Monday, October 8, 2012

Fitness training schedules for T20 aspirants

The advent of T20 cricket has truly changed the fitness landscape of today's cricketers. 

Along with building a skill set to compete on the world stage, international cricketers also need to be genuine athletes with strength, agility, speed and flexibility all at a premium. Fitness training is no longer only confined to the 'pre-season' but requires dedicated and committed attention all year round. 

To compliment skill development and game sense training, the following core fitness parameters are crucial to be able to prepare a cricketer to be able to make runs, take wickets and field up to the standards of the modern game. 



Strength and Conditioning (6-10 weeks) 

A sport, specific program is ideal for focusing on improving speed, strength, endurance, power and agility. 

In brief, an individual needs to build their base strength. Moreover, as the athlete progresses in the program, multi-joint (compound) exercises would be added to improve on the overall strength of the player. 

Plyometrics (6- 10 weeks) 

Cricket involves explosive actions and requires sudden generations of speed. Acceleration is crucial and a plyometric program would ensure that the athlete is ready for these ballistic movements during match time. 

Core Conditioning program (6- 8 weeks) 

Whether it be batting, bowling or fielding, a cricketer is required to move quickly and effectively in all directions. Researchers have posited that a movement in the distal limbs is originated from the core (rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis and the erector spinae). Hence, a program that focuses on challenging the core needs to be implemented. 

Cardiovascular Conditioning (6- 8 weeks) 

player needs to continually improve on their cardiovascular functions. A fast bowler losing breath after an over is not a good sight and without good cardiovascular base, a player will be unable to stay at the top of their game for the full 40 overs. 

Therefore, interval training would be an interesting addition to the routine, high intense cardio mixed with long continuous bout would imitate the metabolic demands of cricket. 

A strong cardiovascular base will also assist in a cricketer being able to recover quickly after a match thus allowing them to perform at their best continuously with today's heavy playing schedule. 

Flexibility 

Mobility/ Injury prevention drills in a program would assist an athlete to recover and be injury free. Moreover, inclusion of Pilates & Yoga based programs would also help the player to recover and remain fresh from a gruelling fitness regime. 

Mental Practises 

The requirement of mental training techniques such as imagery, relaxation and self talk is paramount. The role of a sport psychologist can be to improve the positive attitude of the players and help them in their performance. 

Typically, off season is the usual time where fitness is heavily focused. However, with an elite cricketer in today's environment, a genuine 'off season' doesn't really exist. Therefore, its important that well planned fitness training programs focused on the above principles are incorporated into a player's yearly schedule to ensure he is at his peak and able to perform at his best when the game demands it.


Frank Mapranny & Martin Gleeson 

Cricket injuries and Prevention


We are a Cricket crazy nation and our cricketers are treated like gods. Cricket has been part of the Indian lifestyle since the inception of Cricket in 1700’s. Our cricketing rich tradition can boast of cricketing heroes since the 1970’s. Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni have all become household names. India won their first world cup in the 1980’s. In comparison, to the 1980’s a cricketer in today’s era has a tight season schedule.

A batsman can get hurt at the crease when he is facing bowlers bowling at a speed of about 140 km/h. A fielder can get hurt has he chases the ball towards the boundary. A bowler can suffer from injuries due to the repetitive stress that the body has to experience in a match. Injuries can occur by a direct hit of a moving ball, fielding injuries, getting hit by the bat and overuse injuries. These hazards have resulted in the players wearing protective gears to guard themselves.


