Archive

Category Archives for "SPORTS"

SPORTS

Sissy Squats – What Are They? How To Do Them? Why Are They Called That?

Sissy squats.. what the heck are those and why are they called that?

For years, this exercise has been overlooked and underestimated and just now has it started to gain some popularity back in the bodybuilding world.

But are they really for sissies or are they just called that?

Here we are going to go over this exercise, tell you how to do it, and tell you why they are named Sissy Squats.

What Are Sissy Squats?

When it comes right down to it the sissy squat exercise is one that is designed to make sissies out of strong individuals, hence the name. They are an exercise that is not for the faint of heart, as they will require you to be in somewhat physical shape before even thinking about jumping on one of these machines.

And before you get on the sissy squat machine you are going to want to practice doing the exercise on your own without the machine first.

Of course, there are methods that you can employ when first starting to make the entire workout a bit easier, but they are by no means intended for the beginner.

How To Do Sissy Squats?

For most people that partake in sissy squats, it is the problem of knee pain that arises. This is also one of the reasons that this exercise was not intended for the beginner. This is why a lot of people have to utilize the support of a bench or a similar device.

That being said, the very best way to start mastering this exercise is by starting with the small steps.

  1. Start by standing up straight with your legs shoulder width apart. Now, reach out and hold onto something like a fixed bar with your right arm. Holding on like this will not only help you maintain balance as you perform the exercise, but it’ll help you with your form. It’ll help you when you are trying to go all the way down because this is one of the hardest things about the exercise.
    In fact, even holding on like this, you still might not be able to make it all the way down because this requires an immense amount of core, lower back, and glute strength. In essence, you want to be able to perform this exercise without holding on to anything, but it likely won’t be possible at first.
    During this progression, the heels of your feet will also need to be elevated. You can usually achieve this by sliding dumbbells under the back of your heels. You can also use a block, but whatever you use, it should be 2 to 4 inches high, tough enough to support your weight, and something that won’t slip out from under you while you are leaning back.
  2. Once you are in this position with your arm affixed to a sturdy pole while standing on wooden blocks or dumbbells, you will be ready to start the motions. The goal here is to bend the knees and take your body lower until your torso is bent at a near 90-degree angle. It is likely that you won’t be able to make the 90 degrees, but remember you are just starting out. 5 reps for this exercise should be more than enough.
  3. After you have accomplished step 2, you’ll want to move on to what is known as the burlesque bump. You’ll do this by squatting and pushing your hips very fast. You’ll want to repeat this about 5 times as well.
  4. The last step is to just repeat steps 2 and 3 until you’ve completed 5 reps of both. This is much harder than it sounds.

What Muscles Do Sissy Squats Work?

Sissy Squats with machine

As you can see the sissy squats are just another iteration of the traditional squat. They are a squat that was designed to target your calves, lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. In fact, they’ll make these areas so soft and sore that you’ll feel like a sissy by the time you are done. One major difference between this exercise and the traditional squat is that this one was also designed for strengthening and enlarging the quads.

The sissy squats also put a lot of emphasis on major muscle groups like the calves, hamstrings, and lower back, so they can actually help you gain muscle as well as learning advanced movements that’ll come in handy for later bodybuilding techniques.

Sissy Squat Alternative Exercise – The Step Up

There is no denying that the sissy squat is an excellent workout that can target a diverse range of muscle groups. The only problem is that this exercise is difficult. Even with the assistance of a machine or post, it is an exercise that can cause a lot of pain in the knees.

This is why some individuals opt for different exercises that are less strenuous on the body but target the same muscle groups.

One such exercise that can couple the sissy squat is the step up.

The step-up is a great way to challenge muscles throughout your entire body and challenge your balance at the same time. Another great thing about the step up is that it can be done in different variations to add more challenges and benefits.

Some people do then with weights and some people do then while stepping up on taller objects. Whatever the situation is, the premise of this exercise is the same and you can benefit from any variation.

