We all know how important cardiovascular exercise is. For your cardiovascular health, two of the best machines in your gym are the rowing machine and elliptical a.k.a the cross trainer.
However, there is still an ongoing argument about which is superior over the other. In this rowing machine vs. elliptical article, you’ll find out the key differences to help you choose which is best for you. So, keep reading for more information!
Benefits Of Rowing Machines And Elliptical Trainers
Before I walk you through the main differences between a rowing machine and an elliptical, let us first discuss their benefits.
Both of these exercise machines offer low-impact cardiovascular stimulation. This helps reduce your overall body fat, manage your weight, improve your heart health, improve your lungs’ aerobic capacity, and reduce your risk of acquiring or developing a wide array of diseases.
To be able to reap the most cardio rewards, maintain a high-speed movement on either machine for at least thirty minutes. Set the resistance on low if using an elliptical trainer or set the damper settings to low on a rowing machine.
According to MayoClinic.com in their published article with the title, “Aerobic Exercise: Top 10 Reasons to get Physical”, performing at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day can help you live a healthier, longer, and more independent life.
The other amazing benefits of regular cardio and aerobic exercise also include the following:
Higher energy levels
Stronger cardiovascular system
Better stamina and endurance
Boosted immune system strength
Rowing Machine Vs. Elliptical: Posture
Both the rowing machine and elliptical offer low-impact full body cardio workout as well as excellent ways to strengthen your lower and upper body. However, their main difference lies in the posture you maintain while using each of them and the workout styles they offer.
When using a rowing machine, you remain in a seated position throughout the workout. The motion also mimics the way you would manually row as if propelling a boat through the water.
With an elliptical machine, on the other hand, you will be standing erect while striding. Some machines can also be adjusted to simulate climbing or walking against some resistance.
Workout Style And Target Muscles
There is also a difference in how a rowing machine and an elliptical machine works your muscles. Primarily, rowing machines focus more on your upper body than an elliptical would. Some ellipticals may not even come with moving arms.
Rowing machines, therefore, are more effective in strengthening your arms and core as you will be using your abs to keep your torso straight and maintain the proper form as you workout.
An elliptical trainer does not offer this core-strengthening benefit. However, it does target the triceps and chest muscles more than a rowing machine would. Note that an elliptical trainer is not an actual strength-training tool, but depending on how hard you push against the handlebars as you pedal, you can sufficiently involve and work on your chest and triceps.
When it comes to burning calories, you would generally burn fewer calories on a rowing machine than you would on an elliptical trainer but not by much. Of course, the amount of calories you will burn will still depend on other factors like your weight and your workout intensity.
For a better illustration, a person weighing about 155 pounds can typically burn an average of around 670 calories per hour on an elliptical trainer and around 630 calories per hour on a rowing machine.
Again, both machines offer a low impact workout, which means your feet and hands must stay in contact with the machine as you exercise. So, when it comes to stress on the joints and caloric burn, they are pretty much the same.
Rowing Machine Vs. Elliptical: Space Requirement
In terms of their footprint and overall design, rowing machines generally take up more space than elliptical machines because they are longer. This design allows you to sit on the rower with extended legs. There is also a flywheel connected to the handle which you will pull that is located a few feet in front of you.
Rowing machines are long, narrow, and lower in height. This makes them ideal for spaces with low ceilings, and are longer than they are wide. There are also some compact rowers for places with minimal floor areas.
On the contrary, ellipticals require much more vertical clearance since the user will be standing up instead of sitting down. Also, elliptical pedals are designed to keep you elevated at least a few inches from the floor.
The total height requirement for an elliptical machine is around the user’s height plus anywhere between 15 to 20 inches. There are also some manufacturers that produce ellipticals suitable for low-ceiling environments.
Muscle Gain And Toning
The movement on a rowing machine is a two-dimensional combination of cardio and weightlifting. The intensity of the exercise comes from a repeated alternating movement with brief recovery. You push with the legs and pull through your arms and core.
Therefore, the muscles are targeted similarly as when you are lifting weights. The movement on a rowing machine allows you to actively build your core, legs, arms, and back muscles.
The movement on an elliptical trainer, on the other hand, is more of the circular type. You use a continuous stepping stride without a distinct starting point or stopping point. But don’t worry because you will still feel your muscles burn.
An elliptical trainer is also more versatile than a rowing machine since you can adjust not only the resistance but also the shape and length of each stride, the incline, and maybe even reverse the pedaling. This allows you to target a slightly different group of muscles of the legs, core, back, and arms.
Whenever you use an exercise machine, there is always a learning curve which your rate of progress as you get the hang of using it.
Elliptical trainers are relatively more comfortable and straightforward to use. Simply step on the pedals and start moving as if you are walking or running. Hold the handlebars and move your arms back and forth for a whole body cardio workout.
However, intuition and instinct are not quite enough to be able to use a rowing machine properly. You might need at least one session with an informative training video or a good trainer to learn the proper form and stroke motion.
Weight-Bearing and Osteoporosis
According to an article published on Mayo Clinic, weight-bearing exercises such as using an elliptical trainer can help slow down or reduce mineral loss in the bones of the hips, legs, and lower spine for people with osteoporosis. It can also help improve your bone density.
Rowing machines do not have this benefit since rowing is not a weight-bearing exercise. However, it does help strengthen the back, which can also help in preventing osteoporosis.
Reliability And Operation
Rowing machines are manually operated and simple. They are pretty straightforward to use and require no electricity.
Some versions of the elliptical machine can be manually operated, but they often come with programmable electronic settings which are what makes them so versatile. Because of the more complex operation for elliptical machines, they also require more maintenance and are less reliable in terms of longevity.
Since the mechanism at which rowing machines work are much simpler than those of elliptical trainers, the latter are generally more expensive. You also have a higher chance of finding a cheaper piece of equipment that will withstand regular use with a rowing machine than you would with an elliptical trainer.
However, low-end rowers and low-end elliptical trainers can come with the same type of problems like less-than-smooth operation and motion, flimsy construction, and a noisy drive mechanism.
The prices of a decent elliptical trainer may start at a similar approximate price range but can go as high as $1000 or more for quality models.
To know which type of exercise equipment is suitable for you, watch this video:
In summary, the winner between the rowing machine vs. elliptical machine will depend on your personal needs, fitness goals, and preferences. Both offer similar and amazing advantages that even the healthiest person can benefit from.
If you want to work on your back, chest, and core, a rowing machine could be your best option. Otherwise, if you want a more gentle workout for your whole body, then, by all means, go for an elliptical machine.
At the end of the day, the results of your exercise will be determined by your perseverance and the amount of effort you put in, no matter what machine you use. So, I hope you find what you’re looking for with the help of the information you learned from this article!
Heading to the gym takes time and a whole lot of effort. If you want to save time and money, building your gym at home is the best thing that you can do.
If you have a small house, the space issue can certainly be a problem for you. Luckily, there are now plenty of space-saving gym equipment that you can now invest in. The most popular ones are Versaclimber and Maxi climber.
The two equipment are highly sought after and are considered to be effective in getting people fit and tones. Because of their similarities, it has become difficult for most people to determine which of the two would suit them best.
Maxi climber vs. Versaclimber—which one should you choose? Well, we are here to help you out! Below you will find a few information on what maxi climbers and Versa climbers are together with their points of differences!
1. What is A Maxi Climber?
Maxi climber is a climbing fitness equipment designed to help the user mimic the movements involved in mountain climbing. This simple movement allows you to make use of all the muscles in your body and can help the user to burn calories, get rid of extra weight, and achieve a toned and fit body.
2. What is a Versaclimber?
The Versaclimber works the same way as Maxi climber in the sense that it also allows the user to make mountain-climbing movements.
However, this one is designed to get rid of excess weight and fats in the body in just a short amount of exercise time. Aside from delivering a complete body workout experience, it also promotes cardio exercise and can, therefore, improve heart health.
To know what type of workout you can do in a Versa climber, please watch this video:
Maxi Climber Vs Versaclimber: The Point Of Differences
Now that you have a short overview of what these two items are, let us tackle their point of difference in detail. These are as follows:
Maxi climber features a vertical steel frame with adjustable height settings and isometric grips. It is designed to deliver the benefits of aerobic exercise, muscle tone, and weight resistant in just one equipment.
On the other hand, Versaclimber also has the same vertical frame and isometric grips, but it also features feet pedals and handrails. This one is meant to allow the user to perform an intensive cardiovascular exercise and burn calories with minimal time required.
2. Amount Of Calories Burned
In Maxi climber, you have the opportunity to lose up to 500 calories in one session. On the other hand, Versaclimber is said to help the user up to four times more calories. However, further studies are needed to verify such a claim.
3. Type Of Workout
As mentioned, Maxi climber allows the user to perform a full-body workout which can help to tone the muscles and burn calories at the same time. On the other hand, the movements involved in the Versaclimber helps you to move both upper and lower body muscles and perform cardio workouts.
4. Space Requirement
Maxi climber has dimensions of 57 x 10 inches and weighs 33 pounds. With a weight of 86 pounds, Versaclimber is much heavier than the Maxi climber, but it is considered smaller as it only has a dimension of 36 x 44 inches.
Both of these items are foldable and can be stored in the closet or under the bed.
Maxi climber has a console with essential features and controls. In there, you can find a calorie counter along with a step count. The sad part is, this equipment does not have any programs which will make it difficult for you to determine the progress that you have made.
On the other hand, Versaclimber is considered to be more advanced than the former because it has three modes of operation. Its console also shows different essential stats such as distance, workout time, calorie burned, and many others. All of this information allows you to monitor your fitness development and help you to stay on the right track.
The Versa climber comes with a total of 16 programs and allow the user to adjust its height and offers a more versatile operation.
Comparing the features and technology incorporated in the equipment, it is expected Maxi climbers are much more affordable than Versaclimbers. According to our research, Maxi climbers are priced lower than $500 while Versaclimbers come at a price range of above $2000.
This is one of the most significant deciding factors that many people consider. After all, the difference in the prices of the equipment is quite big.
In Summary: Which Is The One For You?
Maxi climber Vs. Versaclimber—which is the best equipment for you. As you may have seen from the information provided, these two have lots of differences. With that in mind, here is a simple guide to know which one is for you:
Since the maxi climber is more affordable, this is an excellent choice if you are tight on budget. This is also a fantastic option for people who plan to tone their upper and lower bodies and also, lose weight but do not have plenty of time to spare.
On the other hand, Versaclimber is the better choice if you have money and time to spare. This is also the best option for you if you are a bit overweight and wish to burn more calories. Lastly, This is an excellent choice for people with small spaces in their homes.
We hope that you can this simple guide can help you make the right decision. If you have other tips on how to choose between the two equipment, please drop a comment below!
Riding a tricycle has become a great outdoor exercise option for a lot of adults. It has become the next best option for people with muscle and joint issues but still wishes to enjoy the outdoors and experience the cardiovascular benefits of riding a bicycle.
If you are considering purchasing an adult tricycle, there are lots of things you need to know about riding a tricycle. Lucky for you, you can find all the important information in this article!
Tricycle Vs. Bicycle
Once you take a ride on your tricycle, you will be surprised to know how different it works from that of a bicycle. If you want to know how different these two things can be, take a look at these two elements:
1. Wheel Position
The most obvious difference between the two is the number and position of the wheels that they have. From its name, bicycle only has two wheels—one on the front and the other at the back.