Types of Injuries
Injuries can be categorized under the following parameters
Bone Injuries
A cricketer can suffer from a fracture that would require immobilization of the affected body part. In severe cases, a fracture may require surgical intervention. Stress fracture is another injury that can affect a cricketer, especially a bowler. They occur because of repetitive stress on the bones.
Joint Injuries
They normally include sprains and dislocations and are normally associated with fielders.
Muscle Injuries
They can be a muscle pull or strain and can be recovered by proper medical attention.
Injuries such as these can be experienced by both amateurs and professional cricketers. In such an event, the standard treatment of R.I.C.E is followed.
Rest
The first step in the R.I.C.E treatment is rest that requires a player to rest the injured body part. This would help in the relieving pain, under no circumstances the player is supposed to resume normal activity.
ICE
Ice acts as an analgesic and would slow down the metabolism around the injured area. This would help in reducing the swelling and fasten the process of recovery. Icing the injured body part by chemical cold bag or a bag of ice wrapped in towel would help. 15 minutes session of icing the injured area at hourly intervals can take place.
COMPRESSION
Compressing the injured area with elastic bandage would aid in recovery and help in reduced swelling.
Elevation
Elevating the injured area above your heart level assists in reducing the fluid around the injury. This done on a frequent basis would assist in recovery.

If a player suffers from an injury there should be a rehabilitation program that would help in getting back the player to competition levels. Cricket is played at many levels in the country and one of the most important parameter to avoid any kind of injuries is prevention. One of the most important factors in preventing an injury is fitness or a conditioning programme that can be implemented before and during the season. Moreover, coaches and sport authorities need to identify the type of injuries that are sustained at different levels.  This would result in the necessary countermeasures that would improve the performance quality of the players. For instance, a bowlers workload could be controlled during the season giving the bowler adequate rest. Protective gear can be used at competitive and at grass root levels to reduce impact injuries. In the end, the important thing that matters is the safety of the players and make the game more enjoyable.

Frank Mapranny,
Training Head,

YFC Pvt.Ltd

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Exercise in Prenatal and Postnatal Care


“Should I exercise while I’m pregnant?”
The answer is yes. A well-structured prenatal fitness program can make pregnancy both healthier and easier. 



Benefits of exercise during pregnancy
Psychological well being
-Increased sense of control and relief tension
-Control of excess weight gain.
-Decreased water retention.
-Improved posture and appearance.
-Decreased incidence of back pain.
-Decrease complications during labor.
-More rapid postpartum recovery. 

Enhance your mood:  Exercising before you are pregnant can give you an all-around better feeling. Physical activity changes the brain chemistry and stimulates endorphins, which directly affect your mood. Combined with the blessings of better sleep and reduced stress, you just may find yourself in a good state of mind.

Step-1 planning for pregnancy
The best time to start planning and implementing your pregnancy health, weight and exercise program is immediately after we’ve decided to try to become pregnant.
Having a strong, fit and healthy body will not only prepare us for the strength and stamina required during our pregnancy, but it will also increase our chances of conception and make for a generally easier pregnancy, labor and most importantly birth!
Research shows that being significantly overweight during pregnancy has potentially detrimental effects on the health of both the mother and their unborn children.
Step-2 Personal Training and pregnancy
When starting an exercise program at any stage in your life especially during pregnancy, using a Fitness professional experienced with pre and post natal clients is a must at least six months prior to your planned pregnancy.
This will make sure you are exercising correctly, appropriately and safely at all times.
As well as being providing motivation, encouragement and support, a good personal trainer will be fully versed in the safety aspects of exercising while pregnant and can provide valuable advice on things like nutrition, proper exercise technique, and plan suitable and practical exercises aimed directly at preparing us for giving birth.

Step-3 Exercises and pregnancy:
For instance

1. Squats-
This exercise is done using chairs to assist with the technique, help with balance and reduce range of motion. Place one chair against a wall. Sit on it with another chair in front of you, with the back facing you. Place your feet about shoulder width apart angled at approximately 45 degrees. Grab the top of the chair in front of you, using it to help with your balance on the up and your abs tight. Push up down movement of the squat.
Stand up using your legs, keeping your knees at the same angle as your feet. Do not lock your legs out. Keep your knees slightly bent at all times. Then squat down, lowering yourself towards the seat of the chair. Keep your back straight and your abs tight. Push up through your legs just before you are about to touch the seat.

