Articles on bodyweight exercise

Do You Exercise Like a Rookie?

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Breathe & stretch rightIf you think you cannot go wrong with Yoga, think again. Yoga experts caution against holding your breath as this deprives your body of oxygen, thereby making the exercise ineffective. Practice relaxed, normal breathing in the initial stages of yoga. Once you are comfortable with this pattern, hold your breath to a tolerable level before exhaling.Running on the right trackWhen done right, running is one of the best ways to meet your daily dose of exercise. But getting this wrong can lead to ruptured knee joints for life. Ensure that your body is relaxed; take easy strides when running.Skip away your caloriesNo amount of skipping will help you lose weight when done wrong. Get it right by maintaining a distance of 3-4 inches between your feet. Keeping your feet too close or too far could harm your leg and thigh muscles. Jump lower; the lower you jump the more effective your exercise will be. Look in front of you while skipping and remember to keep your shoulders, neck, and body straight throughout the routine.Scaling Mt. StairAlthough climbing stairs is quite a task, the benefits you reap are worth it. Studies show that the best way to climb stairs is by maintaining a steady rhythm and taking a 30-second break between two flights of stairs. Taking two stairs at a time can be dangerous. Keeping your torso straight will help you gain momentum. Do it right and feel the difference! Get connected with best Nutritionist to lose weight. Effective exercising is not about losing weight. It's about getting fit and looking fabulous, every single day of the year! So, get your workout right and get gorgeous!

Stair Climbing Exercise

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Running is a great exercise, but many people who don't like to run for multiple reasons: its too hot, its boring, don't have a good place to run, too polluted to run outside, running is not for me (even though they haven't tried it after they turned 8) and our favorite, 'I do not like to sweat'.So, try stair climbing as an exercise. Stairs are easy to access. Most of us live in cities with plenty of high rises around us. Even a 5-6 story building is a good place to start, or a stadium. Our homes, offices, malls all have stairs. So, there are plenty of opportunity to use them.Stair Climbing as an exercise: Walk up the stairs briskly. Take the elevator down and repeat. If you're in good physical shape, try running them. When you can't run anymore, keep a brisk pace walking up those stairs.  Its one of the best cardio exercises and its a great muscle builder. Running stairs or even climbing them briskly is a serious workout. Gets your heart pumping and builds those ignored leg muscles- the calves, quads, hamstrings and even the glutes. Stair climbing gives you great calves to show off your hot legs in shorts or a skirt and gives you a great butt. We all love a good butt :)Stair Climbing a complete fat scorching exercise and calorie burning exercise. Its short and intense- burns fat, builds muscle.Even if you enjoy running, try stair climbing for cross training. Since it really pushes you leg muscles, it helps to build them and improve speed.Stair climbing sounds daunting- try going up a couple of floors. Its not easy to start, but keep at it. When you see yourself getting hotter, you won't need motivation from anyone else!

