Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Core Stability Series



  1. Exercise of the week - Plank
The plank is a very effective exercise that works on core stability and focuses on isometric ally supporting the core (abdomen & lower back). The exercise focuses on reinforcing the neutral spine of one individual self.  This subtle exercise can turn challenging when movement is added to it.
To get into this position, you should be facing the floor in a prone position. This is similar to a press-up position; however, you are balancing yourself on your forearms and your toes. The individual maintains a neutral spine in this position and is challenged to maintain this position as the period increases.

Progression




Beginner



 Intermediate





Advanced


Performance meter
This exercise is a very good inclusion in your workout because it stabilises the muscles that helps to maintain a healthy posture.

  1. Exercise of the week – Bird dog
·         The starting position is initiated when you assume an all-fours position, arms under your shoulder and knees under hips. In this position you will be maintaining a neutral alignment of your spine.
·         Please do note that your shoulder blades (scapulae) will be depressed down or closer to the spine. In a sense you won’t be to tense on the shoulder.
·         In this position you’re not letting your belly drop to the floor, you are maintaining a minimal contraction in your abdomen.
·         The movement is then initiated by simultaneously raising your alternate arm and leg of the floor, until they are parallel to the floor.
·         The movement can then be repeated by alternating the other arm and leg.

Performance meter
·         The exercise is performed with great precision and control.
·         The position of the pelvis should always remain constant while performing the movement.
·         The movement should be initiated from the core (centre) of the body, it is a conscious effort.




  1. Exercise of the week – Side plank
Side plank is a very effective core stability exercise and it activates the obliques. You need to position yourself onto your sides, stacking your left foot on top of the right and resting your right forearm on the floor with your palms resting on the floor.
Please note that you are maintaining a neutral spine in this position and then lifting your side from the ground. The position challenges you to maintain a neutral spine while you are balancing your body weight on your right forearm and on the side of foot.
Make sure that the supporting hand is directly under your shoulder and you maintain an ‘open chest posture’ at all times. You are maintaining a neutral spine and the shoulders are relaxed so you don’t feel unwanted tension on your neck. Another important parameter is that you have to keep your hip in line with your spine, the moment you drop your hip the purpose of the exercise is lost.



Stages of Progression

Beginner

In this level, please note that you balancing yourself on your forearm and on the side of your knee. The same parameters are involved while executing this exercise.

·         You have to maintain a neutral spine (neck in line with your tailbone) and the distance of your neck.
·         Maintain an ‘open chest posture’
·         Don’t let your hip drop to the floor
·         The balancing arm is in perfect alignment with your shoulder


Intermediate

In this level, please note that you are balancing yourself on your forearm and on the inside of your foot.

 The same parameters are involved while executing this exercise.
·         You have to maintain a neutral spine (neck in line with your tailbone) and the distance of your neck.
·         Maintain an ‘open chest posture’
·         Don’t let your hip drop to the floor
·         The balancing arm is in perfect alignment with your shoulder






Advanced


In the advanced level, you are balancing your side on your palm. Your balancing arm is extended and in line with your shoulder.

The same parameters are involved while executing this exercise.
·         You have to maintain a neutral spine (neck in line with your tailbone) and the distance of your neck.
·         Maintain an ‘open chest posture’
·         Don’t let your hip drop to the floor
·         The balancing arm is in perfect alignment with your shoulder

Performance meter
·         Individuals with shoulder injuries need to progress with caution or at their own pace.
·         Breathe at a normal pace and avoid holding your breath.


  1. Exercise of the week - Glute Bridge
  2. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. In this position you maintain your neutral spine (the normal curvature of your back).
    You initiate the movement using your glutes and move your hips toward the ceiling.  Only your shoulders and heels should remain in contact with the floor.
    Hold this position and then lower your hips toward the floor.
    See to that you don’t get your glutes in contact with the floor.
    See to that you keep your core activated at all times.
    Don’t drop your hips while performing the movement.
    Performance meter
    The execution of this exercise should be continuous. Even though it activates the glutes, it is a good mobility exercise for the lumbar spine. Individuals who lead a sedentary life or perform their daily activities in front of the computer will find this exercise extremely beneficial for their lower back. 




