Entries in General (137)
I can hear gym teachers everywhere: “All right. Sit down, legs out. Grab your toes. Legs straight! Don't bend those knees! You're cheating!” When's the last time you tried the old 'grab the toes and pull back' to stretch your calves. Unless you're under eighteen years-old, a competitive athlete or a compulsive stretcher – in other words like most of us – you'll find it isn't so easy. Plus we all know that bending that way can also be tough on the back.
There's a product called the Hatfield Strap that is as revolutionary as it is simple. It was originally designed to treat Plantar Fascitis. This discomfort of the foot can only be alleviated by stretching. But traditional calf stretches weren't effective. With the Hatfield Strap, simply sit on the strap, place the foot on it, and pull back on the handled. You are instantly stretching the foot and calf, all the way down to the arch.
They sent us one to try and it is remarkable. You won't believe how you can stretch those parts of the leg like you used to long ago, without any discomfort. And its not just limited to below the knee. Lay back and pull the leg over your head and now you're getting the best hamstring stretch of your life, without the need of a partner. And, the best thing about all of these stretches is you control how far, how long and how deep you go.
Those of you who read our reviews know I have four children playing sports. The youngest, a soccer girl, plays every second of every game for her high school team. By the 70th and 80th minutes, it can be grueling even for someone as fit as she is. Three games ago, with only about ten minutes to go in the second half, she went down with severe calf cramps. It was the first time she'd ever had to come out of a game. She now uses the strap before and after games to keep those calves loose and pain-free. My oldest, a baseball player, is big, 6' 2”, 210 lbs, and he needs to keep that large frame limber. But he doesn't always stretch as much as he should. Why? The same reason most of us don't: It isn't enjoyable. It hurts. He now loves the Hatfield Strap because it allows him to get in great lower-body stretching with a minimum of effort.
If you suffer from Plantar Fascitis, The Hatfield Strap is a must-have. If you're an athlete looking to keep your leg muscles at their explosive peak, it is a necessity. And even if you're like me, a guy who didn't realize how stiff he was until he tried to touch his toes, you should try it. Spend a couple minutes a day getting that old (or is it young?) flexibility back. You, your back, calves, hamstrings and feet will be glad you did.
Source: Hatfield Strap
If you or your kids have ever played football, basketball, lacrosse, hockey or any other sport where there is a chance to sustain a blow to the teeth, you've had experience with the mouth guard. The old-fashioned versions were little more than U-shaped pieces of plastic you'd mold by dropping them into hot water until they softened and then pressing around your teeth to fit. In recent years, we've noticed mouth guards getting more sophisticated, promising better protection from tooth damage and concussions. What we haven't seen, until now, was anything that would get someone excited about actually wearing it. Until now.
MoGo Sports decided that if you've got to wear something in your mouth, it might as well taste good. They've developed the world's first flavored mouth guard, in choices of orange, fruit punch, mint, lemon and bubble gum. The flavor is embedded in the EVA plastic so it tastes good game after game. They sent us a few to try.
Our first concern was if they really would taste good, and like they were supposed to. We also wondered if the taste might just be a one-time thing, kind of like chewing gum that loses its flavor after a minute or two. We were pleasantly amazed on both fronts. First, the samples they sent really, really tasted good. Not only did they have bold and delicious flavor, but it never did go away even after many uses and much chomping.
Everyone will love the way they taste, but there's more. As much as MoGo's flavor, we like that they are engineered to create spacing between the jaw bone and skull for additional protection. So they protect teeth and absorb impact from blows to the jaw. They are designed for ultimate fit, comfort and protection.
MoGo's are being used from the youth level all the way up the pros. And it makes sense. Because if you are going to put a mouth guard in your mouth and you could have it taste delicious, why wouldn't you? They're guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face. And keeping those smiles healthy and beautiful is what they're really all about.
The votes are in and the winners have been notified! Of all of the great products we've reviewed this year, the following five have emerged as the creme de la creme...our 2013 Sports Product Review Products of the Year and our reviews of each are, in alphabetical order:
Bangerz sports glasses. Bangerz are the perfect combination of top-of-the-line quality at an economy price. You can't beat the value. BiGR Audio headphones. The carved, wooden earpieces and superiour audio quality make these nifty headphones a huge hit with any sports-fan audiophile. JUGS Complete Practice Screen. This huge beauty goes up and down in a snap and stores in a portable carry case. You won't believe how easy it is to pop together. Varo ARC bat sleeve. It doubles as a bat weight for training and on-deck swings, while protecting those expensive bats. A must-have for any serious hitter. XProTex Attack football gloves. The leader in protective baseball batting gloves has gone over to the gridiron -- with the expected fabulous results.
