Fitness trainer Neeraj Mehta on the importance of biomechanics
Creator of his trademark fitness exercises — BMXStrength, BMXCrossFit and SteelFlexx — city-based trainer Neeraj Mehta is conducting a special workshop in Mumbai. The 43-year-old shares with Hassan M Kamal about the need to understand biomechanics, and why tailor-made exercises are crucial
Q. What is the difference between regular strength-training exercises and BMXStrength or standard CrossFit and BMXCrossFit?
A. I created BMXStrength 17 years ago, with the sole intention to offer a set of techniques that understand the human body engineering, maintain flexibility and increase strength without causing injury. It’s based on my experiences and understanding of the human body. It’s designed to offer movement of muscles according to the body engineering (the movements which are friendly with the joints). BMXCrossFit is an adapted version of the CrossFit (a high intensity workout), but techniques have been modified to to work along the biomechanics of body. The difference lies in that with normal CrossFit, the risk of injury is 400-500 times higher as compared to BMXCrossFit. What’s good is that these exercises can be modified as per the strength level, age and physical condition of a person, and is also useful in rehabilitation from injuries.
Q. How did you get into fitness training? When did you realise the need for tailor-made fitness activities in our gyms?
A. I have been into fitness all my life. I started with martial arts when I was nine. I also practised bodybuilding, weightlifting, and athletics (long jumps and high jumps). Even today, I participate in the national-level Veteran Athletics Association competition. But while growing up, I detested the methods used in gyms. I would see people sweating it out. Gyms would teach them to bulk up, and gain mass using supplements. If a person has more muscle, he/she should be more flexible, but everyone I knew was stiff. I, on the other hand, was flexible. My movements were different too. Around the time, a friend asked for my advice. He was well built, but unable to turn his neck back. I suggested a few exercises and movements based on biomechanics that I had followed. Soon, I shared tips with others. That’s when I began to create tailor-made programmes connected with the biomechanics of the human body.
Neeraj Mehta, fitness trainer
Q. What do you mean by biomechanics, and why is it important in exercises?
A. For most people, fitness is all about lifting weights and using supplements. But fitness is all about being flexible. A person with larger muscle is more flexible than one who is without muscle. The body has two types of muscle: those that can stretch up to 30% of their length, and connective tissues that can stretch up to just 4-5%. While lifting weights, and doing repetitions, one usually applies a lot of pressure on the connective tissues and the joints, leading to stiffness or strains causing injury. Exercise should keep in mind proper alignment of muscles and joints, and the availability of oxygen for the right effect, like four wheels of a car that need to be aligned well for a smooth, accident-free run. A slight change can cause it to break. BMXStrength, BMXCrossFit and SteelFlexx (a form of Power Yoga where dumbbells are used to increase the effect on muscles) — are designed according to human body’s biomechanics, and hence, have greater impact when compared to regular exercises.
Q. What has been covered in the ongoing workshop?
A. The need to understand biomechanics before starting any exercise. It will introduce participants to various techniques of exercises taught by me, including the BMXStrength, BMXCrossFit and SteelFlex.
Till: Today, 11 am to 5.30 pm
At: Champak Building, plot no 1, Shah Industrial Estate, next to Yash Raj Studios, Veera Desai Road, Andheri (W).
Note: BMXStrength, BMXCrossFit and SteelFlexx are registered trademarks of GFFI Fitness, run by Neeraj Mehta, and are also offered at GFFI Fitness Academy, Crystal Plaza, near Infiniti Mall, Andheri (W).
Log on to: www.gffi-fi for more details
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