Reasons to Pick the Basketball Back Up

Women and BasketballCan you believe it’s already August? Not just August, but the middle of it, which means that Labor Day is just around that corner. That means the end of summer. We’ll allow you to take a moment to let that sink in, the inevitable downheartedness that goes along with trees slam-dunking their leaves into the cold, wet ground. Before long, the daily grind will set in and you won’t have time to play the game that you love.

This is especially true for women; women, it seems, are giving up on basketball when the summers of their youth turn to dust, as discussed in this NPR article.

Tom Goldman writes, “The United States is basketball crazy. For boys and girls who play sports, basketball is the most popular choice. But as Americans age, a new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reveals, there’s a widening gender gap when it comes to hoops. Why are adult female basketball players giving up the game they once loved?”

A very good question and one that deserves to get answered. After all, it’s not healthy to give up your dream, even if you can’t make a career out of it. Maintaining a consistent hobby is just as important as making money off your dreams or as Tanya Martin, a 30-year old mother who works for Child Protective Services, puts it: “It’s kind of like my beach. It’s not one time that my mind can actually just not think about anything else but…but playing.”

Basketball is not only incredibly fun to play,it’s also a very healthful activity. In fact, playing basketball burns countless calories, builds cardiovascular endurance and helps to improve balance, coordination and muscle. It’s a wonderful way for men and women to get the exercise they need; after all, an hour of basketball feels like 15 minutes, while 15 minutes on a treadmill feels like an hour.

Playing basketball is like enjoying a summer that never ends. Men AND women, don’t give that up!

Versatility is Key For Modern Basketball Players

Basketball TrendsAt JumpUSA.com, we feel sports are an essential part of life. Honestly, where would we be without it? We watch games on TV, play them with our friends, or talk about them with total strangers; sports are the glue that holds American society together. It’s not religion. It’s not love. It’s sports. Sports has combined the virtues of religion with the phenomenal rush of love and what you have is something no other activity can replicate. We’ll ask again; where would we be without sports? If you said nowhere, you’d be absolutely correct. We must learn to embrace the power that sports has in our lives and utilize that power for something power – changing our lives for the better. Let’s take a look at the NBA.

The NBA has undergone many changes over the years, with a specific position being important one year and the next, that position is useless. To survive in the NBA, you have to evolve, whether you’re a coach or player. Isn’t life the same way? You have to evolve to survive, like an NBA big man. Dan Favale of Bleacher Report writes, “Once exclusively considered human billboards for ground-and-pound basketball – for clock-killing half-court sets, for brutal and bruising post-ups, for inside-the-paint-only repertoires – many of the NBA’s towers are now poster boys for versatility.” Versatility is key for players like Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh, and Serge Ibaka. In Favale’s opinion, these players must adapt or die. Again, life is the same way – you must adapt or die.

At JumpUSA.com, we will help you adapt with the world’s coolest sports products. With our basketball hoops, medicine balls, or shoes, you will be able to apply the lessons from sports (such as the versatility of big men in the new NBA) and apply them to your own life, physically and mentally. Contact us today for details!

Make an Investment For Your Heart With a Treadmill for Your Home

TreadmillJumpUSA’s treadmills are wonderful investments for your home because they allow you to get your heart pumping and your body moving anytime day or night, no matter what the weather outside is doing. Rainy day? Stay inside and use the treadmill. Snow measured in feet outside your living room window? Thankfully there’s no snow on the treadmill. Or is it sweltering hot outside where you’d be drenched in sweat and feeling like you’re ready to fall over when just stepping out of the house? A treadmill in a cool, air-conditioned room is a lot nicer environment on those type of days, for sure!

Besides being able to exercise on a treadmill at any time since it’s indoors, away from the weather, treadmills are also great investments for a home because anyone can use them, young or old, to “get in shape.” Put a treadmill in front of a TV or computer screen and you can walk or run while seeing an entertaining show. Indeed, many people do just that– or they listen to music or a favorite radio show. That way the time goes by faster– you’re getting a workout for both your body and your mind at the same time, and it’s especially fun to walk or run in time with the beat of a song you love.

Finally, treadmills, which are conveniently available from JumpUSA, have a way of calling out to you when you pass them by: “Use me! Come here, turn me on, and let’s go!” If you make the investment to have your own treadmill, then in your mind you’ll always be thinking, “I spent the money on this thing so I had better use it.” Plus, “It is right here. I don’t have to drive to a gym to do it. It’s so convenient, I might as well use it.” Having your own treadmill to use when you want to use it is an ideal situation.

