Gymnast Aruna Reddy improvises to keep Olympics hopes alive – other sports

Navneet Singh
New Delhi

Gymnast Aruna Reddy.
Gymnast Aruna Reddy.(HT Photo)



Gymnast Aruna Budda Reddy was undergoing rehabilitation for a ligament knee surgery when the countrywide lockdown due to covid-19 pandemic started. Staying indoors meant her training routine was severely hampered. For a few days Reddy did not know how to go about her rehab and follow specific drills. Then, she and her coach Manoj Kumar decided to initiate online training and innovated. They used everything –from chair to pillow – for strength building exercises.

The online gymnastics training classes where top coaches from the world shared their fitness tips proved helpful.

“The online training sessions started earlier in March are a blessing as I had to strictly follow the rehabilitation routine after the second knee ligament surgery in November last year,” said Reddy, the 2018 world cup bronze medallist.

“Strength training sessions are important for an athlete like me to make a successful return to the competition. Online training is good way to prepare the body during rehab for more vigorous training sessions on the apparatus,” said the international gymnasts from Hyderabad.

Reddy has plans to make a comeback in February next year and she is not focusing on the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The Hyderabad gymnast is following an arduous training regimen. The morning two hour session is focused on improving general fitness and cardio while the evening two hour session comprises of specific drills to strengthen muscles around shoulder and knee.

“The lockdown has helped me to learn innovative methods to stay fit, using ordinary chair as equipment for plank exercise. Using my own body weight drills exercise is another good way to improve basic strength before hitting the apparatus,” she said.

Apart from following her own rebah programme, Reddy is also taking online classes for Hyderabad’s local school going students and imparting her knowledge of how to stay fit while indoors. “Knowledge sharing is another way to keep busy,” Reddy said.

“This is just to keep the students busy for an hour a day as the schools are closed. Since the children are doing without the supervision of the experts at home, the focus is entirely on the basics like body stretching and using small elements at home like pillows as mat to perform forward roll and bridge exercise. I demonstrate step by step each exercise and then watch them on the laptop screen whether they are following it or not,’’ she added.

The online gymnastics classes have been hugely popular among gymnasts. “The response has been good. There are 150 athletes including Railways international Ashish Kumar,” said Reddy’s coach Manoj Kumar.

“Australian national team coach John Curtin and Nasiba Khalikova, Uzbekistan’s rhythmic national team coach are some of the experts who are also giving online tips.” the coach said.

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