Shoulder Exercise – Let’s Do It Right

Dr. Narendra Mahara PT, Physiotherapist
Dumbbell shoulder pressDumbbell press is one of the pushing exercises to train those big shoulder muscles. It is a great functional exercise for upper body. However, it is one of the most common exercise to develop upper body issues if done incorrectly. To get that right technique and avoid injuries, it's important to understand about shoulder’s axis of movement.There are two axis formed at shoulder joint. First one is body axis and second one is the scapular axis (refer pic 1). Majority of people do all their exercises in body axis, which leads to injuries. Poor posture is another reason for scapular axis to shift further forward and cause injuries.                                                                     Pic 1  – Red line – Body Axis   Green line – Shoulder blade axisThe prime muscle we train with this exercise is deltoids. Other muscle involvedis upper pectorals and triceps and rotator cuff muscle in stabilizing humeralhead.Common mistakes while doing dumbbell press exerciseWrong axis of movementAs explained earlier, if exercise done is in line with body axis, chances of getting impingementare high. Always follow the scapular axis (refer Pic 2) to avoid impingement issues.Pic 2Back HyperextensionIt usually occurs when the weight is heavier than a person’s ability to lift (refer pic 3 & 4). It is a form of compensation to use more pectoral muscle to push the weight up. This can lead to back problems.Wrist not maintained in neutral position or Lose gripIn either case, the line of weight keeps changing reducing control of the movement which can lead to compensation and injury at shoulder, elbow or wrist joint (refer pic 3 & 4)Excessive external rotation at jointIn an attempt to keep the arms straight, many times people rotate their shoulders excessively which causes undue stress on biceps tendon and rotator cuff muscle(refer pic 3 & 4).Pic 3 – Incorrect technique – 1.Back hyperextension, 2. wrist bending 3. excessive shoulder rotationPic 4 – Correct technique – 1. Neutral back 2.neutral wrist 3. no excessive shoulder rotationCrossing over and clashing of weightsAt the end of the pushing movement, avoid clashing or crossing over of weights. This can lead to a jarring movement creating excessive or unwanted movement at the joints. These points also need to be considered for other shoulder exercises such as side raises/military press/arnold shoulder press.Always remember to listen to your body and progress gradually to prevent injuries.

5 Ways to Get Your Share of Exercise During Work Hours

Ms. Akshata Dorkadi, Physiotherapist
These days it seems important to log in long hours after idle hour with your buttocks glued to your chairs. Using the old “no-time-to-exercise” excuse is becoming a trend more than ever. Even short bouts of cardio, stretching and strength exercises in your office can help improve your fitness and health. We cannot promise a six packs abs with it, but this can surely get rid of your pain, improve your strength and burn a few extra calories. We have some sneaky exercises to a healthier and a happier work day. CardioBurn Calories not electricity!The Stair Master:Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Feel the real leg burn. If you work on the 8th floor and never ever taken the stairs, start with walking up 3 floors and take the elevator from there. Add in one more floor each week as a treat for completing the task. Slog and Jog:Instead of slogging for hours nonstop, take a mini break and jog on the spot. Pop up from the chair to admire the butt print on the chair, and jog at your desk. Want to huff and puff a little more, lift those knees closer to the chest. Do it for a minute and get back to slogging.The Wandering employee:Walking during working is underrated. Instead of dialling extensions and writing lousy emails, walk up to the cubicle of your co-worker and see the importance you get from them!Sneak into the Conference room:If you find your conference room to be empty, walk in through the doors like you own it. Stroll as fast as you can through the room. Make sure you keep changing direction around the conference table to avoid any hip pain.The Unauthorized Office ChairThe chair Swivel:Use your desk chair to swivel with your oblique abs. sit upright, let your feet hover over the floor. Hold the armrests firmly. Use your core to swivel the chair from side to side. Swish back and forth for 10 rounds. The “Weeee” desk chair:Everyone likes to play with their desk chair. While seated in the chair, position yourself at a one arm distance from your desk. Raise your feet slightly off the ground and hold onto your desk. Pull yourself towards the desk and push yourself back. Repeat 10 times or until you burn holes into the carpet.The desk squat:Start standing with your feet apart. Pretend as if you are sitting on your chair and getting back to business. Bend your knees slightly and the thighs are parallel to the ground. Touch your buttocks to the seat of the chair and push yourself back up. Repeat 10  times.Under the wrapsThe silent Butt squeeze:start toning your booty. Simply squeeze your buttocks, hold for 10-15 seconds and release. Repeat until they tire. The Kegels:Women can do Kegels. Tightening, holding and then relaxing the pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that control the flow of your urine every time you want to rush to the little ladies room).The Ab squeeze:Another silent deskercise, this one can be covertly be executed when walking down the hall or seated during a call. Simply take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles, bringing them in towards the spine as you exhale. Stay squeezed for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat for 12-15 reps.Be the Mr Deskercise guy instead of Mr FormalMr. DeskerciseTouch your toes:The old touch-your-toes are a great stretch for your legs. Pop-up of the chair put one leg on your chair and bend to touch your toes. I-do-not-know:Remember when you are irritated and you want to say, “ I do not know what the hell is going on around here!” Do the same. Shrug. Bring your shoulders close to your ears. Repeat it 10 times and get back to your screen.Reach for the sky:Sitting tall in your chair, stretch both your arms over your head and reach for the sky. Hold it for 10 seconds and do it again.The chair yogi:Sit facing forward, turn your head to the left and torso to the right. Feel the stretch and do it on the other side. Repeat.Drop a pen:What should you do if one of your coworkers finds you two feet away from your desk , stretched out, staring at the floor? You can pretend you dropped a pen. But it’s better to say, “Feels awesome. Try it!”The Fun Lunch TimeThe Wall Street Squats:When everyone has left for lunch, it's squat time! Stand against a wall, drag your back down while bending your knees till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Squeeze your buttocks and come back up. Repeat 15 times and head for lunch.Desk Push Ups:Lay hands on your desk. Incline your body in relation to the floor. Do 10 push ups. If you’re worried about getting sweaty during work – don’t! Doing five or even ten push-ups at a time is not going to make you sweat.Go for a 20 min walk post lunch:Go for a 20 min walk break after your lunch with your colleagues. Laugh. Praise. Share. Live. Make your workplace fun than boring. Try these fun bursts of a workout either by yourself or with few of your colleagues. 

