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
So you're getting ready for the Big Game. You've worn your lucky team jersey every day since you found out your team was going to the Super Bowl. You've added a "Go (Broncos/Seahawks)!" to your outgoing voice mail. Your gameday party is planned and you've bought your team's colored plates, napkins, forks and knives. You've orderd a football field cake. You've even considered painting your house to look like a giant helmet. But hold on a minute. Are you forgetting anything?
How about the pooch? Shouldn't the family dog get into the crazy spirit too? No problem now that NFL licensed dog collars are available. Choose your favorite team and let everyone know the pride you take in your football-mania. Theyre a fun way to remind the world year-round who rules the gridiron. Now the only thing left to find out is which team will be "top dog" when the game ends.
Source: Big Apple Card
As busy as our family is, we rarely have time to take vacations. But when we do, there is inevitable conflict. This is because my wife's vision of a perfect getaway is camping and hiking someplace like Yosemite. My idea of the great outdoors is relaxing poolside by our comfortable hotel. Guess who's choice always wins out? So when the creators of Jetflow contacted us and said they wanted us to try one of their revolutionary hydration packs, I knew I had the perfect test market candidate.
They sought out to find a solution to a problem: Water packs that employ a soft-sided bladder are a nuisance for two reasons: First, the bladder ends up tasting bad, and they are a pain to clean. Jetflow came up with a brilliant answer. Design a backpack that allows users to simply snap in the bottle of their own choosing and go from there.
Water bottles, bottled sports drinks, soda bottles, or other beverage bottles mostly all fit Jetflow.
So when it is time to clean up, just remove the used container, snap the system apart and run the components through the dishwasher. Unlike with other packs, there's no mold, no drying racks and no hard-to-reach crevices. And since you are using your own recyclable BPA-free bottle you don't have to worry about bacteria polluting what you're drinking.
The backpack itself if very nice. Light as a feather, lots of handy compartments, earphone access and a harness suspension that makes it extremely comfortable. The outdoorswoman in the family loves it. All her hiking buddies said, “Where did you get that? Oh my gosh, that's a great idea!”
So if you or someone you know if tired of filling up bladders, drinking beverages that taste like rubber, and then hassling with a cleanup job that you know isn't 100% effective, its good to know there's a refreshing alternative. And who says it's only for hikers? If I can ever convince my wife to take one of my preferred vacations, I may just wear this baby while I'm laying by the pool.
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