Category: ‘In the News’

Dr. Harvey was featured in an article titled “9 Ways to Have Fun While Fun While Getting Fit”

Posted in In the News, Strength Training | May 15, 2017

9 Ways to Have Fun While Getting Fit

MAY 15, 2017

See why these workouts are shaping up to be the coolest ways to work up a sweat.

In our technology-dependent society, people are more sedentary than ever. As a direct result of this lack of physical activity, a variety of serious health problems have begun affecting much of the world. According to the World Health Organization, the lack of physical activity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. It is also the main cause of about 21 to 25 percent of breast and colon cancers, 27 percent of diabetes and approximately 30 percent of ischaemic heart disease cases each year. The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of both). This breaks down to 30 minutes a day, five times a week. The term “physical activity” refers to any activity that involves bodily movements such as playing, working and doing house chores. Obviously, it also means exercising, which is a great way to be physically active.

Thanks to large nationwide gyms as well as small boutique gyms, along with fitness centers and studios, exercising is a whole lot cooler and more fun these days. Unique classes are perfect for gym enthusiasts who want a change from the same old bike or treadmill in the gym, as well as novice exercisers who need working out to be fun. What’s more, these fitness classes present a great opportunity to socialize with friends, expand your professional network and enjoy a shared experience with others, while being healthy and fun at the same time. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting fitness classes available today.

AIR: This 50-minute intense aerial fitness training class combines elements of conditioning, Pilates, ballet and high-intensity interval training on aerial hammocks. It is designed to strengthen, lengthen and tone the body.

Box + Flow: It’s all about energy, breathing, movement and music at this 55-minute class that includes shadowboxing and heavy bag work. “Box + Flow challenges participants to dig deeper and search inward to find their fight and then let things flow,” says Liv Young, founder of Box + Flow.

H.I.I.P. Hype: H.I.I.P. Hype alternates between painting and body-weight exercises. The class begins with a 15-minute warm up, followed by 45 minutes of alternating exercise and painting at one-minute intervals and ends with painting presentations.

Hot Hula Fitness: This hula-inspired class set to the sounds of traditional Polynesian drum beats mixed with funky Reggae music provides a total-body workout by helping to increase strength and define the core.

Karaoke Cycling: Offered at Crunch locations nationwide, participants in this class belt out the words to popular songs while cycling.

Mantra Flow: This class takes place at AQUA in TriBeCa in New York City, which features a candlelit pool with state-of-the-art cycling bikes immersed in the water. The Mantra Flow is an aqua-cycling class that incorporates endurance training, meditation and the healing principles of water for a complete mind-body experience.

POUND: Inspired by the energy that goes into playing the drums, this cardio jam session uses lightly weighted drumsticks to provide a full-body workout that combines cardio, conditioning and strength training with yoga and Pilates.

Spynga: Designed to help enhance equilibrium and agility, Spynga is a tandem cycling and yoga class. Participants spend 30 minutes on the bike, and then move to the yoga mat to cool down and balance the body.

Zennis: Visitors to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (Paradise Valley, Arizona) can enjoy this yoga/tennis hybrid, which is led by Sanctuary’s tennis pros. It is a movement-based tennis clinic with a Zen component to promote relaxation, proper alignment and fluidity.

This is merely a sample of some of the many great classes available today at larger gyms, as well as small boutique studios nationwide. While each exercise class may present its own particular challenges, these innovative fitness classes provide unique (and effective) ways to get people moving without the dread of going to the gym for the same old stale workout routine. Additionally, these unique approaches to working out have helped attract many new gym-goers, and have helped motivate them to continue to exercise.

That said, whether you’re a gym rat or a fitness greenhorn, it’s important that all participants take the proper precautions to ensure they do not get injured. Margaret Harvey, D.O. with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine (Cos Cobb, Connecticut and New York City) provides tips for working out without getting hurt:

Warm Up: Run in place for a few minutes before stretching or working out to increase the body temperature, heart and blood flow rates, as well as loosen the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.

Stretch: Start stretching slowly and carefully until reaching a point of tension. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds, and then slowly and carefully release it. Stretching at home each day is recommended to help maintain flexibility.

Use A Light Touch: Rest hands lightly on the handrails of cardio machines, as clinging to them and being hunched over can cause an improper spine alignment.

