Become a Better Athlete With Yoga

Become a Better Athlete With Yoga

By: Travelle Gaines

Yoga, a prominent exercise in the United States since the early 20th century, has continued to pick up popularity as a training workout for athletes. One reason it’s enjoyed by so many is its simplicity. All you need is a mat and an open area, so whether you’re out and about or cooped up in doors, you can reap the benefits.

Many athletes and athletic programs have ditched static stretching in favor of yoga or dynamic stretching exercises. I encourage all athletes I work with to do yoga. When done correctly, it promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and helps the everyday athlete recover from tough workouts.

 

 

 

 

It’s also a great way to break up your workouts. Many athletes tend to do the same (or very similar) workouts every day, and it can get boring, but yoga can help switch it up. So, try breaking up the week with yoga, and you’ll soon notice these differences.

  1. Flexibility: Yoga not only stretches your muscles and loosens them up, but it also works the joints to loosen them up as well. Keeping your joints and muscles warm and loose allows for maximum flexibility. In sports, this maximum flexibility allows for better movement, range of motion, strength, and even power.
  1. Blood Flow: In order for your body to function as best as possible, good blood flow and circulation is needed. The dynamic stretching and breathing techniques used in your yoga sessions facilitate good blood flow to the body parts you are working.
  1. Agility/Balance: Many dynamic stretches in yoga help work on your balance, which in turn can increase your speed and agility. These poses and stretches during your routines will work on balance directly, and in the long run make you much more limber.

Girl wearing a pink sports bra and black leggings does stretches on a yoga mat.

I highly recommend every athlete do yoga at least once a week — and if they can, do hot yoga which is yoga done in humid conditions to increase flexibility. The humidity makes you sweat more, but also loosens up your muscles to increase your flexibility in all of the poses, or stretches during the workout.  This relaxing exercise can do wonders for your health and wellness and take you to a whole new level as an athlete.


Looking for a more dynamic way to excercise from home? Check out this blog post to find some simple and effective workout ideas.

The Importance of Lateral Quickness

The Importance of Lateral Quickness

By: Travelle Gaines

As an athlete there is always something you can get better at. Whether it is getting stronger, faster, or even smarter, it’s all valuable to your game on the field.

However, many forget the importance of one key skill: lateral quickness, otherwise known as side-to-side movement speed or change-of-direction speed.

Whether you’re an infielder for baseball, a linebacker in football, or a defensive player in soccer, you’ve got to have some sort of lateral quickness — so it’s always great to work on lateral quickness, change of direction, and multi-directional sport specific change of direction at least twice a week. Adding these lateral quickness drills makes you a better athlete — it puts you in the game and in a position to win.

Along with making you a better athlete overall, having good lateral quickness also can help you when it comes to injury prevention.

Along with making you a better athlete overall, having good lateral quickness can also help you when it comes to injury prevention. The biggest issue is so many people associate speed with the 40 yard dash — there are very few times you’re actually running that long of a distance. Normally, if you find yourself running that far, you made a bad play and are chasing someone down. To put yourself in positions that you will see on the playing surface — whether it’s the court, the diamond, or the grass — is a way to greatly reduce the chances of injury.

Lateral Quickness Drills:

Mini Hurdle Follow Through

  • Set up two small hurdles side by side.
  • Start on the right side of the hurdles and shuffle back and forth through the hurdles quickly.
  • Set a timer so you can do each set for a certain amount of time.

Mini Hurdle Stop

  • Set up two small hurdles side by side.
  • At a slower pace, shuffle through the hurdles.
  • When you get to each side hold and plant your outside leg and dorsal flex your inside knee up.

The Eastbay Shuffle

  • Set up a few small hurdles side by side with a cone on either side of the hurdles.
  • In an athletic stance move sideways over the hurdles, lifting one foot at a time over each hurdle.
  • Get low and touch the cone on either side of the hurdles before going back to the other side.
Top Training Looks for Spring

Top Training Looks for Spring

As the snow melts and days gradually get warmer with the arrival of spring, athletes are finally able to get themselves out of the dark gym and into the sunshine.

No matter if you are training for a specific sport, running, or generally working out, having the best gear to help push you through your toughest workouts is essential. To help you gear up for your spring workouts we put together a guide of top spring training outfits so you can conquer your regimen in style.

Men’s

Outfit 1:

This outfit loaded with Nike gear is ideal for any serious lifter or fitness junkie — the performance compression gear and platform lifting shoes can help you take your training a step further.

Nike Legend 2.0 Short Sleeve T-Shirt: This soft t-shirt made with Dri-FIT fabric is a comfortable option for indoor or outdoor workouts.

Nike Fly 9” Shorts: Flexibility and comfort are at the forefront in these Dri-FIT shorts perfect for running or lifting.