  1. To start this exercise, you are going to need a step, box, or bench. This is going to be the object that you are stepping upon. You’ll want to start by standing, facing the step, box, bench, or whatever object you are going to be stepping upon.
  2. You’ll now want to interlock your finger and place your hand behind your head. After doing this, you’ll pull your elbows back in line with the back of your head.
  3. Now arch your back as far as you can without causing too much discomfort.
  4. Step up with your right leg on the object that you chose to use.
  5. Lift your left leg until your knee is at the same height as your opposing hip. This should make a 90-degree bend at the knee and hip. While doing this try to keep your ankle at a 90-degree bend with your foot flexed.
  6. Step back down to the floor with your left leg and return the right leg to the floor.
  7. Repeat this same exercise with the opposite leg.
  8. Continue to alternate this exercise until you’ve done it for 20 reps each.

Is It Better To Perform Sissy Squats With A Machine Or Not?

Sissy Squats

It is entirely possible to do a sissy squat without a machine, but some will argue that it is impossible to do the perfect sissy squat without a machine. In fact, if you plan on truly growing your quads to the max, you’ll want to take advantage of a sissy squat machine.

Not only this, but these machines can also help with form, which will also help reduce the chances of injuries. If you want to do this exercise without suffering from ailing knees and joints, you’ll need the proper form. A machine could be just the device to help you achieve that proper form.

related resources

What Is 5 Tool Baseball And How To Master It?

You have probably heard about a five-tool player in baseball and wondered what it means. Or, you already know the term and want to gain that title. Well, either way, you have come to the right place!

In this article, you’ll learn how to master 5 tool baseball, what are these five tools, and what you can do to up your overall game performance. So, are you ready? Scroll down to learn more!

What Is A 5 Tool Baseball Player?

In baseball, a 5 tool player is someone who is not a pitcher but is the ideal position player simply because of excelling in all five tools of baseball: running speed, throwing ability, fielding, hitting for average, and hitting for power.

Some of the 5 tool baseball players of Major League Baseball include Hall of Famers Vladimir Guerrero, Andre Dawson, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., and Duke Snider. While some people including Baseball Digest, a major baseball magazine resource, argue that five-tool players and even the term itself have become overvalued, these five tools are still the most important considerations made by professional scouts when evaluating players.

In other words, a player’s abilities on the field are measured based on these five tools. If you got them all mastered, you do not only have the potential to shine during a game but will also open a lot of opportunities in the future.

Five Baseball Tools

So, what are these five tools, why are they important, and what does mastering them really mean? Find out below!

Running Speed

The first stool, running speed, is what you need when on the base paths or outfield to track down fly balls. Speed is among the more underrated offense and defense skills in baseball.

However, a fast runner on the base paths can actually impact any game’s outcome in many various ways, such as:

  • Scoring through a passed ball
  • Stealing a base or two
  • Rattling the pitcher
  • Scoring from first on a double
  • Taking an extra base
  • Avoiding double plays
  • Drawing pickoff throws that can potentially get away

There are still more that we can add to the list, but you already get the point. Another thing worth mentioning is that the term “speed” used for the tool also refers to baserunning in general.

Jacob Ellsbury exhibited one of the best examples of speed when he swiped a total of 70 bags in 2009 to lead Major League Baseball. He is also remarkable in the outfield for his spectacular catches and tracking down routine fly balls.

However, many players who do not break any records in the 40-yard dash can still get high ratings for this tool based on their knowledge when on the base paths. A few examples include Ryan Zimmerman and Dustin Pedroia who are not very fast but can read the ball excellently right off the bat, steal the occasional base from lazy pitchers, or take extra base once an opportunity pops up. In fact, Zimmerman is ranked among the fastest players in the league for taking an extra base.

Running Speed Improvement Tips

Not everyone can make it up to the line in less than five seconds, but blazing speed can make the remaining baseball tools all the more valuable. To become an excellent base runner, enhance the way you read and react to fly balls, take good routes to the ball as a fielder, and study the running techniques of successful baserunners.

