Ice for 15-20mins 3-4 times a day (if not more often), Compression in case of swelling with elastic bandage and elevation above heart

level, in case of swelling.

The common running injuries are mostly because of overuse. Stress fractures of the metatarsals, plantar fasciitis, runners knee, muscle strain,, Achilles tendinitis, groin pulls, low

back ache etc.,

Hydration & Nutrition:

Remember to hydrate well, with water or isotonic solution. There are various ORS drinks available in the market, to prevent cramps and to fuel. Carbs are the fuel for any endurance

activity, so make sure your carbs are not depleted, by vigorous training the previous days. On the day of the run have enough carbs and depending on the distance have a moderate or

low glycemic index fruit or snack 30 minute before the run.

Happy running!!

Lovely Legs – Legs Workouts

25 Aug

Legs workouts

• 5mins warmup → stretches

• Free squats (15 counts)

• Leg press (15,12,10,8 counts keep increasing the weights)

• Free squats (15 counts)

• Leg curl (15,12,10,8 counts keep increasing the weights)

• Backward lunges (15 counts each side)

• Leg extension (15,12,10,8 counts keep increasing the weights)

• Forward lunges (15 counts each side)

• Inner & outer thigh (15,12,10,8 counts keep increasing the weights)

• Diagonal lunges (15 counts each side)

• Jumping squats (20 counts – 2 sets)


Add Kettlebell to your workouts

10 May

The kettlebell is a cast-iron or steel weight used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. They are also the primary equipment used in the weight lifting sport of girevoy sport.

Benefits of kettlebell training:

  • Improves Explosive and Maximal Strength.
  • Improves strength, power and endurance.
  • Taxes both aerobic and anaerobic systems.
  • Positively impacts cardio respiratory endurance and promotes changes in body composition.
  • Increases musculoskeletal health by reducing neck, shoulder and low back pain, and increases trunk extensor strength.
  • Is transferable to traditional weight training and bodyweight exercises and is an excellent alternative to traditional weight lifting.

Prime movements in kettlebell:

Kettlebell Swing: The kettlebell swing is a basic kettlebell exercise that is used in training programs and gyms for improving the posterior chain muscles. The key to a good kettlebell swing is effectively hinging at the hips, creating stability through the frontal plane.

Clean and press: The Kettlebell Clean and Press combines 2 exercises the Kettlebell Clean and the Overhead Press. Combining these 2 exercises into one fluid movement will work most muscles of the body as well as putting large demands on your cardiovascular system.

Turkish Get-up: A kettlebell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank to build strength. With a vertically-extended arm, the athlete transitions from laying supine on the floor to standing.

Kettlebell Snatch: Before performing the Snatch you should be proficient in the Swing, the Clean and the Press. The Snatch is a modified swing where as the kettlebell swings up above the head, the bell flips over the hand and ends up in the same overhead position as the press. Do this in one complete fluid motion.

Kettlebell training as cardio endurance and strength endurance: Like with most exercises, we can change the kettlebell swing’s effectiveness for our goals based on load. Imagine I asked you to perform one hundred swings non-stop, how much load could you use? And what kind of workout would that give you and what would its benefits be? But now imagine I gave you a much heavier bell, one you could barely swing for ten reps and made you do eight to ten sets. How different do you think that would be?

Want to work up a sweat, burn serious calories and get fitter? Try circuit training

15 Apr

Do you sometimes find yourself wandering aimlessly around the gym, using whatever kit’s free at the time and not sure what your next move will be? Adding some structure to your workout is the key to getting results, and setting up your own circuit-style workout at the gym could be good news for weight loss, increased fitness and getting stronger. Who doesn’t want that?

Circuit training consists of a group of various exercises that work different parts of the body. You perform a set (an allotted number of reps or as many reps as possible within a certain time frame) of each exercise back to back without rest or with very little rest. Once the first set of each exercise is performed through, you can either take a short rest and repeat the whole thing again, or skip the rest and go straight on to the second set of each exercise.

Keeping the rest periods short is an important aspect of circuit training. Why? Because it keeps the heart rate up, which helps to boost cardio and muscular endurance. It also creates an after burn effect which is essential for efficient fat loss. This way of working out just ticks all the boxes.

Need some help putting together a circuit? Try this simple routine after a warm-up of dynamic stretches:

30 seconds each of:




Bicycle crunches

Bent-over row


1 minute’s rest

Repeat 3-5 times depending on time constraints and ability level.

Passive Stretches

24 Mar

Recently a client asked me, i see a few trainers giving personal stretch on the floor.,what do you think of that??

Well that made think..

