The Newest Trend in Sport Preparation: Foam Roller Stretching

Yes, it is out there and it is working wonders for athletes and sportsmen.  There are several reasons why foam rolling has become so beneficial for sports preparation.  The main one probably is that it is safe, easier, and it really makes you feel good.   But we can expand on explaining why is it so marvelous and a chosen method by an increasing number of athletes.

Better than stretching

It is well known by every sportsman that stretching is essential when it comes to practicing a sport.  Either you are on a sports practice or need to get ready to hit the pitch, stretching is essential to help your muscles warm up and get ready for the stress.  A foam roller provides amazing results when it comes to stretching.   Stretching with a foam roller has the benefit of providing a better blood flow.   True, this is what stretching does, but using a foam roller helps tenderize over-worked muscles and better prepare them for a workout.

Getting rid of adhesions

The myofascial massage offered by foam rolling cannot be achieved with stretching alone.  These adhesions to the muscle can be responsible for pain events.  The more an athlete uses a foam roller, the faster these adhesions will leave the muscle and get it ready for action.

Keeping muscles ready for action 

There are some muscles in your body that do not really undergo much action.  Take the muscles of the calf for example.  During a normal day, these are muscles that do not necessarily undergo a massive amount of stretching and compressing.   They are needed during a sports event.  Foam rolling provides the massage needed in these muscles that will keep them in tone all the time.


Not only are foam rollers a great alternative for sports preparation but these pieces are usually used to recover from intense workout.   The rollers are included within the gadgets needed to recover from hard work.  This is essential as it gets you ready for the next training session of your sport.  Experts rely on the fact that using these techniques of recovery, that include foam rolling, will enhance sports performance.

Used correctly, a foam roller is a great tool to keep the muscles ready for action.  It also has the effect of helping an athlete recover from sore muscles and avoid sprains or serious accidents during a sport. They provide a much better stretch when used correctly.

It has been proven that using a foam roller, in conjunction with other healthy activities and forms of stretching and working out will decrease the chances of pulling or tearing a muscle.  Needless to say, this is something a professional athlete is looking for.

So there you have the reasons why foam rolling is becoming increasingly popular with people who play sports either at an amateur or professional level. Of course, foam rolling also has enormous benefits for those who simply work out for the sake of a healthier life.

The Competitive Nature of Sports: Why it’s Tougher than Ever before to Make It as a Professional

sports-moneyWith all the equipment and training space easily available, training to be an athlete seems to be an easy task. Yet, why is it still difficult to make it as a professional athlete?

What does it take to be a professional athlete?

Being a professional athlete is not only talent, nor is it only hard work. As a profession, it takes perspiration and pain to train to be the best. But what pushes you to work harder, train harder, push harder? The passion to be the best in your field is what will drive you to be the best. You may have talent, but if laziness get the best of you, then you are probably better off pursuing something else. Passion, drive, energy, effort and time helps you make it as a professional.

The Recognition

Once your talent and hard work gets noticed, you must sustain discipline in personal training to compete and prove your worth in the limelight. If you do not have enough money to fund you in every competition you join, you need to find people who would sponsor you. This would be very difficult as many athletes are spotted by different sponsors, some aren’t even worth it. The disappointment of not getting chosen could make most athletes just give up. You have to keep proving yourself that you are worth it. Soon you may find that big break and you may keep moving forward.

As you get recognized, signed for different contracts, funded for different competitions then the fame may just be another hurdle for you. Different temptations could come knocking on your front door, some you might even open up to. Drugs and alcohol are among the few that could take your career away from you. Vices could take away your health from you, taking away your strength and taking away the chances to keep pushing as an athlete.

The Expectations

The expectations that come along with all the opportunities can come off as a burden. Some push harder that they easily get drained and break. Some just don’t get bothered at all. Balancing the hype that comes with the expectations is a must to make it as a professional athlete. Knowing how to work with all that is expected from you by others and by yourself is vital to help you make it.

Along with vices, comes the attitude, you must not only have the physical aspect, but more importantly, you must have a heart and Soul Fitness of an athlete. Professionals are looked up to by many people, ranging from kids to adults. The pressure of living a good life, playing hard and the benefits of being a professional athlete could break you down and sometimes showing a bad attitude could not be helped. Yet maintaining a good attitude can prove your value as an athlete and as a professional.