Focus on Muscle Groups: Don’t put too much time and effort into one muscle. A better approach, according to Harvey, is to target more of your arms or shoulders with moves like the chest press or back row. The best exercises are those that work several muscles at the same time.

Wear Proper Shoes: Not all shoes are created equal. Just because you are wearing a pair of running shoes doesn’t mean that they are good for all exercises. “If they are worn for activities with a lot of side-to-side movement, it can cause the ankle to roll to the side, with the potential for a sprained or even broken ankle,” says Harvey. “Cross-training shoes are a better choice for sports like tennis or step classes.”

Consider Hiring a Professional. Using a machine incorrectly can cause potential injury. “Use the mirrors, if available, to monitor your form and technique,” says Harvey. She also advises to consider signing up with a personal trainer, even for just a couple of sessions, to gain some sensible tips for injury-free routines.

We hope these tips make your next and future workouts as much fun as possible. In addition to getting fit, we’ll tell you why exercising is a great way to clear your mind, and you try one of the new workouts we listed above, definitely let us know what you think, since we’re always looking for exciting ways to get healthier.

If you prefer more traditional exercises, consider going for a hike! Vacation time? Get some fresh air while exploring the Utah Mighty 5 and take in some wonderful sights! Now there’s Toplife, our new lifestyle blog created with you in mind. We are dedicated to exploring how people come together and participate in a global community

Dr. Plancher provided opinion for Energy Times on getting good golf shoulders

Posted in Blog, In the News | April 10, 2017

Getting Good Golf Shoulders

Spring is coming and the links are calling…but will your shoulders be ready for tee time?

“Playing golf well relies heavily on the strength and fitness of the muscles, tendons and joints in the shoulders just to drive the ball off the tee,” says orthopaedic surgeon Kevin Plancher, MD, ofPlancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

Weak shoulders can not only wreck your game but leave you prone to injury. To avoid major issues, “do sensible things, such as stopping play if your shoulder starts hurting during a game,” Plancher advises. “Avoid carrying a golf bag with a sore shoulder, and learn good technique for your swing.”

Plancher suggests the following preseason exercise routine to get your shoulders up to snuff.

Head rolls: Roll your ear gently to one side, toward the shoulder. Tilt head back and forth, repeating on opposite side. Continue for 60 seconds.

Shoulder stretches: Raise right arm in front of you, then bring to left, wrapping left elbow around right arm and pulling that arm closer to your chest. Reverse for left side. Continue 2-3 minutes.

Side stretches: With feet shoulder-width apart, raise right arm directly above head and lean shoulders to the left, swaying right hip slightly out. Feel the stretch along the right side of your body. Reverse for the left side. Continue 1-2 minutes.

Prone T: Lie face down on floor with a folded towel under your forehead. Arms should be out to the sides with palms facing floor. Squeeze shoulder blades together and left hands off floor until parallel to floor. Hold for 3 seconds and lower, repeating 10-12 times.

Lunge with a Twist: Stand in upright position and step forward with your right leg, maintaining your right knee over your right ankle. Rotate your trunk to the left and then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise on the opposite side. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

Forearm Plank with Arm Raise: Place your forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders. Raise your right arm out in front of you and hold for 2 seconds then lower back to the starting position. Repeat with the left arm. Perform 10 times on each side and then rest. Perform 3 rounds.

Reverse Chop with a Squat: Start in a squatting position, holding a weight or medicine ball with both hands next to your left hip. Keeping your arms straight, raise the weight across your body and overhead above your right shoulder while standing up from the squatting position. Lower back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and then switch. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Dr. Plancher was published in Westchester Family Magazine: Prevent Baseball Shoulder Injury

Posted in In the News | April 4, 2017

Prevent Baseball Shoulder Injury

By Kevin Plancher, M.D., April 4, 2017

As the warm weather approaches young athletes will begin hitting the baseball fields for spring training. In the spirit of competition, it will be tempting for these young athletes to start throwing and swinging for the rafters. However, a little pre-season conditioning is vital to build strength and flexibility to prevent a shoulder injury that could take a young player out of the game.

It’s not just professional players who need to go slowly; young athletes should also take precautions before they get onto the fields. Although baseball is not a contact sport, many kids are injured each year with shoulder injuries leading the way. The shoulder is the area most prone to injury for baseball players whether you are pitching or playing the field. Throwing a baseball sends a great amount of twisting force, called torque, into the rotator cuff (a series of four small muscles that holds the shoulder in place and decelerates the arm).

