Getting and staying healthy has never been more popular than it is now. Thanks to the availability of information and the growing access to food. More people are careful about what they eat and how they eat it.
Your diet is the foundation of your health. Without the right kind of nutrition, your body won’t be able to function at its best. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to a vast array of diseases, many of which can be fatal. A healthy, balanced diet is always the first defense against sickness and disease, so it’s no wonder that there’s a growing societal push for better, more nutritious food.
The best way to start eating healthy is by arming yourself with information about what your food can do for you. In line with that: our previous article, 15 Food to Stay Healthy Longer, is about different foods and their health benefits. Today, we’re going to expand on that list by talking about foods that pack a surprising punch in terms of nutritional value.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables have been one of the cornerstones of a healthy diet. They have antioxidants, fiber, and other essential nutrients that make it possible for your body to function well. They’re easy to grow because vegetables were throughout history and the world.
According to the Agricultural Research Service, dark green leafy vegetables have a ton of vitamins and minerals. They have B vitamins that promote a healthy heart and can also protect against cancer. Other anti-cancer properties of these vegetables are in their high antioxidant content. They also have a high level of iron, magnesium, potassium, and many other essential minerals.
These vegetables are also attractive because of their low-calorie content. Dark green leafy vegetables are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. You can sauté them, roast them, or simply toss them into a fresh salad. You can make them the centerpiece of a dish or sprinkle them as a light topping. They will add an indispensable health boost to your diet.
Many people hesitate to start adding more greens into their diets, but they shouldn’t. If you are at a loss on cooking with greens, try recipes from this list from Taste of Home for ideas. Dark leafy greens fit into salads, soups, pasta dishes, and more— all you need is a little creativity.
Tea has been part of civilization for millennia. Tea is one of the drinks known to have medicinal effects. It also offers other benefits, depending on the variety of tea leaves. One of the most popular teas is green tea, which has a long and storied history.
Just One Cookbook writes that green tea is the most consumed beverage in Japan. It also got a long history in China, Korea, and other Asian countries. Japanese green tea comes in several types. The tea leaf itself comes from the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis, also known as the tea tree. The little leaf has several health benefits. The tea tree extract has been used in sanitizers, insect repellents, skincare, and much more.
Green tea is more than a soothing drink that you can take after a meal. It is a powerful home remedy and preventive measure that protects against sickness and disease. Experts at WebMD list out its many benefits. The list includes the ability to fight certain types of cancer cells. It also lowers your risk for heart disease and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Green tea keeps your blood pressure levels stable.
Not only that! The act of drinking tea itself can be soothing and linked to better mental health and overall well-being. If those aren’t good enough reasons to start adding tea leaves to your cart, we don’t know what is.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a familiar staple in many households, and it’s not hard to figure out why that is. ACV is one of the oldest preservation techniques in the world. Vinegar had been around for thousands of years. Because it’s such a simple process, you can even make your apple cider vinegar at home.
ACV treats skin ailments like sunburn and acne. It is also a natural home cleaning agent, a weight loss aid, and a splash of flavor in meals. But that’s not all that apple cider vinegar can do: it’s also a powerful health food.
The Cleveland Clinic says that ACV can help lower your blood sugar levels and calm down acid reflux. It also helps in losing weight. It’s also great for your gut health, like all fermented foods, and can boost the level of healthy bacteria in your digestive system.
One of the downsides of ACV is the fact that it’s acidic like all vinegar. If you take apple cider vinegar in liquid form, you need to make sure that it’s well diluted. Even if it is, it can still damage your tooth enamel and esophageal lining. Brightcore suggests taking ACV as gummies, which are more portable and safer for your stomach. ACV gummies also taste better, making it easier to incorporate this health booster into your diet.
Vinegar is a common type of fermented food, but it’s not the most popular in reaping the benefits of fermentation. That honor lies squarely with foods like yogurt, which have been part of food cultures for centuries. These fermented foods are enough to make at home and can be an indispensable part of your diet. Better to try hard enough.
Why are fermented foods so important? BBC Good Food explains it pretty succinctly: fermented foods have high concentrations of probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that aid digestion and improve your health. When you eat yogurt or drink kefir, you’re stocking up on good bacteria and enzymes that your body needs.
Additionally, fermented foods are far easier to digest: sugars and starches undergo the fermentation process. It is easier for your body to take in the nutrients found in these foods. The process boosts your energy and immune system and improves your overall health.
A healthy gut means a healthy mind and body. That is more than enough reason to start adding more fermentation into your diet. The Kitchn recommends trying out simple recipes to get all the benefits of fermented foods. Try making kimchi, your own kombucha, or sauerkraut. The processes are simple and easy. The food keeps well, so you don’t have to worry about finishing them right away.
Another type of food that you should be adding to your daily diet is the egg. Eggs are all over the world, so they’re probably already a part of your meal plans. But it’s always good to review what eggs can do for you, and that’s what we’re going to get into today.
The nutritional value of eggs has been a bit of a controversial topic through the years. Experts and nutritionists battle back and forth over whether or not we need eggs. Or if they are as healthy as they seem. The Harvard School of Public Health notes that one egg a day is the best (and healthy) middle ground.
What can this one egg get you? The USDA reports that a single large egg can provide you with 72 calories, 6g of protein, 5g total fat, and 69mg potassium, among many other vitamins and minerals. It’s got zero carbs making it a light and delicious snack for people watching their weight or blood sugar. Eggs also have vitamins A, D, B6, and B12. All are essential nutrients.
Eggs can help boost your brain health because they have choline. Choline is crucial for memory, muscle control, and mood. Choline helps prevent heart disease, dementia, and fatty liver disease. Eggs are protein-rich and can help you feel full for longer, making them great weight-loss food. They also contain carotenoids, which are crucial for eye and vision health.
Overall, eggs have an incredible number of benefits that you shouldn’t miss. Additionally, they’re simple to prepare and eat. You don’t have to do anything fancy: you can hard boil them, fry them, and even bake them. If you plan on eating more than once a day: eating egg whites may avoid high cholesterol levels. Eggs have more pros than cons, so don’t be afraid to get cracking.
Knowing how to choose what you put on your plate can earn you years of good health. These 15 foods are essential to eat a healthy diet.
Brown rice is a food low in sodium and rich in potassium, which helps to normalize blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Its fiber content reduces cholesterol, since it absorbs its excess and eliminates it through the intestine. It also speeds up transit and prevents constipation. In addition, it contains selenium, a mineral that delays the action of free radicals, those responsible for cellular aging.
With apples all are virtues: they fight fatigue, stress and depressive states. Its flavonoids prevent cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries, thus preventing heart attacks.
In addition, raw and with skin, it fights constipation; peeled and grated (once the pulp has darkened) is effective against diarrhea. And if you want a good morning energy boost and you don’t feel like coffee, an apple will get your body activated. Why? The fruit contains fructose, which is slowly transformed into energy and manages to activate us throughout the day. It only contributes 48kcal per 100g.
Kiwi is a food very rich in vitamin C. In fact, it is 50% more than orange, did you know? This fruit behaves as an antioxidant.
According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), taking large amounts of vitamin C helps reduce the risk of lung, breast and colon cancer. Its vitamin C also helps reduce stress and anxiety, making it a great ally for our body.
Mussels have more iron than meat, making it an excellent food to prevent anemia. They are also rich in magnesium, which fights decay. Its caloric intake is very low, as well as its fat and cholesterol content.
Lemon enhances the protective action of the foods it accompanies. For example, a study from the University of Lucknow found that adding a lemon juice to green tea increased the antioxidant power of the drink.
On the other hand, with milk it decreased. This antioxidant power is explained by its richness in limonene, with anti-cancer properties and with a great capacity to reduce the risk of degenerative diseases.
A study from Wake Forest University (USA) found that eating beets every day helps improve brain health in older people. In addition, it is a food rich in anthocyanins and flavonoids, which prevent the appearance and growth of tumors. It is delicious raw, although if you are looking for alternatives, try it as a smoothie as well.
Being rich in vitamin B12, salmon helps the proper functioning of the central nervous system and fights fatigue, making it ideal in times of fatigue. Its omega 3 fatty acids increase the production of serotonin (the hormone of happiness), which improves mood and prevents stress and cognitive decline.
Lentils contain a lot of iron (100 g provides 8.2 mg), so they help fight anemia. If you also combine them with foods that contain vitamin C, such as a tomato salad or a little parsley, the iron will be better absorbed.
They are also very satiating, and avoid constant snacking, which promotes overweight. They contain folic acid, a vitamin that lowers homocysteine levels, a cardiovascular risk factor.
Dates have nutritional properties similar to wine, as they contain tannins, antioxidants that help prevent degenerative diseases. They also reduce bad cholesterol because they prevent its absorption and reduce inflammation of the intestinal mucosa.
This pseudocereal is rich in essential amino acids such as tyrosine and glycine, which have a sedative effect on the nervous system and therefore help you relax. It is also very rich in kaempferol. According to a review by the University of Seville , a diet rich in this substance reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Oatmeal stimulates the thyroid, which participates in the metabolism of fats and helps to burn them. It is also rich in phytosterols, such as avenasterol or beta-sitosterol, which lower cholesterol and protect the heart, as well as prevent breast, colon or prostate cancer.