Being a professional athlete is not only the availability of equipment, trainers and opportunities. Talent and passion aren’t the only requirements. You may not have the talent, but hard work and the right attitude can still get you to places. Maintaining a good attitude while you keep fighting to be on top would help you to make it. Once you are there, learn to keep pushing forward. A sport is never stagnant nor constant, so keep working.

Watch this inspirational video and learn what really takes to be a professional athlete.

Why you see more and more American Football Players Wearing Hinged Knee Braces

It goes without saying that football, besides being a sport with much physical contact, is one that involves a potential for serious injury.  In order to play the sport, one must be physically fit and willing to take strenuous bumps and collisions.  Injuries are just waiting to happen.  All from elbows to knees can be affected even despite the heavy gear football players must wear.

American football players apply a lot of stress to their knees while they play.  It is actually an important part of the game as they will usually squat for every play.  An average football player will bend his knees an approximate 400 times per game. When one pictures a 150-lb player doing this all the time, the amount of stress applied to the knee seems humongous.

This is true for every football game.  In order to prevent this, more American football players are wearing hinged knee braces.  But what are the benefits of such brace?

They are comfortable to wear

In a sport where you move a lot and in a rather fast pace, wearing something comfortable is important.  American football players find the hinged knee brace pretty comfortable and with high adaptability.  This makes it a versatile piece to wear as it will barely add space to the knee.  It also allows for free movement without compromising agility.

They provide support for injured knees

In the case of an injury, the tightness held by a brace provides for a rapid relief of a knee injury.  Knee injuries are very common in American football.  Players are constantly pounding against the floor and many times this trauma goes straight to the knees.  This is also true for the amount of stress applied to the knee from squatting, running, and hard walking.

Ligament and Knee support 

As expressed before, this is pretty important to the sport.  In order to better perform, an American football player will want to play it safe with a very good ligament and knee support.  This is provided by a good knee brace. Add comfort to this and a player can stay ready for the beating with an effective support to the knee.

As more and more players are using knee braces, the need for them has never been so evident.  As in most sports,  an American football player is making investments over his own body.  It is imperative then to handle this “machine” with care and protect it against wearing.  It is important to always wear the best knee brace in order to provide the best relief and support.

Why Top Athletes Are Using Essential Oils

A normal day for any top athlete would include training and practice. Doing it over and over again, they have to endure pain, discomforts and sometimes bruises and cuts. In order to ease the effects of hard trainings, athletes need to find a natural way of healing. Just like using the wide range   of essential oils.

Many top athletes nowadays have started to discover the benefits of essential oils. How there oils help them out to ease the wear and tear that they get in doing constant trainings. As a result, these oils will also help them to improve their athletic performance and become the best version of themselves ever.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural and organic compounds extracted from plants, flowers and herbs that carry natural healing properties. It is considered as a great alternative to ease pain, heal different kind’s illnesses and even promote a healthy body and skin. Since these oils came from plants and herbs, they don’t have any harmful chemicals that might harm you in any way.


There are several popular essential oils that are widely used these days such as lavender and peppermint oils. Lavender for instance, can help athletes in a way to decrease tension and calms muscles. Peppermint oil, on the other hand can aid proper breathing. For a long hour of training, you can use peppermint and lavender oil to keep you calm and creates a good atmosphere to give you a good night’s sleep.

Application of essential oils may vary depending on your needs. You probably have to check the right essential oil information to know how to use them right. Some oils can be applied directly on the affected area. You can also put a few drops on a cloth to help you breathe better. For a perfect aromatherapy session, a few drops of essential oil in a diffuser will create a perfect, relaxing atmosphere.

Becoming a Better Athlete

In order to become a good athlete, you need to be physically, mentally and emotionally fit.  That means you need to holistically healthy. First, constant and proper training is important. While on training, the athlete should endure all pain and pressures along the way. That’s where the wonders of essential oils can help you.

As a top athlete, you definitely have to watch your diet. You need to stay away from unhealthy foods. You can consider using honey, lemon oil and olive oil to maintain a good level nutrition. These kinds of oils will help you improve your immunity during races.


Getting a good rest and enough sleep are also important if you want to become a better athlete. If you are having some trouble getting yourself to sleep, lavender oil has a soothing and calming effects which will help you set your mood for sleeping. Most of all, avoid doing things that might destruct you from sleeping such as watching TV or staying in front of the computer screen.

Athlete and Essential Oils

It’s very obvious that athletes and essential oils are linked to each other. Thus, if you are looking for perfect alternatives to help you achieve your goal of becoming one of the best athletes, you probably have to start thinking about using the amazing essential oils.