On the other hand, adult tricycles feature three wheels—one in the front and two smaller wheels at the back. The addition of this wheel boosts the bike’s stability and prevent it from tipping over, making things a whole lot easier to the user.
Another main difference between the two is the seat. As compared to bicycles, the seat of tricycles is flatter. The flatness of the seat allows the user to sit upright and prevent him from leaning forward which is the case with a bicycle. This allows the user to feel more comfortable and relaxed, allowing him to exert more energy in pedaling and therefore, burn more calories in the process.
How To Ride An Adult Tricycle
As mentioned, riding a tricycle is different from riding a bicycle. While the former is considered to be easier and more comfortable, it will take some getting used to. With that in mind, here are some steps that you can take:
Step 1: Place the tricycle on a flat surface then get up on it. Carefully sit on the bike’s seat. Once you feel that the bike is already stable enough, put your feet on the pedal and your hands on the handlebars.
After that, you do not need to do any balancing acts—that is one of the trike advantages that you can enjoy.
Step 2: Once you get the feel of it, try to pedal the trike. Do this slowly but surely. Make sure to give your time to adjust to it. Keep in mind that the tricycle sits a lot lower than a bike so you will be riding near traffic on the road and that may require a few adjustments.
Step 3: Familiarize yourself with the brakes. Do not ever go on a road trip without checking out the trike’s brake. Most of the trikes in the market feature hand brakes located near its handlebars.
Before you go out on your road trip, make sure to know where the brakes are. Moreover, you need to make sure that the brakes are working properly. Do this experiment in your driveway or in your neighborhood and not out in the highway.
Safety Tips You Need To Know On Riding A Tricycle
Now that you are familiar with the basic steps on how to ride a tricycle, the next thing that you should keep in mind is the safety tips that you need to put into practice while you are on the road. Here are some of them:
1. Check The Trike’s Condition Before Hitting The Road
Aside from testing the brakes, there are a lot of other things that you need to check and do before you go on your trip. These are as follows:
Safety Equipment: To stay safe on the road, you need to make sure that you have the following safety equipment—reflectors, bicycle flags, and lights. These will ensure that you are highly visible on the road.
In the event that your lights run on battery, make sure that they have enough juice to last your trip. If possible, try bringing extra batteries with you.
Seat: Check to see if the seat is properly fastened and positioned.
Handlebars: You use the handlebars to steer the bike to the direction you want to go. Because of this, it is important to make sure that they are properly secured.
Tires: The tires should be well-inflated and are free of holes and leaks to prevent it from deflating.
2. Wear A Helmet
Of course, you know this already. You may think that since it is less likely that you are going to tip over in a trike, you do not need a helmet. But let me tell you that even though trikes are more stable, accidents may still happen.
A helmet can protect your head when you run into something or some things run into you.
3. Follow Traffic Rules
This is another no-brainer but we do have to emphasize this one since a lot of people tend to forget about the importance of obeying traffic rules.
If you are not familiar with the laws regarding trikes in your area, it is recommended that you research about it.
One thing that you should keep in mind is the fact that pedestrians are the main priority when on the road. Because of this, it is a must that you always give way to the pedestrians crossing the street.
You may think that these laws are useless but please keep in mind that these are enforced not just for your benefit but for the welfare of the pedestrians and other motorists as well.
4. Always Watch Your Back
No, we are not talking about someone backstabbing you. We literally mean to watch your back—the back of your trike that is. This is because the widest part of the bike is located at the back portion which can become a problem when you are driving through tight areas or crowded streets.
Before entering a path, make sure that it is wide enough for the rear part of your trike.
5. Employ Hand Signals
One advantage that a motorcycle has over a trike is it has light signals. But don’t you worry—this issue can be easily addressed. When riding a trike and you wish to make a turn, you can employ hand signals instead.
If you are taking a right turn, try stretching your right arms horizontally with your palms facing forward. When turning left, do the same with your left arms.
Hold the brake levers while you are climbing on and off the tricycle. Getting on the tricycle is surprisingly tricky. Getting on a bike is easy peasy but it can be a bit challenging on a trike. This is because the seat of the trike is a lot lower and you cannot tilt the trike towards you as you would do with a bike.
With that in mind, the best way to ride a trike is to hold the brake levers tightly as you get up on the trike. In this way, the bike won’t slip away from you.
Only let go of the brakes once you are already planted firmly on the trike’s seat.
6. Plan For Turns In Advance
Unlike bikes, trikes do not have the ability to make very sharp turns. Yes, they are capable of sharp turns but making such turns can increase your risk of tipping over.
If you are used to riding a bike, you will tend to lean while making a turn. This is one thing that you should avoid doing when making a turn in a trike. With trikes, you have to keep your weight centered or as near to it as possible. This is the only way to ensure that all of the wheels are properly grounded, reducing your chances of getting into an accident.
To know more about trikes, watch this video:
Tricycles may be the weirdest looking form of transportation for a lot of people but it can deliver one of the most efficient workouts that you can ever try. It is also one of the most economical and comfortable forms of transportation that you can ever use.
Just make sure to keep in mind that you put into practice the tips about riding a tricycle that we have mentioned. In this way, you will be safe and sound on the road.
Do you have other trike safety tips that you would like to share with us? If so, please leave them below!
You probably think that you can cycle just with any type of shoes. Well, technically, yes, you can. However, the best shoes will enhance your ride to a whole other level.
If you ride your bike to commute to work or school and back, you face different challenges on the road. But with the right pair of shoes, you can get the support, comfort, warmth, and efficiency that you need. Keep reading to find out how to choose the best commuter bike shoes and other important stuff you need to know!
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Commuter Bike Shoes
Before we get to the top 10 commuter bike shoes, let us first discuss some important factors to consider when choosing a pair. There are many styles, models, types, and designs out there it can easily be overwhelming. So, let me help you by walking through all the details you need to know!
Types Of Bike Shoes
First, let’s talk about the different types of bike shoes. Generally, there are three that you will often see: road bike shoes, mountain bike (MTB) shoes, and city bike shoes.
1. Road Bike Shoes
Most, if not all road bike shoes have smooth and stiff outsoles, breathable uppers, and lightweight construction. In fact, their exceptionally stiff soles that enable power transfer from your feet to the pedals are often used as a way to distinguish them from other types. These are constructed to be used with larger platform road pedals.
However, road bike shoes are not intended for walking for extended periods since the soles are not flexible and lack traction. If you are looking for higher-end models, materials like carbon fiber are known to increase sole rigidity and decrease weight.
Fit systems also give you a greater range for customization. Usually, you will find small rubber pads on the heels which provide the only point of traction.
One famous and notable niche under road bike shoes is triathlon-specific shoes or tri shoes. These are built for racing since they provide maximum energy transfer. They are also easy to wear and remove so you can quickly transition on and off your ride.
Road shoes can come with a variety of closure systems like lace-up to velcro or BOA systems that allow you to adjust the fit even while riding. The boa system utilizes a dial to even out the pressure across the forefoot. Laces are great for aerodynamic and allow you to customize the tightness across the foot.
Pedal Compatibility of Road Shoes
Most clipless road bike shoes utilize a 2-hole or 3-hole cleat system, and you have to match them with a compatible pedal. They are also not meant to be used with non-clipless pedals. To check the compatibility, look at the specs of the shoes or consult a sales specialist to ensure you can mount to the pedal system of your bike.
2. Mountain Bike Shoes
Like the road bike shoes, MTB shoes have fairly stiff soles for efficient power transfer and pedaling. However, MTB shoes allow for just enough flexing and feature rubber-lugged outsoles that provide excellent traction for walking on rugged trails and other challenging surfaces.
They have more grippy rubber soles than regular shoes or even road bike shoes. MTB shoes also perform well in a variety of off-road activities. There are cross-country racing shoes that are lightweight but high-performance or enduro shoes that can be used with cleats and clipless pedals or flat pedals.
The cleats are usually recessed into the soles which allow for easier and more comfortable walking. MTB shoes are a popular choice for indoor cycling classes, touring, and road biking as well.
The higher the price, you get to enjoy features like a lighter weight, enhanced ankle and foot protection, waterproof liners, stiffer soles, and a better fit and foot security. You can also find MTB shoes with removable spikes for loose or soft ground situations.
They often come with a lacing system, camp straps with buckles, or a rip-and-stick system for fit adjustment.
Pedal Compatibility Of MTB Shoes
Clipless MTB shoes use the 2-hole cleat system. Some MTB shoes may also have flat soles with no cleats or any way of accommodating cleats. These are the ones specifically designed for platform pedals and optionally, toe clips. As with road bike shoes, make sure you choose something that will be compatible with your bike’s pedals.
3. City Bike Shoes
If your activities consist mainly of indoor cycling, recreational cycling, and urban cycling, city bike shoes are your best bet. Mainly, these are a hybrid between casual and cycling footwear.
City bike shoes also offer compatibility with some clipless pedal systems although they come with recessed cleats and rubber outsoles for easy walking.
City bike shoes can be further categorized into commuter shoes and flat pedal shoes.
Commuter shoes are best for people who spend more time walking or standing rather than biking. These shoes are more flexible for easier and more comfortable walking. They come with treaded soles for traction as well.
Flat Pedal Shoes
Flat pedal shoes look a lot like skate style trainers although they have stiffer soles for better pedaling efficiency. They usually contain more internal padding for comfort. However, this also means that they absorb more water and take a lot longer to dry up.
Flat shoes may use ultra-traction rubber soles inspired by climbing shoes or some lace cover to decrease water absorption.
Bike Shoes And Pedal Compatibility
Another thing to consider is the pedal compatibility of bike shoes. Most of them are designed to be compatible with clipless pedals and come with holes in the soles where the cleats are attached.
Cleats are features that snap into the pedals for a more secure, non-slip connection. These cleats are often sold separately from the shoes but may come with the pedals themselves.
As you may have already noticed, some bike shoes are compatible with both 3-hole and 2-hole cleat designs which makes them great especially if you tend to switch between bikes with different pedal systems.
However, most shoes will accept either one of the other. Shoes that are made for the 2-hole system cannot be modified for a 3-hole system. A 4-hole Speedplay pedal system, on the other hand, can be adapted to fit many shoe styles.
The two-hole system is also known as the SPD system or the Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, which is the first such system to be introduced. This system is used for all types of riding including mountain biking, commuting, touring, and road cycling. In shoes, the recessed cleat design allows the user to walk more easily and with less noise than any other system.
The 3-hole system is also called the Look-style system, which is again the pioneer of this system. It is most often used for road cycling since it provides the most efficient energy transfer and stability. This is because the size of the cleat is larger, allowing the force to be dissipated and spread over a larger area. This helps maintain a secure connection when you are pedaling hard and also reduces the pressure put on the connection points.
Bike Shoe Closure Styles
Next, you should also consider the bike shoe closure system or style. Cycling shoes may feature any or a combination of several types of closure.
Lace-up closure systems are probably the most common. They also offer the most comfortable and customizable fit. However, they can allow water to seep in and get your feet wet and dirty during inclement weather conditions.
