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Costly Baseball Thumb Injuries, Then And Now 0

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Joe Fleming
The Los Angeles Angels could not overcome the thumb injury suffered by star Mike Trout during the 2017 season.

The Los Angeles Angels could not overcome the thumb injury suffered by star Mike Trout during the 2017 season.

Considering that the wounds are relatively minor, a blistered or sprained thumb has caused considerable consternation in baseball over the years. In the 2017 season, a sprained thumb might have cost two teams each a playoff berth, and of course, there’s also that famous thumb injury in 1986 which arguably extended the Curse of the Bambino another twenty years.

Medically, a sprained thumb affects the tissue in either the interphalangeal joint (thumb knuckle) or metacarpophalangeal joint (thumb base). In addition to physical activity, arthritis often causes either a hyperextension (when the thumb moves backward) or hyperflexion (repetitive motion). A few simple exercises, and perhaps a thumb brace and a little ice, usually cure the problem. But alas, these measures were insufficient to change the course of history for these three teams:

2017 Los Angeles Angels

The World Series Champion Houston Astros eventually ran away with the American League West title in 2017, but in May, preseason favorite Los Angeles appeared to be in the driver’s seat. Then, in a May 28 loss that brought the team’s record under .500 for one of the first times that season, MVP candidate Mike Trout sprained his thumb. Read the rest of this entry →

Fitness Tips For Beginners 1

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Emma Bennett

Fitness-1If you usually don’t keep a regular fitness routine, starting one can be more than a little daunting. There are so many aspects to consider–from figuring out when you’ll have the time to work out, to learning how to balance a healthy diet with proper exercise.

Here are a few recommendations that might make it easier for you to start living a healthier, fitter life. Remember, baby steps are not only okay: they’re recommended.

Start at Your Level

If you haven’t picked up a dumbbell in three years, don’t just throw yourself into an intense weight lifting session without thought. That spells danger for your body, and nothing sets your fitness routine back more than a pulled muscle.

Whatever workout routine you decide to adopt, make sure it’s one that you can participate in safely. Pushing yourself is good, but push too hard and you’ll end up regretting it. If you’re not sure what level of exercise you can handle, talk to a trainer or a fitness expert. They can help steer you toward the appropriate routine.

Wear Proper Clothing and Accessories

Although you might be tempted to throw on your old walking shoes and a t-shirt, that kind of attire won’t help you in the long run. Avoid cotton clothing and adopt moisture wicking workout gear instead. Light, breathable outfits will prevent you from overheating and developing annoying skin irritation.

Shoes are also extremely important in your workout. Choosing the wrong athletic shoes can result in serious injuries, as well as painful shin splints and aching feet. Take the time to figure out exactly what size your feet are, as well as whether or not you need inserts or other special accommodations. Read the rest of this entry →

Saving Your Back and Your Pocketbook: Golf Ball Retrievers are a Golfer’s Best Friend 0

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Katherine Taylor
Back injuries have derailed the once great career of Tiger Woods.

Back injuries have derailed the once great career of Tiger Woods.

Out of all the sports known to man, golf is the least aggressive and the least violent. Yet, every year professional golfers suffer serious injuries, some that threaten to remove them from the game forever. In 2014, Tiger Woods, formerly the world’s top golfer, had surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back. In 2015, he underwent a second microdiscectomy surgery with a follow-up procedure on his back. And this year, he had fusion surgery on his back as well.

After these, and other procedures, the golfer told reporters that he is unsure if he will ever play competitive golf again.

Back Pain: The Cost of Golf

According to Spine-Health, golfers can be afflicted by three different forms of back injury. First is muscles strains which “typically occur with rough or forceful golf swings or a sudden shift during the downswing.” Second, is muscle and tendon attachment which “generally occur due to excessive use, accidents, or swing abnormalities while playing golf.” Third, is disc injuries which also “occur from swinging abnormalities.” Additionally, low back pain and back injuries occur frequently because of repetitive bending over to pick up golf balls and line up shots.

Getting back injuries treated can be an extremely costly procedure. Spinal fusion surgery, such as what Tiger Woods had to undergo, can cost from $100,000 to $115,000. While Woods, who has 79 PGA Tour wins and has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for years, can easily handle such a cost, the everyday golf enthusiast or the occasional leisure golfer who can’t hire a personal caddy (or who doesn’t have an enthusiastic grandchild who loves chasing balls) won’t be able to. So what can be done?

Golf Ball Retrievers Help Eliminate Back Pain

Well, there is a tool that eliminates the constant need to bend over while playing — the golf ball retriever. The best golf ball retrievers allow you to only have to exert your arm and your hand to pick up golf balls — not your back. They typically run in the $15 range and can easily be ordered online or at many golf shops. Golf ball retrievers are usually extendable — they can extend from six feet to up to fifteen feet, ensuring that a stray golf ball is never outside your reach. They are conveniently foldable and easy to carry. Getting golf balls out of water holes or sand traps is a lot easier with a retriever. Read the rest of this entry →

3 Must-Have Tech Devices for Today’s Fitness Professionals 0

Posted on September 22, 2017 by John Harris

Fitness-ProfessionalsFor many fitness professionals, offering the best possible experience to your clients is a top high priority. This often means guaranteeing clear and quick results, providing an enjoyable and unique workout regimen, and offering great customer service. So how can you gain that competitive edge?

