Excel PT and Workout Blog

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June 26, 2020 // Comments are off for this post.

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 // Comments are off for this post.


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.

November 3, 2016 // Comments are off for this post.

Tale of 8 total hips

This past Friday, without planning, I had the unique pleasure of introducing four awesome patients that had 8 total hip replacements between them. It was an inspiring moment to share their instant connection and their common passion for staying active and healthy.

In my 29 years of being a Physical Therapist I have treated hundreds of patients with total hip joint replacements. However, throughout my career I have taken care of only two patients who elected to have both hips replaced at the same time.

Adee Hendler had both of her hips replaced at HSS in 2007 and has been a loyal client ever since. I have seen her through all kinds of aches and pains, and our lasting relationship has been based on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and remaining strong and balanced to keep up with her grandkids. Charlotte Francis had both of her hips replaced at HSS this past August. Only 54 years old, Charlotte is a recently retired NY State trooper. She exemplifies a tough, and hard working patient and within 8 weeks has already gotten back to her passion of refereeing basketball and volleyball. Adee and Charlotte are both wonderful patients and unique in my professional career so it was with great joy that I had the opportunity to introduce them to each other.

At the same moment that I was introducing them I realized that my patient Steven Holtz and one of Excel’s Pilates instructors Marjorie Waller were exercising in the gym as well. Marjorie had her first hip replacement in 2015 and her second hip replacement four weeks ago. Remarkably, Marjorie was back at work teaching her reformer classes 10 days after surgery and aspires to share her experience and insights to help other total hip patients through Pilates. Steven Holtz has been a client and patient of mine for over 10 years and I consider him a friend as well as a client. Steven, only 54 years old, had his first hip replacement in 2010 followed by his second hip in 2015. I’ve also seen him through a surgically repaired distal biceps tendon as well as a shoulder labral repair.

So, on this random Friday it was with great joy and pride that I realized here in our gym were four amazing people with 8 total hip replacements between them. Each one of them representing this new age of what total joint replacement can mean, and how Excel is uniquely qualified to help them get back to an active lifestyle.

October 18, 2016 // Comments are off for this post.

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.”








October 6, 2016 // Comments are off for this post.

Getting ready for the slopes

This is the time of year that all of our winter athletes should be fine tuning their fitness to be ready to shred.  For some individuals it is not only preparing for performance but also recovering from injury and surgery.  In these cases achieving mental preparedness and the psychological readiness can be a daunting process.  Being physically ready is the first step.  In this Burton Blog excerpt Snowboarding superstar Kelly Clark describes her journey recovering from hip surgery.

May 21, 2016 // Comments are off for this post.

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?

May 9, 2016 // Comments are off for this post.

Excel’s John Petrizzo lifts 1,380 pounds

John Petrizzo DPT competed in the National “Starting Strength Challenge” which was held in gyms all across the country over the weekend of 4/23-4/24.  John hoisted some amazing numbers (600 deadlift, 525 squat, 255 overhead press) and  came in 9th overall out of a of 96 men who competed nationally.  We could not be more proud of him.  As a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Starting Strength Coach John not only talks the talk but clearly walks the walk. However, most impressive is his passion and never ending generosity in sharing his knowledge and wisdom with our clients who want to excel in strength.


March 30, 2016 // Comments are off for this post.

Golf Injuries and Fitness

The spring season is upon us.  To be sure that you enjoy a progressive and injury free season, Excel strongly recommends that you get your body ready.   What do Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples and Davis Love III have in common, besides the ability to hit a golf ball farther than most mortal men? All have missed significant time during their playing careers because of lower back pain. And they’re not alone.   Approximately one third of professional golfers and one half of recreational golfers suffer from lower back pain.

According to Dr. Vijay Vad at Hospital for Special Surgery studies have shown that those golfers who did suffer from lower back pain had substantially less mobility in their lead hip (which is the left hip for a right-handed golfer and the opposite for the southpaw) than those players with healthy backs. Repetitive stresses placed on the joints in the lower back, due to a lack of internal rotation in the lead hip after impact with the golf ball–or during the deceleration phase of the swing–was the primary cause of back trouble.

Lower back injuries are very common this time of year, when many recreational golfers are breaking out their clubs for the first time in months. A weak, deconditioned core–the muscles and tendons that make up the midsection of the body, including the hips, “glutes,” hamstrings and abdominals–is a contributing factor. Most people just aren’t physically ready to play 18 holes of golf right out of the gate; therefore they are more susceptible to injuries. It also doesn’t help that the vast majority of recreational golfers sit behind a desk for 8 to 10 hours a day.  This creates shortened hip flexor muscles, leading to more back pain in golfers.

Other common golf-related injuries include those to the wrists, elbows, and shoulders.  Pre-season golf conditioning can prevent these injuries and also serves as a performance enhancement tool during the season for more yards on drives.


The first step toward injury prevention is a thorough physical competency assessment.  The Golf Physical Competency Assessment (GPCA) establishes a starting point for training. Trunk, shoulder and hip mobility; Core, lower and upper extremity strength; Muscular flexibility; Balance.  Have you paid any attention to these physical attributes during this past long winter?

The GPCA will assess muscular flexibility; spinal, hip and shoulder mobility; core, upper and lower extremity strength and overall balance.  The results of the GPCA will identify areas of strength and weakness, deficiencies and limitations and therefore allow for the development of individually prescribed exercise routines.

March 19, 2016 // Comments are off for this post.

Excel Exhibits at Tri-Athlete Convention

I had a fantastic time at the first annual NY TRI EXPO at Citifield on March 19th. The venue was packed with multisport athletes from newbie to pro. John Petrizzo, DPT and I were there to represent Excel PT & Workout.

We spoke to countless athletes (and their supporters) about injury prevention, the importance of strength, flexibility and recovery body work. I spoke on a panel alongside other great professionals for a more in-depth discussion of injury prevention for the triathlete.

I enjoyed seeing many of my racing colleagues in a non-competitive environment. We are all friends trying to do our best when the gun goes off at the swim.

I was so happy to see Matt Long, author of The Long Run, an inspirational true story about Matt’s life. We all have something to learn from Matt and the IWill Foundation.

If I helped a few athletes have a better season then it was a huge success. Thanks to Hilary Topper and HJMT for putting this great event together.