They strengthen the immune system thanks to vitamin E and zinc. They also stand out in B vitamins, specifically riboflavin or vitamin B2, which provides energy, promotes the formation of antibodies and red blood cells, and improves the condition of the skin, nails and hair. Even with this you can easily lose your weight burning calories on a treadmill.
Contains quercetin, a natural antihistamine against allergies. Studies have shown that regular onion consumers have greater protection against cancer thanks to its sulfur compounds and flavonoids, with antioxidant properties.
It has less calcium than aged cheeses, but it is better assimilated because it is less fatty. This lower proportion of saturated fat prevents overweight and cardiovascular problems. In addition, it is a food very rich in protein, since it is a dairy derivative.
It is a very diuretic plant, so it improves kidney health. This function is due to the action of apiol, a substance that helps eliminate fluids, toxins and grit from the kidneys. It also whets your appetite and can be used as a booster to help treat eating disorders. In addition, it is one of the vegetables with the most iron and vitamin C. And, as it is rich in chlorophyll, chewing its fresh leaves prevents bad breath.
No single food can improve health. But there are foods that improve cholesterol, hypertension, prevent inflammation or calm nerves, a cardiovascular risk factor. They are not extraordinary. They are common foods, but they work as a shield that keeps you safe from disease. If you are in good health now, it is time to take your diet seriously, because a good selection of foods will help you stay away from diseases.
DIET IS DECISIVE
Diet is more decisive than genetics or luck. Scientists have discovered genes that make people more vulnerable to high cholesterol, and if they are sedentary and do not watch their diet they are much more likely to develop the problem. However, if your diet is made up of healthy foods, your genes don’t matter. The same can be said for hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and many other diseases.
Along with healthy diet exercise is most important to stay healthy longer.
NOW YOU ARE ON TIME
Most disorders are due to relatively long processes. That now we are healthy does not mean that our way of eating is correct. The effects can take years to come to light.
SUPER HEALTHY FOODS
We all know if we tend to catch colds or gain kilos, for example. We already present you 15 super healthy foods and the disorders they prevent. But if you thought that this list was limited only to those foods … you still don’t know us well! So that you can enjoy a varied and healthy diet, we have prepared this second part, which includes other foods that will help you live longer and better.
EASY TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR DIET
These are the 15 new allies for your health. It will be very easy for you to include them in your daily diet. And we have selected very common foods, such as brown rice, parsley, lemon or lentils, which are very important for the proper functioning of the body. And others, not so common, but very “fashionable”, so it will be very easy to find them, such as quinoa or oats.
You may find it difficult to include new “characters” in your weekly menus, since you may not know how to prepare them. Don’t worry, because in our recipe section you can discover a multitude of ways to cook and serve these foods.
Athletes who play specific sports tend to spend a lot of time focusing on physical skills. Baseball players will work diligently on figuring out how to hold the bat, set their feet, and optimize their swings, for instance.
Developing basketball players will regularly take anywhere from 300 to 1,000 shots every day in an effort to perfect footwork and shooting form. And there’s virtually no end to the tennis lessons it takes for players to fine-tune their serves and widen their arsenal of ground strokes.
These are the pursuits that so often separate accomplished and driven athletes from the rest, and they’re essential for anyone hoping to excel in a given role.
At the same time though, we often hear about the very best athletes as people who are able to excel mentally. At the highest levels of sport that is, there tends to be something just a bit beyond the physical that gives certain people an edge.
When you begin to think about it, there are actually quite a few examples that come to mind.
Tom Brady was famously overlooked and doubted as a physical quarterback prospect, but showed the mental fortitude even in his early 20s to learn the game, outwit competition, and ultimately become one of the most successful NFL players in history.
Derek Jeter was a far more heralded prospect in his youth, but still lacked the raw talent of other standout players of his era — including eventual teammate Alex Rodriguez, who on paper was the better shortstop for much of their intertwined careers.
Yet it’s Jeter who demonstrated an uncanny ability to consistently come through in big moments — and it’s Jeter who is the face of five world champion teams.
Other all-time greats in their sports also stand out for mental strength as much as physical ability. Roger Federer, for instance, has achieved unparalleled success in tennis, and has continued to win tournaments long past the age at which most professional players retire.
Federer is unquestionably a gifted and talented player in a physical sense, but tennis is inherently a mentally grueling sport. To reach Federer’s heights requires a well-honed competitive mind as much as a precise serve.
And then of course there’s Michael Jordan — arguably the most renowned athlete in history, and a man who was famous for uncompromising mental strength. Jordan beat his opponents with his basketball intelligence and general psychological fortitude as much as with his skill on the court.
The list could go on, but you get the idea. It is not merely physical skill or developed talent, but the combination of these things with unusual mental strength that makes a great and successful athlete.
But how is it that you can work on this sort of thing? What is the equivalent of a round of basketball jump shots or a good tennis lesson for exercising a strong sports mind?
As you might suspect, there isn’t really a correct answer to this question. But there are absolutely some good options, many of which have been credited at various times with sharpening successful athletes’ mental edges.
It wasn’t all that long ago that many athletes would have cast the idea of meditation aside, if not frowned upon it outright. It was viewed by many as a sort of pseudo-exercise, practiced by the less athletic and with no real benefit in sport.
Over time though, this perception has changed drastically, with both yoga and meditation entering the world of mainstream sports in a major way.
Today, there are entire teams across all levels of sport that practice yoga together as part of training, and a number of leading athletes — from tennis star Bianca Andreescu to NBA icon LeBron James — openly espouse the benefits of regular meditation. (Interestingly enough, Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter are said to have been ahead of the curve on this trend as well.)
There are a lot of benefits of meditation for these athletes, including increased focus, a better ability to deal with fear or anxiety, greater resilience, and even general stress reduction. And for the most part, all of these benefits can be said to amount to improved mental strength and fortitude.
Regular meditation teaches busy, competitive athletes to calm their minds, assess their surroundings rationally, and act in direct, intentional ways. All of this can give even a talented athlete a fresh edge in a difficult situation.
Golf is another side activity a lot of successful athletes enjoy (aside from those athletes who count golf as a primary sport, that is). Numerous professional football players, tennis champion Rafael Nadal, and the NBA’s Stephen Curry are just a few examples that come to mind.
And some of these figures — Nadal and Curry in particular — are believed to be good enough to have potentially had professional careers!
Much of the overlap between general sports stars and golf can be chalked up to competitive drive and athletic touch. Athletes want to compete even when not engaging in their main sports, that is, and golf is a good way to do it without risking injury.
Additionally, most professional athletes have a degree of touch or coordination that helps them to excel at golf more quickly or completely than the average person might. There is without a doubt a mental component as well though.
Any regular golfer will tell you that it is largely a mind game, and one that requires discipline, focus, and an ability to block out emotion and distraction. Golf teaches these skills, and they are absolutely transferrable to other sports.
Thus, even without necessarily setting out to do so, it’s fair to suggest that plenty of athletes work on their mental edge by way of a golf hobby.
Sticking with competitive side hobbies, poker is another one shared by a lot of prominent athletes. Active stars in their sports such as Nadal and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo are known to be strong players who occasionally take part in public and/or high-stakes games.
And going back a few years, Michael Jordan (yes, Jordan again!) was somewhat legendary for his poker hobby. Charles Barkley, in fact — a contemporary of Jordan’s and a Hall-of-Famer in his own right — has said before that there were nightly poker games while the two were together on the United States national team.
In some respects, poker can actually help an athlete in much the same way golf can. It requires tremendous focus and care, the ability to block out distractions, and — in a different sort of way — the ability to read one’s surroundings.
Beyond these factors though, winning at poker also involves a sort of psychological fortitude that benefits a lot of athletes tremendously.
Successful poker players actually have to learn to accept defeat, as well as to avoid getting too excited over victory. In any sport, these are essential lessons.
Tennis players need to move on from poor games; baseball players have to approach an at-bat with fresh confidence after a recent strikeout; a basketball player has to be able to make a shot after missing five in a row.
Likewise, none of those athletes can take success for granted and approach the next play lazily. Poker arguably teaches this ability to move on more efficiently than any sport does on its own.
Aside from side hobbies and other ways of competing, some athletes also take a more direct or intentional approach to developing mental strength for sport. In fact, some will directly study psychology or sports psychology while coming up through the college ranks.
The most common majors for NCAA athletes in the U.S. tend to be sociology, communications, and in some cases subjects relating to business administration.
In recent years however, major university sports programs have seen psychology creeping into the mix as well. Of course, most NCAA athletes are ultimately studying for career foundations, and will enter ordinary jobs following graduation.
Psychology can help with entry into a number of different fields. At the same time though, it’s not a pure coincidence that this field of study is becoming popular specifically among athletes.
Learning about human psychology and behavior gives an athlete the scientific knowledge that can be necessary to develop a mental edge over an opponent. Undoubtedly there are successful college and professional athletes who benefit from having explored the field.
Perhaps the most recent trend in athletes’ attempts to become stronger mentally is engaging with therapy. Not unlike meditation, this would once have been discarded or frowned upon by many (if not most) serious athletes.
