Exercise, But do it right

Extreme workouts can cripple if you push too hard too soon

by: Edgar D’Souza AS SUMMER approaches, many Aussies go into overdrive to shape up for the warmer weather. With this in mind, sports podiatrist Karl Lockett is warning beginners of some extreme but popular exercise programs such as bootcamp, crossfit and obstacle-race-style workouts about potential injuries. A member of Sports Medicine Australia and the Australian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, Mr Lockett says extreme exercises can put beginners at risk of overuse injuries if they let the culture of “no pain, no gain” overshadow the basic principles of conducting a safe workout. Mr Lockett says he has seen an increasing number of patients with injuries caused by intense workouts with a too hard-too-soon approach on bodies that are at a “beginner level”. “Some have crippling pain from ailments such as advanced plantar fasciitis (jogger’s heel) and torn ligaments that take a long time to heal, to less serious soft-tissue pain that keeps them out of action for weeks,” he said. Mr Lockett believes extreme workouts aren’t a good choice for those who don’t already do regular exercise, and there are more suitable programs that are safer ways to get fit. He advises those who still want to join an extreme exercise program to find a trusted trainer who can build an exercise regimen froma beginner’s level, not just drive hard from day one. It’s also important not to let competitive behaviour push one over the limits. “Beginners should be sure to incorporate lots of stretching before and after their workout and listen to their body,” he said. Finally, recognise that your regular running shoes may not be suitable for such programs. A visit to a podiatrist can help you find the right shoes for your workout and match it to your foot type.


SPORTS podiatrist Karl Lockett lists some injuries caused by intense workouts with a too-hard-too-soon approach on bodies at a beginner level of exercise:
Torn tendons and ligaments – crossfit-style sets of heavyweight dead lifts, kettle bell swings and kipping pull-ups pose a high risk of torn tendons and ligaments to beginners.
Stress fractures –Weight-bearing exercises also put participants in danger of stress fractures, especially to the metatarsal foot bones. Small stress fractures often become bigger if not recognised, as participants try to push through the pain barrier.
Heel pain – One of the most common injuries in bootcampers or crossfitters – high intensity activities like sudden bursts of running combined with exercises like repeated box jumps puts unfamiliar strain on feet and calves.
Soft-tissue pain – Overuse soft tissue injuries such as around knees can keep you out of action for weeks.


Swimming is a great lowimpact activity that builds strength gradually, is an allover body workout and it can be done all year round
Skipping is good – in short sessions there is little danger of injury and it gets the heart rate going with little impact. Just be sure to stretch calves sufficiently as skipping can make them tight
Yoga and pilates for beginners will give muscles a workout while ensuring they get warmed up and stretched.

Written by Karl Lockett

Fitnesswork.com.au features Karl Lockett

Dealing with Heel Pain

Plantar fasciitis – or heel pain – is not unusual in those new to exercise. Here’s how to prevent, or manage, this painful condition. Plantar fasciitis (heel pain) mostly affects people in their 50s, 60s and 70s, but younger people new to training are also commonly afflicted – especially when starting a new training program and going too hard too soon. The plantar fascia is connective tissue that runs along the sole from the heel to the ball of the foot, keeping the bones and joints in position. Plantar fasciitis is a condition involving this ligament-type structure in the sole of the foot that can cause heel and arch pain. The plantar fascia becomes inflamed and irritated at its attachment at the base of the heel. Sometimes bony growths called heel spurs are present – and these can become permanent – but they are not the cause of heel pain: it is the inflammation in the plantar fascia surrounding the spur that causes pain. In addition to tight calf muscles caused by over-exercise, other causes of plantar fasciitis include flat feet, an increase in bodyweight, soft shoes and poor foot function. If, due to exercise, you significantly increase the workload on your foot over a very short timeframe, the muscles, tendons and ligaments will become stressed. As the fascia is unable to stretch, it pulls away from the heel bone and becomes strained or torn. Plantar fasciitis can also be brought on by long periods of standing or walking, particularly if wearing flat shoes that don’t provide much support. This causes calves to work harder and become tight. The pain associated with plantar fasciitis is often described as feeling like a bruise underneath the heel – like having a stone in your shoe. It is noticed when the foot hits the floor first thing in the morning, and can be so severe that it causes hobbling for a while after getting out of bed.

