Friday, May 23, 2008

You walk wrong

"It took 4 million years of evolution to perfect the human foot. But we’re wrecking it with every step we take."

Nymag covers an interesting post regarding how we are abusing our feet everyday and what we can do about it, a must read.

Feet is a very important part of our body and crappy feet put a lot of stress on whole of our body. Our body is connected all over the joints using fascia. Fascia is a massive sheath of connective tissue that surrounds everything inside your body. Right from top to bottom you are covered in fascia.

Moving upwards they pull calf muscle which in turn put a lot of stress on our knees, now through IT bands the pain moves toward opposite hips now it crosses across the body toward the shoulder. So you can see that the chronic pain in our shoulder could be a result of problem in you foot.

Here are some suggestion to fix your feet.

  • Change your shoes: Ladies ditch your heels, and same goes for men stop wearing shoes with heels or cushioning in the heels that most shoes have. Stick with flat shoes or one with minimal support like nike frees, I personally use good old converse shoes for everyday activity, even for running.
  • Walk Barefoot: Make a point of walking barefoot in your house, this will help strengthening the ankles and improving our feet quality. Our ancestors walks barefoot and do not face any issues in there feet, while we modern men using these highly cushioned shoes experience lot of foot related ailment, something is wrong here.
  • Foam rolling: Take a hard tennis ball and roll beneath each of your foot for 1 minute, 2-3 times a day.
  • Never land on your heels: Always land softly on you heels and simultaneously on your mid foot , and your knees would be lot better. landing on heels but a lot of stress on knees and is not natural to us. watch a kid walking.
Stay healthy.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Superhuman Strongman

Odd Haugen lifting 202 pounds dumbbell at arnold

This week I was watching repeat telecast of Nat geo "Superhuman Strongman", and it was really inspiring. It featured Odd Haugen lifting Atlas stones, Mark Philippi pulling a big truck, Pumphrey brothers breaking stack of concrete with bare hands and even with there head, Dennis Rogers demonstrating his hand strength by driving nail to the wood.

What these atlete train is there functional muscle, lifting a heavy stone is just like picking up a crate from the ground, they are not like those big bodybuilders who just have beach muscles. These athlete through hard work have pushed there body to limits and the most impressive thing is that they are still getting stronger. Odd haugen at age of 56 is competing in strong man contest and Denis rogger at age of 50 has been increasing is strength level.

Take away point is that regular exercise is very important for each and every person. We may not be able to get bones of steel like Pumphrey brothers but it will help us to increase bone density which can help in preventing osteoporosis. We may not be able to lift a 150Kg Atlas stone like Odd Haugen does but training will allow us to lift and move stuff as we get old and that too without experiencing back pain.
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Monday, May 19, 2008

The Last 10 Pounds

Alwyn Cosgrove takes a look into loosing the Last 10 pounds on T-nation. A great read. I have decided to give this a shot. Beside this I am already lifting heavy on 3 days. With routine being :

Day 1: Deadlift(Hip dominant) + Vertical Push

Day2: Bench Press variations (Horizontal Push) + Row variations (Horizontal Pull)

Day 3: Squat (Quad dominant) + Vertical Pull

Going to do 3 metabolic routine as suggested in article on lifting days or off days as time suits me. I feel toughest thing for me would be to get NEPA walks because of time consideration.

But as Alwyn quotes Dan John,

"Fat loss is an all-out war. Give it 28 days — only 28 days. Attack it with all you have. It's not a lifestyle choice; it's a battle. Lose fat and then get back into moderation. There's another one for you: moderation. Revelation says it best: 'You are lukewarm and I shall spit you out.' Moderation is for sissies."

So I better get down to work..
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Exercise Part 2 - Pushups

Push ups are excellent exercise for whole body, they work chest, shoulders, triceps and core. No matter if a person is a beginner or an advance athlete he needs to do a push up. Push up being an open chain movement is lot better then Bench press. In push up you whole body moves compared to just arms in a bench press.

Correct way to do a Push up
Like every exercise there is a correct way to do push up. Following key things need to be remembered while doing a push up.
  • Shoulder width: Hand should be placed at a width slightly greater then shoulder width.
  • Tuck your elbows: Never flare your elbow, they should be at around 45° angle to the body. This is very important to maintain shoulder health.
  • Tightness through out the body: Keep tightness throughout your body, brace your abs and squeeze your glutes. You should keep a straight line from head to toe. and your whole body should move as single unit.
  • Full range of motion: Its very important to work through out the range of the motion. Touch your chest to ground at bottom position and lock your elbows at top position.
Here is an nice video by Crossfit on good form and common mistake while doing push ups

Push up progression for Beginners

Here is another nice video by Crossfit on push up progression for beginners.