We suggest the following eight pre-season conditioning and best practices for young athletes once the season is underway to hopefully stay injury free.

Always start with a gentle warm up. Players should warm up with some moderate aerobic activity to get the blood flowing to the muscles and joints, such as a short jog or jumping rope. This should be followed by 5-10 minutes of pre-game (and practice) stretching to keep stressed areas flexible and strong. A strong shoulder involves greater dynamic range of motion but should not create hyper-flexibility through improper static stretching techniques. Proper warm up techniques include forward and backward arm circles, external and internal rotations and arm pumps.

Take it slow. Whether you are practicing or playing a game, young ball players should take it slow to best prepare and protect the shoulder muscles. Rotator cuff muscles are smaller, weaker muscles, and they tend to fatigue at a faster rate when engaged in strenuous activity.

Make sure your technique is spot on. Hitting, throwing or pitching a ball incorrectly can further stress the shoulder. Get advice from a coach to make sure your technique is correct.

Get strong with weight training. Focus on exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff and the muscles that stabilize the shoulder. Repetitions should be performed with light weight with the goal of strengthening underused muscles that hold the shoulder together. Young baseball players should do simple exercises such as the forward dumbbell raise or the lateral fly and substitute an incline press for a military press to avoid injury.

Work on your cardio. A cardiovascular fitness routine is the foundation for injury prevention and resilient muscles; aim for 20 to 30 minutes a day before and during the baseball season.

Don’t overdo it. We caution young athletes (and their parents) against pitching in multiple leagues simultaneously because the body needs a break from the wear and tear of throwing. We agree with Little League Baseball’s official advice that pitching be limited to a maximum of six innings per week and include mandatory rest periods between starts (the ideal is four days off).

Don’t play through the pain. Most joint injuries only worsen with continued stress so pay attention to your body. Players need to know the difference between an overuse injury, which tends to be less severe and responsive to self-treatment, and a traumatic injury, which should be evaluated by an orthopaedist immediately. As a general rule, young athletes should call a doctor if a significant affliction fails to improve within 24 hours; if they have extreme pain, swelling or fever, if they have muscle weakness or if they hear a cracking or popping sound with the injury.

Rest. Most rotator cuff injuries will resolve themselves within 3-4 weeks with the RICE treatment – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Resting the joint immediately and slowly resuming activity with gentle stretches and strengthening exercises as it heals is far better than rushing the rehabilitation.

Kevin D. Plancher, M.D., is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and the founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a general orthopaedics and sports medicine practice with offices in New York City and Greenwich, Conn.


Dr. Plancher was featured in Healthy Aging on Collagen Meniscus Implants

Posted in In the News | March 24, 2017

Dr. Plancher was published in Healthy Aging on collagen meniscus implants for the knee. Read more here.

Dr. Plancher was featured in Newsmax Health on a New Fix for Tennis Elbow

Posted in In the News | March 8, 2017

Tennis Elbow Fix: New Technique Eases Pain for Weekend Warriors

By Charlotte Libov   |   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017

A new technique that relieves severe tennis elbow faster and more quickly than traditional surgery can provide relief for this painful condition, a top expert says.

“In the past, there have been types of surgical options available to relieve the pain of tennis elbow, but there is a new procedure becoming popular that requires less recuperation time,” Dr. Kevin Plancher tells Newsmax Health. (more…)

Dr. Plancher was quoted in Health’Sass about running on a treadmill

Posted in Blog, In the News | March 2, 2017


You may be using the treadmill wrong

Especially at this time of year, many people exercise indoors–even runners.

But orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, founder of  Plancher Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, says you may be injuring your knees if you don’t run at a slight incline.

A zero-percent incline, he explains, is not like running on flat ground, it’s like running slightly downhill, which stresses the knee and patellar tendon (front of thigh, helping the thigh straighten the leg).

Higher inclines also may be fun and challenging but can lead to sharp knee pain.

Treadmills come with inclines programmed in for a reason, Plancher says. Running at a slight incline works the big muscle groups and also helps you avoid shin splints.

The slight incline of 3% is optimal.