Using a treadmill helps people look and feel better, and it’s especially nice to have it at one’s own home, indoors, away from the elements, available at anytime day or night to use.

What’s the Proper Way to Tackle in Football?

TacklingThis fall, Sundays will recapture their special importance as millions of Americans sit back and enjoy the game of football at the high school, college, and professional levels. As the season progresses, your favorite team’s injury will undoubtedly grow. Still, many observers consider it a miracle that even more football players don’t get hurt in the process of repeatedly slamming into one another with ungodly velocities.

It’s no miracle, though. One of the major reasons why more football players don’t injure themselves is that they know how to tackle safely and effectively. Here are a few things every beginner should know from their very first snap.

First, tacklers need to set themselves up in the proper form. This means getting low to the ground with feet just about shoulder-width apart. Get your head up, shoulders back, and chest proudly forward. Then, when your target is approaching, move around by “buzzing” your feet with small, quick steps, ready to move in any direction needed. The most important part of keeping form is keeping your head up and eyes wide open at all times.

While this position will keep you from being vulnerable, it will also allow you to spring forward at your target when the time is right. Lift your body while grabbing under your opponent, pulling them off the ground to halt their momentum. Hug the player and use your legs to finish the tackle. They call this the “shoot n’ rip”.

Of course, if there’s a worthy opponent on the other side, success is far from guaranteed. Keep your eyes on the hips to avoid being bested by last minute jukes. At some point, though, you need to fully commit and stay with your tackle. Avoid the temptation to go for the ball unless you know for sure that it won’t cost you the tackle. Finally, don’t leave your feet and keep your hands away from your opponent’s facemask to avoid costly penalties that negate all the hard work you’ve done.

Here at JumpUSA, we highly recommend the Goalrilla Tackling Dummy Trainer for anyone looking to improve their tackling game. While many fans believe tackling is all about speed and strength, any good player will tell you that it all starts with good form.

Five Great Ways to Become a Better Golfer Right Away

GolfImagine this: You’re sitting at your desk at work and your boss strolls up to your desk, starting a casual conversation. He tells you that he’s hitting the golf course later that day and he’d like you to join. Perfect! After all, this is a great sign for getting that coveted promotion. The only problem is that your golf game is not, shall we say, up to par.

To avoid embarrassing yourself and at least make it look like you know what you’re doing, here are a few things to keep in mind when you tee off.

Practice Your Putting

While other shots can take hours and hours of tedious practice to improve, most players find that with just a little practice they can noticeably improve their putting game. Even if you practice for a half hour before tee time, you’ll at least look like you’ve golfed before when you make it to the greens. Start with a one-foot putt, make sure you’ve got it down pat, and then slowly work your way further and further away from the hole.

Go With the Club that Works For You

While your eventual goal as a golfer should be to utilize every club in a predictable fashion, beginners might find that they seem to connect with one particular club much better than the others. If your 4-iron gets the ball moving in the right direction every time, it’s okay to use it instead of the 3-iron or 5-iron. Use the club that works for you and practice with the others on your own time.

Play With Patience

This might be the most important tip. Too many golfers, perhaps after having watched Happy Gilmore a few too many times, step up and try absolutely crushing the ball. This does not work. As a beginner, it’s best to give a nice, easy, confident swing that will get the ball up and closer to the hole. A modest, productive and manageable shot looks much better than a total failure.

Short Term Memory
If you doubt the impact that mental fortitude can have on your golf game, take a look at Tiger’s career. One bad shot, if given too much attention, can spiral into dozens more. The best thing to do after a bad shot is to notice what went wrong, make a point to fix it next time, and completely forget that it ever happened in the first place. Don’t worry though; it’s perfectly natural to mutter a few choice words to yourself as well.

Get Your Stance in Shape

The first thing any golf instructor will have you work on is your stance. You might not have the time (or money) for golf lessons, but you can find enough of the basics to get started on the Internet. Practice things like where to put your feet and how to move your body at home, and you’ll set yourself up for a bit more success when you hit the links.

We’ll admit: these quick fixes will only get you so far. Drastically improving your golf game in the short and long term is possible, however. Check out our fine selection of golf training products that can take your golf game to the next level. It might impress your boss enough to get him thinking about that next promotion.

