Thursday, June 19, 2008

Warm up...

Not a good way to warm-up

Yesterday I saw a very strange warm up routine..A guy aged 30-35 comes into gym and first thing he does is "Preacher Curls" . As i go to a commercial gym I have seen many strange things but after watching this I was just dumbstruck .

Charecteristic of a Good warm-up

  • Elevates Body Temperature.
  • Promotes mobility in Joints.
  • Develop proper movements.
  • Works whole body in multi planes.
  • Prepares for athletic movement.
  • Teach correct Posture.

How to perform warm up correctly.

My favourite warm up routine is based on Olympic exercise performed with just bar in a continuous fashion.

It goes like this (Performing 5 reps of each exercise) :
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Cleans
  • Snatch
  • Overhead Squat
  • Military press
  • Push Press
  • Push Jerk
  • Rows
  • Overhead reverse Lunges
  • Good Morning

Things you would note is that there are lots of Over head movements like
Squats and lunges. These Would test out your balance and will provide mobility throughout the shoulder and hip complex

Also note that its not advisable to do static stretching before lifting. It has been shown that static stretching before lifting leads to significant decrease in strength.

You cant go wrong with these
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Running Backward.

I was just looking on a crossfit WOD some days back which involves around running forward and then backwards. I have been running backward for quite some time and here are some thoughts on why its a good exercise.

  • Balance out things: Backward Running is just opposite of Forward running so while running forward puts stress on Hamstrings and calves on the other hand running backward but more stress on Quads and shins. Running backwards also have place in rehabilitating knees injury.
  • Builds Stamina : Running backwards require much more stamina and is tough on cardiovascular system. Don't believe me, Run 200 meter forward and then run same distance backwards now compare which is challenging. Probable reason is that running backward requires more leg muscle and after long years of forward running you have adapted to forward running.
  • Add variety to workout : If you are bored from running forward then running backwards is a nice change.
  • Improves awareness of the surroundings : As in the case of running forward you are not sure what is behind you so you tend to take cue from other things like sound and thus are better aware of your surroundings.
  • Landing on toes: There is no way you can run backward while landing on heels and thus it promotes landing on toes which is lot better. Using this can be a good way to build leg strength for running using Pose Technique.
  • Looks on People face: People will look you with awe when they see you running backwards faster then they can run forward.
Word of Caution

Running backward can be dangerous if you are running on uneven surface and if you fall you can hurt yourself. So if you are doing it first time do it on a field or a track. Another safe way is to run backwards uphill. Running uphill will reduce your speed and will also reduce the distance from ground so if you fall you would land on hip rather then head.


One of my favorite workout related to running is running 200 M forward then running same distance backward immediately followed by running sideways thus covering all possible plain of motion.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What would you prefer.

On left is the Pic of tennis player Rafel Nadal and on right is the pic of a body builder. Now my question to you is which physique will you prefer ? If you prefer Nadal physique then why are you still doing same routine that you picked from a bodybuilding magzine that only works for bodybuilders loaded with steroids ??

What you should do ?

  • Train for functional strength - Train for Functional movement i.e the movement that have carryover in real life. for example deadlift is just like picking something from ground, now think of any real life movement where you need to curl the weight up ?
  • Train for Maximum strength - Train for Maximal strength i.e lift in range of 1-3 reps. Stronger you get more reps you could lift of a lighter weight.
  • No curls in squat rack - If you are a fat guy who needs to shed some weight or a skinny guy who needs to pack lot of muscle, then isolation exercise is the last thing you should be doing. Do big three exercise - Squat, Deadlift & Military Press.
  • Ditch your 5 days body split routine. - Ditch your 3 X 10 5 days a week body building routine for 3 days full body routine while doing squats or deadlift each time. you would be amazed with strength as well as size gain.
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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Whats your Excuse ?

So whats your excuse for missing a workout today ?
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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Hopeless Doctor

Another great post by John Berardi and a must read.
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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Say NO to crunches.

Why Crunches are bad.

According to research from Dr. Stuart McGill ( and his book Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance – crunches produce very high levels of intra-disc pressure and do not train the abdominals to produce spinal stability. Your abdominals are meant to be stabilizers not movers and the rectus abdominus (the 6 pack muscle) is not really a flexor anyway. It is actually there to provide increased "hoop tension" – read resistance to twisting motions.

In simple term our abs are not meant to provide flexion but to stabilize. How many real life activity can you think of which requires you to do a crunch. so doing lots of crunches lead to over use injury of the spine.

The better alternate.

The planks are far better exercise for Abs when compared to Crunches.

Front plank Side Plank

To perform a Plank get down on your elbows and toes and make your whole body tight squeeze your abs and glutes to make a straight line from your head to toe, try to hold this position for as long as possible. Do note that you need to do side plank on both right and left side.

Aim for holding each position for atleast 2 mins and then further progression can be made adding external load or lifting one limb in the air creating further imbalance.

Holding for 2 mins would be very tough if you are trying for first time, this looks like a simple exercise but its lot difficult then what it may seems.

Here are some video on how to do plank.

Front plank

Side Plank

Other factors.

  • If you want visible abs then get your body fat down. no matter how much ab work you do your abs would not be visible until the fat covering it is gone.
  • "Abs are made in kitchen". so keep what you put in your mouth at check.
  • You can not go wrong with heavy squats, Deadlift , over head lifting.
  • Overhead squat is the best strength training exercise that you can do for your core.
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