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How American physio Aaron Horschig got Mirabai Chanu in shape for Tokyo Olympics | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

July 25, 2021
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As Mirabai Chanu was in the midst of opening India’s medal account with a silver at the Tokyo Games on Saturday, Dr Aaron Horschig — renowned strength and conditioning coach who has been working with the champion weightlifter in the lead up to the Games — was watching all the action from his home in St Louis, United States.
“It was well past midnight here but Mirabai was just fantastic. It was extremely satisfying to see her perform the way she did,” Aaron told TOI.
In November last year, Mirabai and her coach Vijay Sharma decided to visit Aaron as the Manipur lifter was finding it difficult to train at home. After being confined to her room in NIS Patiala for almost two months during the first Covid-19 lockdown, Mirabai found it tough to resume her training regime.
She suffered from back pain and also had tightness in her shoulders. The move to work with Aaron — a national-level weightlifter-turned physiotherapist — proved to be a masterstroke for Mirabai. Aaron has trained many players who are currently part of America’s National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) among others.
Aaron didn’t take long to figure out the pain points.
“The right shoulder was painful during the turnover phase of the snatch. Upon examination I found her issue to be associated with a problem in shoulder blade positioning and failure to upwardly rotate optimally. Her shoulder blade was unable to provide sufficient stability for the arm and that led to pain. After addressing this issue, we were able to see massive changes in pain free capacity and stability under the barbell,” Aaron assessed.
To top that, Chanu’s lower back was affected each time she squatted.
“With proper evaluation, we uncovered that her source of pain was a hip mobility restriction which hindered optimal glute muscle activation. This resulted in over reliance on other tissues in the hip and the development of pain,” said the 34-year-old.
With specific exercises tailored to address these problems, Aaron helped Mirabai eliminate pain and perform a strong quality squat.
Once the issues were sorted, Mirabai was able to perform at her best. “There was a time when she couldn’t train for successive days. By the time she left for Tokyo, we were having a couple of sessions each day,” said Aaron.
Ahead of her event, Aaron was in constant touch with Mirabai and her team. “The efforts made by her coach Vijay and the rest of the team is commendable. I have trained quite a few athletes before but Mirabai has to be the most dedicated and disciplined one. The silver medal is the result of her perseverance and never-say-die attitude,” mentioned Aaron.





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