What are the new fitness options in Coimbatore?

Functional fitness, martial arts or sound healing. A look at some of the fitness options that the city offers

Published - May 28, 2024 05:04 pm IST

V Manokaran (in full sleeves), founder of Mind Muscle Connection, a personal training studio at Avarampalayam trains City Police Commissioner V Balakrishnan IPS

V Manokaran (in full sleeves), founder of Mind Muscle Connection, a personal training studio at Avarampalayam trains City Police Commissioner V Balakrishnan IPS | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

Mind Muscle Connection

“Fitness is not weight loss,” personal fitness trainer V Manokaran busts the myth as we enter his training studio, Mind Muscle Connection in Avaramaplayam. One you walk past the gleaming rows of kettle bells and dumbbells, what greets you is an array of customised fitness equipment built from scratch by Manokaran, who is a mechanical engineer. For example, he customised the Reverse Hyper Extension equipment by mimicking the design invented by Louie Simmons, American powerlifter and strength coach.

City Police Commissioner V Balakrishnan IPS at the fitness studio

City Police Commissioner V Balakrishnan IPS at the fitness studio | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

“The advantage of the equipment is that it uses pendulum movement, a traction motion where it decompresses the spine and strengthens it at the same time. Lower back pain reduces greatly and almost instantly,”explains the specialist in corrective exercise, ante natal and post natal pilates, and also a rehab specialist. Manokaran’s fitness journey started in 2010 when he took part in Mr Coimbatore and Mr Tamil Nadu shows. “When I realised that body building is not the right way to correct human mechanics, I enrolled for courses, took exams and secured my license before starting out as a personal trainer in 2014,” he says adding that weight loss has been commercialised in a big way and he aims to change that. “ Educating people that fitness is good health from the core is a good start. The objective is creating a healthy human being,” he explains as he demonstrates an innovative way of using the rope climbing equipment.

His studio is chock-o-block with fitness bands, customised sliders that he designed for strengthening ham string muscles in supine position, fitness straps, wooden blocks, innovative tools for squats, flex bars besides suspension trainer, glute ham developer, different kinds of bar bells (Olympic bar bells with Olympic bar plates), bulk grip bar bells, and aqua bag (used like sand bag, but is instead filled with water and air) to use water dynamics as resistance. “In functional training, these tools help strengthen every small muscle. I worked for four years to set these tools in place to give modern training that will help correct the human body. We have taken into account all the safety precautions. The CPR/AED certification for cardio pulmonary resuscitation is also in place. Everything counts.”

City Police Commissioner V Balakrishnan IPS who has been training with Manokaran for four months says a scientific explanation to every movement starting with the muscles involved, how the workout impacts another muscle etc makes a difference to one’s fitness journey. “He adopts a scientific approach to fitness with a thorough knowledge of body physiology, anatomy, muscle system and tendons. His awareness on interconnectivity helps one understand how a single action can affect the rest of the body. My knee pain subsided once I realised that it’s from wrong posture while doing squats and lunges. His focus is on strengthening the body through resistance exercise, improve mobility of limbs and flexibility of muscles. I am using most of the equipment at his gym for the first time,” he says adding that the thrust on body and mind connection also helps one to be aware.”

Manokaran says one’s fitness journey begins with strength assessment of seven primal movements of the human body — push, pull, squat, gait, hinge, lunge, twist — posture, structural integrity, flexibility, strength and weakness of muscles and joints, alignment, and deformity. “We calculate the imbalances. We mimick a person’s everyday activities to strengthen those moments. If you are in a sedentary posture at work for a prolonged period, we train you to refute the imbalances. We also adopt the myofascial slings to hydrate the myofascia that wraps 700 muscles in the body. We take into account your lifestyle, diet, sleep and wake up pattern, family health history, ergonomics of seating at work, in the car you drive, and also at sofas at home before recommending a routine. For any fitness goal, for example, if you want to take up any sport, body mechanics correction is the first step, otherwise it can lead to injuries. We correct the fundamentals and then push them towards their goal. Without the basics, everything collapses.”