Nike Pro Hypercool Tights: These light and breathable tights feature mesh fabric , sweat-wicking technology, a compressed locked-down fit, and targeted ventilation for enhanced cooling power.

Nike Romaleos 3: Get the durability and stable platform you need out of your training shoes with these dedicated lifting shoes. The Romaleos is sure to put you in the best and most comfortable positions during your lifts.

Outfit 2:

In this Under Armour lightweight outfit you will be sure to close in on all of your speed and agility training goals.

Under Armour HeatGear Armour Compression Short Sleeve Shirt: A tight fitting compression shirt designed to keep you cool in the heat with its HeatGear technology.

Under Armour Qualifier 9” Woven Shorts: These shorts are made with lightweight breathable material that provide perfect ventilation during warm runs.

Under Armour Speedform Amp Trainer: A lightweight shoe with AMP Technology to amplify the biomechanics of your foot’s movement for precision fit, feel, and durability.

Outfit 3:

Conquer a number of different workouts in the gym with this versatile combination of adidas apparel.

Adidas Durability Top: A light t-shirt made with sweat wicking fabric to help make your workouts that much easier.

Adidas Tough Shorts: Durable shorts made with sweat-wicking and abrasion-resistant fabric. These shorts also offer pockets for you to store items during workouts.

Adidas Techfit Tough Tights: These compression fit tights with technology engineered to support movement and maximize performance remove irritation with their flatlock seams, and fight off odor and sweat to keep you comfortable.

Adidas Powerlift 3: With locked-in support to keep you stable and a midsole wedge to allow you to explode in your lifts, these trainers are a lifter’s dream.

Outfit 4:

Become a legend in the gym and attack your workouts in this selection of Jordan training gear.

Jordan AJ All Season Compression Long Sleeve Top:  This long-sleeve training shirt is made with sweat-wicking stretch fabric and ergonomic seams to help keep you dry and moving freely during your workouts.

Jordan AJ Training Shorts: Reduced bulk and a streamlined look. These training shorts can help take your workouts to the next level.

Jordan AJ All Season Compression ¾ tights: Stay comfortable, locked in, and dry on the court or in the weight room with these 3/4 tights.

Jordan Trainer 1 Low: Train in a shoe that gives you lightweight stability, responsive cushioning and flexibility for quick multi-sport training.

Women’s

Outfit 1:

This Nike outfit is perfect for the hardworking girl that hits the gym daily, the one who lifts weights but also has time for a long run after her workout.

Nike Elastika Tank: This tank is perfect for keeping you cool during your warmest and sweatiest workouts thanks to its open back design and Dri-Fit fabric.

Nike Pro Cool 3” Compression Shorts: Whether you are wearing them under your clothes or as your shorts, these 3” compression shorts are sure to keep you comfortable and dry.

Nike Pro Logo Padded Bra: Get the padding and support you need to get you through any training activity with this comfortable sports bra.

Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit: A stable heel, flexible forefoot, and maximum breathability. Conquer your workouts in this new versatile trainer.

Outfit 2:

This EVAPOR outfit is perfect for the woman who occasionally hits the gym, but is more about finding the nearest trail for a long run on a hot summer day.

Eastbay EVAPOR Short Sleeve Compression Top: Wick away sweat and remove the distraction you get from loose apparel in this lightweight compression top.

Eastbay EVAPOR Sports Bra: The perfect workout bra that offers a keyhole back for free range of motion, as well as sweat wicking technology within.

Eastbay EVAPOR 3” Compression Shorts: Tight fitting compression shorts to keep you cool and dry through your lifting and running.

Under Armour Micro G Limitless TR 2: A supportive trainer with plenty of cushion to keep you kicking during your toughest workouts.

No matter where or when you are working out this spring, make sure you have the apparel from eastbay.com  to keep you comfortable throughout your regimen.

5 Ways to Make Your Workout More Effective

5 Ways to Make Your Workout More Effective

By Travelle Gaines

We all know that doing the same workout routine over and over can get boring — but most of all, the urge to workout diminishes and the results don’t show. It’s time to get back in the game — here are a few things you can add to your workouts to maximize their effectiveness.

  1. Actively Stretch

Active stretching has many benefits and can add a boost to your workout regimen. The whole purpose is to activate the nervous system, increase the core body temperature, and accelerate the heart rate. Most of the exercise is fairly simple and can be done at home, try them moving or traveling at a distance (maybe 5-10 feet). A good example of an active or dynamic stretch is a lunge with a core twist, this opens up your muscles and adds stability and mobility to your joints, and ultimately will add more effectiveness to your workout.