Why Golf Lessons are so Important

This is a question that usually rises among those who want to start practicing the sport.  It sounds like a reasonable question to make, especially if you have seen how golf games live or on TV.  I mean, when you see it, it seems like it is all about hitting a ball with a club and making it soar into the air like a projectile.  If you have a good aim, you will make a few holes here and there.  But there is much more to golf than meets the eye and there is definitively something about Tiger Woods that makes him a professional golfer.  This is golf lessons.

Many may not know this but in fact one drawback of golf is actually that it might be intimidating to beginners becuase it is not really an easy skill to acquire.  The purpose of golf lessons is to help you take some information and tips on the sport.

Among some of the things that a professional golf trainer will provide is how to correctly stand, how to make a good swing, and even what the best clubs for you are.

As stated before, there are special techniques in golf swinging.  When you try this for the first time, you will notice that it is not as easy as it looks.  Even if you manage to hit the ball, there is no guarantee that your hit will be effective.  There is an important physical aspect that needs to be considered when golf-swinging.  Taking golf lessons will help you master the perfect swing for a more effective hole putt.

Not only is the golf swinging important for good playing but the body position takes in some credit.  How you stand will determine the force with which you hit the ball with your club.  A qualified instructor will help you by providing useful tips on the best position based on your own body structure.

This is definitively one investment you should make if you want to seriously get into golf playing.  You will find out that the valuable tips and skills learned in lessons will actually make it worth it.  Even when it is praiseworthy for you to try and train yourself, you will prove yourself that it is nearly an impossible task.  Becoming a good golfer requires you to know the rules of the game as well as the techniques that will aid in you in being effective.

Great thing about golf is that it can be practiced by nearly anyone, regardless of age and gender.  If you are serious about getting golf lessons, you should get golf ready by attending SF Bay Area Golf Lessons.  Be the best you can be at this truly fascinating sport.


How A Personal Trainer Can Help You Perform Better in Sport

When I first started to get fit, I remember I would haphazardly just look up for videos on the web and start going at it.  My results were not really the best;  I ended up frustrated until I realized (or my wife made me) that I needed a specialized personal trainer to really hit those trigger points.

It is the same with sports.  All teams must have a coach that leads them into the best strategy to perform as a team.  One would never think of a sport without a coach that brings the team into behaving as one, as it should be.  The same principle applies to you as a sportsman or sportswoman.  Let´s see how can a personal trainer help you perform better in sports:

A personal trainer will give you personalized instruction

Your body responds differently to strenuous situations than it does on your peers. This means that a targeted and customized training program will fill in your particular needs. A specialized trainer will make you an evaluation and determine which are your strong points and those that need more work.  This is definitively one very effective way of achieving high performance at your sport.

It will keep you motivated

A good personal trainer will go as far as to keep you sound and motivated.  Their training usually includes pushing you to your limits in a controlled manner.  A trainer will help you set realistic goals and guide you through the whole process of achieving such goals.  A detailed program that you are aware of will maintain your stamina to the point of wanting to reach your sports goals.  Have you determined yourself into being the best in your sport?  Talk to your trainer about it and set paths to achieving that.

A personal trainer will add expertise and variety

An expert trainer understands the muscles that need to stay fit and how to keep them that way.  This, in turn, adds efficiency to your workout time as you have a targeted experience of exercise and training.  Having a personal trainer and expert in your sport provides not only for expert advice but also a variety in exercises that will turn your training into a more effective one.

Your training time will be more efficient

As we stated before, your training time is more efficient as your training program meets all the above criteria:  is customized for your particular needs and focuses on keeping up your strengths and sharpening up your weak points.

Having a better performance at your sport will bring you and your team a greater satisfaction.  It does require hard work and patience to become the best you can be.  A personal trainer will take you to performing at your best as your goals become theirs.  Hire a personal trainer and get better at your sport.

Why We Cannot Let Boxing Perish

Is the Sport of Boxing in Trouble?


Yes, at least in the USA. Boxing has gone through its peaks and valleys, but in the past it has always remained a popular sport even during dull moments. Now, with most title matches broadcasted via pay-per-view (PPV) only, the simultaneous rise of MMA, and a lack of advancements in technology found within the sport, the future of the sport appears to be bleak.

My Personal Experiences

So why do I care enough to write about this? After all, boxing is still popular in many other countries. Like most things in life, I had to experience the sport in order to understand it, and having done so, I have been able to gain an insider’s view of all the great things boxing has to offer.