Of late though, we’ve seen the idea of being thoroughly normalized, in part thanks to some prominent athletes who have pioneered talking about therapy.
NBA champion Kevin Love is often credited with sparking a revolution of sorts in this space, and others have joined in. Olympic legend Michael Phelps, ex-UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, and many others at this point have spoken and/or written publicly about how therapy has improved their mental health.
Typically, these conversations are more about wellness than any sort of mental fortitude in the field of play. All of the specific athletes just mentioned faced real internal struggles and turned to therapy to heal themselves.
Nevertheless, it’s certainly fair to suggest that the budding trend of therapy among athletes isn’t hurting them in their sports either.
Mental wellness and emotional balance will often enable an athlete to train and perform more effectively, such that it’s not a stretch to say an athlete undergoing therapy can gain a mental edge.
Almost without exception, the best athletes at every level combine talent, athleticism, and hard work with the mental strength they need to best the competition. The mental side of things is often thought of as a sort of innate quality, and in some cases, to some extent, it is.
There’s no teaching the calm of Derek Jeter or Michael Jordan under pressure. Athletes’ own hobbies and practices, however, speak to how they can develop and hone aspects of their mental strength as well.
Adopting similar practices may just help you to become a better mental athlete in your own sport a well.
Sissy squats.. what the heck are those and why are they called that?
For years, this exercise has been overlooked and underestimated and just now has it started to gain some popularity back in the bodybuilding world.
But are they really for sissies or are they just called that?
Here we are going to go over this exercise, tell you how to do it, and tell you why they are named Sissy Squats.
What Are Sissy Squats?
When it comes right down to it the sissy squat exercise is one that is designed to make sissies out of strong individuals, hence the name. They are an exercise that is not for the faint of heart, as they will require you to be in somewhat physical shape before even thinking about jumping on one of these machines.
And before you get on the sissy squat machine you are going to want to practice doing the exercise on your own without the machine first.
Of course, there are methods that you can employ when first starting to make the entire workout a bit easier, but they are by no means intended for the beginner.
How To Do Sissy Squats?
For most people that partake in sissy squats, it is the problem of knee pain that arises. This is also one of the reasons that this exercise was not intended for the beginner. This is why a lot of people have to utilize the support of a bench or a similar device.
That being said, the very best way to start mastering this exercise is by starting with the small steps.
Start by standing up straight with your legs shoulder width apart. Now, reach out and hold onto something like a fixed bar with your right arm. Holding on like this will not only help you maintain balance as you perform the exercise, but it’ll help you with your form. It’ll help you when you are trying to go all the way down because this is one of the hardest things about the exercise. In fact, even holding on like this, you still might not be able to make it all the way down because this requires an immense amount of core, lower back, and glute strength. In essence, you want to be able to perform this exercise without holding on to anything, but it likely won’t be possible at first. During this progression, the heels of your feet will also need to be elevated. You can usually achieve this by sliding dumbbells under the back of your heels. You can also use a block, but whatever you use, it should be 2 to 4 inches high, tough enough to support your weight, and something that won’t slip out from under you while you are leaning back.
Once you are in this position with your arm affixed to a sturdy pole while standing on wooden blocks or dumbbells, you will be ready to start the motions. The goal here is to bend the knees and take your body lower until your torso is bent at a near 90-degree angle. It is likely that you won’t be able to make the 90 degrees, but remember you are just starting out. 5 reps for this exercise should be more than enough.
After you have accomplished step 2, you’ll want to move on to what is known as the burlesque bump. You’ll do this by squatting and pushing your hips very fast. You’ll want to repeat this about 5 times as well.
The last step is to just repeat steps 2 and 3 until you’ve completed 5 reps of both. This is much harder than it sounds.
What Muscles Do Sissy Squats Work?
As you can see the sissy squats are just another iteration of the traditional squat. They are a squat that was designed to target your calves, lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. In fact, they’ll make these areas so soft and sore that you’ll feel like a sissy by the time you are done. One major difference between this exercise and the traditional squat is that this one was also designed for strengthening and enlarging the quads.
The sissy squats also put a lot of emphasis on major muscle groups like the calves, hamstrings, and lower back, so they can actually help you gain muscle as well as learning advanced movements that’ll come in handy for later bodybuilding techniques.
Sissy Squat Alternative Exercise – The Step Up
There is no denying that the sissy squat is an excellent workout that can target a diverse range of muscle groups. The only problem is that this exercise is difficult. Even with the assistance of a machine or post, it is an exercise that can cause a lot of pain in the knees.
This is why some individuals opt for different exercises that are less strenuous on the body but target the same muscle groups.
One such exercise that can couple the sissy squat is the step up.
The step-up is a great way to challenge muscles throughout your entire body and challenge your balance at the same time. Another great thing about the step up is that it can be done in different variations to add more challenges and benefits.
Some people do then with weights and some people do then while stepping up on taller objects. Whatever the situation is, the premise of this exercise is the same and you can benefit from any variation.
To start this exercise, you are going to need a step, box, or bench. This is going to be the object that you are stepping upon. You’ll want to start by standing, facing the step, box, bench, or whatever object you are going to be stepping upon.
You’ll now want to interlock your finger and place your hand behind your head. After doing this, you’ll pull your elbows back in line with the back of your head.
Now arch your back as far as you can without causing too much discomfort.
Step up with your right leg on the object that you chose to use.
Lift your left leg until your knee is at the same height as your opposing hip. This should make a 90-degree bend at the knee and hip. While doing this try to keep your ankle at a 90-degree bend with your foot flexed.
Step back down to the floor with your left leg and return the right leg to the floor.
Repeat this same exercise with the opposite leg.
Continue to alternate this exercise until you’ve done it for 20 reps each.
Is It Better To Perform Sissy Squats With A Machine Or Not?
It is entirely possible to do a sissy squat without a machine, but some will argue that it is impossible to do the perfect sissy squat without a machine. In fact, if you plan on truly growing your quads to the max, you’ll want to take advantage of a sissy squat machine.
Not only this, but these machines can also help with form, which will also help reduce the chances of injuries. If you want to do this exercise without suffering from ailing knees and joints, you’ll need the proper form. A machine could be just the device to help you achieve that proper form.
You have probably heard about a five-tool player in baseball and wondered what it means. Or, you already know the term and want to gain that title. Well, either way, you have come to the right place!
In this article, you’ll learn how to master 5 tool baseball, what are these five tools, and what you can do to up your overall game performance. So, are you ready? Scroll down to learn more!
What Is A 5 Tool Baseball Player?
In baseball, a 5 tool player is someone who is not a pitcher but is the ideal position player simply because of excelling in all five tools of baseball: running speed, throwing ability, fielding, hitting for average, and hitting for power.
Some of the 5 tool baseball players of Major League Baseball include Hall of Famers Vladimir Guerrero, Andre Dawson, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., and Duke Snider. While some people including Baseball Digest, a major baseball magazine resource, argue that five-tool players and even the term itself have become overvalued, these five tools are still the most important considerations made by professional scouts when evaluating players.
In other words, a player’s abilities on the field are measured based on these five tools. If you got them all mastered, you do not only have the potential to shine during a game but will also open a lot of opportunities in the future.
Five Baseball Tools
So, what are these five tools, why are they important, and what does mastering them really mean? Find out below!
The first stool, running speed, is what you need when on the base paths or outfield to track down fly balls. Speed is among the more underrated offense and defense skills in baseball.
However, a fast runner on the base paths can actually impact any game’s outcome in many various ways, such as:
Scoring through a passed ball
Stealing a base or two
Rattling the pitcher
Scoring from first on a double
Taking an extra base
Avoiding double plays
Drawing pickoff throws that can potentially get away
There are still more that we can add to the list, but you already get the point. Another thing worth mentioning is that the term “speed” used for the tool also refers to baserunning in general.
Jacob Ellsbury exhibited one of the best examples of speed when he swiped a total of 70 bags in 2009 to lead Major League Baseball. He is also remarkable in the outfield for his spectacular catches and tracking down routine fly balls.
However, many players who do not break any records in the 40-yard dash can still get high ratings for this tool based on their knowledge when on the base paths. A few examples include Ryan Zimmerman and Dustin Pedroia who are not very fast but can read the ball excellently right off the bat, steal the occasional base from lazy pitchers, or take extra base once an opportunity pops up. In fact, Zimmerman is ranked among the fastest players in the league for taking an extra base.
Running Speed Improvement Tips
Not everyone can make it up to the line in less than five seconds, but blazing speed can make the remaining baseball tools all the more valuable. To become an excellent base runner, enhance the way you read and react to fly balls, take good routes to the ball as a fielder, and study the running techniques of successful baserunners.
Our Favorite Resources For Speed
SKLZ Speed Chute Unisex
Training for Speed, Agility, and Quickness-3rd Edition
Hitting For Power
The next tool is hitting for power, which is essential for the most glamorous and exciting plays in the MLB: the home run. Because a good power hitter in a major league lineup can carry an offense single-handedly, it’s not surprising why home runs and power hitters get all the glory and love. These guys rely on their ability to hit and the power in their hits to win a game.
One of the best players exhibiting raw power is Giancarlo Stanton, who currently leads the national league in terms of home runs. Not only does he hit many home runs but also hits them very far. His farthest hit is a staggering 484-foot blast but also multiple other home runs over 450 feet.