  1. Exercise of the week – Reverse plank
  2. Lie down on the floor in a supine position. With you palms on the ground, your body elongated and in a neutral position.
    Push yourself up into a reverse plank (either on elbows or straight arms).  See to that you maintain a neutral position throughout the movement.
Progression


Beginner





Intermediate

Performance meter

Maintain the body in a neutral position and see to that you don't let your hips fall or rise. Be sure not to hold breath.



Frank Mapranny,
HOD Fitness,
Frank Mapranny

Monday, August 29, 2011

Re-introducing Core Stabilization


Technological advancement in this era has turned us into gadget slaves. The human body is created to engage in physical activity that activates the body to work as a single unit. However, in our sedentary lifestyle our body remains in a constant position depending on the kind of activity or the profession that we are involved in. We do a number of activities in a seated position from sitting in a café to working in front of the computer that compresses the spine. This constant position invariably activates certain muscles for a longer period resulting in postural imbalances. There are plenty of body conditioning techniques that correct or elongate the body and help in postural correction. However, as promised we are going to talk about core stabilization.

What constitutes the Core & Core stability?
The core of the body includes the spine, hips, pelvis and the abdominal structures. They help in the transfer of energy or force generation that is needed in human movement [1]. In simpler terms, it helps in transferring of energy from large body parts to smaller body parts. The movement required while doing any kind of daily activities will require the immediate participation of the core, depending on the intensity of that particular activity.
Core stability
“It can be defined as the ability to control the position and motion of the trunk over the pelvis to allow optimum production, transfer and control of force and motion to the terminal segment in integrated activities” – pg. 189 [1], if we look into the muscles that normally acts as the prime movers in our day to day activities. We will notice that they attach to the core (Pectoralis major, Latissmus dorsi, glutes etc.) [1]. The generation of any movement by these large muscles will require a certain amount of activation from the core muscles.  Now to increase the inter-abdominal pressure will require simultaneous contraction of the diaphragm, abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles (Figure – 1). These muscles are connected by the hip and the pelvis that form the base of the core. These muscles on the lower extremity helps in stabilising as well generating powerful movement like the squats, running and jumping.


Figure - 1
Advantages of Core stability
Now if the core muscle activates in a pre-programmed pattern or in a functional pattern. The given power generation will happen from the centre and this optimum generation of power will help in less energy wasted by the distal limbs. Additionally, the power generation will help in less correction by the distal extremities and optimal motor control precision by the limbs in a given movement. In simpler terms, the body functions as a unit and the core acts as an engine for movement production. For example, if we need to do a complex activity like running we need to have a stable core that will enable us to run and produce the necessary amount of optimal power [1].

Disadvantages of Core stability
If there is an amount of imbalance among the hip this will result in improper activation of the core. This normally happens when the pelvis is tilted from neutral either to an anterior or a posterior pelvic tilt. Hip flexors either tend to be weak or overly dominating in the pelvis region resulting in improper transmission of power to the lower extremities. Research has posited that these imbalances invariably affect the distal joints of the body leading to injuries [1].  There is evidence that lack of core stability will invariably affect the lower back, the knee and even the shoulder [1].

 Core stability training
Core stability training helps in correcting the neutral spine and improving the core’s function. These stability based exercises can be implemented with flexibility exercises to improve the function of the powerhouse – ‘The Core’. For a sedentary person this correction while training helps to improve posture and create some amount of hypertrophy in the core muscles. Hypertrophy in the core muscles will help in creating a strong cylindrical base for the trunk and improving the overall posture of an individual [2]. Hence, it is important to do core stability based exercises in your exercise program.  

Reference
[1] W.B.Kibler; J.Press & A. Sciascia. (2006). The Role of Core Stability in Athletic Function. Sports Medicine, 36, 189-198.
[2] I.Jeffrey. (2002). Developing a Progressive Core Stability Program. National Strength & Conditioning Association, 24, 65-66.


Frank Mapranny, 
HOD Fitness, 
Your Fitness Club

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Exercise of the week – Bird dog



·         The starting position is initiated when you assume an all-fours position, arms under your shoulder and knees under hips. In this position you will be maintaining a neutral alignment of your spine.
·         Please do note that your shoulder blades (scapulae) will be depressed down or closer to the spine. In a sense you won’t be to tense on the shoulder.
·         In this position you’re not letting your belly drop to the floor, you are maintaining a minimal contraction in your abdomen.
·         The movement is then initiated by simultaneously raising your alternate arm and leg of the floor, until they are parallel to the floor.
·         The movement can then be repeated by alternating the other arm and leg.