Exercises for Knee Strengthening

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Do you have pain in your knees and have problems walking? Does your knee pain in the mornings and cause trouble while walking down the stairs? You probably have some inflammation in the knees and needs to be looked into.Exercises for knees help in strengthening the knees and connected muscles to the knees as weak connecting muscles would not absorb the shock which would further increase knee problem.Tips to Reduce Knee Pain1. Don't run on the metal as it  stresses the knee causing further pain. Metallic surfaces are all hard surfaces like road, cemented surfaces and tough surfaces.2. Manage your weight - The more you weight the more prone are your knees to injury.3. Eat anti-inflammatory foods- The foods will naturally heal the inflammation reducing the pain and helping the kne recover.4. Light Exercises: Don't go for heavy weights or doing high intensity exercises because it will increase the problem. Do light exercises to strengthen it and increase blood flow, do warm water bath to increase blood flow again.Knee Exercise with Elastic Band: Sit on a chair with the elastic band tied to the front foot. Attach one leg with the elastic on the same side and lift your ankles up and hold for 3-4 sec and bring back to normal. Perform 10 reps with both legs.Knee Exercise with Chair: Stand behind the chair and hold the top of the chair back. Now lift your heels up keeping your toes touching the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and come back. Do 10 repetitions.Bent Knee Exercise with Chair: Stand behind the chair and lift your knees. Hold one leg and bend it making the ankle touch your glutes. Hold on for a few seconds and then change legs. Perform 10 repetitions.Side Leg Lift: Stand besides a chair while resting one hand on it. Spread one leg on the side lifting it in the air while the other leg is on the floor. Make sure the knee is not bent.The above exercises will build the adjoining knee muscles providing support to the knee by absorbing shocks and share the knee tension before it reaches the knees. If knee pain is due to your weight then get started with a weight loss program to lose weight.

Exercise 101!

