Category: ‘Strength Training’

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

Workouts to Keep Your Belly Flat

Posted in Fitness, Press Releases, Strength Training | May 4, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Highlights Common Reasons for Belly Fat and Offers Tips on Exercises to get it Flat.

New York, NY & Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) May 04, 2017

May 2017 – With summer rapidly approaching, a bathing suit-ready body – with a flat belly, is top of mind for many men and women. But many people don’t know how they are sabotaging their chances of flatter abs or which exercises up their chances of attaining them, says orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, MD, founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

“Extra belly fat isn’t just hard on the eyes – it’s hard, more importantly, on our health. Extensive medical research has shown that too much abdominal fat increases the odds of developing metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Known as “visceral fat,” this excess padding also surrounds abdominal organs such as the liver, impeding their function,” Dr. Plancher notes. There’s no question, however, that keeping abdominal fat at bay is a major challenge for men and women of every weight.

Common reasons for belly fat
“If your tummy bulges a little too much, it may – or may not – actually be your fault,” says Dr. Plancher. Many factors can make people gain excess belly fat, and not all of them are things they can change. Still, it helps to be aware of what factors lead to weight gain in the abdomen so people can modify our lifestyles as much as possible.

According to Dr. Plancher, these include:
Sugary foods and drinks: Even so-called “healthier” choices such as frozen yogurt and low-fat muffins still pack a lot of sugar, and high sucrose and fructose intake has been linked in research to excess belly fat. Soda, flavored coffee drinks, and sweet tea are also among the big offenders.

Alcohol: Surely you’ve heard the term “beer belly.” It comes from alcohol’s suppression of fat-burning, along with the calories from alcohol that are partly stored as belly fat. Consumed moderately, especially in red wine, alcohol can, however, lower the risk of heart attack or stroke but some do contain a high content of sugar.

Menopause: The growth of a “meno-pot” is legendary among menopausal women, but there’s strong science behind that unhappy belly fat gain. When estrogen levels drop dramatically – typically around age 50 – fat is more likely to be stored in the abdomen instead of the hips and thighs.

Fruit juice: Juicing may be a huge health trend right now, but it’s not so good in certain ways. Even unsweetened, 100% fruit juice contains a huge amount of sugar, which drives insulin resistance and belly fat gain.

Genetics: Unfortunately, if your parents tended to store excess fat in their bellies, you probably will too. Genes appear to play a prominent role in where we store fat and our waist-to-hip ratios.

Stress: Going through a rough patch? You may be producing more of the “stress hormone” cortisol, which not only fuels hunger and overeating but promotes fat storage in the tummy.

Inactivity: OK, this won’t shock most of us, but too much couch time and lounging around simply doesn’t promote a flatter belly. We need to burn more calories to keep belly fat at bay.

Exercises to flatten the belly
All hope is not lost. There’s much we can do to flatten the tummy. According to Dr. Plancher, perhaps the most impactful move is to, well, get moving! “You’ll see faster, more effective results when you eat properly and combine that with daily activity, especially cardio exercises such as brisk walking, hiking, jogging or stair climbing,” he says.

Dr. Plancher, who lectures globally on issues related to orthopaedic procedures and sports injury management, also recommends spot-toning exercises to enhance cardio exercise in your belly-flattening efforts. These exercises include:
Sit-ups: Lying on the floor, hold your hands by your ears and bend your knees with feet flat on the floor. Lift your shoulders and upper back away from the floor, with face pointing toward the ceiling. Exhale as you come up, hold for a second, and inhale as you return to the floor. Repeat 15-25 times.

Crunch-and-twist: Start the same way you do for sit-ups, but as you raise yourself up, slowly twist your body from the waist. Touch left knee with right elbow, then untwist and go back to starting position. Repeat, now touching the right knee with the left elbow. Repeat on each side 10-15 times.

Hip lifts: Lie on the floor with arms at sides, palms down and legs over hips at a 90-degree angle. Flex your feet. Now lift hips off the floor using your core muscles as your legs are reaching toward ceiling. Return to starting position. Repeat 15 times.

Side plank: Lie on right side while legs are extended and feet and hips rest on floor atop each other. Prop head up on right elbow. Squeeze your core muscles and lift hips and knees off the floor. Hold as long as you can, then return to starting position. Repeat on other side. Do as many repetitions as possible.

Cycling: Consideration to joining an exercise bicycle program for those with early arthritis of the knee can also be quite helpful to reduce overall body fat and tone your abdomen.

Kevin D. Plancher, MD, is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and the founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a comprehensive orthopaedics and sports medicine practice with offices in New York City and Greenwich, CT.

Ski Season is Coming: Prepare Now for an Injury Free Experience on the Slopes

Posted in Blog, Injury Prevention, Press Releases, Strength Training | November 10, 2016

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine with tips on pre-season core development, strength, flexibility and endurance training.

Greenwich, CT, New York, NY (PRWEB) November 10, 2016


Ski season is coming. Downhill skiing continues to be a hugely popular winter pastimes, attracting nearly 20 million participants to the slopes each year. Snowboarding is gaining popularity too, with more than 8 million Americans participating in the sport each year. Along with the beautiful vistas and exhilaration of a day on the slopes, the reality is that skiers and snowboarders face numerous health risks associated with these activities.

According to Kevin Plancher, MD, leading NY-area orthopaedist and official surgeon of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams, “The good news is that many ski and snowboarding related injuries can be prevented with smart pre-season conditioning to add strength and flexibility to the muscles, tendons and ligaments used while skiing, many of which are rarely, if ever, used during normal everyday activities.” (more…)

Three Science-Backed Reasons to Start Strength Training Today

Posted in Strength Training | May 30, 2015

Strength TrainingThere is no denying the fact that strength-training exercises, also known as resistance workouts, are good for you. Most of us are aware that weight lifting, kettle bells, resistance bands, and bodyweight exercises can help build or maintain muscle mass and strength. The benefits of strength training go beyond getting stronger and looking good.

By and large, regular strength training also offers the following awesome benefits:

  • Strength training strengthens bones, too.

Several studies in recent years (here’s one) have shown that exercises involving weights and resistance do not just help build muscle but also slow down bone loss. This is extremely useful in helping the elderly deal with the progressive decline of bone density due to osteoporosis.

  • Strength training keeps the blues away.

This specific research has found significant evidence that engaging in resistance exercises regularly can help reduce depression and anxiety.

  • Strength training keeps you injury-free.

As mentioned earlier, consistent strength training does not just target improvement in muscle composition and strength but also does the same thing to bones, ligaments, and tendons. An increase in strength in the connective tissues means that a person is less likely to be injured when engaging in sports and other forms of physical activity. This study found a connection between a dramatic decline in injury risk amongst football players who hit the weight room regularly.

Whether you’re an amateur or a professional athlete, strength training is crucial for warding off injury. Get in touch with us at 212.876.5200 to learn more about strength training exercises today!