Many people believe that boxing is reserved for tough-guys who grew up fighting and want to continue doing so for a living. This is NOT the case. Many people, including myself, participate in boxing at a recreational level and still see many benefits. It’s easily the best workout I’ve ever been a part of, I’ve increased my fitness to a point where I feel good and have confidence, and best of all, it’s fun!

Team Environment

Although the workout focuses on conditioning and skills of a particular individual, there is definitely a team atmosphere at most boxing gyms. Often times you will help each other during workouts, spar together, and simply socialize as well. It’s a fun way to meet people who have similar interests.

At-Risk Youth

The first boxing gym I joined was in a low-income neighborhood near a few schools. There were lots of kids in the area, and often times I would see them peering through the window with pure interest. Eventually, they would summon the courage to come in and talk to a trainer, who always allowed kids to join for free or at a very cheap price.

It got to the point where the hallways leading up to the gym were covered in school projects related boxing, pictures of amateur boxers (kids and adults alike) enjoying success, and any kid in the gym was always having a fun time.

I’ve been a member of a few boxing gyms and this welcoming approach to children isn’t always the case, but I certainly did see the positive effects in at least one of those gyms. The kids were staying out of trouble, they had somewhere to go after school, and I was even able to see a couple of them become pro fighters once they reached 16-18 years old.


One of the main reasons kids AND adults in low-income neighborhoods were able to have such a great time boxing is because they, or their parents, were able to afford it. Additionally, most gyms have equipment that everyone can use, so the cost of equipment for most first-time members can often be lower than $20 (e.g. your own mouth guard and hand wraps).

For a lot of recreational boxers, specifically adults, once they became familiar enough with the workouts, their level of commitment, and the types of exercises they enjoy, a lot of recreational boxers will begin shifting their workouts to their own home. For example, owning a pair of their own boxing gloves, some sort of punching bag, and maybe a couple accessories like a jump rope, was all they needed in order to squeeze in a solid workout at home if they didn’t have time to make it to the gym.

Final Thoughts

Boxing is an amazing sport, not just at the “mega-fight” level, but also at the small-time recreational level. There are so many benefits that it really is a shame to see the popularity drop in the USA. In my opinion, the most effective way to counter-act this is become involved locally. Simple things like attending local fights, trying out the sport at a recreational level, even just visiting a boxing gym and asking questions, are all great ways to get boxing back on track. I truly believe there is lots of potential for this sport in the USA (which has been proven in the past!), but it will take time and effort from those at the ground level – recreational boxers.


Baseball or Basketball: America’s National Pastime

baberuthWhat is America’s favorite pastime? Baseball! For over a century, families spent their afternoons together at the ballpark or in front of the television, cheering for their home teams. In fact, many regularly scheduled programs show reruns during the World Series so they do not compete with the popularity of the game. It has been like that as far as I can remember. Baseball has the richest history of all sports. When fans engage with the topic of baseball, they do not only speak of the history of the game, but America’s history as well. Names such as TY Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathews and Babe Ruth have been part of America’s major history. There something about baseball that seems as American as apple pie.

More about Baseball

Baseball is played with nine players active to the team, with one team batting and the other playing in the field and this sport has been around for years. It was first played in 1846 between the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Nine but it took a decade to reach its extreme popularity. Form minor league baseball had evolved as one of the most popular professional sport of the country and became known as the MLB or the Major League Baseball. The American public came to love the game and Babe Ruth, a very awesome player, is largely credited as being the reason that it became America’s favorite pastime.

The Controversy

Although all professional sports have been faced with different controversies, the love of baseball by fans had been threatened with some players’ use of performance enhancing drugs known as steroids. This had cast a shadow over the sport and fans were divided regarding the issue. It was a controversy that lasted for several years. The public felt that they were cheated or betrayed knowing that there were diehard fans who admire players of this game. There were conclusions drawn that this controversy was true because there was a sudden jump in home runs and improved performance among players who were suspected to be using the drug. Plus, there was cheating when players would cork baseball bats. Nevertheless, hopefully the issue will blow over, and this fine American tradition will continue to bring people together for the years to come, despite losing the luster as the America’s favorite pastime.

Is Baseball still America’s Favorite Pastime?