If something starts hurting, the doctor says, stop doing it. Try biking, swimming, or the elliptical and give your knees a break.

Well, not a break…you know what I mean.


Energy Times featured Dr. Plancher in an article about Home Cycling

Posted in In the News | February 13, 2017

As seen on the Energy Times Facebook Page:

logo energy times v2

February 13, 2017

Getting the Most from Your Home Cycling Workout

Even as baseball spring training begins, winter is still in full force for many areas of the country–which means many people are working out indoors while waiting for that warm weather to arrive.

Home cycling is a popular option…at least until the bike turns into a pricey clothes rack or storage unit. Why does that happen?

“One reason is boredom,” says Kevin Plancher, MD, of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “Even watching TV or listening to music or a podcast while on the bike doesn’t seem to be enough to keep a lot of people at it.” And spin classes at the gym may not fit your schedule. (more…)

Dr. Plancher featured in Westchester Magazine: Avoid Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries

Posted in In the News, Patient Education, Sports Injuries, Sports Injury | February 13, 2017

logo westchester mag

4 Ways to Avoid Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries; We asked a doctor how to dodge a major mishap on the slopes.




Baseball might be America’s favorite pastime, but skiing and snowboarding are America’s gnarliest, attracting an estimated 30 million participants each year. A typical ski season in the United States lasts from late November through early April, which means five perfect months to hit the slopes and possibly rack up a few spills.

We talked to Kevin Plancher, MD, the official surgeon of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams, about some tips for preventing winter sport-related injuries.    (more…)

Dr. Plancher provided opinion in the New York Post on playground hazards for parents

Posted in In the News | January 28, 2017

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LIVING: When the playground is a dangerous place — for parents

By Anna Davies, August 16, 2016

Modal Trigger Sara Dimmick suffered multiple injuries due to chasing her son around the playground. She no longer shadows her 19-month-old at the park.

Pilar Scratch, a fashion blogger and mother of one, was looking forward to a day of fun at an indoor children’s play center with her then-3-year-old son, River. The 25-year-old and son played “follow the leader” up the foam stairs and through a tunnel, but as she squeezed into the small plastic tunnel slide, she heard a snap.

“I had broken my wrist!” the Newark, NJ, resident recalls of the subsequent trip to the emergency room.

Along with the expected bumps and bruises of the knee-high set, doctors are hearing more of their adult patients complain of injuries they suffered on the playground. “It used to be that parents would let their kids play, while they would hang back on a bench. Now, parents are much more hands-on, so they’re climbing up the play structures, they’re on the slide, and that can lead to problems for both parents and their kids,” says Dr. Kevin Plancher, a sports medicine doctor who has seen a rise in these incidents at his Upper East Side practice.

‘If you feel uncomfortable with your child climbing unassisted, that’s a sign your child may not be ready for that particular piece of equipment.’

And experts say being hands-on at the jungle gym may be dangerous to tots, too. One 2009 study published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics found that tibial fractures in toddlers happened disproportionately more often when they rode down slides in grown-ups’ laps than when they went down on their own. Plus, when a parent is on the climbing structure, a child may be exposed to equipment too advanced for their development, which has been cited as a major injury risk factor in a 2012 study from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“If you feel uncomfortable with your child climbing unassisted, that’s a sign your child may not be ready for that particular piece of equipment,” says Dr. Hansa Bhargava, a pediatrician and WebMD medical editor. “An adult on the play structure can get in the way of other kids. Plus, play structures aren’t made with adult sizing in mind, which can lead to adult injury.”

Sara Dimmick, 37, a personal trainer in Midtown East, learned that the hard way. She’s hit her head on the arch above the slide multiple times, and has gotten a few bloody lips from bumping into play equipment while chasing after her now-19-month-old son.

“You’re so busy paying attention to them, you’re not necessarily looking at where you’re going,” she says.

Dimmick now watches her toddler play while she has two feet firmly planted on the ground, but for some parents, letting go requires outside help. Krista Rizzo, founder of the Park Slope, Brooklyn, parent-coaching company Why Am I Yelling, spends many sessions teaching nervous parents how to hang back at the monkey bars.

