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Author: Jimmy

I bought a new jump rope

 

 

A jump rope provides a fantastic and inexpensive way to get into shape. It improves coordination, strength, and agility. Moreover, it provides an exceptional cardio workout. I did my research and was surprised by how much the jump rope has evolved from being a simple length of rope made from hemp.

There’s now a wide variety of jump ropes boasting different designs and styles. We now have indoor and outdoor ropes, along with weighted and unweighted grips. Due to the increased interest in physical fitness in the 1970s, the jump rope also became hugely popular.

I decided to skip rope for fitness as it gives me an alternative to doing cardio workouts indoors when the weather outside is not so friendly. With the weight of the body distributed evenly on the balls of the feet when the user lands, the activity is less stressful on the ankles and knees.

There is also less impact on the joints. Furthermore, the chances of injury are reduced. If you want to build cardiovascular stamina, skipping rope provides a great solution. The wrists, legs, shoulders and arms along with the rest of the body will benefit.

I chose a 7-foot rope since that is the right length for people my height (4’10” to 5’5”). Those who are 4’5” tall or shorter can use a 6-foot rope. Eight-foot ropes are for those 5’5” to 6’ tall, while 10-foot ropes are best for those over 6 feet tall.

If you want to determine the exact length of rope for you, however, you just need to stand in the center of the cord. The tips of the handle should come up to your armpits, and when you jump over the rope, it should just brush the floor under your feet. Should the cord hit the floor in front of the feet, it has too much length.

I also had to choose among standard speed ropes, fitness and training ropes, long-handle ropes, standard beaded ropes, cloth ropes and PowerBead™ ropes.

Available in long, double dutch and single rope lengths, a standard speed rope is designed for general purpose skipping. This type features an easy, free-spinning grip and low-density shatterproof polyethylene handles. It is the best all-purpose rope for instructing different groups of varying ages.

Fitness and Training ropes utilize the same type of phthalate-free, solid vinyl cord found in standard speed ropes but are equipped with a different handle design for users who like larger grips better along with a thicker cord that is 30 percent heavier to provide higher turning resistance for a more challenging workout.

I choose this type, and it comes with shatter-proof, low-density polyethylene handles. My fitness and training rope offers the best style for cardiovascular training. The large handles are designed for an adult hand.

There are also long-handle speed ropes that provide smooth turning and an easy-hold grip, making them perfect for users who prefer a longer handle. Long-handle ropes make it easy to perform ‘crosses.’ If you prefer this type, look for one with a lightweight cord of the same quality as a standard speed rope.

Long-handle ropes are ideal for rotation, arm action and multiple under skills. However, their use requires training with standard-length rope handles first. They are not suitable for young children.

Beaded ropes are configured to ensure success for beginners and advanced users. Beaded ropes are suitable for all conditions, with their shatterproof, low-density polyethylene handles molded for a comfortable fit in the hands. Covering the entire high-strength braided cord length are unbreakable, low-density polyethylene beads designed to withstand striking any surface.

PowerBead Ropes offer optimal weight for power, strength, cardiovascular and endurance cross-training. Cloth ropes are woven in double dutch lengths only. They should be of medium length for effortless control while being able to deliver a good arc when turning.

Cloth ropes are the easiest to control aside from providing an exceptional arch, but they tend to get dirty during outdoor use.

I hope my jumping rope can give me the level of workout I need to stay fit and energetic.

 

 

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Why I don’t like the new Fitbit

 

 

Fitbit is a company that develops some of the gadgets I’ve spoken about in other posts. While I am a huge fan of smartwatches and other electronic devices that can help you exercise more and live a healthier life, I’m not exactly keen on the idea of wearing such a bracelet. Let me tell you why.

One of the first reasons is that Fitbit has had a lot of problems over the years. Just two years ago, when they had launched a prototype of their product, people who wore it started reporting problems such as rashes and skin conditions occurring in the specific area they had worn their Fitbit bracelets. Of course, the company pulled those products out the market and put a cease to the manufacturing process. Once they determined what was wrong with the build of the bracelet, they started marketing them once again, and people fell for them despite the idea that the rashes might occur in the future.