Performance meter
·         The exercise is performed with great precision and control.
·         The position of the pelvis should always remain constant while performing the movement.
·         The movement should be initiated from the core (centre) of the body, it is a conscious effort.




Frank Mapranny,
HOD Fitness,
Your Fitness club

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Exercise of the week – Reverse plank


Lie down on the floor in a supine position. With you palms on the ground, your body elongated and in a neutral position.
Push yourself up into a reverse plank (either on elbows or straight arms).  See to that you maintain a neutral position throughout the movement.



Performance meter
Maintain the body in a neutral position and see to that you don't let your hips fall or rise. Be sure not to hold breath.


Frank Mapranny, 
HOD Fitness, 
Your Fitness club

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Diet for Ramadan


On wake up : 1 glass water
1 fruit ( any ) + 10 almonds + 2-3 walnuts.
Sehri : ( meal before dawn)
1.     300 ml milk + 6-7 tbsp muesli  + 2-3 anjeer OR
2.     Pulse or paneer paratha with 1 cup milk  Or
3.     Whole wheat vegetable sandwich + 1 cup milk  or
4.     1 cup brown rice with pulse or dal
Drink 1 litre water till fajzr.
Iftaar meal :
1 .Start slowly 2. Chew your food well 3. Do not pounce and attack at one go.
Start with dates or anjeer + banana- the most important fruit + any other fresh fruits
Have a lemon shot (same amount of water as per lime)
Post maghrib meal :
Chapatis with paneer + vegetables OR
Chapatis with chicken or fish + vegetables OR
Brown rice cooked with vegetables  + curd + dal
Ishaa meal: ( Late evening meal)
Grilled chicken or fish or chicken tikka with salad  OR
Eggwhite omlette  OR besan chilla or moong dal chilla OR
Alfa alfa sprouts or pulse with vegetables tossed. OR
1 cup low fat curd + vegetables chopped in it.
Drink electoral water post iftaar meal till fajr to replenish the lost electrolytes from the body.
The best time to workout is in between post maghrib meal to late evening meal
Avoid tea or coffee as they make you more dehydrated. Have buttermilk in place of aerated beverages.
Eat fresh small portions till dawn.

Happy Fasting!!!.Stay Fit be Healthy.

Please check bodybuilding through Ramzan by Kaizzad Sir
http://keleven.com/blog/uncategorized/body-building-through-ramzan

Reya Pahuja
Nutritionist
Your Fitness Club

Dietary tips for the month of Ramadan


The holy month of Ramadan offers an excellent opportunity to lose weight, especially by performing light exercise and eating the right kind of food. Fasting is good for one's health because it has spiritual, physical, psychological, and social benefits. However, man-made problems may occur if fasting is not properly practiced.
I have provided you with a list of common problems arising during the fast and also ways to cope with it.

CONSTIPATION
Causes: Too much refined foods, too little water and not enough fibre in the diet.

Remedy: Avoid excessive refined foods, increase water intake, use bran or multigrain flour or whole grains like jowar , bajra, ragi , brown rice & increase vegetable and fruit intake.

INDIGESTION
Causes: Over-eating. Too many fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods that produces flatulence e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils. Carbonated drinks like Cola also produce gas.

Remedy: Do not over-eat, drink fruit juices. Drink
water. Avoid fried foods, add ajwain & asafetida to flatulence producing foods.

LETHARGY ('low blood pressure')
Causes: Too little fluid intake, decreased salt intake.

Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake.
* People on medication for blood pressure control should continue taking it.

MUSCLE CRAMPS
Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium potassium foods and less water intake.

Remedy: Eat foods rich in the above minerals e.g. lots of vegetables, fruit, dairy products and dates.

 Remember:
  • At the time of sehri try to eat foods that take a long time to digest and therefore will keep you from getting hungry faster. If you eat complex carbohydrates, and whole wheat food products, the body will take up 6-7 hours to digest the food, as oppose to fast digesting foods which will be digested in a few hours leaving you extremely hungry towards the end of the day.                                                                                                                        

  • At the time of iftaar try and break your fast with dates or sweet juice and milk shake because the body needs an immediate source of energy for all the different cells in the body, and glucose is the best way to provide this energy.