This is a question that is very difficult to answer. Though we must admit that with the controversy that plagued baseball, many have traded their classic baseball for a big orange ball. Basketball popularity has grown widely and it has become a favorite among many sports fans. It has even become very global that National Basketball Association players are known worldwide. We can from see that the ratings of NBA finals are undeniably high and many people are becoming more into the sport of basketball than baseball nowadays.  So, is baseball still America’s favorite pastime? Well, you have to make that call, but for me baseball has been and always will be America’s favorite past time.

Air Rifle Target Shooting as Sport

air rifle shootingIn recent years, the popularity of rifle shooting as a sport has soared, opening up a wealth of opportunities and variations on the sport. Air guns have entered the target-shooting arena as another choice for shooting enthusiasts. While traditional rifle sports maintain popularity, the air rifle sport is growing and gaining traction.


While traditional rifle shooting as a sport has a variety of different goals, air rifle shooting is typically focused on still target shooting. The Olympics features one such competition during every summer Olympics.


Considered part of the rifle competition portion of the Olympics, the air rifle and air pistol competitions have targets placed ten meters from the shooter’s stand. While in most ways this competition mimics the high-powered rifle events, this distance is much closer than the traditional rifle shooting events, due to the decreased power and range of the air gun.


Another big difference in the Olympic event is the position of the shooter for the competition. While traditional high-powered rifle events feature three positions for the shooter – standing, kneeling, and prone – the air rifle competition only has the shooter positioned to stand.


The Olympics isn’t the only professional venue for air rifle shooting competitions. There are international and national events held regularly to qualify for the Olympics. Additionally, new leagues are popping up across North America with the particular focus of air rifle target shooting. They offer competitions, classes, and events for beginners, enthusiasts, and professional sportsmen.


As with high-powered rifle events, many air rifle target shooting events allow participants to practice and compete in the traditional three-position rotation, but with less of a distance to each target.


Why are air guns gaining traction as a target-shooting sport? Many people prefer the lower cost and easier upkeep of an air gun. Whether shooting BBs or pellets, air guns don’t require the same investment or cleaning as a traditional rifle. Many air gun owners rarely clean their air guns, and don’t see a decrease in accuracy or distance. Pellets and BBs are readily available for purchase, and less expensive to practice with, as going through rounds and rounds is not uncommon.


Air guns are a good first step in the competition world.  The lower power and the decreased distance allow the beginner to become comfortable and used to the sport before moving on the higher-powered rifles or pistols. Training and competing with an air rifle is the first choice for parents getting their children into the sport. Events and training can be just as serious and competitive as with high-powered rifles, without the cost.


While traditional, high-power rifle shooting as a sport still has a massive following, air gun rifle target shooting is gaining traction and is a solid lower-cost, fun alternative and a developing sport in its own rite.

A Lesson From Pro Athletes

Pro Athletes Train, They Don't Workout

With the exception of extremely high level who are given access to a personal trainer or a fitness coach most of us are simply working out. We’re lifting weights to stay in shape during the off-season, we’re running to keep try and keep our gut at bay. And while anybody who is at least exercising is doing more then the majority of the population, they’re also wasting a huge amount of time.

We need to rid ourselves of the mindset that we’re going to work out. What does that mean to you? When someone says I’m going to work out. It means they’re leaving behind their sedentary self behind for an hour to go work out. Okay, so what comes after that? They’ll mindlessly throw around a few dumbbells, maybe they’ll jump on the bike for 20 minutes and then finish it all up with a nice sauna (who doesn’t love a sauna?).

Most of you are probably nodding, uh huh, yep. That sounds about right, that person is staying in shape *high five*. Not so fast. What is it that they’re trying to achieve? What’re their goals? Sadly most of the folks in the gym can’t answer this question without resorting to an exceptionally generic “to stay fit” response. That’s not good enough and it’s not going to get you the results you need or want.

We need to practice training like we practice any other fundamental skill. The minute we stop tracking and critiquing ourselves is the minute we’ve lost and begin to decline. If you’re not growing (and I don’t just mean your muscles) you’re inevitably atrophying. If you’re going to spend 5 or 6 hours of your week in a gym you damn well better know why you’re there.

A point guard doesn’t work out, he trains. It’s easy for them to set goals, they have coaches and trainers who are constantly measuring and monitoring them. They identify parts of their game which need work, not explosive enough? Do X, Y, Z and track it using A, B, C. Each week you should be improving by this much or that much.

The next time you’re thinking about going to the gym skip it all together. Sit down and figure out what is it that you want out of the gym. Be specific – do you want to cut down on body fat or do you want to be able to run 10 miles in a certain amount of time? Once you establish your wants you can begin to build a training schedule that caters to them.