Our Favorite Resources For Speed

SKLZ Speed Chute Unisex

SKLZ Speed Chute Unisex

Training for Speed, Agility, and Quickness-3rd Edition

Training for Speed, Agility, and Quickness-3rd Edition

Hitting For Power

Baseball Core Workout

The next tool is hitting for power, which is essential for the most glamorous and exciting plays in the MLB: the home run. Because a good power hitter in a major league lineup can carry an offense single-handedly, it’s not surprising why home runs and power hitters get all the glory and love. These guys rely on their ability to hit and the power in their hits to win a game.

One of the best players exhibiting raw power is Giancarlo Stanton, who currently leads the national league in terms of home runs. Not only does he hit many home runs but also hits them very far. His farthest hit is a staggering 484-foot blast but also multiple other home runs over 450 feet.

Many of us want to know how it feels to hit a ball like this, but some people would say power cannot be taught. This is simply not true. With constant practice and application of various techniques, you will be able to hit home runs.

Hitting For Power Improvement Tips

While players like Albert Pujols obviously hit the gym regularly, one thing power hitters should possess is the right attitude.

Look at animals, for example. When they are most likely to attack, they hold a steady position with their eyes laser-focused on the target and their head slightly turned. Therefore, when you also keep your head still and your body balanced before you deliver a solid, fluid swing, that’s when your attack is most powerful.

Hitting For Average

How To Hold A Bat

Hitting for Average or Contact is the most valued asset in a position player but is also the hardest tool to excel at. This means that if you can hit for a high average, you can be a valuable asset to your team.

Miguel Cabrera, the biggest asset for the Detroit Tigers, hits for average and was first to win the Triple crown after Carl Yastrzemski. As Cabrera demonstrates, a good hitter for average should be a complete hitter.

Meaning, you should be able to hit any pitch regardless of the speed or location and hit to all fields for power. When hitting for average, you should do the following right:

  • Utilizing the whole field
  • Not striking out but making contact more often than not
  • Hitting the ball hard and on a line

Hitting For Average Improvement Tips

To get better at hitting for a high average, you need to be consistent and confident of your batting approach. Many tools, techniques, and systems can help you achieve this consistency.

One simple tip to achieve a high average is to use the best baseball bat and the proper grip when holding the bat. The knuckles should be closely aligned to allow the hands to react to the pitch faster and more easily.

Our Favorite Resources For Hitting For Average

SKLZ Power Stick Baseball and Softball Training Bat for Strength

SKLZ Power Stick Baseball and Softball Training Bat for Strength

Tanner Tee

Tanner Tee

Fielding Or Defense

Best Youth Catchers Mitt

There is no doubt about it; fielding or defense can win championships, which is why it is considered a vital part of success. An excellent defensive player should be consistent and extremely athletic for a higher chance of winning.

Your shortstop or the fielder positioned between the third and second base is probably your most important defensive player. One example of which is Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta braves.

Simmons represents the perfect fielding tool because his teammates can count on him to play consistently and outstandingly. Having someone like him or being that someone in your team can be the key to success.

Fielding Improvement Tips

The secret to being a great defensive player is really not a secret: it is to work on it constantly. Never be satisfied or get comfortable with your abilities. Choose to practice shagging pop-flies or taking ground balls every single day. No excuses.

Also, work on your footwork to increase your agility as well as your mitt or glove skills. For coaches or young ones, finding the best youth catcher’s mitt can make a world of difference.

Our Favorite Resources Fielding Or Defense

MacGregor Infield Training Glove

MacGregor Infield Training Glove

SKLZ Reaction Ball Baseball and Softball Reflex and Agility Trainer

SKLZ Reaction Ball Baseball and Softball Reflex and Agility Trainer

To know what are some of the best fielding drills, watch this video:

Arm Strength

Last but not the least of the five tools of baseball is arm strength, the most underrated of them all. Many do not realize that having someone on the team who can throw the ball from the outfield across the diamond can also improve the odds for the team’s victory as much as a home run.

A few renowned players with the ideal arm strength are Yoenis Cespedes and Manny Machado. Cespedes once managed to throw a runner out from the warning track while Machado who primarily plays at third base is consistent in making back-handed off balance throws. Both of these instances display how arm strength can impact a baseball game.