“Just because you’re not on the slide with them doesn’t mean you’re not actively participating and being a part of their experience,” says Rizzo, who advises parents to not be so quick to swoop in if their children look like they’re having difficulty. “If [children are] wobbly on a step, don’t automatically pick them up. When you observe, you’ll see them reaching for a railing or taking a smaller step. These are the skills they come to the playground to master: They don’t get that mastery and sense of accomplishment if they’re always being rescued.”

And for some parents, stepping back means admitting to themselves that they’re no longer kids.

Frank Lee, a Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, father, couldn’t resist the lure of the metal, self-propelled merry-go-round while escorting his then-5-year-old son to the playground three years ago. He climbed on the structure, spinning it so fast that he got dizzy. When he stepped off, he threw up in front of an amused group of parents and kids. “It wasn’t my finest moment. I had to sit on a bench with my son for a long time before everything stopped spinning,” says Lee, 34.

Scratch, the mom who broke her wrist on the slide, can sympathize. “Now, I’ll sometimes try to join my son on the jungle gym, and he’s like, ‘Mom, no. Remember the time you busted your wrist?’ Point taken.”



New Options for Cycling at Home Offer Key Benefits

Posted in Fitness, In the News, Patient Education, Press Releases | January 26, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Provides Tips for Getting the Most Out of Indoor Cycling.

Greenwich, CT & New York, NY (PRWEB) January 26, 2017

The benefits of regular physical exercise are well known: improved health, improved energy and mood, better sleep, and weight control. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every adult should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise. For decades, one of the most popular ways of exercising was on a stationary bike, either at home or at the gym. “A stationary bike offers many benefits,” says Dr. Kevin Plancher of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “It gets the heart pumping without putting undue stress on the joints. And an indoor bike can be used in any weather, by novice and experienced exercisers and at varying levels of time and intensity.”

But for all their benefits, many exercise bikes bought for home use wind up as expensive clothes racks or dust collectors in the basement or attic. Why does motivation seem to flag after just a few months? “One reason is boredom,” says Dr. Plancher. “Even watching TV or listening to music or a podcast while on the bike doesn’t seem to be enough to keep a lot of people at it.” One attempt to address this problem is with spin classes offered at gyms. These programs use bikes that evolved from the stationary bike to more closely resemble a road bike and offer the camaraderie and competition of working out with a group. But, as Dr. Plancher points out, what is sacrificed is the freedom and convenience of working out at home on your own schedule.

New options now make it possible to combine the comfort and convenience of working out at home with quality hardware, expert instruction, metrics, and more classes and instructors than any gym could offer. One of the companies in this new market, Peloton Interactive, Inc., manufactures a “smart bike,” which has a high-definition monitor attached to the handlebars. It uses home wi-fi to stream live classes from Peloton’s studio and to provide an archive of thousands of past classes of every type, letting you choose from a wide variety of rides, instructors, and soundtracks. The system tracks your performance and compares your current ride to your personal best so you can push yourself to set new personal records. You can also compete against others who have done the rides you choose and review user ratings of instructors and rides. If you participate in a live ride, the instructor sees your metrics and can address you as if you were in the room. “This system incorporates all the performance and motivation factors of indoor cycling in the gym with the convenience of working out at home,” says Dr. Plancher. “This is an important new trend that represents the next generation of exercise technology, one that can potentially transform the landscape for home fitness.”

Tips for getting the most from your cycling workout
However you ride – on an upright stationary bike, a recumbent bike, or a new smart bike – Dr. Plancher offers tips to help you get the most from your cycling workout:

Before you buy a bike, do your homework: Consider what kind of bike you want and factors like how much room you have and how much you want to spend.

Have an expert ensure that you’re buying a bike that fits you properly – seat height, distance from pedals and handlebars, etc.

Make sure you understand how to safely adjust intensity and other options. Start slowly and increase the intensity of your ride gradually.

The bike seat shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Try padded shorts or a gel seat to improve comfort. Sit lightly on the seat.

If you’re not using one of the newer smart bikes that provide streaming and archived classes, look into buying or renting cycling videos that have a variety of rides and changes of scenery.

Consider cross training with another activity once or twice a week to build up endurance in different muscles and prevent overuse injuries.

“The most important factor in a successful fitness program is finding the one that is right for you,” says Dr. Plancher. “Indoor cycling has worked for millions of people and new advances make it even more appealing. But the program that works for you will be the one that suits your personality, fitness level, and lifestyle and that you will enjoy and stick with.”