As well as the laughter and fun I hear in my classes, every now and then someone groans – and we know the dreaded cramp has hit.
This happens particularly when going into the bridge position, the reason being is the glutes are not firing up adequately. Your hamstrings try to take over the job of the glutes but due to the position you are in (knees bent) they can’t contract, and that’s when cramp occurs.
It’s therefore the glutes that need to get stronger, and exercises that help are clams and side leg lifts.
Cramp could also be due to muscle fatigue and its effect on how your nerves control muscle contractions. It does seem that exercise-induced cramps are most likely to happen when your muscles are weary.
Another, older idea is that cramps are due to dehydration, or low levels of various minerals (electrolytes) in the body. It’s known that athletes who lose lots of salt in their sweat when they exercise are more likely to get them .
According to the NHS, certain medicines – such as those prescribed for high cholesterol or high blood pressure may also set off a cramp.
So as well as drinking plenty of water daily, make sure you’re getting enough calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium in your daily diet.
And three of those four foods are found in bananas …. as elite athletes know – which is why you see them munching bananas during tennis matches etc.
Other cramp-fighting foods include sweet potatoes, avocados, cantaloupe melon, beans and lentils.
Calcium Citrate can certainly help with certain types of cramps, although it’s not clear how effective it is with exercise-induced ones.
But if you’d like to try it, I recommend Allergy Research Calcium Citrate 180’s: The Natural Dispensary which you can get via Natural Dispensary with a 10% discount code of TJF10.