When using shoes with laces, make sure that the ends are either short enough or tucked away securely to prevent them from getting caught in the chain especially if there is no chain guard.
Rip-and-stick straps like Velcro are convenient and quick, which is why these are often used for children’s shoes. They remain grippy and usable even in wet and muddy conditions. Also, these straps stretch less than laces and so are less likely to come off or undone. While most shoes feature 2 to 3 straps, more straps mean you can adjust to get a better, more customized fit.
Notched Cam Straps
If your priority is the security of your feet and clamping power, opt for notched cam straps with buckles. These come with a higher price tag but is the most reliable closure system.
Bike Shoe Sizing
Just like in any other type of shoes or footwear, you need to make sure your bike shoes will fit securely and comfortable right from the start. Because bike shoes have stiff soles, they may take a while to break in and have less chance to conform to your feet later.
The right size of shoes will typically have enough room for your toes to slightly wiggle around. The arch should be well-supported and snug while your heels should not slip or slide up and down.
However, when trying on bike shoes, you may notice that your heels will slip a little as you walk. This is again, due to the stiff soles which are designed to stabilize and support the feet while cycling. If you feel like the slippage is caused by a poor fit, try on a smaller size or opt for a different shoe model.
Bike shoes may also come in various sizing systems, usually European or U.S. However, the sizing usually depend on the manufacturer. So, make sure to get your exact measurements and compare these with the size charts of a specific brand or shoe model.
Watch this video to know how to properly size your shoes:
Bike Shoe Care And Maintenance
The durability and length of service of your commuter bike shoes will also depend largely on how you take care and maintain them. Here are a few tips on how to do so:
How To Clean Your Bike Shoes
Bike shoes should be cleaned every after use by simply wiping them off with a rag or towel. If there is any stubborn dirt like mud or stains, you can use a soft brush with a little dab of soap and some warm water to remove them. Then, finish off by wiping with a clean cloth before drying.
How To Dry Your Bike Shoes
Leaving or storing your bike shoes while they are wet is always a recipe for disaster. This will not only risk them getting permanent marks and stains but can also damage the material.
So, make sure to thoroughly dry your wet bike shoes first with a towel and then a boot or shoe dryer. A boot or shoe dryer uses a gentle flow of warm air that will slowly but completely dry your shoes within a couple of hours.
One technique that you can do is to pack the shoes with crumpled newspaper and leave them like that overnight. The next day, the newspaper will have absorbed the excess moisture from your shoes. Depending on how wet your shoes are or how quick your shoes to dry, you can also replace the newspaper every few hours or so.
Replacing The Cleats
Once the cleats are worn to the point that they disengage from the pedals, you need to replace them. Any cracks or breaks are also grounds for a replacement since damaged cleats may unexpectedly fail or not function properly.
For avid riders, cleat changing may need to be done as often as once a year. For casual riders, cleats may last for up to five years before needing to be replaced.
Bike shoe covers are booties often made with a rubberized laminate or neoprene that offers water protection and insulation. You can slip these over your cycling shoes whenever the weather is wet or cold.
Bike shoe covers often have holes or cutaways where the lugged soles or cleats can pass through. Note, however, that shoe covers are solely meant for riding so always remember to take them off when walking.
Aside from shoe covers, there are also toe covers for slightly chilly rides. These are less bulky and more convenient but can only provide some level of warmth.
Commuter Bikes Shoes Reviews
Now that you are pretty well-versed with bike shoes information, here are my top 10 favorites available in the market today to help you narrow down your search:
If you are looking for a versatile pair of shoes that combines performance and comfort, the Giro Rumble Vr could be the one for you. It features clipless pedal compatibility for function and a Vibram eco-step rubber outsole for excellent traction both on the pedals and most surfaces.
It is also lightweight at only 425 grams for a size 42 and comfortable to wear thanks to the supple synthetic fabric and mesh upper. The inner shank is injected to allow a more efficient energy transfer from your feet to the pedals.
These shoes also offer amazing flexibility whether on your ride or while you are walking on a trail. Other features include a molded SPD-compatible shank featuring an optimized cleat zone, a high-quality lace-up closure, and a comfortable EVA midsole. This model also comes in 4 stylish color schemes.
Sizes run small, so you have to refer to the sizing chart
Some user report problems
2. Rockport Men’s Leader 2 Bike Slip ons
If you are looking for unique cycling shoes that are a cut above the rest, look no further! The Rockport Men’s Leader 2 Bike Slip ons give a classic formal spin on sportswear.
These square toe shoes are made from a range of smooth leathers that will surely add a professional flair to any outfit. For a polished look, these come in slip-on styles, or you can also get a lace-up version.
Featuring lightweight shock-absorptive midsoles and an EVA outsole, Leader 2 helps prevent and reduce foot fatigue. The footbed is also cushioned and reinforced for durability. You can get a pair of the Rockport Leader 2 in black, truffle tan, or tan.
Looks great paired with a suit or formal wear
Bang for your buck
Somewhat too large
Not the most durable
A wide variety is still too narrow
3. Five Ten Men’s Freerider MTB Shoes
The Five Ten Freerider MTB Shoes for Men are popular for multiple reasons. These shoes are made with 100% leather and synthetic materials for the ultimate performance and technical advantage.
They offer unparalleled comfort and grip. The unique Five Ten Stealth S1 rubber outsole with dotty treads keep your feet fixed on the pedals as well.
A mesh and suede upper helps keep your feet cool and comfy all day long. The Freerider’s design also allows you to wear them confidently both on the bike and on your feet. The lace-up vamp also lets you get a secure and snug fit.
You can get these shoes in eight different stylish color schemes!
Great for riding mountain bikes
Comfortable and plush
Fairly accurate sizing
The stiff soles are not suitable for walking for long periods
4. Tommaso Pista Women’s Road Bike Shoe
Boasting of superior compatibility and versatility, these Road Bike Shoes for Women may just be the ones you are looking for. They offer the best blend of performance and comfort perfect for commuting, road biking, spin class, and touring around.
The cleat area is also compatible with 3-bolt, and 2-bolt cleat sets to provide you with an excellent grip and perfect platform for whatever type of pedal you ride.
Sizes are indicated in the size chart to help you ensure the right fit. Low profile hook and lock Velcro straps also allow you to adjust accordingly for an ergonomic and precise fit. This also adds security and comfort to your ride.
Fiberglass reinforced soles provide maximum power transfer and optimum stiffness. This allows you to ride faster and longer since you use less energy.
For your comfort, the synthetic leather upper hugs the foot snugly while mesh portions provide breathability and ventilation. You can get your Tommaso Pista Road Bike Shoes in black and blue, black and pink, or white and silver.
Great for spin class
Cleats are easy to install
Sizes run a bit small and narrow
Delta clips are sold separately
5. Giro Men’s Treble II Bike Shoes
The Giro Men’s Treble II Bike Shoes offer efficiency and comfort at a budget-friendly price. Featuring a high-quality synthetic fiber, these shoes are breathable, flexible, and durable.
Thanks to the universal cleat mount system, these shoes can accommodate both three-bolt and two-bolt cleat patterns for the ultimate compatibility.
The molded EVA footbed not only offers cushion but also medium arch support. It also has an Aegis antimicrobial treatment to fight bacteria and bad odor.
The stiff injected nylon outsole provides support while encouraging an efficient power transfer to fight fatigue. Other features include hook-and-loop straps on the forefoot for a quick custom fit adjustment.
You can get these shoes in white, matte black, or black and yellow.
Great shoes for riders with wide feet
Great value for money
Sizes run small
Could use better padding and arch support
6. Fizik R5 UOMO BOA Road Cycling Shoes
You may have heard of the Fizik R1 Uomo shoes but soon realized it is a bit too pricey for someone like you who could use the performance and comfort it offers but would prefer a cheaper option.
Well, you’re in luck because Fizik recently introduced the R5 Uomo Boa Road Cycling shoes for Men! Because they are not made with the same kangaroo leather as the R1, these shoes are much more affordable.
Made with a highly breathable and durable Microtex fabric featuring mesh windows for ventilation, these shoes offer the same comfort for your feet. The Fizik Superlight insoles even absorb vibrations and support the arches. The carbon-reinforced nylon outsole also provides efficient power transfer without the same carbon cost.
The low stack height and engineered outsole maintain flexibility during long rides while molded heel cups minimize slippage and help you keep the ideal pedaling position.
The R5 Uomo also uses the Boa closure system featuring a continuous loop and single dial for micro-adjustments in combination to the hook-and-loop closure to achieve a perfect fit.
When purchasing a pair, you can choose between five color combinations of black, white, and gray.
Fantastic fit and feel
Nice sturdy design and construction
Look great and feel great
Quick and easy fit adjustment
Easy to maintain
The shoes have a slim fit width
The toe box is extremely narrow which can cause discomfort especially during long rides
7. Louis Garneau Women’s Multi-Air Flex Cycling Shoes
The Louis Garneau Women’s Multi-Air Flex Cycling Shoes are your ideal companion for the daily commute, training, spin class, and weekend rides. These shoes are flexible, breathable, and versatile.
Because of the roomier standard fit and adjustable hook and loop fasteners, you always get a custom fit for the most comfortable all-day riding. Say goodbye to overheating and sweaty feet after cycling thanks to the breathable mesh upper and synthetic leather material as well as the ventilated EVA insole that allows sufficient airflow within the shoes.
The fiberglass and nylon composite Multi Air Flex outsole not only supports the heel to relieve pressure as you walk but also allows good toe flexion. These shoes are also compatible with SPD cleats for all major MTB pedals.
Get yours now and choose among 5 different amazing colors namely Asphalt gray, magenta, black and pink, mat black and navy, and black.
Great for spin cycling and road cycling
Comfortable to wear
Clips in and out smoothly
Sizes run very small so refer to their sizing chart for a perfect fit
SPD clips have to be ordered and bought separately
8. SHIMANO SH-RP2W Road Shoe
Next, we have the Shimano SH-RP2W Road Cycling Shoes made with mesh fabric and faux leather. These shoes are great for entry-level cyclists, club cycling, and indoor cycling.
With tough, stretch-resistant upper materials, you get comfort and durability. Triple adjustable hook-and-loop straps also let you customize the fit while an offset strap helps with relief on pressure points.
For the ultimate comfort, the Shimano RP2W also has a breathable fabric lining, lightly padded collar, and removable foam insoles.
The fiberglass reinforced nylon outsole have polyurethane lugs for traction and shedding mud. It is also compatible with two-hole and three-hole SPD cleat designs.
Great for wide feet
Easily adjustable velcro opening
Good product for the price
Roomy toe box
Comes with holes for the SPD system
Delta cleats and SPD clips are sold separately
Sizes are a bit off but once you refer to their sizing chart, you get a better fit
The slick and flat soles make it hard to walk in them
9. Giro Carbide MTB Bike Shoes for Men
Another great pair of shoes from Giro are the Carbide MTB Bike Shoes for men. Like any other premium Giro shoes, The Carbide MTB is tough and durable yet supple and comfortable. It also features the classic Giro form and a supportive fit.
The synthetic leather upper has three wide straps so you can make quick, easy, and precise adjustments to achieve the perfect fit.
The EVA footbed not only offers supreme arch support but also features the Aegis antimicrobial treatment that fights terrible odor. It also helps enhance comfort and fit.