Located at 135 A, Elango Nagar, Avarampalayam, from 6am to 8pm. To know more, call 9597455167 or visit @coach_manoharan on Instagram or the website http://mindmuscleconnection.in

Sound healing: Enhancing Fitness Recovery

A sound healing session in progress

A sound healing session in progress | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Both exercise and rest play equally vital roles in maintaining overall health and fitness, yet they are often lumped together. While many prioritise the enjoyable aspects of fitness, such as workouts, the essential yet less exciting aspects like rest and recovery are sometimes overlooked.

“Conscious rest is essential for the body to replenish lost energy from workouts and recover from physical strain,” says Linga Bhaskar, a professional sound healer and personal fitness trainer.

Sound healing taps into the ancient wisdom of using sound vibrations for holistic healing. From chanting and drumming rituals in indigenous communities to the use of singing bowls in Tibetan Buddhism, sound has long been recognised for its therapeutic properties. Through techniques such as chanting, singing bowls, and tuning forks, practitioners aim to restore balance and promote well-being on physical and emotional levels.

Linga Bhaskar’s family has been in the jewellery business for generations, but his passion for fitness led him to forge a new career path. “In 2005, I ventured into the fitness industry and found success as a personal trainer,” Bhaskar shares. “During the lockdown, while liquor shops were deemed essential and allowed to operate, fitness studios like mine were not. This disparity struck me deeply; while alcohol damages health, fitness improves it. Sadly, this led to the closure of my studio and a battle with depression,” Bhaskar recalls. “It was during this challenging period that I discovered sound healing, and my belief in its healing powers grew stronger with each passing day.”

Sound healing cultivates mindfulness, as each sound and vibration profoundly impacts both body and mind. The clamour of traffic and honking can evoke irritation, while a mother’s soothing lullaby effortlessly lulls her infant to sleep. “Even before we’re born, the sounds we hear in the womb shape our responses. That’s how profound sound’s influence is,” he adds.

In a one-hour sound therapy session, carefully chosen sounds from scientifically crafted instruments work to soothe the body. These sounds not only promote relaxation but also alleviate physical discomfort, reduce stress, enhance mental clarity, and foster overall balance and well-being.

To know more, call 8870520377 or follow @bhaski77wellnesscoach on Instagram

Sibbi Sreevathson

Judo and martial arts

Vizhi Academy engages youngsters in judo and karate

Vizhi Academy engages youngsters in judo and karate | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ten-year old Vizhi Academy, that specialises in karate and martial arts, is run by S Sivam. “Our purpose is to engage youngsters in judo and karate,” says Sivam adding that the academy sends over 20 students for various national and state-level competitions every year. The academy’s founder PAP Arun, an international karate referee, has also set up a branch in Canada.

While the academy is open to individuals of all ages, they regularly hold sessions in schools to pique interest for the sport among students. “We explain the health benefits. Succeeding in martial arts also gives students a shot at government jobs through sports quota,” explains Sivam adding that children can start training from age five onwards. “Apart from gaining physical strength, the sport helps them stay calm and focused. Our kids are performing well in academics too,” he adds.

The academy offers classes in karate, judo, and silambam. “Karate is an empty-handed fight without weapons, while judo is a close combat fight, and silambam is fighting with weapons. We also train them in yoga that helps increase body flexibility. The learning process is a blend of physical training, mental discipline, and personality development, all of which contribute to the overall well-being of students, inspiring them to become the best versions of themselves,” says Sivam adding that they also teach folk and zumba. “We want to make it a healthy space where one can stay fit physically and mentally. Our goal is to spread the importance of fitness and health, which promotes mobility, stability and confidence.” They also offer online courses.

To know more, call 9944661172 or visit their Instagram page @vizhiacademy

Vinishaa ND

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