  • Push up on walls
  • Push up on knees with hands elevated.
  • Push up with hands elevated and a wide stance.
  • Push up from knees with hands on ground.
  • Push up from hands on ground and wide stance.
  • Normal push up.
More Push ups variations

Here are some other variation of pushups.

  • Push-up from Knees
  • Wide Grip Push-ups
  • Close Grip Push-ups
  • Diamond Push-ups
  • Fingertip Push-ups
  • Knuckle Push-ups
  • Chinese Push-ups (or Dive Bombers)
  • Bench Push-ups
  • Isometric Push-ups
  • One-legged Push-ups
  • Push-up with T Rotation
  • One-arm Push-up
  • Explosive (or Plyometric) Push-ups
  • Clapping Push ups
  • Staggered Push-ups
  • Explosive Staggered Push-ups
  • Elevated Feet Push-up
  • Alligator Push-ups
  • Circle Push-ups
  • Walk Through Push-ups
  • 90 Degree Push-ups
These are just a few variation, there are many more ways in which push ups can be performed.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Girls need to lift heavy too.

One of the biggest misconception among girls is that lifting heavy will make them bulky. checkout the video of Kaitlin Young doing strongman/woman stuff.....

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Exercise Part 1 - Squat

Squat is the basic exercise that is used everyday in our daily life but unfortunately we have lost the mobility to do so. Below is a picture of a kid doing a perfect squat.

Here are few pointers that needs to be taken in mind.

  • Big Chest : Try to make a big chest and squeeze your back and look straight ahead, this will prevent the rounding of the back.
  • Bend from hips: Initiate the motion from the hips and try to sit back between your legs.
  • Push from the heels: At any instant the weight should be on your heels and you should be able to wiggle your toes. Push the ground while coming up.
  • Knees out : Always push your knees outwards and you knees will thank you.
  • Go deep : Go as deep as you can, if you can not reach parallel then you need to work on your hips and ankle mobility.
One of the best Source to lean Squat is below video from Coach Dan John. It runs for about 50 minutes , great stuff.

Here he have used two techniques for teaching how to squat.

1. Goblet squat

Do this without a dumbbell, hold a goblet like position in front of you and squat down. and in the bottom position with the help of of your elbows push your knees outwards.

2. Potato sack squat

Insure that the weight is on your heels, keep your chin up and chest puffed, grasp hands and drop between your legs just as your going down to pick a sack of potatoes. touch the floor with your hands and get up.

Please note that before loading its important that your are squating with good technique. bodyweight first
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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How to loose fat.

Above is the picture of me year back when I decided to reduce fat and the second one is my current photo. Still a long way to go.. So if you have some fat to loose then you should start now. Here are 5 tips .

1. Nutrition: Nutrition is the key to reduce fat and stay healthy. Good eating habits in one line can be defined as "Meats and vegetables, Nuts and seeds, some fruits, little starch and no sugar" courtesy crossfit. You would be amazed by the difference by just cutting all of the refined carbs/sugar from your diet. Refer below for more tips. Prepare a meal plan on this basis and try to maintain a journal of everything you put in your mouth, you will automatically find from where the excessive calories are coming and what to cut.

2. Strength Training: After Nutrition the key is strength training. This is valid for both men and women. Strength training will add muscle and increase Metabolism thus leading to fat loss. While the steady state exercise only burn fat during the duration you are performing them but high intensity 45 min strength training can keep your metabolism boosted upto 72 hours. So if you are pressed for time ditch the boring cardio.

3. Start now: The key is to start now else you will keep shifting things on tomorrow. And time should not be an issue. 45 min 3 times a week is all you require to kick start your program. You don't have this much time start with 20 mins 6 times a week. Do not have time to go to gym start with body weight exercise.

4. Increase your activity level: Increase your activity level, start taking daily walk. Walk instead of using car for going to nearby place, use stairs instead of elevators / escalators. While watching TV jog in place or anything that you can think of. You won't believe how these slight changes can help in fat loss.

5. Track your Goals and progress: Goals are vital for success in every part of life, how can you reach a destination if you don't know where you have to go. Tracking your progress can be very helpful, you should keep track your daily diet and exercise routine for optimum results. It's your body and it’s only you who can judge what works best for you. Also this is good way to keep you motivated. You can use Body fat %, Monthly pics or your weight for tracking your progress. Though using weight as a sole parameter is not enough because it’s possible that you are loosing fat but also gaining muscle thus keeping weight constant.

Good Luck !
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Monday, May 5, 2008

I am Back..

After a long rest, I am back I will try to keep things interesting posting reference, videos from youtube and other stuff to keep you motivated. We are just 2 months away before half of this year is over so its time to review your goals and to speed up things if it looks like you will not be able to achieve 50% of your goals. And if you haven't set any goals there are still 8 months left in this year, so you better start now.
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