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Men’s Fitness: No Pain, More Gains.. Top Tips from Alex Hunter

Sep 04th, 2014 / Nicki Chick

The old adage is wrong, staying pain free is key to being at your best, says Alex Hunter

CHS OVERLOAD
The central nervous system is responsible for muscle activity as well as nerve responses and if you train hard, constantly pushing your body towards failure, for long periods you will overload your CNS. Warning signs include a dip in performance, frequently interrupted sleep, weight loss and illness. Avoiding the condition is pretty simple: allow better recovery from intense training.

BENCH PRESS SHOULDER
‘To avoid this you need to strengthen your rotator cuff at shoulder height,’ says Alex Hunter, clinical director at SixPhysio (sixphysio.com).
‘Grasp a light dumbbell and sit on a bench with one leg up in front of you. Place your elbow on that knee. Keeping a 90 • bend in your elbow, lower your forearm slowly across your body until it’s horizontal, then raise it back to the start.’

PECTEAR
Stretch, stabilise and strengthen to avoid this painful injury. ‘Find a corner wall and place one hand at shoulder height on each wall, then slowly move your chest towards the corner,’ says physio Dr Michael Lee (mi-to. co.uk.) ‘For stability, place a gym ball against a wall and do wall press-ups against it. For strength, wide-arm press-ups on the floor will target your pectoralis major.’

FIVE-A-SIDE HIP
First touch failing? That’s a warning. ‘The ball of your hip joint can grind against the socket,’ says Hunter. ‘To alleviate it, stand with your foot resting on a bench behind you, squeeze your glutes and bend your standing knee.
Raise your trailing foot to your backside and continue to bend your standing knee until you feel a stretch in your thigh and the front of your hip. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat.’

CYCLIST’S KNEE
Getting a burning sensation
around your mid-thigh after a long ride? ‘1TB syndrome­overstrain of the iliotibial band on the outside of the thigh- is common among cyclists,’ says physiotherapist Emma James (ejphysio.co.uk). ‘It-can be, caused by overtraining, but also by your bike. Unsure your saddle is not too low and foam roll along your leg.Target the outside of your thigh and pause on any sore spots.’

RUNNER’S FOOT
This pain needs to be stamped out early. ‘The thick ligament – the plantar fascia – pulls too much on the heel bone,’ says Hunter. ‘Strengthening your calf muscle can prevent this. Stand on one leg on the edge of a step and bend your knee 30 •. Maintain this while dropping your heel over the edge. Go as low as you can
then up onto tiptoes, still with a bent knee.’ Repeat ten to 20 times and feel the burn.

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