Many of us want to know how it feels to hit a ball like this, but some people would say power cannot be taught. This is simply not true. With constant practice and application of various techniques, you will be able to hit home runs.
Hitting For Power Improvement Tips
While players like Albert Pujols obviously hit the gym regularly, one thing power hitters should possess is the right attitude.
Look at animals, for example. When they are most likely to attack, they hold a steady position with their eyes laser-focused on the target and their head slightly turned. Therefore, when you also keep your head still and your body balanced before you deliver a solid, fluid swing, that’s when your attack is most powerful.
Hitting For Average
Hitting for Average or Contact is the most valued asset in a position player but is also the hardest tool to excel at. This means that if you can hit for a high average, you can be a valuable asset to your team.
Miguel Cabrera, the biggest asset for the Detroit Tigers, hits for average and was first to win the Triple crown after Carl Yastrzemski. As Cabrera demonstrates, a good hitter for average should be a complete hitter.
Meaning, you should be able to hit any pitch regardless of the speed or location and hit to all fields for power. When hitting for average, you should do the following right:
Utilizing the whole field
Not striking out but making contact more often than not
Hitting the ball hard and on a line
Hitting For Average Improvement Tips
To get better at hitting for a high average, you need to be consistent and confident of your batting approach. Many tools, techniques, and systems can help you achieve this consistency.
One simple tip to achieve a high average is to use the best baseball bat and the proper grip when holding the bat. The knuckles should be closely aligned to allow the hands to react to the pitch faster and more easily.
Our Favorite Resources For Hitting For Average
SKLZ Power Stick Baseball and Softball Training Bat for Strength
Fielding Or Defense
There is no doubt about it; fielding or defense can win championships, which is why it is considered a vital part of success. An excellent defensive player should be consistent and extremely athletic for a higher chance of winning.
Your shortstop or the fielder positioned between the third and second base is probably your most important defensive player. One example of which is Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta braves.
Simmons represents the perfect fielding tool because his teammates can count on him to play consistently and outstandingly. Having someone like him or being that someone in your team can be the key to success.
Fielding Improvement Tips
The secret to being a great defensive player is really not a secret: it is to work on it constantly. Never be satisfied or get comfortable with your abilities. Choose to practice shagging pop-flies or taking ground balls every single day. No excuses.
Also, work on your footwork to increase your agility as well as your mitt or glove skills. For coaches or young ones, finding the best youth catcher’s mitt can make a world of difference.
Our Favorite Resources Fielding Or Defense
MacGregor Infield Training Glove
SKLZ Reaction Ball Baseball and Softball Reflex and Agility Trainer
To know what are some of the best fielding drills, watch this video:
Last but not the least of the five tools of baseball is arm strength, the most underrated of them all. Many do not realize that having someone on the team who can throw the ball from the outfield across the diamond can also improve the odds for the team’s victory as much as a home run.
A few renowned players with the ideal arm strength are Yoenis Cespedes and Manny Machado. Cespedes once managed to throw a runner out from the warning track while Machado who primarily plays at third base is consistent in making back-handed off balance throws. Both of these instances display how arm strength can impact a baseball game.
A mistake that most position players make is overlooking their arm strength as long as they can throw accurately. Pitchers can also benefit from improving the mechanics of their throw and improving their velocity by doing different exercises.
First base is the only position where a weak arm won’t matter too much because even second basemen need it to turn double plays.
Arm Strength Improvement Tips
One way to compensate for lack of speed is by having great arm strength. This keeps runners on alert even though it takes longer for you to reach the ball.
To improve arm strength, get a load of strength training, and throwing exercises.
Our Favorite Resources Arm Strength
SKLZ Weighted Training Baseballs
Jaeger Sports Exercise Baseball
How Are The 5 Tools Of Baseball Ranked In Different Positions?
The importance of each tool varies depending on your position. Of course, every scout is different, and others may rate you in another way. Generally, these are the order of importance for each position:
3Hitting for Average or Contact
Most catchers are seldom required to hit, but it is definitely a good bonus if they do. However, the ability to both hit and throw will set you up for more opportunities.
3Hitting for Average or Contact
As a middle infielder, you should be able to control the center of the field and play defense as well. You should manage to reach the base constantly as an offensive effort, too.
4Hitting for Average or Contact
To play the third baseman, you really must have a strong arm. A lot of teams usually position their big hitters or runs batter in (RBIs) at the first or third base.
4Hitting for Average or Contact
As a corner outfielder, you need to be able to catch a fly ball and throw out a tagging base runner, which makes speed your biggest asset. Power hitters with strong arms also hide in these positions.
4Hitting for Average or Contact
Centerfielders need to track the ball as soon as it is hit and then quickly get it to the infield. This is why speed is a must for this position. In most cases, a centerfielder is separate from a left fielder.
A good centerfielder should be able to run a 60-yard dash in under 6.6 seconds.
Pitchers need a different set of tools like speed, velocity, body mechanics, poise, and control. They should be able to recreate solid mechanics while maintaining composure and throw three pitches for strikes. Their bodies must be able to handle the force of the innings pitched.
Of course, hitters need to be consistently hitting for a high average and connecting each hit to the ball. Power is only secondary because it does not matter if there is no contact.
Hitters should also work to achieve a smooth bat path through the hitting zone and have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the strike zone. Patience is also essential for hitters.
The harder the pitch, the more critical is a hitter’s mechanical soundness. You should be able to hit an inside pitch with considerable force but without being unfair while doing so.
Consistently hitting the fastball should allow you to hit a breaking pitch. Once the pitcher realizes you cannot hit a particular pitch, odds are they will try to recreate that, and you have to prove to them that you can hit it.
Congratulations! Now you know not only what 5 tool baseball is but how to improve your performance in using these five tools. All that is left for you to do is to practice them and put them into action on the field!
No matter what others say or what you got in the genetics lottery, you can certainly improve. Whether or not you were born with these talents, doing your own research and regular practice goes a long way.
If you have any other questions or baseball needs, please do leave a comment down below so I can share what I know and help you with the tools available. Till next time and I wish you the best of luck!
Everybody knows that a great baseball player is someone who throws like a boss. No doubt that professional baseball coaches want and need someone in their team who has unbeatable arm strength and accuracy.
However, these attributes are achieved by more than just warming up and playing catch. In this article, we’ll explore what more you could be doing to elevate your throwing game and increase your strength and accuracy with the best baseball throwing drills. Keep reading to find out!
The Skills You Should Be Working On
Whether it’s in the drills you do or the training program you follow, there are two important things that you and your team should be working on to reduce your throwing errors: Accuracy and Accountability. Here’s why:
Accuracy is a product of consistency. So, as a player, you should be responsible for committing a specific time and place for practicing and doing throwing drills consistently and regularly. As a coach, you should be able to implement throwing drills as much as fielding and hitting to produce all-around players.
Players should also be accountable when they throw whether it be during practice or in-game. Being accountable means trying your best to deliver game-like throws each time and to understand the reasons behind every bad throw to try and avoid them later.
Setting up the clock during practice drills for infielders also develop a sense of urgency in them. If you are a coach, you should make sure that every situation you put them increases the focus of your players on their throws.
Essential Elements Of Good Baseball Throwing Drills
These are three essential elements and strategies that you should focus on to master the fundamentals of throwing a baseball:
While great arm strength is largely a product of genetics, and some players are born with this God-given trait, there are several techniques to develop it. Proper throwing technique drills will help you maximize your potential and allow you to throw a ball as hard as your body will allow.
By working on your arm strength, you also reduce wear-and-tear as well as your risk of getting injured. This also allows you to understand the mechanics of your arms better.
A game of baseball becomes subsequently faster the higher you play. So, you should be able to field and throw the ball quickly. However, make sure to be quick but also wait for the right timing. Never hurry.
The basic throwing drill is the beginning of all fielding drills. This pits the pitcher, catcher, outfielder, and infielder in a position that allows them to get rid of the ball immediately without panicking or rushing.
I know, we already mentioned accuracy before, but I cannot stress this enough: power and speed are useless if you do not throw accurately.
Another goal of baseball throwing drills, especially for beginners and kids is to develop their ability to estimate where the ball is going and to throw it right at their target. Throwing accurately is a fundamental skill that can play a huge role in the team’s defense.
Once you can combine these three elements together, you are already a pretty good player who can easily be an asset to your team as much as the best baseball bats could. In the next parts, you’ll learn how to throw with power, speed, and accuracy through different baseball throwing drills.
Baseball Throwing Drills
Now that you know the basic stuff, we can proceed to the different baseball throwing drills. Before anything else, be sure to first do a warm up. A little jogging or running and a few minutes of stretching can go a long way. After raising your heart rate a little, an excellent, chill game of catch with your teammates is an excellent way to warm up.
After warming up, you are ready to start with the drills. Below are some of the best drills out there along with some information and instructions on how to do them:
Ready-Break-Throw Knee Throwing Drill
Coaches and baseball experts have found out that by putting a player on his knees, he can get a better feel of his front as the ball leaves the glove. In this drill, you can help yourself, or your players boost their throwing mechanics. It also improves accuracy and helps develop proper follow-through.