2. Lunges
Lunges during pregnancy can be done using a chair to help with balance. Stand next to a chair, placed on your left hand side. Put your left hand on the top of the back of the chair. Step back with your left leg into the lunge position, keeping your front knee in line with your second toe and your back knee under your hip. Keep your feet on parallel lines as wide as your hips. Always keep your back straight and remember to push up through the heel of your front foot. Repeat on the other side.

3. Horse Stance
This exercise is performed on all fours, hands under shoulders, spine parallel to the floor, thighs perpendicular to the floor. Tighten your abs and push your lower back up into a flat position. Hold for 1-3 minutes. Great to help maintain your core strength during pregnancy!

Repeat exercises 1 and 2 with 15 - 20 reps x 2 sets 2- 3 times a week

Some other important exercises of during pregnancy
-Low impact aerobics
-Water aerobics
-Walking
-Kegels
-Pilates
-Yoga
-Cycling
-Swimming

Kegels- Help prepares body for labor and Strengthen pelvic floor muscles.

Yoga-  Help with breathing and relaxation.
-Energizing
-Stress relief
-Improve posture
Note:  Avoid position lying on the back.

Swimming- Uses large muscles group of legs and arms..
-         No strain on ligaments.
-         Feeling of weightlessness.
-         Improved circulation.
-         Water temp should be 18-25 Celsius

Stop exercising when you experience-
-Vaginal bleeding
-Dizziness
-Decreased fetal movement
-Amniotic fluid leakage
Step-4 Strength training and pregnancy
Strength training is now recommended by the American College of Obstetricians. 
• Making pregnancy easier • Helping avoid excessive pregnancy weight gain • Decreasing time in labor • Making labor easier • Quicker recovery after giving birth • Reduces tiredness • Better control over body-fat fluctuations • Increased strength to perform daily activities during and after pregnancy. • Strength to cope with the lifestyle changes of a new baby.
Step-5 Postnatal exercises guidelines
It is very important to start slowly and listen to your body. It is important to start being active, but do not over do it. It takes about six weeks for uterus to shrink back to normal size. If you had stitches from tearing, you will need to wait until they heal, if you had a c-section, you will need to wait until your doctor removes the stitches and approves for physical activity.

Exercise Schedule-
1 day after normal delivery, 2-3 days after c-section

-Walking
-Simple abs contraction

After 1 week
-Slowing increases walking length
-Breathing exercises

After 6 weeks-

1. Pelvic floor exercises (Strengthen your tummy muscles)
-Breathe in and as you breathe out, tighten your pelvic floor muscles. The feeling is one of squeeze and lift. Imagine that you are stopping yourself from passing wind. Once you have tightened your pelvic floor, gently pull your belly button in and up. You should feel your tummy muscles tighten.

2. Pelvic tilt (Strengthen your pelvis and back)
-Lie on the floor or your bed. Place a pillow under your head. Bend your knees by sliding your feet up towards your bottom.
-Tighten your pelvic and pull in your lower tummy muscles, before squashing the small of your back down into the floor or bed. Hold this for a count to three and then arch your back away from the floor or bed.
Note-
Don’t exercise in a hands-knees position for the first six weeks. There is a small risk that a little clot of air can form at the site where your placenta was attached.

Get your body back after: Maintaining fitness during your pregnancy will prepare your body for an easier time of rebounding back to the way you want it. It also helps keep off unnecessary weight gain during your pregnancy which would only make bouncing back more difficult. 
It took nine months to grow your baby and it may take you up to nine months to return to your pre-pregnancy shape. Be sensible and take it slow.

References-
1.  Acsm book
2. Acsm obstetricians.


