Over next three weeks, lets daily do 3 sets of 33 squats. Even 3 sets of 11 will be good enough to start with. The focus is on technique. Here is how you get started. Remember to take a selfie of your quadriceps and then compare them with a selfie 33 days later. No more pencil legs.
- Stand with your toes behind a line on the floor.
- Put a chair / stool 6-9 inch behind you.
- Stand tall with your hands out-stretched.
- Have your feet shoulder width apart.
- Keep your feet parallel to each other.
- Look straight ahead (unlike what I do in the video, I look down).
- While squatting down, don't arch your back.
- When you squat down, don't let your knees cross the line in front of the toes.
- The trick is to stick your butt further back such that when you squat, your butt touches the chair / stool behind you (further lower than in the photo above).
- Squat down over 3-4 seconds, as soon as your butt touches the chair / squat, come back up over 3-4 seconds.
- Avoid any jerky movements and focus on technique of each repetition.
- As soon as the form seems to be getting compromised, stop.
- Maybe start with 3 sets of 11 if 33 seem too many right now.
- Over next 1-2 weeks, build it up to 3 sets of 33. Trust me, it'll happen.
- Look at increasing the range once you can do 3 sets of 33 squats 3 times a day.
Enough theory. Let's get started. One rep at a time.
Keep miling and smiling. In the long run, that's all that matters.
The commonest complaint of beginner runners, even of walkers is that they get breathless very soon, instead it's their heart that is ready to jump out and go for a run. Most don’t even breathe optimally while sitting and then expect it to magically function to its best when they move. Here is a simple trick using a basic tool easily available that’ll be a game changer for you.
Most walkers-runners walk-run the way they drive and vice-versa. Try out any park in India and you’ll find it pretty difficult to overtake those in front of you, not for lack of speed or will but because they aren’t prepared to let go of that prime real-estate they have recently acquired, whether by hook or by crook. Let us become mindful while running for our own sakes and others around us.
We can be preaching running or any other life skill to beginners for ages but till we experience it at that level, we have no clue how difficult it can be. I ran-walked Midnight Sun Marathon in Tromso, Norway, with a friend who isn’t the fastest in the world. His determination to get to the finishline taught me an immense lot.
India is sweltering this summer and Delhi NCR just experienced the hottest day ever in the month of June (48C). These conditions of skyrocketing temperatures and the scorching sun pose significant challenges for us running enthusiasts. How can we even run let alone feel good in the heat of the summer?
Amongst runners ‘Death Before DNF (Did Not Finish) is a very jazzy thing to say but when death comes calling, the bravest of us are humbled. Even more importantly, we need to realise that living on the edge is all good but there is more to life.
We need to go back to the simple question that needs to be answered for your own sake every week. Why do you run? If besides everything else, it is about joy of running and to connect with your deeper self, we are on the same page. But if it’s only about a better time, longer distance each time and yet another finisher’s medal, I feel sorry for you. Somewhere you have lost the plot.
We often look to others for appreciation, which then defines our sense of self-worth, which creates an internal disconnect. Shifali Gupta, a 40 years old, mother of two, first discovered running, jumped in to the deep end of the rat race, but along the way, happened to discover her own self too.
Many gurus and experts will give you a discourse on running and life at drop of a hat; a similar pattern found on social media. These sources undermine your true potential and only bring passive understanding. Lessons learned from your daily experiences are your best teacher. Focus on those, and how they will serve us well in the future.
My College Dean, Dr. Nagra & Mrs Nagra picked up running at 74 & 69 yrs of age. They share their fitness routine, and dabbling with running at this ripe age. Physical fitness is an investment for a better tomorrow, he feels. Dr. Nagra gives his take on Sports Medicine from the 1990s and it's evolution to where it is now.
Contrary to what people think, it’s not running that causes the bad knee pains, but running with poor form. Unfortunately when you pick up running in 30s and beyond, you are trying too hard as you’ve forgotten how to move naturally, the way you did as a child.
There is no rocket science to it. You need to slow down and work on your strength training. Be patient as you’ve taken decades to master the art of moving inefficiently and unnaturally. It’ll all soon come together.