So, my primary concerns deals with my own health. If a device that is mainly designed to keep you healthy fails to do so because it causes a health problem, it’s absolutely useless, in my opinion.

The next reason I would like to explain somehow revolves around the fact that I believe that exercise should be about stress reduction, movement, and relaxation. If you find it difficult to take those 10,000 daily steps recommended by Fitbit, I can definitely relate to that. I go to the gym on a regular basis and use a heavy bag in my basement, so it’s safe to say that I work out plenty. The only area where I’m lacking exercise is walking, in general. I’ve never been a fan of hiking, and I don’t do a lot of walking because I take the car to work or wherever I have any errands to do, and that’s how Americans are.

I’ve been to Europe when I was younger, and I have to say that the distances between one town and the next are far shorter the ones in the US. It’s practically impossible to keep living in the same city where you work because the rents are incredibly high. You probably see where I’m going. I can’t take the bus to work or walk because that would be extremely time-consuming and counterproductive.

While I have to agree that the 10,000 mark isn’t entirely random as the American Heart Association says that it’s a great idea for improving body health, I can’t be satisfied with this practice because it’s impossible for me to achieve the purpose.

My advice would be to get a good-quality smartphone such an iPhone as it can track anything from your sleep patterns to the number of steps you take every day. Besides, there are free apps such as MyFitnessPal that can help you in terms of tracking your workout and the nutritional value of the food you ingest.

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How to choose a good activity tracker

Because of the many options available out there, it’s often a daunting task to choose the best activity tracker for your needs. As you know, I’ve experimented with a few over time, which is why I thought about writing this article. Not all products or apps work the same for all people in the world, and so I’ll try to give you some tips on how to choose the right one for your preferences and living style.

The first thing you have to ask yourself is whether or not you prefer using real-life objects such as a bracelet or a monitor of some kind. If you have no problem with this, perhaps you might want to select a Fitbit or Pebble bracelet. They’re handy as long as you don’t forget to put them on in the morning before you start your day-to-day routine. It’s pretty obvious that they won’t track any activity such as steps or exercise of any kind if you forget them at home, so that kind of defeats the purpose. Consider your preferences above anything else. I have several friends who don’t enjoy wearing anything other than regular clothes, and so they don’t even put on a watch on a daily basis. If you’re one of these individuals, what you need is a good mobile app.

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The next thing you have to do is determine whether or not you tend to stay connected to everything that’s happening in the world all of the time. If that’s the case and if your job forces you to use your cell phone for many hours every day, perhaps you ought to consider buying a smartphone app. I’m not accustomed to using Android devices mostly because I’m an Apple fan and usually buy an iPhone every two to three years. While I’m not keen on spending so much money on a mobile device of this kind, the fact of the matter is that iPhones are very reliable smartphones and their performance can’t be denied. Also, Apple now has a dedicated Health app that you can use to keep track of the number of steps you take every day and even your sleep patterns. In fact, if you activate this mode, you’ll be able to realize whether you normally have enough sleep or not.

Getting a smartwatch is another thing to give some thought to, but they tend to cost a pretty penny. Some of the Samsung models I’ve checked out can be paired with your Samsung smartphone so that they can help you keep better track of your activity all throughout the day. Many of these units are so advanced that they’ll even allow you to make phone calls just by pressing a button.

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Whatever your choice on the matter, sometimes it really boils down to whether you’re tech-savvy or not. For someone who’s accustomed to using a smartphone, maybe it’s better to invest in an app. Some people might have little to no interested in attaining a smartwatch or Pebble or Fitbit bracelet just because they might find them hard to work with. Because you will be the one choosing the product for yourself, your needs matter the most. Always make sure to bear them in mind.

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I just bought a training bag for home – it’s amazing!

