How to Avoid a Sprained Ankle

Ankle SprainsHave you ever landed awkwardly on your foot after jumping? Or you walked on uneven pavement and unexpectedly, regrettably twisted your ankle? A sprained ankle hurts! It’s an all-too-common sports injury, too. Basketball players, as well as those who play tennis, football, and soccer, can easily sprain their ankle while rolling or twisting their feet on uneven surfaces.

When a sprain occurs, it’s because the bands of tissue (known as ligaments) holding your ankle together get stretched and/or torn. Forced beyond their normal range of motion, these ligaments may then swell or bruise up and cause pain, especially when weight is placed on the affected foot.

Ankle sprains may require an X-ray, MRI or CT scan by a doctor to see the details of what occurred underneath the skin. A doctor looks for soft tissue damage and/or broken bones. Treatment may include taking pain relievers like Ibuprofen, physical therapy, and/or using devices like crutches or splints.

It’s generally a good idea to rest your foot if you think you’ve sprained your ankle. Put an ice pack on it for 15 minutes at a time. You can also compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until swelling subsides.

JumpUSA.com has several products that may help you deal with ankle sprains (or potential sprains), including the McDavid hinged plastic ankle brace and the ultra-light ankle support sleeve. Browse the various products for sale, many of which help with the prevention of ankle sprains and other bodily injuries.

Tips For Becoming a Better Hitter

One of the most difficult things to do on an athletic playing field is hit a baseball. Even the most finely tuned athletic machines among us can look silly trying to catch up to a pitcher’s fastball or trying to hit a loopy curveball. To put in perspective just how difficult it is to successfully hit a baseball, remember you only have to get a hit about 30% of the time to be a major success.

That said, what it does it take to become a great hitter? Fortunately, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need out otherworldly athleticism (though having that never hurts), but there are certain concepts that you should employ in order to maximize the talent that you do have.

Let’s take a look at five ways you can become a better hitter.

1) Keep your eye on the ball all the way through. Starting on the very first day of tee-ball, you are taught to “keep your eye on the ball” when you’re in the batter’s box. You want to follow the ball from the pitcher’s hand all the way through the contact point. Often, hitters have a tendency to not keep their head down through the contact point, and that can have an adverse effect on your outcome.

2) Develop an approach. Whenever you’re facing live, in-game pitching, it’s vital that you have a plan in place before you go up to the plate. A poor approach or a lackadaisical plan could result in a loss of concentration, a propensity to chase pitches outside of the strike zone, or you might not have the confidence you would have with a more thorough approach, and a major part of hitting is believing you can hit what’s being thrown to you.

3) Use your lower half. It’s all about your hip rotation and using your legs to generate power, not necessarily how strong your arms are. Make sure you’re using your core when swinging.

4) Focus. When you step into the batter’s box, it’s important that you’re able to forget all of your other worries and focus only on making contact.

5) Practice. Like most things in life, in order to become a better hitter, you need practice and repetitions. But how can you do that when you’re not playing in a game or facing live pitching?

At JumpUSA.com, we offer a wide variety of equipment that helps baseball players improve their hitting skills. From a basic tee to more advanced items such as pitching machines, we have everything you need to become a better hitter.

For more information, please contact us today.

How to Improve Your Dribbling (to Be More Like Steph Curry)

When you were a kid, did you ever have a coach or a relative tell you “if you can’t dribble, you can’t play basketball.” Although that sounds like a harsh thing to say, it is a true statement when you really boil it down.

Kids are taught at a young age to receive the ball and get into a triple threat position, meaning they’re square to either pass, shoot or dribble. If you aren’t a reliable dribbler and ball handler, it is near impossible to find success while out on the court.

Dribbling is essential because basketball, at its pores is a game of constant movement. Dribbling allows players to get out of trouble when defensive pressure is bearing down on them, and just as important, if not more importantly, a skilled dribbler will create scoring opportunities for his or herself, as well as other teammates.

Let’s take a look at what a skilled dribbler can do to an unassuming defender:

Only one word can describe that: incredible. To use basketball slang, he “broke” Chris Paul’s ankles. In fact, Chris Paul might want to consider investing in some of these.

Of course, Steph Curry has athletic abilities that the common person simply does not possess. However, dribbling is a skill that can be taught, and if you put in enough hard work, it is something you can develop and to use as a true asset while you’re on the basketball court.

So how can you go about improving your dribbling? Here are a few tips:

1) Repetition. The more you dribble, the better you’ll become. If you’re walking to the local park to play basketball, or you’re going for a morning jog, bring a ball with you and dribble during your route. Like most things in life, the more you practice it, the better you’ll become.

2) Utilize drills that are designed to improve your dribbling. Undoubtedly, Steph Curry learned a litany of dribbling drills while growing up that helped him develop the hand eye coordination, focus and movements needed to become a skilled dribbler. You can do it too, and if you’re unsure about what types of drills you should be doing to improve your dribbling, be sure to check out our dribbling training videos that will provide you with just the guidance you need.

3) Work on both hands. There are few things easier to defend on a basketball court than a guy or a gal that can only dribble with their dominant hand. Be sure to work on both!

As mentioned, the most surefire way to improve your dribbling is to constantly work at it, and play basketball as much as you can.

And who knows, one day you might “break some ankles” just like Steph Curry!

How to Jump 3-5″ Higher in One Workout

Want to learn how to increase vertical jump?  Below are 3 super jumping workouts you can do to answer the question how can I jump higher. They target prime mover muscles in key jump-specific body regions. If you’ve neglected any one of these areas, a simple focus on just one of them can work like magic to get you extra inches immediately.