The nylon soles are also stout-injected to improve power transfer onto the pedals. High traction lugs and a midfoot scuff guard also function for traction and to accommodate steel toe spikes. Available colors include black/charcoal, dark shadow/flame orange, and lime/black.
Great quality sole
Nice style and colors
Decent shoes for the price
Dry pretty quickly
Cleats fit and engage well
Very narrow, not for those with wide feet
Using the straps to get the right fit can be tricky
Not the lightest shoes
10. SHIMANO Men’s CT500 Casual Cycling Shoe
Last but not least, we have the Shimano Men’s CT500 Casual Cycling Shoes. These comfortable, sleek, and functional shoes allow you to stay active while also keeping it casual style-wise.
The upper is made with leather and textile for a classy, polished look. The lace-up closure offers a more snug fit while the pull tab at the rear makes putting them on so easy.
A concealed inner shank plate improves power transfer to the pedals so you can ride longer. Thanks to the EVA midsole, you also get additional response and protection from impacts and shocks.
The cleat installation is so easy because it is optimized for SPD and the Shimano Click’r pedal systems. You can get this model in three different colors namely black, navy, and olive.
Comfortable to wear
Suitable for walking
Fit can be way too tight and narrow
Sizes are a little big for Asian users
Acquires road dirt fast
The best commuter bike shoes are clearly the SHIMANO SH-RP2W Road Shoe for women and the Five Ten Freerider MTB Bike Shoes for men. Both offer comfort, versatility, good performance, and value that is why many users love them. They also come with adjustable straps or laces to ensure a proper fit.
There you have it! I hope you learned a thing or two from this article. If you have any questions, reactions, or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment box below!
Pull up—this is one of the most common yet hardest exercises that we will ever have to do. Yet, many people try to incorporate it in their daily routine simply because they want to take advantage of the benefits that they offer.
If you are one of these people, you might be aiming to work out your abdominal muscles but does pull up work abs? If you want to know if this exercise can help you achieve the six-pack abs that you have always wanted, we suggest that you read this article!
Does Pull Ups Work Abs?
For your information, the pull up is an upper body exercise, meaning that it mainly targets the upper muscles—the muscles located above the belt. These include your back, arms, and shoulder muscles.
Despite this, you generate a good amount of tension in your midsection area every time you do pull ups. In order to generate force for a pull up, you need to contract your abs and pull your body upwards. In short, yes pull up work abs but this is only when you do pull ups the right way.
To know how to do pull ups the right way, please watch this video:
The Other Muscles That Pull Up Work
As mentioned, pull ups mainly target the upper muscles. Specifically, pull ups work out the following muscles: traps, rhomboids, deltoids, and lats. These are the major muscles located in the front of your arms, back, and shoulders. Let us talk about these muscles in detail below:
This is also called Latissimus dorsi and is said to be the flat muscle that stretches from your back to the sides of your body. This is the muscle that is being worked out when you bring your body closer to your upper arms during a pull up.
Many people do pull ups in order to tone and sculpt their arms. These people are targeting their biceps, the major muscles covering your arms. When doing pull ups, these muscles work with your lats in pulling your body upwards.
But please keep in mind that if you want to achieve perfectly shaped arms, you need to do more than pull ups. There are other arm exercises that you should perform.
Depending on your grip, you also have the chance to stimulate the muscles at the back portion of your arms or the deltoids. To target these muscles, we recommend that you perform pull ups with a wide grip. A neutral grip works good on your deltoids too.
This is the major muscles that start from the back of your neck down to the half of your spine. It also covers the muscles besides your arm muscles. The vertical pulling movements in the pull up are the ones responsible for working it out.
These make up the major portion of your chest muscles. You may not notice it as you do the exercise but these muscles assist your lats in pulling your body upwards.
The Pull Up Variations You Need To Maximize Your Ab Workout!
If you are keen on targeting your abs while doing pull ups, you need to familiarize yourself with the different pull up variations that can help give you the best ab workout. These are as follows:
1. Hanging Knee Raise
This is the go-to move if you wish to target your lower abs.
To do this, hang from a bar and keep your legs straight. Keeping your chest up, contract your core and glutes then pull your knees up to your hips. Hold this position for a few seconds then slowly bring down your feet.
Do this twelve times.
2. Hanging Leg Raise
This is another pull up variation that can target your lower abs. Once again.
Hang from a bar—don’t pull yourself up. Keep your chest up and contract your glutes and core but instead of bringing your knees up, bring your feet to the same level as your hips (keeping it as straight as possible). Hold the pose for a few seconds the slowly bring your feet down.
Do this eight times.
3. Hanging Knee Raise Twist
This is a more advanced ab pull up variation and it targets the obliques or the muscles at the side of your abs.
Hang from the bar then brace your glutes and abs and bring your knees up to hip height. Instead of holding that pose, twist your knees to one side as you bring them up. Now, hold that pose for a few seconds then go back to your original position.
Do this for twelve times on each side. Keep in mind that you should alternate sides for every rep.
5. Knees To Chest
This is a bit more difficult than the first three pull up variations that we have provided but the good news is, it targets the entire core so it is certainly worth doing.
The beginning position is the hanging knee raise (with your knees raised already). Keep your core contracted and bring up your knees as high as you possibly can (assuming the fetal position in the process). Go back to the original position while keeping your muscles contracted all throughout the move.
Do this eight times.
6. Windscreen Wiper
This is most probably one of the hardest pull up variations that you can try but just like the previous variation, this one works out the entire core too.
Hang from the bar while keeping your legs as straight as possible. Brace your abs and glute muscles and raise your legs up to the same level as that of your hands. From this position, keep your muscles still braced and tilt your feet to one side (resembling the movement of a windshield wiper). Bring it back up then tilt to the other side.
Do this move six to eight times.
It is true that these moves can help you work out your abs and biceps at the same time. But please keep in mind that they are far more challenging than the basic pullups. It is recommended that you master the basic pull up move and form first before you advance to these moves.
The Pull Up Mistakes That You Need To Avoid
Part of mastering the pull up exercise is trying to avoid the many mistakes that you may commit during the entire workout. Here are some of them:
1. Using The Wrong Pull Up Bar
A pull up bar should be sturdy and reliable and will keep you safe and secure as you do the workout. On the other hand, the wrong pull up bar will increase your chances of getting into an injury.
To make sure that you are using the right pull up bar, we highly recommend that you check out a few product reviews to determine which pull up bar is the most suitable for your needs.
2. Doing A Variation That Is Not Suitable For Your Fitness Level
No matter how beneficial a variation is, it won’t do you any good if you fail to do it properly. Because of this, it is recommended that you choose a variation that is just right for your fitness level. By doing so, you can be able to achieve proper form and get stronger at the same time.
3. Doing Pull Ups That Are Not Low Or High Enough
When you visit the gym, you will see people performing pull ups with a limited range of motions. It is either their pull ups are not low or high enough. In short, they are doing half pull-ups.
If you are one of these people, you should know that you are doing your body a great disservice as not doing a full rep means robbing your body of its opportunity to become efficient and strong.
To avoid this, make sure that your body is in a straight line after every repetition. Your elbows should be fully extended and the elbows are only slightly up your ears.
4. Doing An Extremely Wide Grip
Many people think that the wider their grip is, the more they can be able to work out their lats. For your information, that is not true. In fact, a wider grip will just increase your risk of injury and may even reduce your range of motion.
Yes, pull ups are one of the most popular bodyweight training exercises being done today and these are due to lots of good reasons. This workout targets and strengthens the upper muscles, boosting our functional strength.
But does pull ups work abs? Yes, they do—when they are done right. This is most especially true if you will perform the pull up variations that we have mentioned on a regular basis.
If you have other pull up tips that you would like to share with us, please drop your comments below!
No matter how great your tennis racquets are, their strings are bound to lose tension and stretch as you play with them. So, you need the best tennis stringing machine to always be ahead of your game while also saving a lot of time, money, and effort in the long run.
In this article, we will go through five amazing tennis stringing machines, a buying guide, and everything else you need to know in choosing the best stringing machine. So what are you waiting for? Scroll down to find out more!
Things To Consider In Choosing The Best Tennis Stringing Machine
Before making a purchase of a tennis stringing machine, there are several considerations and important decisions that you have to make first. This will make it easier for you to find what suits your needs best and what will make the most value out of your hard-earned money.
Listed below are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best tennis stringing machine:
1. Standalone Or Table Top?
There are two main types of stringing machines: standalones and table toppers. Your choice will depend on whether or not you plan to transport your machine around or if your want to have it fixed somewhere.
Table top stringing machines are your best option if you want something that is affordable, portable, and easy to move around. They offer convenience since they can be mounted on any stable surface such as a desk or table. These are great for taking to tournaments or clients.
Standalone stringing machines, on the other hand, are sturdy and stable on their own, often with wide and heavy bases. These allow you to string a little faster and are more comfortable to work with, even while standing. Standalones are more expensive since they often come with advanced features and are recommended for the pros.
2. Tension Options
Stringing machines often come with either of the three tension setting processes: manual, drop weight, and electronic. Each of these differ in structure, cost, and the level of physical effort you need to exert to set the string tension accurately.
Manual Machines or crank machines are cheap and accurate although they require the most physical effort than any other type of machine. These are also known as spring head or lockout machines.
To achieve the right tension, manual machines use a special crank with a pre-loaded spring. After specifying the tension, a locking or brake mechanism activates to maintain the string tension.
The string is then clamped, the lock disengaged, and the process moves on to put tension on the next string.
Manual stringing machines offer higher tension accuracy than drop weight machines.
Drop weight machines are also relatively affordable and easy to use. These require a little less effort than manual machines but this makes their operation slower.
These models use a rod for measuring the string tension while a moveable weight on one end allows you to adjust the tensions in a scale. A higher string tension is achieved by moving the weight farther outward while moving it inward results to a lower string tension.
After reaching you desired string tension on the first string, it is then clamped off and the process must be repeated for the next string.
These are probably the slowest way to string racquets and are limited in terms of tension accuracy. However, these are the most basic, common and popular since they require very little maintenance and are relatively cheaper.
Electronic machines are the most expensive but due to good reason: they are accurate, they require almost no physical effort, and they work faster. You simply have to set your racquet down and push a button!
Electronic stringing machine models utilize a microprocessor or a computer-directed motor to measure and adjust the tension of the string. They can either come in a lockout of constant pull version.
Lockout electronic stringing machines work exactly as a manual crank would. The string is pulled against a preloaded reference string until the desired tension is reached. However, an electric motor does the cranking for you. Also, these do not measure the string tension throughout the stringing process so you really have to repeat all the steps for each new string.
Constant pull electronic stringing machine models monitor the string tension all throughout the stringing process and can adjust the tension accordingly in case there are any changes. These are the fastest and most accurate tennis stringing machines although they do come with the most hefty price tags.
To know what type of tension you need for your tennis string, please watch this video:
3. Mounting System
Most tennis stringing machines come with either a 2-point, 4-point, or 6-point mounting system. These numbers essentially refer to the number of contact points between the machine and the racquet’s frame in order to secure it firmly in place during the stringing process.
Machines with 2-point mounting systems often hold the frame at the head and throat, which makes the process more convenient and much faster. These are also the least expensive.
