Category: exercise

June 26, 2020

How-to Exercise at Home during COVID-19

Here at Excel PT and Workout, we want to help individuals that are home with little no gym equipment, exercise!

During this pandemic it is important to address the issue of avoiding being physically inactive. Physical inactivity is one of the biggest health problems worldwide and is the fourth leading global risk factor for death according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Prior to COVID-19, only 20% of the US population met current exercise recommendations (Zenko 2019) and this percentage is most likely lower during the pandemic.

With this in mind, the current exercise recommendations, provided by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans are as follows:

• 150 minutes (2.5 hours) – 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity OR,
• 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity,
• Muscle Strengthening (resistance training) of moderate or greater intensity that involves all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.2

In general, when choosing which exercises to do for conditioning (aerobic) we recommend using high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and low intensity steady state (LISS).

Exercise selection for muscle strengthening (resistance training) should be focused on movement patterns that will allow you to get close to muscular failure. This means getting within 5 repetitions of muscular failure for most exercises.

If you have any questions, or in need of advice, do not feel afraid to reach out at the Excel team for help!

Stay safe and healthy!

March 18, 2020


Isolation doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goals. Keep up the pace at home with remote physical therapy and personal training sessions

Stay comfortable and safe in your home while we push you to new levels of strength, mobility and flexibility.

Thirty minutes sessions of nonstop exercise. Minimal equipment required.

Sign up now for early bird pricing.  Call 516 627 3009

one woman exercising fitness workout plank position on fitness ball in silhouette on white background

Throughout the 27 years at Excel we have had the opportunity to test our strength and resilience. COVID-19 has shaken the core of how we provide physical therapy and training services to our patients and clients. We realized that via simple online technology we could provide outstanding training and rehabilitation sessions to patients and clients remaining comfortable and safe in the privacy of their home.

Our purpose is to evolve the way our community of patients and clients can stay strong, mobile and healthy. We are excited to explore this new medium.

October 18, 2016

Power for the Cyclist, All in




In-season strength maintenance training increases well-trained cyclists’ performance.

Rønnestad BR1, Hansen EA, Raastad T.


The first article by Rønnestad, Hansen, and Raastad explores pre-season and in-season strength training. Two groups of cyclists were compared for cycling performance, oxygen consumption, muscle cross-section area, and strength during a twelve-week preparation phase followed by a thirteen-week in-season program. During the twelve-week preparation phase, one group followed a program of endurance and heavy strength training twice per week. The other group undertook a program of endurance training only. During the thirteen-week competition phase, the previous strength training group undertook strength maintenance training once per week. The exercises were designed to resemble cycling motion and included half squat, recumbent single leg press, standing one leg hip flexion, and ankle plantar flexion.

It is perhaps, no surprise that the leg strength increased by 23% in the weight training group and was maintained. Leg strength did not increase in the endurance group. Additionally, in forty-minute time trial tests, the strength group increased their mean power by 8% during the preparation phase and then a further 6% by the end of the competition phase. The endurance group increased mean power by 4% at the end of the preparation phase and this was not increased in the competition phase.


Strength training improves 5-min all-out performance following 185 min of cycling.

Rønnestad BR1, Hansen EA, Raastad T.


A year later in 2011, Rønnestad, Hansen, and Raastad executed another test to see what would happen if cyclists undertook a longer submaximal activity of 185 minutes followed by a five-minute sprint. This might be similar to a road race with the final finish. As before, one group performed strength and endurance training, while the other group performed just endurance training. The strength group showed a lower heart rate and oxygen consumption during the last hour of the 185-minute exercise compared with the endurance group. The strength group also increased mean power output during the final five-minute sprint by 7.8% compared to no increase by the endurance group.


Maximal strength training improves cycling economy in competitive cyclists.

Sunde A1, Støren O, Bjerkaas M, Larsen MH, Hoff J, Helgerud J.


In 2010, Sunde et. al. studied the effect of maximal strength training on cycling economy, work efficiency, and time to exhaustion between a strength training group and an endurance group. The strength group performed half squats three times per week to supplement endurance training over an eight-week period. The strength training group exhibited significant improvements in rate of force development (16.7%), cycling economy (4.8%), work efficiency (4.7%), and time to exhaustion at maximum aerobic power (17.2%). The endurance group showed a small increase in work efficiency (1.4%), but the other factors were not improved.


Combining explosive and high-resistance training improves performance in competitive cyclists.

Paton CD1, Hopkins WG.


And back in 2005, Paton and Hopkins subjected cyclists to a combination of explosive and high intensity training during the competitive season. They found a program of explosive single leg jumps and high intensity thirty-second intervals contributed an 8.7% improvement in power during a 1km time trial, an 8.4% improvement in power during a 4km time trial, and a 6.7% improvement in peak power. The changes observed for the control group were less than 0.3%.


Strength training improves cycling efficiency in master endurance athletes.

Louis J1, Hausswirth C, Easthope C, Brisswalter J.


One study in particular showed some very promising results. Louis et al. (2011) studied the effect of three weeks of strength training on cycling efficiency on two groups — young athletes and masters-age athletes. Both groups improved torque production and cycling efficiency but the older athletes improved significantly more. Younger athletes were found to be more efficient than masters-age athletes prior to training but this difference disappeared after three weeks of strength work.

The study states: “In masters, the strength training induced an enhancement in maximal and endurance torque production and cycling efficiency, thus reducing age-related differences in performance recorded before training… These results suggest that strength training added to endurance training might be a complementary strategy to preserve functional capacity and performance with ageing.”








May 21, 2016

Beijing policeman pulls off eight-hour plank world record

Planks have become increasingly popular in the world of exercise and rehab.  “How much you bench?” is now replaced with “how long you plank?”.

For the first time ever a highly regarded spinal surgeon specifically prescribed “Plank exercise” for a patient with severe and chronic back pain.

Are Planks the greatest exercise for trunk stability and controlling back pain?

What determines the quality and therefore benefit of a plank exercise.  Position? (I would say so), muscle recruitment patterns? (absolutely), Duration (not so much!)

Huge kudos to Mao Weidong.  He displayed remarkable strength, endurance and mental focus.  Back pain?