First, you must take care to stretch. Proper stretching increases the range of mobility in your jumping muscles. It increases the bold flow to your muscles so they contract and fire more fully. You want to do not a ballistic stretch but an active stretch. More explosive vertical leap happens because of flexibility in the muscle joints and fascia. Caution: Hold stretches for only 2 seconds. Any longer, you risk creating microtears in the tissue.

Next, you need to practice coordinated muscle activation. To jump your highest you have to properly coordinate your jumping muscles and activate them in a specific sequence. Before working on developing any muscle fiber strength you need to improve the signalling from your brain to your muscles. This is called the Neuromuscular Pathway and what plyometrics is all about – training to sequence the firing better you use more of your muscle fibers to improve our vertical leap. (see Magic Exercise for Jump). The major muscle groups you need to activate are the Quads, Glutes, and Hamstrings. You must sequence those muscles to fire in order so you can maximize your vertical leap.

Another important way to increase jump is to fix the muscular imbalances in your lower body. In most athletes the quads are much stronger than the glutes or hamstrings. You have to build those areas up to jump higher. Don’t forget that there is untapped jumping energy available to you in those underdeveloped muscles that complement the quads.

When you see your first few inches after the 3 exercises below, it won’t necessarily be from extra muscle strength, but from increase in brain-to-muscle interaction, where you’ve learned to effectively activate those muscles.

Instant Jump Manual Exercises

1. Glute Bridge

A great way to engage the glutes and hamstrings is the Glute Bridge. Squeeze your glutes tight and dig your heels into the ground. Notice how your hamstrings are activated. Focus on what it feels like to squeeze those glutes as you come up into the bridge.

2. Squat

This is an important functional movement jumping exercise. For starters don’t use weights in this exercise. Just your body weight will do for now. We’re not doing a high volume, we just want to focus on activating certain muscle groups. Focus on sticking your butt outward as you come down. As you come up, pay attention to what it feels like to really squeeze those glutes.

3. Lunge

Step forward on one foot and drop the other knee towards the ground.  Focus on not letting the advancing knee come over your toe. Your posture should be erect. Make sure your shoulders are directly over your hips and not leaning forward. As you get stronger you may use dumbells for added resistance.

Experiment with varying the length of your step forward. A shorter step forward activates the quad of the back knee. This is called a Shallow Lunge. A longer step forward activates more of the glute and hamstrings. This is called a Wide Lunge.

You may consider this: The world’s greatest leapers build upon these 3 key exercises. They use a combination of strength and plyometrics in a stacked approach. Known as power plyometrics, and one of the best examples is in the special report …

Slam Dunk Secret: The Magic Exercise for Jump
Value $37 Get your free copy now.

How to Jump 3-5 Inches Higher Instantly

Want to learn how to increase vertical jump?  Below are 3 super jumping workouts you can do to answer the question how can I jump higher. They target prime mover muscles in key jump-specific body regions. If you’ve neglected any one of these areas, a simple focus on just one of them can work like magic to get you extra inches immediately.

First, you must take care to stretch. Proper stretching increases the range of mobility in your jumping muscles. It increases the bold flow to your muscles so they contract and fire more fully. You want to do not a ballistic stretch but an active stretch. More explosive vertical leap happens because of flexibility in the muscle joints and fascia. Caution: Hold stretches for only 2 seconds. Any longer, you risk creating microtears in the tissue.

Next, you need to practice coordinated muscle activation. To jump your highest you have to properly coordinate your jumping muscles and activate them in a specific sequence. Before working on developing any muscle fiber strength you need to improve the signalling from your brain to your muscles. This is called the Neuromuscular Pathway and what plyometrics is all about – training to sequence the firing better you use more of your muscle fibers to improve our vertical leap. (see Magic Exercise for Jump). The major muscle groups you need to activate are the Quads, Glutes, and Hamstrings. You must sequence those muscles to fire in order so you can maximize your vertical leap.

Another important way to increase jump is to fix the muscular imbalances in your lower body. In most athletes the quads are much stronger than the glutes or hamstrings. You have to build those areas up to jump higher. Don’t forget that there is untapped jumping energy available to you in those underdeveloped muscles that complement the quads.

When you see your first few inches after the 3 exercises below, it won’t necessarily be from extra muscle strength, but from increase in brain-to-muscle interaction, where you’ve learned to effectively activate those muscles.

Instant Jump Manual Exercises

1. Glute Bridge

A great way to engage the glutes and hamstrings is the Glute Bridge. Squeeze your glutes tight and dig your heels into the ground. Notice how your hamstrings are activated. Focus on what it feels like to squeeze those glutes as you come up into the bridge.

2. Squat

This is an important functional movement jumping exercise. For starters don’t use weights in this exercise. Just your body weight will do for now. We’re not doing a high volume, we just want to focus on activating certain muscle groups. Focus on sticking your butt outward as you come down. As you come up, pay attention to what it feels like to really squeeze those glutes.

3. Lunge

Step forward on one foot and drop the other knee towards the ground.  Focus on not letting the advancing knee come over your toe. Your posture should be erect. Make sure your shoulders are directly over your hips and not leaning forward. As you get stronger you may use dumbells for added resistance.

Experiment with varying the length of your step forward. A shorter step forward activates the quad of the back knee. This is called a Shallow Lunge. A longer step forward activates more of the glute and hamstrings. This is called a Wide Lunge.

You may consider this: The world’s greatest leapers build upon these 3 key exercises. They use a combination of strength and plyometrics in a stacked approach. Known as power plyometrics, and one of the best examples is in the special report …

Slam Dunk Secret: The Magic Exercise for Jump
Value $37 Get your free copy now!