However, this makes the frame more prone to shape distortion or twisting due to the less amount of support given. This is especially a huge problem for oversized racquets because it puts a lot of stress on the racquet frame.
Most basic models feature a 2-point mounting system but a 4-point or 6-point mounting system will offer more stability and security although these slightly prolong the stringing process. Adjustable mounts and rubber or plastic surfaces that protect the frame’s finish are some extra features you should also look for.
4. Ease Of Use
If you play a lot and end up stringing a few racquets per week, you will realize why you need to consider how easy and convenient it is to use a stringing machine. This is especially true for manual and drop weight machines that require you to lift the lever or crank for every string, which is of course, physically exhausting.
Therefore, I suggest that you look for drop weight machines that feature a one pull action mechanism. Or better yet, opt for electronic models for faster and easier stringing every time.
You can also look for features that will make the process easier for you, like an accessible tool tray, handles, reliable clamps, and such.
The clamps used by your tennis stringing machine are also among the important considerations. Generally, there are two major types of clamps: fixed clamps and floating or flying clamps. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of each:
Floating Or Flying Clamps
This type of clamps use the tension of one string to hold the tension of another. They are not in any way attached to the machine, hence the term “floating” or “flying”. They usually come with basic tennis stringing machines. They are cheaper than fixed clamps but they do not provide the same level of tension consistency and accuracy.
Fixed clamps offer better tension consistency than floating clamps although they are only typically found in units that fall within the average to high price points. Fixed clamps can further be divided into two types: swivel and no swivel fixed clamps.
Fixed clamps with no swivel simply glide along a bar system located under the racquet. This maintains the consistency of the string tension. No swivel fixed clamps can be adjusted and repositioned as you change from mains to crosses. Their range of motion is limited from 0° to 90°.
Fixed clamps that swivel, on the other hand, also glide through a bar system similar to no swivel clamps. However, unlike the no swivel type, swivel fixed clamps have a more flexible range of motion and can rotate by 360 degrees. This allows you to create fun patterns. These are also the easiest to use. Unfortunately, swivel fixed clamps often only come with deluxe tennis stringing machines designed for the pros, which are of course, the most expensive types.
6. Racquet Support System
The best tennis stringing machine will also have a good racquet support system that will protect your racquet from any type of breakage, deformation, or damage during the stringing process.
The stress on the frame and the racquet itself should be kept at a minimum. Otherwise, cracks may form and the durability and performance of the racquet will be affected negatively. This might even lead to breakage during your game!
To find a good racquet support system, make sure the support mechanism is as wide as possible. Direct support is superior over indirect support since the former never causes any cracking.
7. Your Usage Pattern
You should also consider the frequency and quality of stringing performance that you need in a stringing machine. You might be planning or anticipating to use a machine for stringing your personal racquets in which case you can live with a lower-priced machine with less features.
Otherwise, if you are a pro and are stringing multiple racquets each week for yourself or for others, you want to invest on a more costly machine with more features. This will ultimately save you a lot of time, money, and effort in the long run.
As with any other purchase, you should always consider a product’s price. First, decide on your budget limit or how much you are willing to spend for a stringing machine. If you will just be using a machine for infrequent personal use, it does not make sense to spend a lot of money on it either.
If a stringing machine will be an important aspect in your business or career, then by all means spend a little more on a professional machine with more and better features. These are also the once that you can customize.
So, the price does not only depend on your budget but also on the type of service and performance you require from a machine. Take note that tennis stringing machines come in a wide range of prices from a couple hundred dollars up to a few thousand dollars.
Since a tennis stringing machine is also an investment, always look for good warranty in case anything goes wrong. Contact the distributor or manufacturer regarding the warranties that they offer in case something is gets missing, dysfunctional, or broken.
Consider the nature of the warranty as well. Is it just for repairs or replacements? Do they offer a money back guarantee? Does this include the shipping costs? What is the turnaround time and how long is the warranty valid?
Good companies will put their customer’s peace of mind and satisfaction as their priority and will often offer long, reasonable warranties for their products. So, it is important to be familiar with their type of customer service and warranty offers as a way to gauge the quality of the product you will be buying.
Best Tennis Stringing Machine Product reviews
Let’s take a look at the best tennis stringing machine options you have available in the market today!
First on our list is the Klippermate Stringing machine which claims to be America’s best selling and most accurate racquet stringer for the past three decades.
The Klippermate Stringing machine uses a drop weight tensioning system that stays calibrated according to the industry standard plus or minus one pound. You won’t be needing a ratchet pulling system or clutch thanks to the exclusive Cam String Gripper which also reduces the average stringing time to approximately thirty minutes or less.
While other models have flimsy plastic composite clamps, this stringing machine comes with durable steel string clamps covered with a lifetime guarantee.
A sturdy two-point mounting system also helps prevent and avoid any damages to your racquet. It supports all racquet sizes as well.
The base of the Klippermate stringing machine is made of heavy steel for better stability rather than lightweight materials like plastic or aluminum. This feature lets you string anywhere because you won’t need to clamp or bolt the stringer down anymore.
This USA-made stringing machine even offers a 30-day money back guarantee and an unlimited lifetime guarantee.
Comes with 3 sets of strings
Easy to use and great for beginners
Limited lifetime warranty
More time consuming than other models but does the job
Not as sleek and easy to use as other models
Problem with the knob and hold down capability
2. Gamma X-ST Racquet Stringing Machine
Restring your racquets with professional precision and accuracy with the Gamma Sports X-Stringer Stringing machine! This machine is constructed with either a 6-point Quick Mount System or a two-point racquet mount to keep your racquet steady in place as you work.
You can use it to string racquetball, badminton, squash, or tennis racquets with any kind of string. The drop weight tensioning mechanism of the Gamma XS accommodates 9 lbs to 90 lbs or 4-41 kgs. Its turntable is made with nickel chrome plated steel bar and rotates 360° to make everything easier and faster.
This machine also features a durable design which features a sturdy yet lightweight aluminum extrusion base complete with an anodized finish, a built-in drawer and tray for your tools, and a rotating ratchet gripper with diamond dust coated surfaces for added durability and reliable grip.
Universal string clamps provide just the right amount of clamping pressure for tennis racquets thanks to the unique self-locking adjustment knob. The spacing between the teeth was also optimized for these racquets.
This unit even comes with a convenient tool set composed of a cutter, straight pliers, hex wrenches, a straight awl, and a pathfinder awl. It also comes with three Gamma tennis string sets and a stringing guide from the United States Racquet Stringers Association.
For your peace of mind, the Gamma X-Stringer is backed by a 1-year warranty on string gripping and electronic components as well as a 5-year limited warranty.
Quick and easy assembly
Consistent and faster results
Convenient and functional fixed clamps
Comes with limited warranty
Heavy to move around
Does not come with good instructions for assembly and use
Equipped with electronically controlled pull tensioner, the Gamma Progression Tennis Racquet Stringing machine provides the perfect, accurate string tension for your racquet from 9 to 90 pounds.
Thanks to the 2 to 6-point mounting system, you can safely and easily secure your racquet in place for stringing. The machine is compatible for use with badminton, squash, racquetball, and tennis racquets.
Aside from all its amazing features, this unit also comes with a built-in tool tray and a tool set consisting of a diagonal cutter, hex wrenches, straight awl, pathfinder awl, and pliers.
The Gamma Progression is a table top stringer that is built to last for years. The broad base design provides stability while the diamond-coated rotationat ratchet gripper offers durability and grip.
It uses a drop weight tensioning system and a 360-degree rotating turntable made with nickel chrome plated steel for easier and faster stringing.
Very well made machine
Durable and well-polished metal pieces
Comes with a helpful instructional guide
Great entry-level stringing machine for beginners and people on a budget
Holds the racquet securely
Requires some assembly
The instructions are a bit poor and lacking for beginners
4. Gamma Progression ST II Stringing Machine
Next, we have the Gamma Progression ST II, another high-quality stringing machine with a manual type of spring tension winder with a range of 11 to 89 pounds or 5 to 40 kilograms.
Like the other Gamma Stringing Machines, the Progression ST II features a 6-point Quick Mount system that allows you to fix your racquet securely so it won’t move around as you work.
This machine also has a new and improved slim profile, an adjustment knob that is self-locking and hold the strings without putting too much clamping pressure, and all metal string clamps with diamond coatings for grip.
Quick action swivel clamps and a 360-degree turntable rotation allows you to work swiftly with precision. The turntable brake also has a quick locking and unlocking function. The base is wide for stability and also has two tool trays to keep your tools organized and accessible.
This package comes with a set of tools, three sets of free Gamma Performance string, a USRSA starting guide, and a 5-year limited warranty.
Well-built with a very solid feel
Comes with three sets of strings and some tools
Easy, uncomplicated assembly
Easy to use
A little heavy and bulky
5. Gamma 6004 Stringing Machine
Last but not the least, the Gamma 6004 Stringing machine boasts of a 6-point self-centering suspension mounting system that allows you to string your racquet in a much faster, easier, and simpler way.
It also features a 360° rotating turntable with a locking brake, diamond-coated linear string grippers, a reversible handle, and a patented rotational string guide.
The Cam-lock swivel clamps are Super Quick Switch Action, meaning, they can be secured easily and quickly to the turntable.
Thanks to the universal string clamps, you get adequate but not too much clamping pressure for tennis and badminton racquets. It also features optimized teeth spacing to accommodate all racquet types.
You can adjust the height of this machine from 36 to 48 inches as well. This product comes with a set of tools which includes pliers, a cleaning stone, starting clamp, hex wrench, pathfinder awl, bent pliers, diamond cutting pliers, and a straight awl.
It also comes with 12 sets of Gamma string and a 5-year limited warranty.
Comes with many tools
Holds the racquet firmly in place
Easy to setup and adjust
Comes with a 5-year limited warranty
Half of the tools are not really necessary
Needs to be calibrated regularly
The best tennis stringing machine will ultimately depend on your personal needs and preferences. However, some things should stay the same: it should be durable, easy to use, accurate, stable, and fairly priced. It should also make restringing an enjoyable, simple, easy and fast activity.
For this list, the best tennis stringing machine is hands down the Gamma X-ST Racquet Stringing Machine! It is durable, easy to use, accurate, stable, and fairly priced. While it is not the most portable and beginner friendly, it sure offers the best value for your money.
Did you learn something from this article? I sure hope you did! If you have any more questions, suggestions, or clarifications, please feel free to leave a comment down below! Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family as well.
For both newbies and advanced body builders, performing different variations of the pull up can really do wonders in building the upper body muscles. However, this exercise can be challenging if you do not know the right techniques to target specific muscles or muscle groups.
So what muscles do pull ups work? Find out and get a much closer look at how muscles move when doing pull ups by continuing down below!
What Muscles Do Pull Ups Work?
Pull ups work not only one, not two, and not even three but a myriad of muscle groups depending on the grip, position, or variation. Here are the most prominent muscles that you can tone and strengthen through this simple classic move:
The brachioradialis and brachialis muscles of the arms found near the elbow are two of the main muscles that pull ups target. Both of these are responsible for the movement of the forearms.
These forearm muscles are activated when you hold your body weight while pulling up. This causes a strong isometric contraction in the fingers, hands, and forearm muscles.