We've enjoyed bringing you our weekly reviews for seven years and look forward with excitement to continuing on in 2014. We've got many more new and fantastic sports products lined up to bring you in the months to come. And as always, we thank our loyal readers for their patronage. Happy New Year!
Sports Product Review
I have three sons who are lifting weights for sports every day. One prefers the natural route and gets his protein from old fashioned diet. The other two are believers in supplements, such as protein powders. The oldest one has been taking pre-workout and protein supplements for a couple of years. So when the folks at XYIENCE contacted us and asked if they could send some samples of their sports nutrition offerings, I knew the perfect place to test them out.
My youngest son doesn't do the pre-workout, but he has been using protein powders for some time. He said this was clearly the best he'd ever tasted. He probably doesn't know that XYIENCE Advanced Protein Complex. (APC), contains 25 grams of the highest quality whey protein, plus 5.5 grams of Branch Chain Amino Acids to fuel muscles after an intense workout. A post-workout product, this time-released protein complex is cold-processed and micro-filtered to eliminate the sour aftertaste often found in hydrolyzed protein and lower quality whey proteins. One small scoop of this muscle-feeding protein blend supplies muscles with a constant supply of amino acids throughout the day – even after a grueling workout. With low quality proteins you often have to worry about high levels of mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium. But XYIENCE's special protein extraction method means none of that. Advanced Protein Complex combines this muscle-activating protein blend with 5g of fiber in every serving, not only for its many health and digestive benefits but also to slow gastric emptying rates. This additional fiber helps create a greater protein balance in the body. Using APC will activate your muscle growth, accelerate your recovery time and keep you in peak physical condition. Fiber helps you feel full and helps provide a slow steady stream of amino acids to your muscles throughout the day.
Their Pre-Workout Booster (PWB) is formulated to promote superior strength and recovery properties to help users do their best, while reducing muscle fatigue and down time by allowing muscles to perform longer before muscle fatigue sets in. Its optimal balance of slow, medium and fast absorbing amino acids that muscles need to recover and grow. With only 60 mg of caffeine, this blend provides a pick-me-up for any workout, while still allowing for a great night’s sleep later on to help the body take advantage of the ever-important recovery period. My oldest son said he'd give it a try and was very impressed. He told me it got him, “pumped-up” more than the usual stuff he'd been using, which is high praise coming from him.
XYIENCE is an official sponsor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In addition to the pre-workout and protein supplement they make a wide variety of energy drinks with delicious-sounding flavors like Melon Mayhem and Frostberry Blast, as well as other supplements you may want to try. Their packaging, flavors and science all seem to be in line. In fact, we might say, top of the line.
We were contacted by the folks at Comfytopia and asked if we'd be willing to try out some of their products. I asked one of my sons if he'd try out their back brace when he's in the weight room for college baseball. He was eager to see what it was like.
The sent us one and we went to their website to see that this product utilizes ultra-breathable/lightweight fabric and 2-section design to allow comfortable usage and avoid skin irritation. It is specially designed and engineered steel springs to provide stable back support while allowing maximum comfort for long-term usage. It provides medical/therapeutic-level support to the back area to relieve pressure and pain including back strains and arthritic conditions. The Bracoo is adjustable in the front with user-friendly adjusting mechanisms for different level of compression and support during daily activities. Convenient to adjust the compression level without having to take off the back brace. Now I wish I'd kept it for myself and my always sore, aching back.
My son likes that it is adjustable and says the Velcro is much better than on other compression-type products he's tried. He says it can easily be adjusted to different sizes and offers top-notch support while lifting. It fits well, supports the entire lower and middle back, and can be stored easily.
The folks at Comfytopia make a whole line of great support devices. They also sent us a knee brace, which an other son snagged to use while catching behind the plate. We'll review that separately. In the meantime, now that I understand the value of the back brace, I guess I'll be going to Comfytopia.com to order one for myself.