  • Make sure you are drinking enough water and fluids in the time between iftaar and sehri so that you are meeting the body’s requirement of water and replenishing all your cells.

  • Your favourite delicacies like samosas and pakoras which are commonly eaten during iftaar and some people think the meal is incomplete without them, should not be consumed everyday as it can lead to indigestion.


Reya K Pahuja
Nutritionist
Your Fitness Club.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Exercise of the Week - Side Plank


Side plank is a very effective core stability exercise and it activates the obliques. You need to position yourself onto your sides, stacking your left foot on top of the right and resting your right forearm on the floor with your palms resting on the floor.
Please note that you are maintaining a neutral spine in this position and then lifting your side from the ground. The position challenges you to maintain a neutral spine while you are balancing your body weight on your right forearm and on the side of foot.
Make sure that the supporting hand is directly under your shoulder and you maintain an ‘open chest posture’ at all times. You are maintaining a neutral spine and the shoulders are relaxed so you don’t feel unwanted tension on your neck. Another important parameter is that you have to keep your hip in line with your spine, the moment you drop your hip the purpose of the exercise is lost.

Stages of Progression

Beginner


In this level, please note that you balancing yourself on your forearm and on the side of your knee. The same parameters are involved while executing this exercise.
·         You have to maintain a neutral spine (neck in line with your tailbone) and the distance of your neck.
·         Maintain an ‘open chest posture’
·         Don’t let your hip drop to the floor
·         The balancing arm is in perfect alignment with your shoulder


Intermediate


In this level, please note that you are balancing yourself on your forearm and on the side of your knee.
 The same parameters are involved while executing this exercise.
·         You have to maintain a neutral spine (neck in line with your tailbone) and the distance of your neck.
·         Maintain an ‘open chest posture’
·         Don’t let your hip drop to the floor
·         The balancing arm is in perfect alignment with your shoulder
Advanced


In the advanced level, you are balancing your side on your palm. Your balancing arm is extended and in line with your shoulder.
The same parameters are involved while executing this exercise.
·         You have to maintain a neutral spine (neck in line with your tailbone) and the distance of your neck.
·         Maintain an ‘open chest posture’
·         Don’t let your hip drop to the floor
·         The balancing arm is in perfect alignment with your shoulder

Performance meter
·         Individuals with shoulder injuries need to progress with caution or at their own pace.
·         Breathe at a normal pace and avoid holding your breath.



Frank Mapranny, 
HOD Fitness, 
Your Fitness club

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monsoon workout of the month


August workout of the month focuses on body weight exercises that challenge your body. These exercises can be performed if you miss a session at our club or if you are out holidaying.
Burpees                                       1 set * 20 reps
Press-ups                                    1 set * 15 reps
Jump squats                                 1 set * 20 reps
Hindu press ups                           1 set * 15 reps
Walking lunges                            1 set * 20 reps
Triceps Dips                                1 set * 15 reps
Skipping                                      1 set* 30 sec/ 60sec
Crunches                                     1 set * 15 reps
Plank                                           1 set * 10 sec hold
Side Plank                                    1 Set* 10 sec hold


*Please note that a warm-up and a cool down phase should be incorporated in this workout. Also these exercises can be repeated again depending on your fitness levels.
For any fitness related queries, please contact me – frank@yourfitnessclub.in

Frank Mapranny,
HOD Fitness,
Your Fitness club


Exercise of the Week - Front Lat Pulldown



You are facing the lat pull-down machine with a wide bar attached to the top pulley. You should adjust the thigh pad according to your height. These pads help you to remain seated on the lat pull-down machine.

After selecting the required weight on the machine, you hold the wide bar using a wide grip with your palms facing forwards. Please note wide grip is defined has distance wider than shoulder width.

Your arms are extended in a front of you. See to that you maintain a neutral spine; neutral spine defined is an upright torso while maintaining the normal curvature of your lower back with your chest up. This position will be your staritng position.

As you exhale out and get your elbows to your side, so that the bar touches your upper chest. This positon is achived when your scapula (shoulder blades) pinches together. The main function of the arm is to act like hooks and your lats do the work of pulling the bar towards your upper chest.

After pausing for a second, slowly release the bar back to the starting position. So that your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.


Repeat this movement for the required number of reps.


Performance meter

This exercise is a good substitute instead of pull-ups for a beginner.










Frank Mapranny, 
HOD Fitness, 
Your Fitness club