Dr. Meenakshi Sharma,
Fitness Manager,
Your Fitness club





Imagery, Exercise Imagery and its positive effect on Exercise performance


'Conceive, believe and achieve’.
Quasi- sensory or Quasi-perceptual experiences that we are self-consciously aware of, and which exist in our minds even under the absence of those stimuli that could lead to the production of these sensory or perceptual counterparts can be termed as imagery (Richardson, 1969). Simply stated, Imagery is the mental representation of certain action that happens in a perceptual mechanism without the execution of a response or a movement. It is considered to be one of the most frequently used performance enhancement technique. Imagery normally involves all the senses (i.e. “seeing, feeling, touching, hearing and tasting). Paivio (1985) posited that imagery mediates behaviour through either cognitive or motivational mechanisms, which affect the specific skill set of the general response systems. Imagery was segregated to understand the underlying affects of its practise. Cognitive Specific imagery (CS) was suggested to be primarily of images of skills or techniques. Cognitive general (CG) was suggested to be imagery that worked on the cognitive plans (strategies) of athletes. Technique that works specifically on goals and goal oriented behaviours are termed as Motivation Specific (MS) and Motivational General includes images associated with affect and arousal (Short et al., 2006).



An athlete goes through different types of training to improve his/her performance i.e. technical training, conditioning training and mental training. Sport has a long history of athlete’s that have been successful in their endeavours. An athlete goes through tremendous amount of pressure when entering a sporting arena. They have to strike a balance between anxiety and confidence. A performance based athlete would definitely include training stimulus that can improve his/her training abilities. Studied have posited that a mature athlete would use imagery naturally to improve their efficacy beliefs in a competitive environment.

Athletes or individuals tend to have preferences over the type of imagery experienced. Imagery can be practised with an internal view, external view or with kinaesthetic imagery. Internal imagery can be termed as an imagery where you see the world through your own eyes, External imagery can be termed as an imagery where you can see yourself as a third person and Kinaesthetic imagery is a type of imagery practise that makes you aware of your body or body segments.

Exercise and Imagery
Imagery besides sports is used in developing language, enhancing motivation and learning motor skills. Moreover, research has suggested that imagery has a significant effect on exercise behaviour. It can be used for three primary reasons in exercise, one is to improve exercise energy, appearance and exercise technique. Mentally practising the aspect of having a leaner body through visualization can improve efficacy beliefs and outcome expectancy of the exerciser Giacobbi et al. (2003). If outcome expectancy is positive it would have an overall positive experience has a gym user. Furthermore, an experienced exerciser automatically uses appearance, energy and technique than less experienced, frequent users (Gammage et al. 2000; Hausenblass et al. 1999). Adherence to exercise improves if an individual practises exercise imagery (Rodgers et al. 2001).

A research conducted by Giacobbi et al. (2003); hinted that imagery that focused on exercise techniques was a powerful tool. One of the athlete mentioned that they broke down the form to imagine and visualize the perfect technique. The sensation that the person would experience while performing that perfect technique and every movement was broken down into segments to understand the proper form. Appearance imagery used by exercisers improved the positive experience of an exerciser. Having a healthy body image which is more toned would result in increased motivational functions. Associating emotions/feelings had a beneficial affect on the individuals. Feelings those are associated with reduction of stress due to exercise, excitement of finishing a workout or run would improve exercise participation. Moreover, the ability to complete a challenging task i.e. exercise with the use of imagery improved confidence.

As a regular gym user, how would I use it to my benefit?

If I need to improve the form of a certain exercise, I would imagine the movement the effort involved in that particular movement. This could be done before the start of a set. I would break down the segments in an exercise to improve my exercise form. Additionally, if I am trying to break my PR. I would see to that I would imagine the effort involved in that particular movement. Imagine for a positive outcome, imagine the strength involved, and imagine I am getting stronger for that lift. A positive outcome would have a positive effect on performance.

Faith in your CNS and in yourself – is called CNS training.