How Do Jumpsoles Help Basketball Players?

JumpsolesBesides dribbling the ball down the court, basketball players love to make jump shots. The more points, the more likely the team wins.

In basketball, players want to achieve awesome vertical jumps. Jumpsoles are platforms which attach onto shoes to give you an edge– they help condition your motor neural pathways so that you power off your forefoot for maximum jump height and stride length.

If you’re a basketball player, you should consider wearing Jumpsoles to give you an advantage over your competitors especially when it comes to your vertical jump. Because they help strengthen the Plantaris and Gastrocnemius muscle areas of your lower leg as well as your Achilles area, Jumpsoles increase your flexibility and help make you more resistant to injury. They help train your body parts to give you more power for your jumps.

Generally, Jumpsoles are worn by basketball players during off-the-court strength training and/or during warm-ups. They help players develop quickness and balance for more accurate shooting. Compared to other products on the market, Jumpsoles are unique because they physically alter the geometry of jump training to focus on lower leg muscles. If you want to strengthen your calves, feet and toes, Jumpsoles are a smart choice.

By utilizing Jumpsoles, a person can expect to add between five and ten inches to their vertical jump. It’s no wonder that many athletes use Jumpsoles to help them be the best at their sport(s).

JumpUSA.com offers the world’s coolest sports products, and Jumpsoles are one of the website’s best-selling products. Order your Jumpsoles by calling 1-800-586-7872 today.

5 Products to Help Little League Coaches

Practically any man or woman that volunteers to be a youth baseball coach is a borderline saint. When you’re coaching baseball at the grass roots level, you need to have a great deal of patience and determination, and you must be able to properly explain and teach concepts of a beautiful, but sometimes complicated game. It’s hard enough supervising a bunch kids, let alone coach and share your knowledge with them.

That said, if you’re committed to sharing your wisdom with your team and have a successful season, here are five products that can help you in your endeavor.

Storage Bag for Bats and Helmets

Bat Storage Bags

On top of managing duties, coaches are also often the person who brings equipment to and from games. Rather than have to make multiple trips to your trunk, you can simply bring the bats or helmets in one easy, convenient fellow swoop. What’s more, this product will make it easy for players to select a bat or helmet and will reduce cleanup time.

Baseball Coaching Book

Coaching Books

Unsure of what skills best teach baseball fundamentals? Or perhaps you or your players are sick of doing the same mundane drills at each practice and before each game. Either way, having a coaching book handy can provide you with an array of drills that you can incorporate into your team gatherings, regardless of what stage of the season you’re in.

Pitching Machine

Pitching Machine

Have you ever thrown batting practice for an extended period of time? By the time each child gets one or two turns to hit, your arm can begin to fatigue. That’s not the worst of it, though; wait until the next day when you wake up and your arm is super sore and feels like it’s a 100lbs piece of tire rubber. Rather than suffer through the agony, simply invest in a pitching machine, which will still allow your players to get the hacks they need to improve at the plate. Plus, who among us throws more accurate than a machine?

Batting Tee with a Screen

Batting Tee with a Screen

Whether you’re trying to compensate for a lack of practice space or you are trying to keep your players warm and active in-between games or innings, a batting tee with a screen could be the perfect tool for you. Batters can work on perfecting their proper swing mechanics, and you will not have to worry about where their balls are hit.

Glove Radar

Glove Radar

Unless you’re a professional baseball scout or a police officer, there really isn’t much of a reason to own a radar gun; they’re honky and hard to carry around. Luckily, JumpUSA has a much more convenient tool that will help you measure how hard your pitchers are throwing-the Glove Radar.

If you need help selecting the right products for your team, please contact us today.

The Many Health Benefits of Yoga

YogaWe might have just begun to embrace yoga here in the western world, but the practice has been around since ancient times. The earliest proof of yoga’s practice dates back more than 5,000 years to an ancient civilization in India. There, archeologists discovered soapstone carvings of common yoga poses.

Many years later the trend of yoga made it to North America, where it is now recognized for providing a myriad of physical and even mental health benefits. Why is yoga so popular? Perhaps it is because the benefits of yoga can reach far into other areas of our lives. Even for basketball players, football players, elderly, and young children, yoga has the potential to improve skills beyond what a normal workout can do.