As I told you before, I love having my power training on angled heavy bags, because I love doing uppercuts, kicks, corkscrew punches and all kind of combinations. But I’ve been having some trouble with the ceiling at home, so I started to look for a free standing option that will still make it easy for me to punch it like I want to. After some research and investigation, I finally decide on the Century BOB Body Opponent training bag, which is basically a well-built dummy with detailed anatomy standing on a heavy base that keeps it stable.8

At first I was a little shocked when I saw it assembled, because it seemed more tall than I would have wanted it, but soon after I realized it was just the top height adjustment, out of the seven possible levels. If you think about it, it’s actually a great feature, not only allowing people of different heights to practice on it, but also shaping after the different styles approached.

I’m very excited, as Muay thai, for example, is all about just the type of kicking this mannequin lets me practice. While it kind of ends abruptly right below the waist, it gives me a lot surface to practice my high kicks and punches. Also, its neck is kind of flexible, so the head moves as it is hit, which really gives it a taint of life-likeness. It’s detailed anatomy makes it very different from a heavy bag, makes me practice precision blows to the vital zones, and it helps me focus a lot more.

What I also love about is that I can disassemble and use it to improve my MMA fighting techniques, and I can move it about my house however I please: I just take the dumm off and roll the base to where I want it.

As for how it feels, at first I had the impression my punches made it wobble too much, only to realise it is exactly what makes it seem more realistic. The elasticity and the fact that you can see how the force of the blow affects the torso make you focus and improve your agility. It also gives you a good idea on the motion aspect of the techniques you’re applying in a real fight scenario.

Some punching bag reviewers have said that the BOB isn’t very enduring in the long run, and that it comes at a too higher price, considering that. However, I feel like I’ve made a good investment, since I like to train, not destroy equipment in raging outbursts like I know some people do. For cardio exercise, for maintaining a good blood pressure, for improving my strength and for keeping up with my fighting practice, this punching mannequin is just perfect for me, and I was just too excited about getting it, not to share it with you.

Here’s a great review of the Century BOB

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Fitness and new training routines

 

I am a self described “fitness freak”, which is why I decided to start this blog. I needed a place where I can share my experiences going through the various training routines, along with the cool new fitness gadgets I love to try out. If you love strength training and other types of workout plans, and are always looking for new ways to push your limits then hopefully you will enjoy this blog as much as I’m going to like writing it. For those of you who might be new to fitness hopefully reading my posts will help you stay motivated and excited.

sh3

 

 

sh4Over the years I’ve learned that not all exercise plans are the same, and you can get the same results using different programs. Since I like to concentrate on fight training, I’ve found that workouts that focus on strength and building muscle typically give me the best results. Lately though I’ve discovered that certain martial classes can also benefit me, and make me a better fighter in the ring. One new training routine that I have recently started is Muay Thai, and I love working out with an angled heavy punching bag. I can easily work on hits, kicks and combination moves with this one piece of equipment. I’ll be sharing more of my training experiences with you in future blog posts.

 

sh2Since I love trying out the new fitness gadgets, this blog is the perfect place for me to share them with you. I should probably warn you that I am willing to try almost anything, if it will get me results. One gadget that I recently tried was a water bottle that came with an app. Called the Hidrate Spark, this bottle actually tracks how much water you drink. Staying hydrated is important, especially for your health, but even as “gadget crazy” as I claim to be I’m not sure that I need a water bottle to tell me when I am thirsty.

 

sh1On the other hand I can’t imagine getting through my workouts without my Fitbit and wireless earbuds. I’ve found that even the hardest strength training workout is bearable when there is music playing. Since the earbuds are wireless I also don’t have to worry about getting tangled in a cord. As for my activity tracker, I simply can’t say enough about it. It tracks everything from my heart rate to steps taken during the day, I can also watch my progress so I know exactly where I need to improve.

 

These are just a couple of the training routines and fitness gadgets I’ll be writing about, and I look forward to reading about your own experiences.

 

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