Drop to the ground on one knee.
Focus on the person opposite of you with a catcher’s mitt to receive the ball. Your lead foot, hip, and shoulder should point to your target.
Get on a ready throwing position with your knee and lower body squared off.
Make sure your hand position is correct, with the shoulders closed and the knuckles facing upward.
On your coach’s command, throw the ball so that it comes directly over the top of your head. Make sure to finish each throw fully.
For the return throw, step with your glove-side foot to meet the ball as you go back to the “ready” position.
A good alternative or twist to this drill is to have the opposite teammate hold his or her glove in different positions so you can concentrate on your accuracy.
To know how to properly carry out this drill, please watch this video:
Cutoff Throw Race
The objective of this drill is to improve your footwork, develop quick hands, and also improve accuracy. This is ideal for infielders but can benefit outfielders as well. This is how it goes:
Gather about ten or more players and divide them into two teams.
Have the members of the two teams line up parallel to each other starting from the foul line into the outfield, with the players standing at least 40 feet apart, depending on their skill level or age. (40 feet for 11 and below, 60 feet for ages 12 to 14, and 80 feet apart for older players)
Starting from the foul line, the first player throws the ball as quickly as possible to the next person on his team. This continues until the last member receives the ball.
However, once the end player reaches the end, he then has to throw the ball back to the other way, so the foul line also serves as the finish line.
After each round, you can have the players stand a little farther from each other and do this multiple times.
You can also turn it into a competition to get your athletes or teammates more focused for better results. Players also tend to try harder and work better if there is a punishment involved. You can try punishing the losing team with laps, push-ups, or sprints.
Zig Zag Throwing Drill
This practice drill is similar and starts the same way as the previous one. However, instead of throwing the ball in front of them, the players are to throw diagonally in a zigzag pattern. It will also help develop accuracy as well as quick hands and feet.
Have two teams of equal number of members line up in straight lines in front of each other.
Assign a number for each player alternating between 1 and 2. For example, the first player on the first line is 1, the second is 2, and the third is 1 and so on. For the other line, start off with number 2 so that the player on one team has a different number as the opposite player on the other group.
Then, have the players assigned with the number 1 throw a ball to the next person assigned the same number, forming a zigzag pattern.
As a safety precaution, have the players stand at least ten feet from the other line.
Encourage the players to communicate with each other and to inform the next receiver of the ball.
Allow your players to do the drill several times until they pick up speed. Once you think they are fast enough, you can start a race.
The High Five Drill
The high five drill is excellent for younger, less experienced pitchers who have trouble throwing through the baseball. Regularly doing this drill has been found to develop proper muscle memory and let the player master the mechanics and techniques to avoid arm pain or damage on their own.
Stand with an “L” angle in your arm and your shoulders parallel to the target.
Raise your elbow to shoulder height at least.
Maintain a bend on your knee and make sure your weight is on your back foot.
Your coach will hold and put a slight resistance on the throwing arm.
Throw the ball straight through the resistance and finish the throw over your front leg.
Avoid coming around as you throw.
By doing baseball throwing drills, you are giving yourself a solid foundation in the fundamentals of throwing with power, speed, and accuracy. If you perform these drills consistently and regularly during practice, before a game, or even in tandem with your workouts, you will be several steps ahead of your competition already.
Did you like these baseball throwing drills? Do you think you and your teammates could benefit from them? Leave your answers in the comment section below! You can also send in your questions, recommendations, and other concerns.
Wearing regular-soled shoes can cause pain or worsen conditions like plantar fasciitis and arthritis. Fortunately, some shoes replace the function of a particular foot joint to alleviate pain: rocker bottom shoes!
Rocker bottom shoes have thick rounded heels and arched soles to reduce pain for those with medical foot conditions. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about these shoes as well as the best rocker bottom shoes for men and women!
What To Look For In The Best Rocker Bottom Shoes
Rocker bottom shoes offer therapeutic benefits for people who suffer from conditions like foot ulcers, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and others. They are also ideal in pain prevention for people who spend a lot of their time walking or standing.
However, not all rocker bottom shoes are made the same. There are a few important factors to consider before you make a purchase:
Healthy foot types can benefit from rocker bottom shoes as they assist in exercise and muscle training. However, walking or standing in rocker bottom shoes for an extended period can do more harm than good for these types.
Another foot type group are those with medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, flat-footedness, and hallux rigidus. Constant use of rocker bottom shoes help relieve pain or alleviate the symptoms of these conditions.
The Biomechanics, Softness, And Rigidness Of Shoes
Podiatrists recommend rockers for people with foot conditions that affect their internal rockers or foot joints. The biomechanics of particular shoes should also be put into consideration to prevent or treat these conditions.
Wearing rocker shoes for short periods facilitate the repair and healing of the internal rockers, but long-term use may render the internal rockers non-functional.
This biomechanics of the shoes is determined by the softness or rigidity of the insoles. Softer insoles do all the work for your internal rockers and make them non-functional while harder or firmer insoles aid in the renewal and repair of your internal rockers.
So, if you have these conditions, make sure to consult your podiatrist before purchasing rocker bottom shoes.
The Types Of Rocker Bottom Soles
Rocker bottom shoes come with different types of soles that are intended for specific functions and purposes. The best rocker bottom shoes for you will depend on your needs and the corresponding type of soles:
Heel To Toe
These are thickest the farther back and are intended to limit ankle and midfoot movement. They also lessen the impact on the heels by allowing the foot to roll quickly off the heels. These are ideal for people with midfoot or ankle arthritis. They also help avoid overstretching of the plantar fascia.
These are placed behind the metatarsal heads. They immobilize the toe joints and relieves pressure under the balls of the feet. These are ideal for alleviating pain in the balls of the foot or for reducing arthritis of the big toe.
These are designed to absorb impact away from the plantar midfoot. They are recommended for people who have limited midfoot mobility or Charcot plantar prominences. To know more details about Charcot plantar, please watch this video:
These soles restrict the motion of the ankle joints by being thicker in the midfoot and heel section. They lessen the impact at the heel strike and are meant to be used by individuals with limited back and front ankle mobility, ankle fusion, or ankle arthritis.
These stabilize the gait, increase propulsion, reduces energy consumption, and reduce pain and pressure on the metatarsals.
These are ideal for individuals with ulcer over their metatarsal heads because they shift the load to the surrounding weight-bearing areas of the foot.
Negative heel rocker soles remove the weight from your forefoot and transfer it to the rearfoot and midfoot. Through this, a heel gait is encouraged, and the forefoot is kept in dorsiflexion. This is good for pain mitigation in people with plantar ulcerations, chronic forefoot overloads, and heavy callous.
This rocker sole type relieves conditions like hammer toes, metatarsal head ulcers, an ulcer on the distal part of the sole, and hallux rigidus by removing all the weight bearing forces in front of the metatarsal head.
Best Rocker Bottom Shoes For Men
Take a look at these rocker-bottom shoe options:
Best Rocker Bottom Shoes For Men
Skechers Sport Men’s Shape Ups XT All Day Comfort Sneaker
Exersteps Men’s Whirlwind White Sneakers
Drew Shoe Men’s Force Athletic Walking Shoe
Alegria Men’s Chairman Professional Shoes
MBT Men’s Ajabu Oxford
1. Skechers Sport Men’s Shape Ups XT All Day Comfort Sneaker
Skechers is a trusted brand known to produce some of the best-looking and feature-filled shoes, one of which is the Skechers Sport Men’s Shape-Ups XT. These Athletic walking shoes feature a faux leather and textile upper for durability and synthetic overlays for added support.
A mesh fabric toe box, perforations on the upper, as well as mesh panels on the tongue and heel allow air to flow through, so your feet stay cool and dry. The padded collar and tongue, memory foam air cooled cushion insoles, and a soft fabric lining adds cushioning and comfort.
Ensure a secure, snug, and comfortable fit with the lace-up closure system. Pull loops on the heels also make putting on and taking off so easy.
Thanks to the rigid polyurethane frame, your feet receive ample support to prevent rolling, sliding, or slipping. The Kinetic Wedge midsole with soft foam absorbs impact, and the rocker outsole is made with sculpted rubber for grip and durability.
Among the most comfortable sneakers out in the market
Durable, high-quality construction
Comes from a well-known and trusted brand
Removable memory foam insoles for enhanced comfort
Stabilizes the foot and absorbs shock
Lace-up closure for a snug fit
Not the best shoes for running
2. Exersteps Men’s Whirlwind White Sneakers
Next, we have the Exersteps Men’s Whirlwind White Sneakers which combine value for money, style, and function all in one package.
It comes with a leather upper that is both functional and trendy. The curved rocker bottom outsole ensures that your foot muscles are worked without risking injury or pain.
The lightweight midsole is also cushioned and designed to absorb shock and minimize the impact on hard surfaces and rugged terrains. Removable insoles also add versatility.
The non-marking outsoles provide reliable traction and durability. You can also rest assured that the sizing and fit are accurate. If you want to make the most out of your hard-earned money, do give this model a try!