References
[1] Gammage, K. L., Hall, C. R., & Rodgers, W. M. (2000). More about exercise imagery. The Sport Psychologist,
14, 348.359.
[2] Giacobbi Jr., P.R; Hausenblas, H.A., Fallon, E.A. & Hall, C.A. (2003). Even more about Exercise Imagery: A Grounded Theory of Exercise Imagery. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 15, 160-175
[3] Hausenblas, H. A., Hall, C. R., Rodgers, W. M., & Munroe, K. J. (1999). Exercise imagery: Its nature and measurement. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 11, 171.180.

[4] Paivio, A. (1985). Cognitive and motivational functions of imagery in human performance.Canadian Journal of applied Sport Sciences, 10, 22s-28s.

[5] Richardson, A. (1969). Mental Imagery. New York: Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

[6] Rodgers, W. M., Hall, C. R., Blanchard, C. M., & Munroe, K. J. (2001). Prediction of obligatory exercise by exercise-related imagery. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 15, 152.154.

[7] Short, S., E., Ross- Stewart, L., & Monsma, E.V. (2006). Onwards with the Evolution of Imagery Research in Sport Psychology. Athletic Insight, 8, 47-63.


Frank Mapranny,
Fitness Head,

YFC

Fitness training schedules for T20 aspirants

The advent of T20 cricket has truly changed the fitness landscape of today's cricketers. 





Along with building a skill set to compete on the world stage, international cricketers also need to be genuine athletes with strength, agility, speed and flexibility all at a premium. Fitness training is no longer only confined to the 'pre-season' but requires dedicated and committed attention all year round. 

To compliment skill development and game sense training, the following core fitness parameters are crucial to be able to prepare a cricketer to be able to make runs, take wickets and field up to the standards of the modern game. 

Martin Gleeson, Chief Executive Officer, Sports Education Development India Limited (SEDIL) and fitness trainer Frank Mapranny, who trained cricketers from Cricket India Academy team as apart of Cricket Australia list out fitness tarining schedules for all you aspiring T20 players who wish to swing the bat for their country, city or may be your gully! 

Strength and Conditioning (6-10 weeks) 

A sport, specific program is ideal for focusing on improving speed, strength, endurance, power and agility. 

In brief, an individual needs to build their base strength. Moreover, as the athlete progresses in the program, multi-joint (compound) exercises would be added to improve on the overall strength of the player. 

Plyometrics (6- 10 weeks) 

Cricket involves explosive actions and requires sudden generations of speed. Acceleration is crucial and a plyometric program would ensure that the athlete is ready for these ballistic movements during match time. 

Core Conditioning program (6- 8 weeks) 

Whether it be batting, bowling or fielding, a cricketer is required to move quickly and effectively in all directions. Researchers have posited that a movement in the distal limbs is originated from the core (rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis and the erector spinae). Hence, a program that focuses on challenging the core needs to be implemented. 

Cardiovascular Conditioning (6- 8 weeks) 

player needs to continually improve on their cardiovascular functions. A fast bowler losing breath after an over is not a good sight and without good cardiovascular base, a player will be unable to stay at the top of their game for the full 40 overs. 

Therefore, interval training would be an interesting addition to the routine, high intense cardio mixed with long continuous bout would imitate the metabolic demands of cricket. 

A strong cardiovascular base will also assist in a cricketer being able to recover quickly after a match thus allowing them to perform at their best continuously with today's heavy playing schedule. 

Flexibility 

Mobility/ Injury prevention drills in a program would assist an athlete to recover and be injury free. Moreover, inclusion of Pilates & Yoga based programs would also help the player to recover and remain fresh from a gruelling fitness regime. 

Mental Practises 

The requirement of mental training techniques such as imagery, relaxation and self talk is paramount. The role of a sport psychologist can be to improve the positive attitude of the players and help them in their performance. 

Typically, off season is the usual time where fitness is heavily focused. However, with an elite cricketer in today's environment, a genuine 'off season' doesn't really exist. Therefore, its important that well planned fitness training programs focused on the above principles are incorporated into a player's yearly schedule to ensure he is at his peak and able to perform at his best when the game demands it.



Frank Mapranny & Martin Gleeson