The biceps or more technically called the biceps brachii which sits across the shoulder joint and elbow allow the elbow joint to flex during a pull up. If you want to target all of these muscles, use an underhand or supine grip.
Your biceps are the main muscles used in lifting your body up on the bar while the long head of your triceps that also cross the shoulder joint help in adducting the shoulders. These muscles also work in conjunction with the lats as you lower your body. While performing just pull ups may not suffice as a thorough biceps workout, this is a good place to start.
Depending on your grip on the bar, pull up exercises can also stimulate your back muscles. For example, using a wide grip emphasizes on the deltoid muscles, which helps sculpt and strengthen your shoulders.
A neutral grip also allows you to work on your deltoids with a bit less intensity but placing less strain on the joints.
Another well-known muscle of the body, your pectoralis major muscles or pecs are the ones the make up majority of you chest muscles. Although it is not always apparent, your pecs play a major role in assisting the lats as you pull yourself up to the bar.
In partnership with the coracobrachialis muscles (located in front of the shoulder joint and stretching out to the upper arm), your pecs also help the lats pull your upper arms towards your body.
Since we already mentioned it, let us now talk about the latissimus dorsi, a.k.a. your lats. The lats are flat, triangle or fan-shaped muscles that stretch from the center of the back outwards to the sides of the body. They are partially covered by the trapezius muscle in the middle of your back.
The lats are some of the largest and most important muscles of the upper body since they play a lot of different roles and functions. They connect body parts at five different points namely the upper arm, scapula, pelvis, spine, and ribs. One of the major roles of the lats is to pull your upper arms near to the body as you perform pull ups.
There are several muscle groups on your shoulder that pull ups work on. Some of these are the teres major (a small muscle located behind the shoulder blade), the rhomboids that connect the spine to the shoulders, the trapezius along the shoulder and spine, and the levator scapulae running along the side of your neck.
All of these muscles work together to depress and elevate the shoulder blades or scapulae, which is why they are sometimes referred to as the “shrugging muscles”.
The teres major is found above the lats and is also attached to the humerus and scapula. Aside from the posterior deltoids, other muscle groups that assist the lats in doing pull ups are the infraspinatus muscles that spans across the back of the shoulder blades and upper arms and underneath it, the teres minor which is above the teres major.
The trapezius muscles found in the center of the upper back are stimulated through the vertical pulling movements performed during pull ups. Along with the lats, these are the main muscles that carry the load during pull up exercises.
The rotator cuff muscles also serve a minor stabilizing function as you adduct and extend your arm using the teres major and deltoid muscles.
Your abdominal muscles which connect the pelvis and the rib cage to each other also help in stabilizing the torso during pull ups. These muscles include the rectus abdominis (abs) and the hip flexors which create the force needed to lift your lower body up.
They can also work in keeping the front pelvis from drifting too far away from your sternum like how the erector spinae muscles prevent the vertebrae from drifting apart along your back.
Other abdominal muscles are the internal and external obliques which help prevent or generate side bending and twisting while also functioning to reduce body swinging during pull ups. The transverse abdominis, on the other hand, helps you maintain a generally neutral body position by preventing excessive movements in all directions.
There are different pull ups variations that you can perform and each variation will target different muscles. To know what these muscles are, watch this video:
Pull Ups VS Chin Ups
Pull ups and chin ups are basically the same exercises except for a few key elements. By understanding their differences listed below, you will be able to decide which one suits your needs and can help you attain your desired results.
Pull ups are generally done with an overhand or pronated grip as well as a palm-away position. The standard distance between the two hands on the bar is also slightly wider than shoulder width.
Chin ups, on the other hand, differ by using the underhand or supinated grip with palm-toward position. The hands are also kept within shoulder-width distance from each other.
Both pull ups and chin ups are definitely among the best upper body conditioning and strengthening exercises, especially focusing on the biceps and lats. They also both bring the spine to the humerus, rotate your shoulder blades downward, and extend your shoulders.
However, due to the difference in grip and distance between the hands, these two exercises tend to offer slightly different levels of muscle activation.
Because the biceps are put in a slightly weaker position during pull ups, these puts a higher emphasis on working the lats than chin ups do. On the other hand, you can strengthen your overall pull through chin ups which work on the biceps and pecs a bit harder.
The difference in terms of the width of the grip also has a significant impact. Generally, a narrower grip works the biceps more and a wider grip will place more pressure and emphasis on your lats.
All advanced, intermediate, and novice bodybuilders will all agree that chin ups are easier to perform than pull ups. This is largely because when doing chin ups, you are engaging your biceps which is already a generally stronger muscle that creates a lot more pulling action.
Pull ups are even more difficult for women than in men since women usually have smaller and weaker biceps.
So, for starters, your trainer might have you execute 6 repetitions of pull ups as an equivalent of 10 chin up reps.
Performing The Movement
Grip the bar firmly but comfortably with both hands. You can step on a bench, a sturdy box, or a chair to make this easier.
For chin ups, have your palms face toward you and your hands closer together so that they frame the chin when you go up. For pull ups, you can move your hands farther from each other and use a grip with your palms facing forward away from you.
By bending your elbows and channeling your upper arm strength, take a deep breath then pull your body up until your chin is just above the bar. Hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds. You can cross your feet together to balance your weight better.
Slowly and with a controlled movement, exhale as you lower your body back down until your arms are stretched.
Repeat this movement for as many sets and replications as needed.
Precautions When Doing Pull Ups And Chin Ups
Do not do shortcuts or a half range of motion since this defeats the purpose of the exercise. Make sure to pull up until your chin is over the bar and lower your body until your arms are fully stretched.
Always remember to engage your shoulders right from the starting position till the end of every movement. Failing to do so can put you at a higher risk of trauma and injuries. To do this, pull your shoulders down and back before performing the second step.
Never try variations that are not ideal for your physique and current fitness level. Not everyone can be able to execute chin ups or pull ups perfectly and with proper form the first time. So, if you think you cannot do it, do not force yourself.
Start by training with an easier, more suitable variation or other progressive exercises to develop enough strength and endurance to perform the movement properly.
I hope that sufficiently answers the question, “What muscles do pull ups work”, so you can focus more on targeting specific muscle groups in order to achieve your personal fitness goals. If you liked this article, please feel free to share it with your friends and family!
The market for bicycles has been booming these past few years but one particular brand stands out among all manufacturers of urban bikes, ‘Retrospec’. In this article, I will introduce you to the brand and five of the best Retrospec Bikes review!
You will also learn more about how Retrospec translates their visions onto their bikes. Then later, we will talk about the essential factors to consider and features to look for in a great city bike. So, scroll down and let’s ride into it!
Most Retrospec bikes are fixed-gear bikes or also known as fixies. These are bikes in which the cog is controlled solely by how gently or intensely you pedal. In other bike types, a ball bearing system allows the independent spinning of the cog and wheels. You then control this ball bearing system to change your riding speed through the handlebars.
However, when riding a single-speed bike, your pedaling is what directly causes the wheel to spin. In other words, the faster you pedal, the faster your bike goes. Fixies, therefore, can be pedaled and ridden backward if your pedal backward since this causes the wheels to also rotate backward.
Why Retrospec Bikes?
Retrospec is a Los Angeles-based bike company that deals with the designing, manufacture, and distribution of urban bikes and components. The bikes they produce are popular both in the local and international scenes because of their attractive looks and functional features.
According to Retrospec, their aim is to provide riders with high quality bikes that will meet all their needs. They also test and check every completed item for performance, durability, safety and strength.
So, they pay attention to all the elements that make up the bikes. Check out the following list for a rundown of all these elements:
1. Multiple Components
According to the company, all components of their bikes are hand-picked and tested. These include the tires, saddles, and chains. The standard saddle should provide sufficient support for pedaling a fixed gear bike. If it is not as comfortable as you would want it to be, you can always replace it with a more comfortable saddle.
The Kenda Kwest tires offer minimal resistance and come with V-shaped double wall rims. The chain of this bike is strong, reliable, and can handle the intense pedaling that comes with using a fixed gear bike.
The integrated seat post and fixie freestyle Velcro straps also add extra function. However, the company recommends taking your bike to a professional bike shop or mechanic for the assembly and to have it checked. This should help you ensure that the cogs and lockring are tight enough, the wheels are properly trued, and the brakes are adjusted for a smooth and safe biking experience.
2. Flip-Flop Hub
Fixie Retrospec bikes are interesting and fashionable. However, there are situations when you may want or need to enjoy the benefits and less stress of riding a single speed bike. Fixies will require you to pedal continuously and at some point you will get tired and wish to shift to a free wheel.
With this in mind, Retrospec comes with a flip-flop hub that offers you two options: a fixed gear for when you need your exercise and a freewheeling single gear cog. Essentially, you will get the best of both worlds and reap the benefits of two bike types in one depending on your mood or energy levels!
3. Quality Materials
Retrospec also carefully selects and makes sure that the materials used will make each bike string and durable. The frame is hand-built and made using high-tensile strength steel. The front brakes are made of alloy material. The stem and the lightweight handlebars are also made of Promax alloy. Their fixies feature a BMX-style platform pedals that come with professional straps to secure your feet on the pedals and prevent them from slipping off.
4. Unbeatable Prices
If you compare the prices of Retrospec bikes to those of similar models, you will find that their prices are much more affordable. This is an important factor for most buyers and although Retrospec bikes may not be the cheapest in the market, they prices are hard to beat for the quality and performance you get from their products.
Retrospec Bike prices normally range between $300 to $350 dollars depending on the dealer and whether or not you buy directly from them.
5. Return Policy
Retrospec also offers a 50-day return policy for all of their products. Your bike will be accepted for a full refund excluding the shipping cost as long as they receive it within 50 days of your purchase. The unit should also be in good retail condition and must be sent in the original packaging. Any product returned after the 50 day period or in a condition that is not deemed good enough for reselling will not be accepted.
In case you have any problems or are not satisfied with the bike you received, you can reach the company’s support team through email and give them your bike’s order number.
For your peace of mind, Retrospec also offers a warranty for all material and workmanship defects on the fork and frame for a whole year from the date of purchase. According to the company, this warranty was based on their more than 5 years of experience in the manufacturing and sales industry.
All original components and accessories come with a 60-day warranty from the date of purchase. However, since the company claims that all their bikes are tested for safety and professionally designed, they do not recommend the replacement of any of the different parts. Otherwise, any component that is not part of the original product will deem this warranty void.
Here are some amazing reasons on why you should invest in Retrospec Bikes:
They are relatively budget-friendly and affordable
They have cool and stylish vintage or retro designs
A flip-flop hub allows easy and hassle-free shifting from a fixed gear bike to a single-speed bike for versatility
The company’s website provides helpful information and insights about each bike model
All parts are hand-picked and carefully tested and selected to ensure a high quality product
Most models come in different amazing colors so you can choose a bike that suits your personal preferences and style
Some bike models are adjustable or comes in different sizes to accommodate riders of all shapes, sizes, age, and riding habits
Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Retrospec Bike
Before purchasing any bike from Retrospec or any other company for that matter, it is important that you think long and hard about your needs and preferences. Here are some of the things that I think you should prioritize when doing so:
Purpose Of Your Bike
Think of the activities you plan to use your bike for or how often you may want to use it. Will you use it for your hobby of going on long distance recreational rides? Are you going to use it for your daily commute of going to work or school? Or do you need your bike for when you run weekly errands around town?