Prevention and treatment

The best form of prevention for this condition is long, sustained calf stretches prior to exercise and afterwards. Stretching can also be used to treat the condition if it has materialised. Here’s an example of a good calf stretch to be performed for 30 seconds per stretch, three times per leg, and three times per day.
Step 1: One foot back, one foot forward (positioned like a long stride)
Step 2: Both feet point directly ahead
Step 3: Back heel stays on ground – do not lift!
Step 4: Back knee straight
Step 5: Make an arch: roll the back foot to the outside edge slightly to stop foot collapsing, but keep hips centred
Step 6: Don’t bounce, just hold

Stretches are best performed when the muscles are warm and limber. Start gently each time, and don’t over-do each stretch or you may injure the muscle or tendon. Other forms of treatment for plantar fasciitis may include a change of footwear to something more supportive, foot strapping, orthotics, or immobilisation boots if the fascia is actually torn. If your heel pain is due to flat feet or an increase in bodyweight, rather than over-exercise, then you should consult a podiatrist, who can assess whether orthotics are needed to correct the arch and pronation in flat feet, or advise on shoes that can better support extra weight. Karl Lockett is a sports podiatrist and leading specialist in managing heel pain. Offering treatments beyond standard orthotics, including shock wave therapy and dry needling, he is a member of Sports Medicine Australia and the Australian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. www.sydneyheelpain.com.au

Written by Karl Lockett

How to avoid bad shoe decisions that damage our feet – as seen in news.com.au

News.com.au features Karl Lockett of Sydney Heel Pain.

Article: From high heels to flats: how to avoid bad shoe decisions that damage our feet.

Source: www.news.com.au

Written by Karl Lockett

How to wear heels all month without breaking a bone – as seen in Cleo magazine


Wearing high heels strains the calf and Achilles tendon, so I recommend stretching your calf muscles daily, as well as opting for a heel with a wider base. While you’re out, wear gel liners in your shoes to support the balls of your feet, and consider sitting down for 15 to 20 minutes every two hours to relieve your legs. Sports drinks contain sodium, magnesium and potassium – great after workouts and for hangovers, but they can also help replenish and relax your calf muscles and the muscles in your feet.

Written by Karl Lockett

Daily telegraph features Karl Lockett

No Gain in Pain from Pushing it

EXTREME workouts are crippling people racing to get their bodies ripped for summer, with a leading sports podiatrist reporting a 20 per cent increase in debilitating injuries.

The warning comes as a new study has found junk food accounts for a third of young men’s energy intake, leaving them without enough essential nutrients for building muscles, increasing strength or even sexual function.

Sports podiatrist Karl Lockett said this time of the year people were obstacle course racing, bootcamping and crossfitting to get their “summer bodies’’ ready.

But with a “no limits’’ mindset, he said such programs coupled with a “no pain, no gain’’ culture were putting exercise beginners at risk of severe injury.

“I have seen an increasing number of patients with injuries caused by intense workouts with a too-hard, too-soon approach for a beginner level of exercise,’’ he said.

“Some have crippling pain from ailments such as torn ligaments, which take a long time to heal, to less serious soft-tissue pain that keeps them out of action for weeks.

“Extreme workouts aren’t a good choice for those who don’t do regular exercise.’’

He also cautioned about letting peer pressure and competitiveness push beginners beyond their limits. “Pain is a warning sign,’’ he said.

His comments come as a study by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) found 40 per cent of young men aged 19-30 were eating less than one serve of wholegrain foods a day. It found 59 per cent of men instead regularly ate junk food.

Written by Karl Lockett

Recreational Runners Risk Injury

Written by Karl Lockett

When in pain, listen to your body. Rest, and if it persists, seek treatment.

Written by Karl Lockett

Studio 10 Features Karl Lockett

Good and Bad Shoe Decisions

Learn more: Plantar Fasciitis

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