A mistake that most position players make is overlooking their arm strength as long as they can throw accurately. Pitchers can also benefit from improving the mechanics of their throw and improving their velocity by doing different exercises.

First base is the only position where a weak arm won’t matter too much because even second basemen need it to turn double plays.

Arm Strength Improvement Tips

One way to compensate for lack of speed is by having great arm strength. This keeps runners on alert even though it takes longer for you to reach the ball.

To improve arm strength, get a load of strength training, and throwing exercises.

Our Favorite Resources Arm Strength

SKLZ Weighted Training Baseballs

SKLZ Weighted Training Baseballs

Jaeger Sports Exercise Baseball

Jaeger Sports Exercise Baseball

How Are The 5 Tools Of Baseball Ranked In Different Positions?

The importance of each tool varies depending on your position. Of course, every scout is different, and others may rate you in another way. Generally, these are the order of importance for each position:

Catchers

  • 1Fielding ability
  • 2Arm Strength
  • 3Hitting for Average or Contact
  • 4Speed
  • 5Power

Most catchers are seldom required to hit, but it is definitely a good bonus if they do. However, the ability to both hit and throw will set you up for more opportunities.

Middle Infielders

  • 1Fielding Ability
  • 2Arm Strength
  • 3Hitting for Average or Contact
  • 4Speed
  • 5Power

As a middle infielder, you should be able to control the center of the field and play defense as well. You should manage to reach the base constantly as an offensive effort, too.

Corner Infielders

  • 1Arm Strength
  • 2Power
  • 3Fielding Ability
  • 4Hitting for Average or Contact
  • 5Speed

To play the third baseman, you really must have a strong arm. A lot of teams usually position their big hitters or runs batter in (RBIs) at the first or third base.

Corner Outfield

  • 1Speed
  • 2Fielding Ability
  • 3Arm Strength
  • 4Hitting for Average or Contact
  • 5Power

As a corner outfielder, you need to be able to catch a fly ball and throw out a tagging base runner, which makes speed your biggest asset. Power hitters with strong arms also hide in these positions.

Centerfield

  • 1Speed
  • 2Arm Strength
  • 3Fielding Ability
  • 4Hitting for Average or Contact
  • 5Power

Centerfielders need to track the ball as soon as it is hit and then quickly get it to the infield. This is why speed is a must for this position. In most cases, a centerfielder is separate from a left fielder.

A good centerfielder should be able to run a 60-yard dash in under 6.6 seconds.

Pitchers

Pitchers need a different set of tools like speed, velocity, body mechanics, poise, and control. They should be able to recreate solid mechanics while maintaining composure and throw three pitches for strikes. Their bodies must be able to handle the force of the innings pitched.

Hitters

Of course, hitters need to be consistently hitting for a high average and connecting each hit to the ball. Power is only secondary because it does not matter if there is no contact.

Hitters should also work to achieve a smooth bat path through the hitting zone and have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the strike zone. Patience is also essential for hitters.

The harder the pitch, the more critical is a hitter’s mechanical soundness. You should be able to hit an inside pitch with considerable force but without being unfair while doing so.

Consistently hitting the fastball should allow you to hit a breaking pitch. Once the pitcher realizes you cannot hit a particular pitch, odds are they will try to recreate that, and you have to prove to them that you can hit it.

Conclusion

Congratulations! Now you know not only what 5 tool baseball is but how to improve your performance in using these five tools. All that is left for you to do is to practice them and put them into action on the field!

No matter what others say or what you got in the genetics lottery, you can certainly improve. Whether or not you were born with these talents, doing your own research and regular practice goes a long way.

If you have any other questions or baseball needs, please do leave a comment down below so I can share what I know and help you with the tools available. Till next time and I wish you the best of luck!

The Best Baseball Throwing Drills For You And Your Teammates

Everybody knows that a great baseball player is someone who throws like a boss. No doubt that professional baseball coaches want and need someone in their team who has unbeatable arm strength and accuracy.