Requires no break-in
Great value for money
True to size
Comes with a wide toe box
The shoes are rigid and is not suitable for people looking for flexibility
Lacks balance and stability
Not ideal for jogging or running
3. Drew Shoe Men’s Force Athletic Walking Shoe
From a company that has gained popularity by producing comfortable shoes comes the Drew Men’s Force Athletic walking shoes. Aside from the stylish athletic appearance, these shoes also offer the therapeutic benefits characteristic of Drew shoes.
The Men’s Force features added depth, Dri-lex covered insoles, and AGEIS antimicrobial properties to keep your feet comfy, cool, dry, and fresh-smelling. The wide-shank rocker bottom improves comfort and stability while a built-in cushion pad provides heel support and reduces the impact to enhance the shoes’ overall performance and comfortability.
Get a secure and custom fit thanks to its lace-up closure. For added comfort, the tongue and collar are also padded with foam. A unique tri-support removable insole allows you to wear these shoes for prolonged periods without pain or discomfort.
They provide excellent comfort and stability for people with arch and/or joint problems
Comfortable, snug fit
Wide toe box
Cushioned and soft inner
Fights bacteria and bad odor
These shoes are not very durable
The traction is not the best
Needs a few days to break in fully
May rub into the ankles
4. Alegria Men’s Chairman Professional Shoes
If you want to make a bold statement through your shoes without sacrificing comfort and functionality, the Alegria Chairman Professional Shoes may be your best bet! These men’s clogs and mules are made with stain-resistant leather uppers for durability, comfort, and a stylish appearance.
They come with a suede sockliner and a comfortable soft leather lining that absorbs and wicks away moisture to keep your feet dry. The removable footbed is made with a combination of memory foam, latex, and cork for the ultimate comfort and support.
These Alegria clogs also feature non-slip polyurethane outsoles which make it great for your workplace or school. Because they are made with quality materials and construction, you can rest assured that your clogs will last for years.
The rubber rocker sole is also slip-resistant and non-marking to give you a firm and secure footing.
The anatomical design was optimized to provide balance and support to the feet, especially for people with injuries or foot conditions like flat footedness or plantar fasciitis.
You can buy the Alegria Chairman Professional shoes in black, white, or dark brown.
Comfortable to wear
Non-slip, non-marking outsoles
Classic appearance ideal for your office or workplace
Provides great arch support
Moisture-wicking and comfortable lining
The sizing can be problematic
5. MBT Men’s Ajabu Oxford
If you experience chronic pain due to your foot condition, you might find relief with the MBT Men’s Ajabu Oxfords! MBT or the Masai Barefoot Technology is an innovative design based on physiological concepts to benefit the whole body.
Made with a 100% full grain leather upper, these shoes are not only great to look at but are also meant to last long.
Not only that, the tie closure provides a secure, snug, and comfortable fit. A 3D soft mesh lining also keeps the feet comfy while also wicking moisture to maintain a cool and dry in-shoe environment.
The dual density midsoles are made of TPU and nylon material which incorporates glass fibers for added firmness and durability.
The shank, PU midsole with Pivot, multi-layered soles, and the Masai Sensor combine together to create a natural instability surface that mimics the feel of walking on sand or a mossy forest. This provides comfort and support to the feet while maintaining the natural foot motion through the gait cycle. The outsoles also offer exceptional grip and add durability.
MBT Oxfords not only improve your foot condition but also enhance your posture and relieve pressure from important joints. Available colors include brown and coffee brown.
Multiple sole layers
MBT innovative design
Durable leather upper
Breathable and moisture-wicking 3D mesh lining
Can accommodate orthotics
Firm and supportive midsole
Finding the right size may be a hassle
The shoes can be narrow
Best Rocker Bottom Shoes For Women
Best Rocker Bottom Shoes For Women
Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneaker
Skechers Women’s Shape Ups 2.0
Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 Running Shoes for Women
Altra Women’s Olympus 2 Trail Running Shoe
Drew Shoe Women’s Flare
1. Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneaker
Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneaker offers a lot on the table: classic good looks, comfort, support, and fantastic technology. It features the exclusive Clarks wavewalk walking technology that provides ease and convenience to your every stride.
Thanks to the waterproof and weather-ready upper made with full grain leather; your feet stay protected from the elements. A removable ortholite footbed also adds comfort and support.
The curved rocker sole is also easy on the joints, shock-absorptive, and energy conserving. It is ideal for people who have limited mobility and use of their foot joints such as those with arthritis or plantar fasciitis.
Whether you have arthritis or high arches, these shoes can make every walking experience much more comfortable. You can wear them during the summer, winter, or under any weather without fear of damage or getting wet feet.
The rubber outsole also adds traction and durability. You can get the Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneakers in black leather, navy nubuck, red leather, smoky brown, or brown nubuck.
Stylish classic appearance
Made with durable full grain leather
Improves foot joint mobility
Comfortable Ortholite footbed
Saves energy and absorbs shock
Might feel a little rigid or stiff
Fits weird on the toe box, heels, and ankles
2. Skechers Women’s Shape Ups 2.0
From one of the most well-known and trusted shoe brands, the Skechers Women’s Shape Ups 2.0 Fashion Sneakers will surely impress you. These shoes come with all the essential features to live up to your expectations.
With a fresh, bold, and stylish look, these athletic walking shoes are also durable and comfortable thanks to the plush faux leather upper with breathable mesh fabrics at the fronts and sides. These ripstop textured panels not only add a flare to the design but also gives the shoes a subtle cooling effect.
Because the front comes with a lace-up closure system, you can ensure a comfortable custom fit. The heel overlay comes with pull loops for an easy on and off. A soft fabric lining, padded collar and tongue, and heel, toe, and side overlays also add comfort.
The insole is made with a memory foam air cooled cushion as well. A rigid polyurethane frame provides foot and arch support while the Kinetic Wedge soft foam midsole absorbs impact. The rocker bottom outsole is made with sculpted rubber for durability and grip. You can get these shoes in black and white or gray and mint.
Lace-up front for a secure and comfortable custom fit
Padded collar and tongue
Offer sufficient traction
Multiple comfort features
Comfortable to wear and take off
Sizes tend to run big
A bit expensive
3. Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 Running Shoes for Women
If you are looking for fun color choices, look no further because the Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 Women’s Running Shoes come in not one, not two, but 17 different color schemes! Made with fabric and rubber outsole, you can find a Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 that will suit your personality and style!
This shoe features a breathable mesh upper to keep your feet dry and cool all day. Thanks to the 3D puff print frame and technology, these shoes are also lightweight, allowing you to move freely.
Ortholite insoles offer additional cushioning and arch support for elevated and long-lasting comfort. The meta-rocker outsole helps your feet to roll properly throughout the gait cycle while also having a secure grip. The EVA midsole provides low profile cushioning as well.
Designed to protect and cradle your feet on the hardest surfaces and the toughest trails, the Hoka Bondi 5 SS17 balances the foot with a lower heel-to-toe differential.
3D lightweight technology
Many fun color choices
Cushioned EVA midsole
Ortholite molded insole
Supportive Comfort Frame
3D Puff Print Frame ensures a snug fit
Inconsistent sizing and width
The stitching under the tongue can rub on foot and cause discomfort
An enhanced version of the previous Olympus model, the Women’s Olympus 2 Trail Running Shoes from Altra offer a soft, stylish exterior and excellent sole traction.
The Olympus 2 comes with a more plush and flexible 100% leather and fabric upper along with a revamped Vibram traction outsole. It also comes with more cushion for optimum comfort.
Aside from these, it also comes with durability improvements and a dramatically reduced weight than its predecessor so you can move faster and more easily. The 36-mm stack height from the front to back adds a spring to your every step and absorbs shock with the help of an a-bound bottom layer.
A Dual-Layer EVA midsole also protects your feet from debris and other hazards on rugged terrains. Featuring a FootShape toe box, these shoes increase stability as you descend hills or climb them.
You can also get these shoes in cool color combinations like orchid/gray, shiitake/sugar coral, and silver/green.
Made with durable materials
Grippy Vibram outsole
Dual layer EVA midsole for support
Custom lace-up fit
Wear and tear-resistant sole
Wider toe box
Requires minimal break-in
Not light enough for prolonged running
Slightly curved toe box can cause discomfort, pain, or blisters
Sizes run a bit small
5. Drew Shoe Women’s Flare
Last but not the least, the Drew Shoe Women’s Flare Walking Shoes provides cutting edge comfort for your foot ailments and conditions. These Flare sneakers are made with a breathable mesh and leather upper for durability.
The contrasting colors give it a casual and sporty appearance. For the ultimate ankle support and comfort, both the tongue and the collar are foam-padded and made with push materials for a soft feel. The traditional lace-up closure allows you to get a secure, custom, and personalized fit.
These shoes also come with Plus Fitting System of removable inserts and can accommodate custom orthotics. An extended medial heel stabilizer minimizes slipping and helps improve rear foot walking stability.
A Drilex lining featuring AEGIS Microbe Shield Technology prevents staining and bad odors while also wicking away moisture. The rubber rocker bottom encourages a natural walking motion and helps absorb impact. Available colors include white, white and blue, black, and bone.
Padded collar and tongue for comfort
Soft Drilex lining
Fights bad odor and stains
Excellent fit thanks to a lace-up closure
Has room for orthotics
Sizes run small.
The shoes are heavy.
Lacks cushioning and arch support.