These days, technology is able to create greater efficiencies and effective processes, including in the health and fitness sector. In fact, in a 2017 study, the Fitness Industry Technology Council argued it’s vital for fitness professionals to adopt and embrace technology in their offerings and services.

Looking to better harness technology at your gym? Here’s a look at some devices you can offer your clients to achieve a better overall health and fitness experience.

1. Body Composition Analyzers

As you may be intimately aware, tracking your clients’ weight on a traditional scale doesn’t always provide an accurate reading to promote better health. That’s because it can be difficult to determine whether your clients’ weight and mass is made up primarily of muscle or fat.

But body composition analyzers like the InBody 570 can provide you and your clients with a variety of measurements, including body mass and fat readings as well as hydration and muscle mass levels, through a few simple steps.

Having this technology literally at your fingertips not only provides better transparency to your clients, but also provides more credibility to your work as a fitness professional, as you can make adjustments based on client readings and show a clear return on their investment. Read the rest of this entry →

Doping In Sports: Through The Lenses Of Time 1

Posted on August 21, 2017 by Tyrion Smith

doping-sportsWitnessing the whole BALCO fiasco and long trials of Barry Bonds along with Mark McGwire would have made you wonder that these are the first cases of doping in sports, especially in baseball, but that’s farther from the truth. Yes, the baseball doping was highlighted way more than other incidents of steroid use by athletes in the US, partially because of congressional hearings in 2005 and critically acclaimed movie ‘Bigger, Stronger, Faster’.

Initial Phase

The fact is doping history in sports goes all the way back to ancient Rome when chariot racers were used to drink an herbal pre-workout of sorts before races, heightening their focus and endurance. That’s one of the earliest forms (100 AD) of competitive sports known to mankind. Fast forward to 1889, and ironically, a baseball player openly admitted using testosterone, a rather organic form derived from pigs and dog’s testicles. Sure, there were few instances of athletes experimenting with caffeine and liquor here and there, but come on, caffeine and booze can’t be considered doping despite their proclaimed performance enhancing effects.

First Causalities

Soon after the use of testosterone in 1889, the world witnessed the horrors of steroids in 1896 when Ephedrine intake caused death of English cyclist, A.Linton. Then in 1904, Tom Hicks collapsed at St. Louis marathon, and though he won the event, doctors proved use of Strychinine and Cognac.

The Booming Period

After that we saw a boom in the use of drugs that enhance performance of humans to somewhat super human level, across sports and in wars as well. Call it leaked secretive documents or conspiracy theories, soldiers in WW II were given Amphetamines to boost their endurance and focus, both Allied and Axis.

Finally, we see the mid-1900s, when the use of anabolic steroids was rampant and we witnessed highly tuned muscular physiques. It was the era of superiorly muscular bodybuilders like Sergio Oliva, Arnold and later Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman and Phil Heath ushered a ground-breaking phenomenon where human limits were pushed to the max. Soon HGH joined the list of anabolic doping agents as the most potent activist. Ironically, the very sport of bodybuilding highlighted the absolute potential of HGH and doping agents, in addition to its side effects. The number of causalities and deaths directly related to abuse of HGH, insulin and anabolic steroids, in bodybuilding is among the highest and the facts are widely documented on social media. However, that happens only when you misuse them. Learn more about HGH here. Read the rest of this entry →

Why You Should Go to a Ninja Warrior Training Facility 1

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Gyms are modeling newly offered workouts after the popular TV show “American Ninja Warrior.” The show features contestants giving their best across a variety of obstacles, such as warped walls, spider walk, rolling log and cannonball alley. The test of fitness is fun to watch, though now you have the ability to step beyond the role of a spectator.

In addition to the fun of competing in impressive obstacles, “American Ninja Warrior”-inspired training has a variety of fitness benefits. Plus, the practice can inspire and get you prepared for auditioning on the actual TV show.

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Improved Coordination

When at the gym, many tend to emphasize cardio and weightlifting, while neglecting aspects of coordination. The majority of “American Ninja Warrior” obstacles require considerable coordination. Repeated attempts and practice with these obstacles can improve your coordination significantly, likely more so than any other training equipment in the gym. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Mike Gminski: Four-Year Duke Star
      March 10, 2018 | 11:05 am
      Mike Gminski

      Mike Gminski

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a star big man who achieved great success at Camden Indoor Stadium in the era before Coach K and the One-and-Done big men became the norm at Duke University.

      Much like recent Duke big men Marvin Bagley III, Jayson Tatum and Jahlil Okafor, Mike Gminski made an immediate impact for the Blue Devils. However, because he played 40 years earlier at a time when few players left college early, Gminski spent four years racking up stats and success in Durham.

      Read more »

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