However, these attributes are achieved by more than just warming up and playing catch. In this article, we’ll explore what more you could be doing to elevate your throwing game and increase your strength and accuracy with the best baseball throwing drills. Keep reading to find out!

The Skills You Should Be Working On

Baseball Throwing Drills

Whether it’s in the drills you do or the training program you follow, there are two important things that you and your team should be working on to reduce your throwing errors: Accuracy and Accountability. Here’s why:

Accuracy

Accuracy is a product of consistency. So, as a player, you should be responsible for committing a specific time and place for practicing and doing throwing drills consistently and regularly. As a coach, you should be able to implement throwing drills as much as fielding and hitting to produce all-around players.

Accountability

Players should also be accountable when they throw whether it be during practice or in-game. Being accountable means trying your best to deliver game-like throws each time and to understand the reasons behind every bad throw to try and avoid them later.

Setting up the clock during practice drills for infielders also develop a sense of urgency in them. If you are a coach, you should make sure that every situation you put them increases the focus of your players on their throws.

Essential Elements Of Good Baseball Throwing Drills

These are three essential elements and strategies that you should focus on to master the fundamentals of throwing a baseball:

1. Power

While great arm strength is largely a product of genetics, and some players are born with this God-given trait, there are several techniques to develop it. Proper throwing technique drills will help you maximize your potential and allow you to throw a ball as hard as your body will allow.

By working on your arm strength, you also reduce wear-and-tear as well as your risk of getting injured. This also allows you to understand the mechanics of your arms better.

2. Speed

A game of baseball becomes subsequently faster the higher you play. So, you should be able to field and throw the ball quickly. However, make sure to be quick but also wait for the right timing. Never hurry.

The basic throwing drill is the beginning of all fielding drills. This pits the pitcher, catcher, outfielder, and infielder in a position that allows them to get rid of the ball immediately without panicking or rushing.

3. Accuracy

I know, we already mentioned accuracy before, but I cannot stress this enough: power and speed are useless if you do not throw accurately.

Another goal of baseball throwing drills, especially for beginners and kids is to develop their ability to estimate where the ball is going and to throw it right at their target. Throwing accurately is a fundamental skill that can play a huge role in the team’s defense.

Once you can combine these three elements together, you are already a pretty good player who can easily be an asset to your team as much as the best baseball bats could. In the next parts, you’ll learn how to throw with power, speed, and accuracy through different baseball throwing drills.

Baseball Throwing Drills

Now that you know the basic stuff, we can proceed to the different baseball throwing drills. Before anything else, be sure to first do a warm up. A little jogging or running and a few minutes of stretching can go a long way. After raising your heart rate a little, an excellent, chill game of catch with your teammates is an excellent way to warm up.

After warming up, you are ready to start with the drills. Below are some of the best drills out there along with some information and instructions on how to do them:

Ready-Break-Throw Knee Throwing Drill

Coaches and baseball experts have found out that by putting a player on his knees, he can get a better feel of his front as the ball leaves the glove. In this drill, you can help yourself, or your players boost their throwing mechanics. It also improves accuracy and helps develop proper follow-through.

Steps:

  • Drop to the ground on one knee.
  • Focus on the person opposite of you with a catcher’s mitt to receive the ball. Your lead foot, hip, and shoulder should point to your target.
  • Get on a ready throwing position with your knee and lower body squared off.
  • Make sure your hand position is correct, with the shoulders closed and the knuckles facing upward.
  • On your coach’s command, throw the ball so that it comes directly over the top of your head. Make sure to finish each throw fully.
  • For the return throw, step with your glove-side foot to meet the ball as you go back to the “ready” position.

A good alternative or twist to this drill is to have the opposite teammate hold his or her glove in different positions so you can concentrate on your accuracy.