Overall, the best rocker bottom shoes are the Exersteps Men’s White Sneakers and the Clarks Women’s Wave Trek Sneaker. Both of these shoes are affordable, stylish, and comfortable to wear. While it all comes down to your personal needs and preferences, in the end, I think these shoes offer the most value for your hard-earned money.
Did you like this article? If so, please share it with your friends and loved ones! You can also leave your questions, comments, and suggestions down below!
Lifting weights can cause pain or discomfort on the elbows especially if you have previous injuries or suffer from conditions like tennis or golf elbows. Fortunately, elbow sleeves are here to save the day!
The best elbow sleeves for lifting offer protection, support, and compression to relieve pain and stress on your elbows. This will help improve your performance and progress in your training. If you want to learn how to pick the right pair for your needs and other elbow sleeves benefits, continue reading the sections that follow!
How Do Elbow Sleeves Work?
Elbow sleeves, like knee sleeves, are garments that are typically worn by athletes and weightlifters to reduce pain, prevent injuries, and offer compression and warmth.
They work by countering the force of the muscles around the elbow such as the triceps and biceps as you exercise. Because of this, the load that is being received by the joint becomes distributed and reduced, which can help prevent wear and tear in the long run.
In other words, the elbow sleeves offer support to the elbow joint so it won’t be damaged due to taking the whole load head on.
Depending on how thick elbow sleeves are, they can also compress the surrounding area to improve circulation. This increases the pumping of fresh blood for your muscles and keeps your joints loose throughout your workout.
Benefits Of Elbow Sleeves For Lifting
Listed below are some of the many benefits and reasons why you should buy elbow sleeves:
1. They Improve Blood Circulation
As I have said, compression sleeves increase blood flow to the elbow area. This helps the blood reach deeper into your joints and muscles rather than just your skin. This also helps in distributing nutrients to your working cells and reduce pain and inflammation by enhancing the flushing out of toxins.
2. They Help In Injury Recovery.
Compression sleeves help speed up injury recovery, which is essential in weightlifting. Moreover, they allow you to continue training while recovering. They also help reduce swelling, pain, and discomfort so you can push yourself harder.
3. They Help Prevent Injury.
Of course, prevention is better than cure. Elbow compression sleeves not only help prevent weightlifting injuries but also reduce your risk of getting conditions like tendonitis. They keep your elbows warm and tight.
To know how to prevent weightlifting injuries, please watch this video:
4. They Help Regulate Your Body Temperature.
Because they can help conserve heat, elbow sleeves also help maintain the right body temperature as you exercise.
5. They Help Prevent Muscle Soreness.
Because of the improved circulation, elbow sleeves also help your muscles recover faster. By increasing blood flow, your muscle cells are able to release and remove toxins and by-products of exercise like pain-causing lactic acid. This, therefore, reduces muscle soreness and tightness.
6. They Protect The Skin.
Elbow sleeves can help protect your skin from the sun, bacteria, scratches, and irritation due to your workout environment or contact with equipment.
Factors To Consider When Buying Elbow Sleeves
There are several things that you should consider before purchasing elbow sleeves for lifting. Here are some of the most important ones:
Elbow sleeve materials range from regular stretch fabric to neoprene, latex, nylon, spandex, polyester, and a variety of woven fabrics. The material will not only determine the durability but also the comfort, breathability, support, and flexibility of the sleeve so make sure to choose wisely.
Some sleeves also have inserts or technologies that offer UV protection, odor protection, antimicrobial effect, and pain reduction such as copper-infused materials.
Choose something that will be easy to clean, quick-drying, and will hold up well even with constant or regular use. It should also be lightweight and well-ventilated. Some people also prefer thicker materials since this gives a tighter, more cushioned feel.
Support And Stability
The primary function of an elbow sleeve is to support the elbows. Take into consideration how much support your elbows require and their specific purpose for you. Are you recovering from injury or are trying to prevent one? Do you suffer from a particular condition?
Note, also, that more compression and support are not necessarily better. There is such a thing as too much stability that can hamper your performance.
Needless to say, you want something that will last. When choosing elbow sleeves for lifting, keep in mind which movements you usually do. Do you move your arms a lot like in push-ups and presses? If so, look for something that will stretch sufficiently and won’t tear with repetitive movements.
Of course, it is also essential to maintain a full range of motion while lifting. Make sure your elbow sleeves will not restrict your movement in any way. Thicker materials and tighter compression often cause you to sacrifice mobility.
To check whether an elbow sleeve is right for you, try them on and move your arms and elbows around, preferably by doing exercises, to get an idea on how they will feel.
Depending on your preference and need, you may want elbow sleeves that keep your joints warm and toasty. If so, choose something that retains body heat and is a bit thicker. Otherwise, if you often feel sweaty, sticky, or hot, go for a more lightweight pair.
Stitching And Finish
The quality of stitching also determines how long your elbow sleeves will last. A good elbow sleeve should feel firm yet comfortable. Pay attention to the stitching on all ends since these are usually the problem areas. Look for something that will hold up well and not hurt or irritate your skin.
Another critical factor is the grip, which ensures your elbow sleeve will not slip down, slide off, move around, or bunch up as you lift. This is not only annoying but can also affect your performance and waste your time if you have to adjust your sleeve all the time.
Look for sleeves with good grips or elastic bands at the end to keep them intact.
5 Best Elbow Sleeve For Lifting Reviews
Below are the top 5 elbow sleeves for lifting in the market today:
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Recovery Elbow Sleeve by Copper Compression
Recovery Elbow Sleeve by Mava Sports
Kunto Fitness Elbow Compression Support Sleeve
Venom Elbow Compression Sleeve
Tommie Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve
1. Recovery Elbow Sleeve by Copper Compression
Boasting of the highest quality copper and most copper content, Copper Compression offers their recovery elbow sleeves to provide the comfort and support you need.
This garment utilizes genuine copper ions instead of the inferior and commonly used copper oxide. The distinction helps in relieving pain as well as supporting sore and stiff muscles.
This product also fits comfortably around your elbows and arms without rolling, slipping, or bunching. Simply refer to their sizing guide for the perfect size.
These elbow sleeves are so versatile that you can wear them at home, while playing sports, or at the gym while lifting for support and pain management. The material used is also so comfortable that you can hardly notice anything even if you wear them all day, all night.
They are also breathable and stretchable enough to allow for a full range of motion but still offer sufficient compression. This product comes in four sizes from small to extra large.
Versatile for most physical activities
Stays put on your arm
Secure and comfortable fit
Does not irritate the skin
Seems too thin and flimsy
The seam running along the side can cause discomfort
The sizing is problematic so you might either get something that is too tight or lacks compression
2. Recovery Elbow Sleeve by Mava Sports
Featuring the latest tech materials like bamboo charcoal fiber, the Mava Sports Recovery Elbow Sleeve offers superior durability and gentleness even on sensitive skin. This product also aids in recovery as well as provides comfortable support and pain relief.
Thanks to the compression action offered by the sleeve, you can enjoy less stiffness and soreness. It also helps in the reduction of swelling and inflammation while also offering elbow protection for quicker joint and muscular recovery.
Because the elbow sleeve is anatomically shaped, it has an improved ability to prevent injuries while also offering an excellent, comfortable fit. You can wear it all year round in any season and for sports, lifting, or various activities both outdoor and indoor.
It comes in five sizes ranging from small to XX-large.
Does not get too warm
Material is not too heavy or thick
Lightweight copper sleeve
Non-irritating on sensitive skin
You might need to go a size smaller to get ample compression
Sizing is inconsistent
3. Kunto Fitness Elbow Compression Support Sleeve
If you are looking for phenomenal support and protection, go for the Kunto Fitness Elbow Compression Support Sleeve! This product is fit for all your activities requiring arm movements like weightlifting, CrossFit, volleyball, tennis, golf, basketball, and more!
You never have to worry about any restrictions because this sleeve lets you perform your best by offering a full range of motion. Unlike other brands, Kunto Fitness uses a four-way stretch material and fabric weave designed to conform to your arms and elbow, so the sleeves don’t feel too restricting.
Enjoy superior pain relief and support without sacrificing comfort and breathability. Because the sleeve is made of materials other than neoprene, your skin is also protected from itchiness and irritation.
This product also comes with a 100% money back guarantee if you ever become unsatisfied.
Breathable and helps control arm temperature
Good quality stretchable and tear-resistant materials
Great snug and anatomical fit
Does not slide down the arm
Easy to clean and quick-drying
Does not limit mobility
Some users are dissatisfied with the sizing and fit
May unravel easily from the top seam
4. Venom Elbow Compression Sleeve
Offering one of the best-targeted compression and heat retention for elbow joint recovery and rehabilitation, we next have the Venom Elbow Compression Sleeve! By using this compression sleeve, you increase the blood flow and reduce inflammation around the elbows for immediate comfort and pain relief.
Because of the lightweight and breathable design of this sleeve, you can enjoy a free range of motion. The material also eliminates bunching, slippage, or irritation.
This sleeve also features a firm yet flexible anti-slip grip design so you won’t have to readjust as you lift constantly. You can also count on the high-quality fabric to resist wear and tear even with daily usage.