  1. Train Dynamic

All movements are comprised of multiple planar movements (linear, lateral, and rotational). Walking forward, bending down, and turning and rotating — these are just a few movements you can add to boost your workout, and to train in a multi- dynamic format. There are more ways to do this other than training single muscle groups or doing your typical back squats. Changing up your movements will create a challenge that your body will have to adapt to, primarily because you’re beginning to target muscle groups that play a pivotal role in your movement system but are often overlooked.

Here are five simple exercises that can be done at home:

  • Lateral Skiers (Hops)
  • Side-lying Lateral Leg Raises
  • Wall Run
  • Plank Hold With Shoulder Raises
  • Crossover Lunge
  1. Train Anaerobic (Interval Training)

Interval training works your energy system to maximum capacity over a set period of time, followed by a full recovery period that is at least three times the length of the workout. Here are some benefits of interval training:

  • Builds and maintains lean muscle
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Improves energy
  1. Fuel Up Before Working Out

Knowing when and how to fuel your body to improve your performance is one of the most important things needed to maximize your workout. Your body needs energy to get you through an intense training session. Pre-fuel with a balanced meal before your workout to allow for an adequate recovery time.

Here is a sample pre-workout meal:

  • Two egg whites or one cup of oatmeal
  • One banana
  • One slice of toast
  1. Curate A Workout Playlist.

Everyone has a dull moment or hits a wall of fatigue during their workouts, so create a playlist that’ll give you something to groove to during training. Music is one of the biggest motivating factors there is. When you need that extra rep or don’t feel like finishing that set, look to your music to bring you life.

The Training Gear You Need For Any Weather

The Training Gear You Need For Any Weather

Nike Warm Weather Gear

Every year, you see the same thing — warm weather training gear and cold weather training gear. Tights for 75-degree weather and tights for 0-degree weather. But what makes them different? When two pairs of tights looks the same, how can one keep you cool and one keep you warm? Technology, that’s how. It’s December, so let’s look at the cold side first.

Cold Weather Gear

Nike and Under Armour have made tremendous strides with cold weather training gear. Gone are the days of jogging in light grey sweat suits. Seriously, if you still wear that, you NEED to read this. Enter the days of lightweight performance and fitted style. It’s all about wearing one heat-locking base layer, so you only have to throw on shorts and a training hoodie before you head outside for a workout.

Under Armour Cold Weather Gear

Under Armour

The key is to effectively trap body heat, so you’re essentially keeping yourself warm. Under Armour ColdGear does this incredibly well with its two apparel options: Infrared and Armour. Both keep you warm, but in different ways. Infrared apparel uses thermo-conductive technology that actually absorbs your body heat and retains it, keeping you warmer, longer. It’s all very scientific, but you can learn more about it in our latest Behind The Tech post.

The Armour apparel, on the other hand, has a premium brushed interior, so it’s as comfortable as it is warm — you’ll never want to take it off. It acts as a second skin that blocks cold air and moisture to keep you warm without weighing you down.

Nike Cold Weather Gear

Nike

Like Under Armour, Nike has different levels of cold weather gear: Pro Warm (For 45°-60°F), Pro Hyperwarm (For 32°-45°F), and Pro Hyperwarm Max (For 32° and below). The special part about Nike’s gear is that it doesn’t just trap the heat you produce while you work out — it actually regulates your temperature so you don’t overheat. All three levels feature breathable panels in high-heat zones, so while your body temp continues to rise, heat can escape to keep you at a comfortable temp. Cold weather never stood a chance.

Warm Weather Gear

While cold weather gear retains all your heat, the warm weather gear releases it. Sure, it’s a simple idea, but the technology behind it is pretty complex. There’s much more to it than some mesh panels. Check it out.

Under Armour Warm Weather Gear

Under Armour

UA’s HeatGear is loaded with amazing tech. Two of its most innovative additions are Charged Cotton and coldblack technology. UA didn’t just start using a new fabric. It changed cotton! The experts at Under Armour took the most recognized fabric on the planet and drastically improved it. Regular cotton holds sweat and weighs you down. Charged cotton is incredibly soft, it wicks sweat, and it dries faster. And coldblack technology is even cooler. Built into the dye, it reflects heat and sun rays so dark colors don’t get as hot. Essentially, it feels like you’re working out in the shade. That’s true innovation.

Nike Warm Weather Gear

Nike

The Swoosh is all about staying light and breathable. Nike’s Pro Cool and Pro Hypercool are the lightest layers Nike has to offer, but don’t let the weight fool you — those layers are designed to perform at the highest intensity. That, mixed with strategic ventilation that gets cool air to high-heat zones, keeps you fresh from the first rep to the last.

Whatever the season, whatever the weather, there’s a layer for it. Eastbay has all the gear you need for your indoor and outdoor workouts, and you can get it in any color. Get ready to train your way.