Generally, Retrospec bikes are designed for recreational cyclists and daily urban road commuters. So, they do not have the same rugged features of something like a mountain bike
For example, the steel frame is light enough so you can go considerably fast on smooth roads but is stable enough to carry saddle bags. The slim tires also reduce air resistance and make for an aerodynamic ride for commuting and exercising but are not well-suited for dirt or gravel paths and mountain trails.
Landscape And Topography
The next thing you should consider is the topography of your town or city since this will also determine whether you need a multi-speed or single-speed bike. All Retrospec bikes feature a fixed-gear design so may not be suitable for hilly regions.
Because they lack multiple gears, it will be very hard for the rider to go up or down hills and slopes. However, this design does make maintenance a lot easier due to the absence of shifting cables.
Another important consideration when choosing your bike is comfort. If you do not feel as comfortable as possible when riding a bike, you are less likely to take it out for your stroll or commute.
Therefore, look for comfort features to make sure you can make the most of your bike. A step-thru frame will make getting on and off your bike easier and more convenient. Make sure the handlebars and bike frame do not force you to sit too far back from the handlebars. They should allow you to ride in a relaxed, upright position to make it easy to stand up on your feet whenever you stop at a traffic light.
The frame should also be the right size and height. Fortunately, many Retrospec bike models now come in different sizes.
To avoid and identify beginner fixed gear bike mistakes, please watch this video:
The 5 Best Retrospec Bikes Review That You Need To Read
Below are important information on some of the best Retrospec Bikes in the market:
1. Retrospec Mars Hybrid
Like the Retrospec Mantra, the Retrospec Mars Hybrid is another great city commuter bike line. This bike boasts of a vintage-inspired design with its classic diamond frame complete with cushy grips and a very comfortable saddle. A front light and a rear rack also adds a special retro appeal.
To accommodate the versatility of urban bike riders, this bike is offered in a wide array of styles, colors, sizes and gears. This is Retrospec’s take on a single-speed city bike.
It has the same hand-built, tig-welded frame and fork made with high-tensile strength steel. The frame is equipped with high quality front and rear caliper brakes for the safety of your rides.
Thanks to these dual caliper brakes, you have utmost control over stopping whenever you want or need to.
The Kenda commuter tires have water Dispersion grooves designed to provide reliable traction even on wet pavement, roads, and surfaces. The stainless steel spokes are also durable and strong and will hold up well even with frequent all day use.
You can get this bike in black or midnight blue. It also comes in a 1-speed, 3-speed, or 7-speed variant. It arrives already 85% built and requires minimal assembly.
Stylish and affordable
Lighter than most other vintage frames
Comfortable to ride
Upright riding position does not put pressure on the wrists
The gear ratio is great for commuting
The manual contains no specific instructions for assembly
The seat is hard, lacks padding, and causes discomfort
Low quality brakes and handles
Multiple components may need replacement or repair just after a couple of months
2. Retrospec Mantra
The Retrospec Mantra is one of the most leading fixed-gear bike model due to many reasons. What makes it stand out are simple yet ingenious design and the impressive sealed cartridge bearing hubs.
These hubs are loved by urban cyclists because they make your rides so smooth while also lengthening the lifespan and improving the durability of the wheels. A flip-flop hub on the rear wheels also allow you to shift from single-speed to fixed-gear and vice versa.
The frame and fork are made with high-tensile strength steel hand-built and tig-welded for a comfortable and reliable ride. They also feature horizontal dropouts, barspin clearance, and no toe overlap.
Platform pedals equipped with removable FGFS (Fixed Gear Freestyle) straps to prevent your feet from sliding off. Other notable features include the Kenda Kwest commuter tires with rounded treads and water dispersion grooves, double-wall deep V Stars rims, an integrated seat post, and included bike tools.
This bike even comes with a kickstand mount, water bottle holders, and reflectors. Like the best bikes for college, it is perfect for daily commutes and other city cruising.
You can get the Retrospec Mantra in multiple color schemes including black and red, coral, graphite, turquoise and white, white, crimson, and dark green.
Flip-flop hub for easy shifting between fixed gear and single speed
Lightweight and stable steel frame
Carrying saddle for bags when commuting
Flat handlebars instead of road drop handlebars
Difficult to ride up slopes and hills
No way to secure bags on the carrying saddle
3. Retrospec Cub Kids Bicycle
Retrospec not only produces great bikes but also caters to customers of all shapes, ages, and sizes! The Retrospec Cub Kids Bike is every beginner’s dream bike.
It has a low frame with a step-thru and foot-to-floor design that allows your little one to balance easily and avoid any injury. The frame design also makes this bike more stable, durable, and less likely to tip or fall over.
This bike helps boost young children’s confidence and sense of independence when riding a bike by allowing them to cruise along by themselves. It is pedal-free, lightweight, and easily maneuverable.
Your kid only has to balance and push themselves forward. This prevents them from gaining too much speed and leading the ride out of control which is the main cause of them getting hurt or injured.
Because it is a no-pedal type of bike, it improves coordination and balance which are crucial during the developmental stages. This makes the transition to a big-kid bike much smoother and easier.
The Retrospec Cub only requires minimal and worry-free assembly upon arrival and then it’s good to go! It does not need any maintenance thanks to the ultra-safe air-free tires that never go flat, no pedals, no brakes, and no chain!
The bike can accommodate users aged 20 months to 5 years old. It can even accommodate a growing child for several years since both the handlebars and seat posts are adjustable. The Cub is CPSC compliant so you can rest assured of your child’s safety.
Durable steel step-thru frame
Requires minimum assembly
Adjustable handlebars and seat
Stable and easy to balance
Not suitable for larger and bigger kids
Plastic tires could have been better if they were rubber instead
No mudguards to protect the rider
4. Retrospec Venus Step-Thru City Bike
The Retrospec Venus Step-Thru City bike offers an out-of-this-world performance and a stylish look. It is not only reliable and durable but also versatile. It is available in single, 3-speed, and 7-speed variants to suit all your riding needs.
Built with a hand-built and shock-absorbing steel frame along with some of the best drivetrains and components, this bike completes the ultimate commuter bike package.
The Retrospec Venus also has a classic frame shape and retro features like brown leather grips (which are vegan, by the way), a chrome headlight, metal fenders, and a Dutch bike-inspired aesthetic.
The UrbanComfort Step-Thru Frame makes mounting and getting off so easy while the cruiser handlebars encourage a relaxed, upright riding position. Front and rear caliper brakes make your rides extra safe as well by allowing you to have maximum control and precision when stopping.
Kenda Commuter tires in Gumwall are made with puncture-resistant material to offer long-lasting durability and traction. These tires are specially made for habitual riding. Water dispersion grooves provide amazing grip even on wet ground by allowing water to flow through the treads.
You can get this bike in different fun colors including Black, Coral, Mint, Pink, Cream, and Taupe.
Excellent quality gears
Includes all necessary tools for assembly
Great quality for the price
Amazing colors and finish
The booklet or assembly manual that comes with the bike is not of much help so you will still need to have the remaining 15% assembly done professionally
Headlight is made with flimsy plastic
Requires a few modifications
5. Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter Bike
Last but not the least, we have the Retrospec Mantra V2 Urban Commuter bike, the latest and improved version of the Retrospec Mantra.
This bike features the same hand-built, tig-welded UrbanComfort frame made with high tensile-strength steel, dual back and front Promax brakes for safe riding, sealed cartridge bearing hubs for shifting between freewheel and single-speed riding, and standard Kenda Kwest commuter tires.
The sealed cartridge bearing hubs protects the bike from water damage, grime, and muck. It also shields vital parts so your ride requires less maintenance but lasts longer.
It also has a top-shelf component set, KMC chain, VP freestyle pedals, super deep V rims, and FGFS removable Velcro Straps. Thanks to all these features and the high-quality durable and lightweight frame, you can enjoy stress-free rides around the city, to and from school or work, and for recreation.
Available in 5 different frame sizes measuring 43 cm, 49 cm, 53 cm, 57 cm, and 61 cm, this bike accommodates riders of many shapes and sizes. You can even choose among 11 different colors!
Great bang for the buck
Smooth and quick shifting
You can get some speed since the tires do not have the drag that you would find in mountain bike tires
Operates quietly and smoothly even on wet ground
Several components may need replacement, tweaking, or upgrades
Poor quality brake pad
Cheaply made saddle
After reading those Retrospec bike reviews and buying guide, I conclude that the best Retrospec bike that in the list is no other than the Retrospec Mars Hybrid because its features allow you to enjoy the advantages that different Retrospec bikes have to offer.
A baseball player’s performance largely depends on having a flexible yet solid strong core. This is something you can only get through a great baseball core workout paired with strength training and stretching.
Not only will this help you with motions like throwing, pitching, twisting, and other essential skills but will also reduce your risk of getting injured on the field.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the why’s and the how’s of getting a proper core workout to improve your swing and holistic baseball skills. So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading for more information!
The Role Of The Core In Baseball
Before diving into the details of how to train using a baseball core workout, you first need to understand the role of the core in your baseball skills.
Contrary to popular belief, your core does not only refer to your abs but includes all muscles that go around the body from your chest to your upper thighs. All of these muscles brace the trunk in order to prevent your lower back or lumbar spine from moving.
This creates a solid foundation for the explosive movement of your limbs for much more power without the risk of injury.
The core muscles also play a crucial role in swinging the bat and pitching or throwing the ball. With a stronger core, more power is transferred to the bat or ball as you drive off your legs to throw or swing.
A strong core also equals to a better balance, your best friend when it comes to perfecting your batting stance.
1. It helps improve your rotational power and flexibility
In hitting and pitching, it is important that you can do a good, controlled twisting motion of your body. By having strong abdominal muscles, you can explosively turn your hips for an extra push of power when you swing the bat and pitch the ball.
2. It helps enhance power transfer
With a stronger core, you are able to transfer power from one body part to another more efficiently. This is important for increasing your batting average or the ratio of hits over the number of times you batted. It also helps increase your sprint speed and acceleration.
3. It helps against injuries
In 2009, an ESPN article also pinpointed at oblique abdominal muscle strain as one of the most problematic and most common injuries that pitchers sustain. In fact, according to the results of a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, abdominal strains and other core injuries account for 5% of total baseball injuries.
Also, the researchers found that unlike arm and shoulder injuries that are more common, core injuries have a high tendency of keeping the players grounded for longer time periods stretching up to 35 days. Recurrence of injury was also reported to be a pretty frequent problem.
Fortunately, a comprehensive core workout that involves flexibility training and stretching was found to avoid these problems. It helps prevent injury while also assisting in the healing or recovery from past injuries.
4. It flattens the stomach
Most people strive to develop a flat stomach and strong core muscles play a key role in achieving this. This will make you look and feel better about yourself and your body for that extra boost of confidence that you are likely to carry into your game.
5. It prevents back pain
Based on my experience, even a slight discomfort or pain on your back can have a negative impact on your concentration, confidence, and performance during a game.
However, with strong abdominal and back muscles, most types of back pain can be prevented. This includes back pains due to back muscle strain or soft tissue injuries that many people are all too familiar with. Building these muscles before you even sustain an injury can even prevent back pain altogether.