We know that passive stretching is a form of static stretching in which an external force exerts upon the limb to move it into the new position. This is in contrast to active stretching. Passive stretching resistance is normally achieved through the force of gravity on the limb or on the body weighing down on it. It can also be achieved with the help of a partner, stretch bands, or mechanical devices.

‘I do give passive stretches, when i feel the soft tissues are tight, say for example a one knee to the chest with the other on the floor, a tight hip flexor on the limb that is extended and down will let the hip flex/lift, so while the client pulls the bent leg, keep the extended leg down with passive force of yours. This is indicated when the muscle imbalance is the cause (or may cause) of the musculoskeletal problem, like a back or knee pain

I also use a passive stretch for frozen shoulder, however with caution in the osteoporosis population., Post traumatic stiffness is also another case to use passive stretch, make sure the # or the ligaments have heeled sufficiently before you attempt one.

Neurological conditions like stroke, CP and parkinsons, also warrant a controlled passive elongation of soft tissues.,care should be taken to check their medications (anticoagulants) and that the valsalva maneoure by the client should not be encouraged.

I have come across, clients who had developed # , avulsions, muscle tears & ligament tears, neural tissue irritations during passive stretches..a vertebral slip can happen too..if there is a listhesis and a passive extension is given!! So lot of caution and controlled sustained force is the key, with a good knowledge of end feels, the biomechanical levers, the clinical condition you are dealing with, integrity of the musculoskeletal structures and of course the physiological & anatomical range, a comparison with the other limb wouldn’t hurt.

Whenever possible i advocate a self sustained passive stretch with low load for 10-15 minutes, letting the gravity and external load do the job..a foam roller release will not be a bad option in myo fascia tightness and active stretch for 15 sec hold within physiological range as per the clinical condition warrants, should be encouraged more often during the day., controlled passive stretch in a sustained manner, without jerks when indicated i give for 15sec to 2 mins as per the requirement of the condition.. i have recently found thai massage, which involves a lot of stretches very fascinating, yet to explore it though..

Happy Reading

Earnest Vijay, Sports Physiotherapist

Looking for a personal trainer

9 Jul

Works of a personal trainer
1. Clear Training Objectives: Begin each exercise session by
explaining the training objective and what you would like your client
to accomplish during the workout.
2. Concise Instruction with Precise Demonstration: Brief performance
explanations coupled with excellent exercise demonstrations
appears to be a highly effective means for eliciting the desired

3. Attentive Supervision: Previously inactive individuals tend to lack
confidence in their physical abilities, and typically appreciate instructors
who are fully focused on them as they perform their exercises.
4. Appropriate Assistance: To ensure correct exercise execution,
it is frequently necessary for personal trainers to manually assist their
clients with the activity performance, such as giving and taking dumbbells,
spotting barbell lifts, and guiding proper resistance training
movement patterns.

5. One Task at a Time: Rather than projecting a series of performance
requirements, it is advisable to present one directive at a
time to increase the probability that your client will successfully complete
each specific task.

6. Gradual Progression: In the field of resistance exercise, it
appears especially important to progress in a gradual and systematic
manner, with relatively small increments in training intensity.
7. Positive Reinforcement: Positive comments are always appreciated
by exercise participants, particularly new clients who are less confident about their physical performance.

8. Specific Feedback: Positive reinforcement is more meaningful
when it is coupled with specific information feedback that increases
its value by becoming both an educational and motivational tool.
9. Careful Questioning: Because some participants may not volunteer
information that could be useful for their program design, ask
relevant questions to ascertain how they are responding to their
exercise experiences.

10. Pre- and Post-Exercise Dialogue: It is advisable to commence
and conclude each exercise session with a couple minutes of personal
communication with your clients to share relevant training information

The Do’s & Don’ts of Treating a Sports Injury

13 Nov

The Do’s; If you suffer an injury such as a sprain, strain, muscle pull, or tear, immediate first aid treatment can prevent complications and help you heal faster. How we manage an injury, be it a sprain or a fracture in the acute or the first 72 hours plays a major role in the recovery time. The commonly used practices are rubbing, pulling, and applying heat to the injured area. This unfortunately, doesn’t hasten the recovery. The following are the scientifically proven methods on how to treat an acute injury and are widely accepted across the globe. (more…)


10 Oct

PLYOMETRIC TRAINING is specific work to enhance explosive power. In other words, it involves a lot of jumping. Plyometric training is used for sports that require short bursts of power such as tennis, basketball, or skiting, but its also a good exercise for anyone who wants to increase his or her power.

Have fun…

Here are a few plyometric exercises to add to your routine. Once again, I like to think of how people were young- always  jumping and hopping around.  Apply this attitude of fun and try some jumping. Also,  make sure to warm up adequately and stretch before you begin. (more…)