Stress Relief

Yoga is an athletic exercise that actually encourages relaxation. Through controlled breathing exercises and precise muscle movements, your body relaxes while producing cortisol – a stress-relieving hormone. After one yoga session, participants had lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, improved digestion, and a more active immune system. Emotional symptoms were also noted to have improved. Those with anxiety, depression, or fatigue often report improvements after practicing yoga.

Flexibility, strength, and balance

Not only is yoga great for stretching and flexibility, but you’ll also notice improvements in balance. In yoga, you’ll go through a series of poses that test the limits of your flexibility and balance. You’ll use every muscle group while simultaneously training them to become more flexible and coordinated.

In aging adults and athletes, flexibility and balance are extremely important. It’s why we often see football teams and senior citizens participating in yoga and joining in on classes.

Through yoga, your entire muscular system will become stronger and more elastic, making you more resistant to injuries. No doubt it becomes a benefit on the field or even in everyday life.

Sculpt muscles

Yoga uses only your own body weight to build mass and strength. When you consider how many free-weights you might typically use at home or in the gym to bench press your own body weight, you can see how using your own body to perform exercises can certainly have its benefit. Many individuals who work with personal trainers at the gym note that yoga is an opportunity for them to exercise and tone hard-to-reach muscles that they can’t otherwise access. Because yoga is a complete body workout, you’ll walk away from each session feeling balanced.

Test your limits

I once heard someone say that yoga is about learning to breathe through the pain. Once you’ve practiced, even just once, you realize the truth in that statement. Through yoga, you test your physical limits with stretches and positions that challenge each muscle group, all while controlling your inhales and exhales. Even your mental limits are tested as you consider releasing into a more relaxed pose. Each time, you have the opportunity to walk away with a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that you have somehow improved yourself through yoga.

Versatility

Since its inception over 5,000 years ago, yoga has developed and branched out in many ways. You’ll find certain types of yoga to be more strenuous on muscles while other types of yoga focus on breathing and relaxation. Modifications can also be made to accommodate those who wish to focus more on toning, stretching, or healing injuries. Resistance bands are often used to promote flexibility and strength. Yoga can be practiced anywhere at any time: in your home gym, at the park, at a studio, even while watching TV. All you need is the basic equipment and a guide.

Check out the video below to learn how to get started with your own yoga practice:

Quick and Effective Workouts in Less Than Ten Minutes

It’s no secret that exercise is great for you. But for many people, the time and effort it takes can keep them from staying active. Recent research suggests, however, that it only takes seven minutes for a body to gain the full range of benefits of a good workout. Studies suggest that a high-intensity, quick workout can provide equal benefit as you might get with longer, less intense workout.

Many quick workout guides currently exist like the famous 8 Minute Abs

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P90X also takes advantage of the 10 minute workout plan

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For a seven-minute complete body workout, the New York Times has a scientifically designed workout program for you.

According to Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute, a short workout shouldn’t be easy. On a scale of one to ten, discomfort should be at about an 8 if you are looking to get the most from your time. For workouts under ten minutes, you shouldn’t be taking breaks or rest periods longer than ten seconds between exercises.

To amp up your quick workout, try adding weights in the form of kettlebells, weight belts, or resistance bands.

The Benefits of Resistance Bands

Resistance BandsFew things are better for your health than working out. It helps your flexibility, strength and stamina. JumpUSA.com provides all sorts of cool sports products, including resistance bands, which can help you do your workouts.

Made of a strong-but-thin rubber, with handles at the end, resistance bands work well for your strength training exercises. Rather than having to use heavy weights, needing a “spotter” for heavy weights so you don’t overdo it and injure yourself, or having to physically be in a gym, resistance bands allow you to do things like chest presses, rows, shoulder presses, bicep curls and tricep extensions in an efficient manner wherever you are. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with simple resistance bands– you do familiar exercises/your normal routine and adjust the bands by giving them more of less slack as needed.

Resistance bands don’t cost an arm and a leg, they don’t take up much space, and they’re conveniently portable. At a hotel that doesn’t have a workout room? You can bring your own resistance bands with you on trips and still get a good workout done– right in your hotel room. The bands take up very little space in a suitcase.

For those who like to challenge their muscles to grow (using “muscle confusion”), don’t just stick to one thing. In other words, if you normally just use free weights, you might plateau and not notice any changes or gains. Therefore, try adding some variety to your workouts– resistance bands from JumpUSA.com can be used to achieve variety and force your muscles to adapt to your movements.