To know how to properly carry out this drill, please watch this video:

Cutoff Throw Race

The objective of this drill is to improve your footwork, develop quick hands, and also improve accuracy. This is ideal for infielders but can benefit outfielders as well. This is how it goes:

  • Gather about ten or more players and divide them into two teams.
  • Have the members of the two teams line up parallel to each other starting from the foul line into the outfield, with the players standing at least 40 feet apart, depending on their skill level or age. (40 feet for 11 and below, 60 feet for ages 12 to 14, and 80 feet apart for older players)
  • Starting from the foul line, the first player throws the ball as quickly as possible to the next person on his team. This continues until the last member receives the ball.
  • However, once the end player reaches the end, he then has to throw the ball back to the other way, so the foul line also serves as the finish line.
  • After each round, you can have the players stand a little farther from each other and do this multiple times.

You can also turn it into a competition to get your athletes or teammates more focused for better results. Players also tend to try harder and work better if there is a punishment involved. You can try punishing the losing team with laps, push-ups, or sprints.

Zig Zag Throwing Drill

This practice drill is similar and starts the same way as the previous one. However, instead of throwing the ball in front of them, the players are to throw diagonally in a zigzag pattern. It will also help develop accuracy as well as quick hands and feet.

  • Have two teams of equal number of members line up in straight lines in front of each other.
  • Assign a number for each player alternating between 1 and 2. For example, the first player on the first line is 1, the second is 2, and the third is 1 and so on. For the other line, start off with number 2 so that the player on one team has a different number as the opposite player on the other group.
  • Then, have the players assigned with the number 1 throw a ball to the next person assigned the same number, forming a zigzag pattern.
  • As a safety precaution, have the players stand at least ten feet from the other line.
  • Encourage the players to communicate with each other and to inform the next receiver of the ball.
  • Allow your players to do the drill several times until they pick up speed. Once you think they are fast enough, you can start a race.

The High Five Drill

The high five drill is excellent for younger, less experienced pitchers who have trouble throwing through the baseball. Regularly doing this drill has been found to develop proper muscle memory and let the player master the mechanics and techniques to avoid arm pain or damage on their own.

  • Stand with an “L” angle in your arm and your shoulders parallel to the target.
  • Raise your elbow to shoulder height at least.
  • Maintain a bend on your knee and make sure your weight is on your back foot.
  • Your coach will hold and put a slight resistance on the throwing arm.
  • Throw the ball straight through the resistance and finish the throw over your front leg.
  • Avoid coming around as you throw.

In Conclusion

By doing baseball throwing drills, you are giving yourself a solid foundation in the fundamentals of throwing with power, speed, and accuracy. If you perform these drills consistently and regularly during practice, before a game, or even in tandem with your workouts, you will be several steps ahead of your competition already.

Did you like these baseball throwing drills? Do you think you and your teammates could benefit from them? Leave your answers in the comment section below! You can also send in your questions, recommendations, and other concerns.

Adults, Here’s What You Need To Know About Riding A Tricycle

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!

Why You Need The Best Baseball Core Workout

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!

Who Is The Best Table Tennis Player of All Time? Find Out Here!

A true fan of the sport knows who the best athlete in the field is! Old Waldner may be the best table tennis player that comes to mind. I would have to agree that Old Waldner, really, is one of the best. Unfortunately, since he is retired, he can no longer add more trophies and achievements up against his sleeves!

This younger generation of athletes has a lot to catch up. However, the sport had evolved pretty fast, and athletes like Ma Long and Zhang Jike has achieved a lot, and they are not over thirty years old yet! Promising younger players like XU Xin and ZAN Zhendong are climbing the ladder of achievements at a staggering rate!

These guys have set the bar pretty high so it would require more than having a table tennis table to be as good as them!

But who is the best table tennis player? Let’s take a look at the top 5 players that ITTF listed according to their ranking. Let’s start with number 5!

Everything You Need To Know About Adult Tennis Lessons

Many people believe that you are no longer capable of learning or developing new sports or skills when you reach a certain age in your life. While there’s a certain truth to it, this common misconception surely doesn’t apply to learn tennis later in life.

The truth is, tennis is one sport that you can learn, and master even if you are already a bit older. The best way that you can do that is through adult tennis lessons.