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
YES, the benefits of exercise are written on, heard about and perhaps all too overdone. Yet, here we are doing a quick and dirty summary for all you readers about 10 exercise basics.1. First things first, you need one! Yes, no matter your age, sex, geographical location, social status, body composition, we all need to workout. Exercise is an anti-ageing tool which means that it would make us look and feel younger. Now who doesn’t want that?2. It can be broken down into 3 components: endurance, flexibility and strength and a good workout would encompass all of these 3 componentsEndurance – In simple terms, how much your body can ‘ensure’ without reaching a point of fatigue. Examples include walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, tennis, squash to name a fewFlexibility- Flexibility training includes exercises for the purpose of increasing one’s range of motion and making the muscles more tensile. Excellent examples of activities that improve flexibility are yoga and stretching exercisesStrength- The maximum amount of force a muscle or muscle group can develop during a single contraction. Examples are lifting weights, using a resistance band, using your own body weight3. Pre-workout – Want to get the most out of your workout? Then you need to plan a healthy, nutritious pre-workout meal to better fuel your body for the exercise. Best to consume a fruit 30 minutes prior to working out. If working out post breakfast, lunch or a bigger meal, a gap of 90 minutes is recommended4. Post workout – Eating a meal after the workout is just as important as a pre-workout meal as it helps to replenish the glycogen stores that are used up during the workout. Also, a meal would help repair and recover our muscle tissues which have gone through damage during the workout. What you eat would largely depend on time of workout completion. If you workout in the mornings, then a breakfast immediately post workout would be a good idea. If evenings, then dinner5. Warming up – This is the first step to a successful exercise. It helps to raise the total body temperature and muscle temperature that is required for vigorous exercises and to prevent injuries6. A cool down – This allows for the gradual return of heart rate, respiratory rate and core body temperature back to pre-exercise levels. It also ensures that you don’t go through post-exercise stiffness thereby allowing for a more efficient exercise7. Consistency – 2 days a week for 3 months is better than 7 days a week for 1 month and 2 months of doing nothing and eating in front of the TV. No, we’re not telling you to workout less, we are asking you to be consistent with whatever it is that you commit to. This forms the basis of a healthy, lifelong exercise plan8. Drink up! Your body needs the good old H20 to refill back the fluid loss we experience due to sweating. So drink enough water during and after your workout9. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day, it counts. Some exercise is better than no exercise and 15 minutes spent on exercise would be 15 less minutes spent on your iPhone which is a complete win10. Baseline diet – So here’s where we actually come into the picture. A good baseline diet will serve many purposes (replenish glycogen stores, counter damage that body cells go through during workout). Below are a few elements that comprise of a good baseline diet:A fruit pre-workoutA wholesome meal within the first hour of finishing the workoutMinimal consumption of foods which are packaged, processed and deep-friedNo blanket bans on carbs and fatsSensible eating—no restriction, limitation, starvation.

4 Exercises Which Will Keep Your Back Strong

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Longer working hours spent sitting with no physical activity is leading to lot of health issues in the lives of working professionals. Out of the many, back problems seems to be most prevalent among all ages and genders. Most affected people aren’t taking any steps to take care of it and mostly ignore it without giving it much thought. They consider it as a minor health issue, expecting it to eventually go away with time (Read more about 5 Exercises that you must do!)Well I’m here to help you put an end to that habit. Any decision related to your health should be taken cautiously and wisely, no matter how insignificant you might find it. Your back is the strongest support of your body and it’s your responsibility to treat it with that much amount of care. It’s time you stop ignoring that back pain and do something about it.To make things simpler for you, I have listed down some of the easiest exercises that don’t even require you to move out of your comfort zone. Here are some exercises to minimize back pain, that anyone can do at home, with relevant videos to make you understand them better-1. Cat camel exerciseHow to do itGet down on your hands and knees.Place your hand in a relaxed position and allow it to droop.Arch your back up towards the ceiling until you feel stretched in your upper, middle and lower back.Hold this position for as long as it feels comfortable. Then return back to the starting position with flat back while you are on all fours.Let your back sway by pressing your stomach toward the floor.Lift your buttocks towards the ceiling and hold this position according to your stamina. Repeat this 2 to 4 times.2. SupermanHow to do itTo begin with, lie down straight and keep your face down on exercise mat.Simultaneously raise your arms, hands and legs off the floor and hold them there for a few seconds.Slowly come back to the original position by lowering your body towards the ground. Make sure you continue with the inhaling and exhaling process.Repeat this as per your stamina level.3. Bird dog exerciseHow to do itKneel on the floor with your hands firmly placed, keeping your shoulder straight.Lifting one hand along with the leg opposite to it and keep your other two limbs fixed on the ground. Try to first work on balancing your body weight. Hold this position for few seconds and repeat the process as per your stamina.Repeat the same with the other hand and leg.4. Hip BridgeHow to do itLie on your back, make your arms relaxed, get your feet apart and bend your knees.Squeeze your buttocks as you lift your hips. This is one of the exercises for a great butt!Watch the video below to get aligned in a straight line. Hold the position as long as you can and repeat it at least 4 to 5 times depending upon your stamina.Even by doing one of these every day, you will notice a huge difference in your back’s condition.