Not only is this elbow sleeve durable, but it is also supportive and elastic. It comes in five sizing options ranging from small to XX-large. Refer to the company’s sizing chart for accurate sizing.
Fits snugly and comfortably
Comfortable to wear
Breathable and lightweight material
Flexible and supportive
The material is not hypoallergenic
The exterior looks a bit cheap
5. Tommie Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve
Made with 86% polyester and 14% LYCRA Spandex material, the Tommie Copper Compression Elbow sleeve comes with amazing features that you won’t find in other similar products.
Aside from offering muscle and joint support all day, this sleeve also provides compression to relieve your elbow aches and pains. The CopperZnergy fabric not only enhances these functions but also helps in eliminating odor-causing microbes.
Stay protected from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays with the UPF 50+ protection. Unlike other sleeves that only incorporates copper ions, this sleeve is also zinc infused for better compression and relief.
Because of the lightweight, low-profile design of the product, you can comfortably wear it under your clothes all day, every day with no problems.
Good quality construction and materials
Comfortable to wear
Sun and odor protection
Does not slip or bunch up
Does not stretch out too much after regular use and washing
Somehow less supportive and more loose than expected
Only provides minor pain relief to some users
There you have it! Overall, the winner of the best elbow sleeves for lifting is the Venom Elbow Compression Sleeve! It offers everything you want in an elbow sleeve: comfort, durability, compression, support, and a full range of motion, all for a decent price!
The other products definitely come close, but your final pick will largely depend on your needs and preferences. If you are looking for other fitness tools, equipment, or garments, do check out these amazing product reviews that could help you find the perfect one.
If you liked this article, please share it with your family and friends! You can also leave your suggestions, questions, and recommendations in the comment section below!
Bigger and stronger hands are not only a sight to behold but can actually be beneficial in many ways. While some people have huge hands because of genetics, some of us are not as blessed. Thankfully, there are ways to improve your hands’ size and appearance.
In this article, you will learn how to get bigger hands through various activities. So what are you waiting for? Scroll down and let’s get on with it.
Physiology And Anatomy Of The Hands
Each person has a unique set of genes from their parents, which determine the size of your bones and other body parts as you grow. Aside from your full height, these also dictate the structure and form of all your body features like the size of your hands, head, feet, and shoulders.
Since your genes are something you cannot change, you also cannot do much to alter the bone structure, form, size, or shape of your hands or any other body part. The good news is, however, you can do something about their mass and appearance.
Although there are only a few muscle strands in your hands to work on, external factors can easily affect the skin and bones there to give your hands a stronger, thicker, and bigger appearance.
Davis’ Law and Wolff’s Law
Two laws support this claim: Davis’ Law and Wolff’s Law. For more information on Wolff’s Law, please watch this video:
The first one is attributed to Henry Gassett Davis, an American orthopedic surgeon. He created the first splint for traction and to protect the hip joint. The Davis’ Law states that ligaments and tissues become stronger and longer when they are continuously subjected to persistent and intense tension.
Wolff’s Law, on the other hand, is named after the German anatomist and surgeon, Julius Wolff. In the late 19th century, Wolff proved in his studies that animal and human bone structures can be altered through the use of rigorous and cyclic loads. A classic example of this phenomenon is how the bone density of weightlifters increase as they undergo constant training.
These laws are also the reason why laborers, technicians, craftsmen, and other people who use their fingers and hands in their line of work tend to have characteristically stronger and bigger hands. This is true even without considering the calluses on their knuckles and palms that have developed over the years.
Benefits Of Bigger Hands
I’m sure you have your own reason for desiring bigger hands but did you know that it actually comes with many benefits, some of which you could never have expected? Yes! Listed below are the different ways bigger and stronger hands can make your life better:
1. Improved Grip Strength
With bigger hands, you get better grip strength that will help you in weightlifting and other activities. A stronger grip also means you can lift heavier weights and do more repetitions, which translate to a better overall result of your training.
2. Good First Impression
A secure grip also lets you give firm handshakes. While it is not cool to squeeze someone’s hand too much, a firm handshake is a reflection of your confidence and reminds the other person that you should not be taken lightly.
3. Practical Daily Tasks
Another advantage of having bigger and stronger hands is your ability to do daily tasks more easily. For example, tasks, like opening jars, grabbing something heavy, holding a fidgety toddler, or maybe even walking your dog, can be much easier with bigger hands.
Another advantage of having bigger and stronger hands is your ability to do daily tasks more easily. For example, tasks, like opening jars, grabbing something heavy, holding a fidgety toddler, or maybe even walking your dog, can be much easier with bigger hands.
4. Better Sports Performance And Play
If you participate in sports or similar recreational activities, you would definitely benefit from having bigger hands. Bigger hands make it easier and more enjoyable to engage in many activities like golf, bowling, tennis, rock climbing, softball, and more.
Big, strong hands also dramatically improve your performance because it is associated with better grip, higher accuracy, and stronger hits.
5. Improved Hand Endurance
Larger and stronger hands automatically increase your hand endurance, which means you can exert more force from your hands and sustain this strength for a longer period of time.
Hand grips and other exercises that increase hand size also help train your hands not to succumb or give way easily due to fatigue.
6. Overall Hand Strength
A bigger hand also means increased overall hand strength. This allows you to increase the power you deliver through the wrists, palms, and fingers. This is a huge help in the gym because it will enable you to hold and carry weights for prolonged periods.
In sports like tennis, badminton, softball, and baseball, a bigger hand also adds power to your swings and hits. Hand strength is also particularly crucial for activities like a wall or rock climbing and gymnastics where it is used to hold your full body weight.
7. Improved Dexterity.
An improved dexterity means your fingers can better work independently from each other. The training for bigger hands also strengthens each finger. This is extremely beneficial for musicians who play instruments correctly and beautifully. Typists and writers also benefit from better dexterity.
8. Injury Recovery
By strengthening the connective tissues and muscles of the hands, you also reduce your risk of injury and other associated conditions. In case you do suffer from an injury, stronger tissues heal and recover faster as well.
Different Ways On How To Get Bigger Hands
Now that you know how larger hands can be beneficial, let’s discuss the different ways you can make yours appear larger and stronger. Basically, this requires a workout routine similar to what you would do if you want a bigger chest, core, or arms.
For most of these exercises, you will need a hand therapy ball or stress ball, a barbell, a grip plate, hand grippers, elastic bands, punching bags, and sand bags. If you need any other gym equipment or fitness-related products, check out these amazing product reviews.
1. Grip Strengthening Exercises
The first type of training to get bigger hands are exercises aimed at strengthening your grip. Here are a few examples:
Step 1: First, choose hand grippers that are workable and challenging at the same time for your current grip strength.
Step 2: Squeeze the device until both handles almost touch, hold this for at least five seconds, then release the tension.
Step 3: Everyday, do 2 to 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps each hand.
Step 1: Slip your thumb and fingers into a baller ID or elastic band.
Step 2: Start contracting and flexing your digits as a way of stretching them like a reverse grip exercise.
Step 3:Perform 8 to 10 reps for 2 to 3 sets per hand per day.
Plate Pinch Curls
Step 1: Using both hands, grab the top edge of a weight plate, and lift it in front of you.
Step 2: Have both of your palms face your body and fully stretch your arms downward.
Step 3:Lift the place so that your elbows and hands are almost at the same level as your chest.
Step 4:Hold this position for a few seconds then lower the plate back to the front of your thighs.
Step 5:Repeat this move 10 to 12 times per set for 2 to 3 sets.
Plate Pinch Deadlifts
Use two to three weight plates in replacement of dumbbells, a barbell, or kettlebells for deadlifts. Lifting the weight and the pinching action to keep the plates together provides a great strengthening workout for your fingers and hands.
Stress Ball Squeezes
Choose a firm stress ball and squeeze it repeatedly for a minimum of an hour each day for each hand. You can do this while reading, walking, or using your computer.
2. Martial Arts And Boxing Routines
The main goal here is to weaponize the feet and hands and increase your pain threshold. That is why these mainly involve strengthening drills for hitting your opponent.
Sandbags And Punching Bags
Step 1: First, make sure your hands are properly bandaged or that you are wearing gloves before training to reduce pain and injury.
Step 2: Perform power punches for as long as you can, resting when you need to.
You may have seen these in action or kung fu films. To be able to use these properly, you may need to seek the guidance of a trained and qualified instructor.
3. Hobbies Or Side Jobs
As previously mentioned, activities and crafts that involve heavy work of the hands are also beneficial for increasing hand size. Just look at the hands of machine operators, steel smiths, farmers, carpenters, mechanics, lumberjacks, and masons.
To achieve that rugged hand appearance and strength, try out a new hobby or side job that uses repetitive and rigorous loading of the hands. This will somehow remodel the skin, tissues, ligaments, and bones of the hands to appear brusque and huge.
Although genetics is a huge factor when it comes to hand size, the ones mentioned here have been proven to be effective ways on how to get bigger hands. They work by improving the length of bones, ligaments, and tissues of the hands to make them stronger and look bigger.
If you liked this article, please do share it with your loved ones who may benefit from these exercises as well. For any of your questions, suggestions, or reactions, feel free to leave a comment down below! I’ll make sure to respond as soon as possible.