6. It helps improve your posture
According to Web MD, focusing on exercises that work on strengthening your core is the best way to get good posture. An added benefit of this is that pressure is taken off your spine, which further reduces any risk of injury.
Since good posture encourages you to stand and walk with an air of confidence, it also has a psychological benefit that is essential in all sports encounters.
How To Engage Your Core Muscles
In order to use your core muscles effectively, you must first master the “breathe and brace” method.
The first step in doing this is inhaling or breathing diaphragmatically or deep into the abdomen. This engages all the otherwise underused and overlooked inner core stabilizer muscles and eventually strengthens them.
To breathe through the diaphragm, take a big breath through the nose. Air should fill your abdomen, sides, and back. This acts as a foundation for all actions that you will be doing both in the gym or weight room and in the baseball field.
Next, let’s get to bracing. Bracing refers to the act of engaging or squeezing your abs tight. For example, this is what you do if you are anticipating a punch to your stomach in which your core muscles tense up.
It is important to brace your core in basically all exercises you do. However, it is notable that some exercises require you to brace your core more intensely than others.
To illustrate this, a plank does not require the same amount of core tension and bracing as a 500-pound squat. This is why I believe that deadlifts and squats are excellent exercises for developing real core strength.
Baseball Core Workout
Enhancing your rotational power and the stability of your core muscles should be your focus of an effective baseball core workout. These attributes are what makes professional baseball players really stand out and excel in the field.
Nowadays, most amateur and young baseball players do not understand the concept of a proper core workout. Instead, they get too focused on long distance runs, cardio exercises, and mainstream high-repetition ab exercises in the hope of developing core strength.
However, all of these actually do not do much in improving their performance since the movements do not replicate the ones you would have to perform during a baseball game.
So, I recommend building strength and flexibility instead. These will have a bigger positive effect on your overall game performance and help you avoid getting core muscle strain.
Baseball Core Exercises To Try
The best formula for an awesome baseball core workout consists of a proper stretching and warm-up then at least one medicine ball rotational exercise followed by strengthening exercises and finished off with one or two direct core training exercises.
Now, here are some of the best exercises for developing core strength, power, and stability:
1. Med Ball Rotational Exercises
These will improve your speed and power by mimicking the way you throw a ball or swing your bat. They involve driving through your rear leg for maximum power, rotating the hips toward your target, and ending with a slight upper back rotation. The core should remain engaged and stable without rotating for optimum power transfer and to protect your back.
After warming up, start off using a light medicine ball and make sure your movements are explosive as you do the following exercises depending on your skills and experience:
2. Russian Twists for Beginners
These strengthen the back, lower abs, and oblique muscles for strong core and better toned waist.
To do this, sit on a mat or the floor with your knees bent and your feet slightly raised. Hold a medicine ball a few inches in front of your chest. Then, twist the ball from side to side, keeping your body centered and your elbows tucked in. Do this for 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps per side.
3. Medicine Ball Rotational Throws for Intermediate Players
To do this, hold a medicine ball as you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and perpendicular to a wall. Using explosive movements, throw the ball sideways to hit the wall and allow it to bounce back to you. Do this for three sets of 4-6 reps per side. You can do this one side at a time or by alternating sides.
4. Tornado Ball Slam for Advanced Players
Stand with your back against a sturdy wall and your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. With a slight bend on the knees, engage your core, and get a good grip on the tornado ball rope by putting it around one hand and grabbing onto it with both hands.
Start swinging and slamming the ball to the wall from side to side, being careful not to throw or rotate your spine. Your goal is to target the fast twitch core muscles so make sure your movements are explosive.
As you go faster and harder, bend your knees further in order to adjust your center of gravity and avoid the centripetal force of the ball to throw you forward.
Do 4-6 sets of 5-10 seconds each. As you get better, you can progress to multidirectional or diagonal swings.
After these exercises, you can do different plank variations, rotational landmine presses, modified sit-ups, or other movements that strengthen the core.
That’s probably everything you need to know about a great baseball core workout! If you liked this article, please feel free to share it and leave a comment down below. Also, make sure to check out these helpful product reviews!
During strength and endurance training, you can train several different body parts at the same time. In fact, many trainers believe this should be the way to go since this allows you to rest one body part as you work on another.
This process of working out and resting is crucial for ensuring safe gains and to yield great results. One way to work both the upper and lower body and achieve proper proportion is to perform a tandem of leg and shoulder workouts!
For more information about how this works and the best workouts you can try, continue reading below!
Why You Should Train Your Legs And Shoulders Together
The symmetry of the lower and upper body built of a person is important in achieving a perfect balance of appearance and strength. This is why many trainers and fitness experts suggest working the legs and shoulders at the same time, two prominent muscle groups in the lower and upper body, respectively.
Thankfully, there are many exercises designed specifically to meet these needs. While each bodybuilder has a particular Achilles heel when it comes to muscles they work on, most would agree that the shoulders and legs are some of the hardest muscles to build and develop.
Your genes may play a part as well. They can make it extra harder to bulk up or strengthen these muscles. So, you might be wondering why on earth you should put the legs and shoulders in one workout session when they are that hard to train.
Well, fitness advisors say that training your legs and shoulders together allows you to conserve both your energy level and your strength, which is more efficient than working them out separately.
Since the shoulder and leg muscle groups are far apart and do not compete with each other, you can also train them both with maximum intensity at the same time. It’s also best to perform leg and shoulder workout routines along with exercises for other parts of the body.
Leg And Shoulder Workout Exercises
Now that you know the why’s, let us get into the how’s of working out your leg and shoulders. Below are some of the exercises that you should and should not perform along with the reasons why they can be harmful or beneficial.
Most of us dread the leg day because the exercises involved can be tough and long. However, if you know the right moves, you can make the most out of your effort and reap maximum benefits.
Avoid Leg Extensions
When doing only leg exercises, leg extensions are among the most effective movements. However, these can cause an increase in the grinding and reaction force on the knee joint, even putting connective tissues at dangerous positions.
Leg extensions, like any other open chain exercises, pose damage on the knees which are the primary joints responsible for leg movement, thus reducing the legs’ range of motion.
And because it isolates certain muscles by nature, this movement can neglect other muscles like the hamstrings and put too much stress on a few muscles that are better used in conjunction with primary movers.
Avoid Leg Presses
The leg press is similar to the leg extension in many ways except that the leg press is a compound exercise that uses both the hip and knee joints while the leg extension only uses the knee joint.
I have to admit, leg presses are not entirely bad or dangerous. However, it does come with a few risks if not done properly or if you load up too much. Because there are two joints involved, there is also a double risk for getting hurt or injured.
When using lighter weights, leg presses are actually safer and better for training the slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers of the glutes and quads. Sadly, they do not hit the hamstrings very much.
Also, the leg press machine is the only thing that provides all of the external stability so the stabilizer muscles are not challenged. This can be a problem when building strength because the stabilizers are important in performing compound movements.
In his book, “Low Back Disorders”, Dr. Stuart McGill, Professor Emeritus of Spine Biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada wrote that the leg press may sometimes cause the pelvis to twist away from the back rest when working with lighter weights. This can result in a herniated disc due to lumbar flexion!
In other words, you can hurt your back and maybe even suffer from permanent damage.
Do Squats Instead!
Unlike the leg press, the squat allows your own body and stabilizer muscles to provide internal stability and control over the movement. This prevents you from falling on your face or tipping over.
So, when doing squats, almost each and every muscle of the body plays a role and is engaged including the small muscles at the bottom of your feet, your core, upper back, hamstrings, glutes, quads, and erector muscles.
Training the legs this way also triggers the body to produce more testosterone, which benefits and energizes the whole body. Because of this, squatting is more practical and functional in equipping more of your muscles with strength for everyday performance. The coordination skills you develop alse help against knee injury.
How To Perform It:
Stand with your feet slightly wider apart than shoulder-width. Hold a barbell on your upper back using an overhand grip but do not rest the weight on your neck.
Engage the muscles of your upper back by hugging the bar into your traps.
Brace your core and lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor or your knees are aligned with your hips. Make sure you backside is out, your back is straight, and your head is facing front. (Note: doing lower and deeper squats is better but it’s best to enhance your flexibility and strength first).
Pushing your heels into the floor, explosively push yourself back up. Maintain the proper form until you are standing straight. This counts as one rep.
Pro-Tip: You can perform the squat just with your hands folded behind the head and no bar so you can get a feel of the movement. For an added challenge without the stress, use a weighted vest.
Avoid Upright Rows
Upright rows are among the most common and widely recognized exercises in the gym. While these are meant to target the muscles of the upper back and shoulders, they can unfortunately cause shoulder problems especially for beginners. The most common risks are biceps and neck tendon pains brought about by repeatedly doing upright rows using improper form.
Do Barbell Hang Clean And Presses Instead!
The barbell hang clean and barbell press stimulate the same muscles that upright rows do, but with much less risk of muscle pain and injury.
How To Perform It:
With a straight back, squat down and grab a barbell using an overhand grip.
In one quick, explosive movement, bend your elbows and lift the barbell up to your shoulders. This is the barbell hang clean.
Then, maintaining a squat position and with your heels firmly pressed on the floor, extend your arms to raise the barbell above your head.
Lower the barbell onto your shoulders and drop it back to thigh level. Always keep your back straight.
Pro-Tip: You can add an overhead shrug for better stimulation. Just lock your arms out when you pull the bar over your head. Then, lower and elevate your shoulders in a shrug without bending your elbows. 5 shrugs for each rep will help strengthen and shred your shoulders quicker.
For a more detailed information on how to perform this exercise, please watch this video:
How Often Should You Train With A Leg And Shoulder Workout?
Depending on your skill level and prior training, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) suggests different levels of intensity and frequency of doing strength training for the legs and shoulders. Here is a quick guide:
The NSCA recommends two to three days of training per week for beginners or those who are new to strength training. Ideally, each day should be dedicated for specific and selected exercises for working on major muscle groups.
However, in this case, you can do a split routine where you can do combinations like triceps and chest on day one, biceps and back on day two, and shoulders and legs on day three. Just make sure to get a day of rest between each workout session.
For Advanced Weightlifters
As you improve in terms of strength and endurance, the NSCA says you can progress to four to six days per week. Obviously, this kind of training reduces your rest day to only once a week.
You can still use the same split routine that you used when you were a beginner. Group your triceps with your chest exercises, the biceps and back exercises, and the shoulders and leg exercises. However, this time, you will be going over each exercise group twice instead of just once per week.
Specific Strength Training Goals
For those who simply want to strengthen their legs and shoulders, you can work on these two muscle groups thrice a week during the same day. Give yourself a whole day of rest in between to allow for muscle recovery.
According to the NSCA, the best resistance or weight is something that is light enough for you to complete twelve repetitions and something heavy enough for you to perform at least 3 repetitions.
You might find that during most days, your muscles would be tired after the eight repetition. Just aim to perform 2 to 5 sets of leg and shoulder exercises per session.
The best leg and shoulder workout will help you develop endurance and strength without posing a risk of injuring or hurting yourself. Now that you know which exercises to avoid and try, I hope you achieve your fitness goals more easily.
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