5 Home Exercises for Toned Thighs

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Excess thigh fat has always been an area of concern; ironically it is also an area that takes longest time to get toned. The best solution to shed excess weight from thighs is to follow a strict regimen of healthy diet and exercise. While you get on a healthy diet here are some exercises that can help you melt away that extra fat from your thighsThese simple exercises can be done easily and will take only 10 minutes to complete.Side Plank with Knee Tuck:Side Plank with knee tuck is an exercise that works for your glutes and thighs along with the shoulders, triceps and abs. It is a variation of the traditional plank, wherein, you get into a plank position on your singe elbow and add leg tuck to it. This twist adds more explosive dynamics that works wonder for your core and legs. Besides, it also helps in toning of your upper arms over the time. Do about 25 repetitions on each side for effective results.Bridge with Squeeze:Adding an inner thigh squeeze to your basic bridge will help tone your inner thighs. Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-distance apart. You can place a cushion or a ball between your knees. Push up into a bridge. Without raising or lowering your pelvis, slowly squeeze your cushion. Every time you rise your hips squeeze the cushion at least 20 times. Minimum of 3 sets for this exercise are recommended for best results.Side lunges:Side lunge is a complete lower body workout. It targets your inner & outer thigh, hips, glutes and the calves. You can add a barbell for mores resistance. The video below shows the exercise with a barbell but if you are a beginner, you can performance this exercise without barbell as well.Sumo Squat with Arm Raise:Sumo squats are one of the best exercises for toning inner thighs and glutes. Besides its thigh benefits, sumo squats help build muscles, which in turn improve calorie burn. Squats are an effective muscle strengthening exercise that helps improve stability and balance. The video below shows exercise with dumbbells, but if you are a beginner you can remove the prop and do the exercise.While you work your way out for toned thighs with these exercises, make sure you include healthy diet in your weight loss regimen to reap the maximum benefits from your workout.

Exercises Good for Knees

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
There is a lot of hearsay about exercises negatively affecting your knee and other joints among people. Recent research says that exercises can be good for your knee. Researchers at Monash University in Australia found that studies on the correlation between exercise and knee pain to be conflicting; with some studies showing negative effects, some showing positive, and some being neutral. Overall the study indicates exercise is beneficial for the knees.Several factors can lead to a bad knee due to being over weight and putting extra tension on your knees due to weight, old age, physical exertion, running on the metal and some other factors. But gradual and light exercises for the knees and the muscles around it can lower the pain and strengthen it further. Whether you walk, run, sit, jump or stand, your knees are used in all these by bearing the tension of the body and the movement. Below are some exercises for knees that can help you out.Strengthen your KneePerform exercises to strengthen the quadriceps and hamstrings to support the knee and exert less stress on your knees. Doing sit ups and lunges can be done for these muscles to make them share the tension of the knees. Laying down on the back and doing leg lifts will help reduce the pain and strengthen it. Squats and some swimming pool exercises can be beneficial in reducing the pain. Sit by the pool and cycle your legs, standing in the pool and doing kickback exercises will help you with the knee.Although, these exercises will strengthen the knees but if it hurts or have further problems avoid these exercises. Consult your doctor or a fitness specialist, for a tailored exercise program suitable for you. Avoid running on the metallic track while running outside and opt for the muddy to reduce the  stress on them. Avoid heavy weight exercises for less impact on your knees. Give rest to your knees on weekends to let it recover and repair tissues and muscles around it.