Some people buy alkaline water in the hopes of increasing their body’s pH. Your body actually does a good job of maintaining the right pH on its own, and the amounts of water typically consumed would be neutralized by your stomach acids, limiting any effect on your pH. You’d have to drink quite a lot of alkaline water to affect your body’s pH, which would get expensive and might be harmful, according to an article published in Monterey County Weekly in February 2015. You’re better off changing the way you eat, but if you’d like to try the water, it isn’t very hard to find or make yourself.
Many grocery stores and other stores carry alkaline water along with the other specialty waters in the bottled water aisle. You can also order it online or buy a machine to make alkaline water at home. The best type of alkaline water is naturally alkaline spring water because this has more of the essential minerals than alkaline water produced by passing regular tap water through an electric current.
At first glance, rugby and soccer cleats may look the same, yet they have some characteristic differences. Rugby players hold the ball, while soccer players maneuver the ball with their feet. Key features make each type of cleat more appropriate for rugby or soccer. If you’re tempted to use the same cleats for both sports, note that some rules and regulations may prevent such a crossover.
Rugby cleats vary depending on the position of the player. Forwards usually wear higher topped rugby cleats that resemble boots to protect the ankles from oncoming rucks and mauls. Rugby shoes are generally heavier than soccer cleats. Soccer cleats are made to be extremely light to allow players speed and accuracy while kicking the ball. Leg protection in soccer is provided by shin pads and socks, so soccer cleats have low tops and less ankle support.
The first rugby boots were made of genuine leather, which posed a problem in wet conditions. Boots had to be removed, dried overnight and stuffed with newspaper to hold their shape, according to Rugby Football History. Today, rugby boots are often made from kangaroo leather — they are easier to care for and lighter on your feet. Soccer cleats were originally constructed much like rugby cleats. Modern soccer cleats are made of synthetic materials — these are lighter on your feet and better for muddy fields. Some players may choose to wear leather soccer cleats for dry conditions.
The number of cleats on the bottom is one of the biggest differences between soccer and rugby cleats. Regulation rugby cleats have 10 spikes on the bottom and soccer cleats usually have 16. Both rugby and soccer shoes feature removable screw cleats so you can adjust your shoes to any playing surface. Choose flatter cleats for shorter grass and soft ground, and longer cleats for longer grass and hard ground.
If you play soccer and rugby, you may wonder if you can purchase just one pair of shoes for both. Choose a rugby shoe if you cross over — soccer shoes often have wedge cleats, which aren’t allowed in rugby. Synthetic soccer shoes may not offer you enough support and protection for a rough contact sport like rugby. High-top rugby boots may be difficult to wear with shin pads, but you can wear a lower cut rugby cleat to play soccer.
Strength training should be an important component of a serious runner’s workout. Building muscular strength, particularly in the legs, corrects muscle imbalances and helps create power. A regular strength-training program can also reduce the risk of injuries. You can weight-train during the off-season or year-around. If you are serious about running fast, however, it will probably be necessary to back off weight training during the competition season to prevent overtraining.
Develop a schedule that works for you. A break between workouts gives the body time to recover and may reduce the risk of overuse injuries and the chances of overtraining. Chris Carmichael, in “Outside Magazine,” recommends training in blocks. One example of a training block that allows you to build leg muscles for speed is to weight-train two days, rest one day and then do speed workouts for three days. This is just one example; the important thing is to work out a schedule that works for you, when you can make it to the gym and when you can run.
Integrate hill workouts into your running. Lifting weights is not the only way to build leg muscles. Hill workouts increase leg strength and power. “Running Times” recommends one or two hill workouts each week as part of a strengthening program.
Use big lifts, such as squats and deadlifts, that work multiple body parts, as the main component of the leg-building program. Complete the exercises at a weight that allows you to do six to 12 repetitions.
Follow up all workouts with a stretching routine. Increasing muscle mass will not improve performance if it comes at the expense of flexibility. It is important to stretch after each workout to maintain a full range of motion through the core, hips and knees.
Train your brain to use new muscle through short, fast repeats. Several times a week, run short, fast repeats. Ten repeats, about 20 seconds long, run at about 90 percent of your maximum speed, will train the brain and nervous system to recruit the leg muscles. Warm up thoroughly before you begin this workout and recover fully between each sprint. This is a mind-body workout, not a cardiovascular one.
Doak Walker was one of the greatest college players ever. The Southern Methodist University triple threat was named All-American each year from 1947-1949 and won the 1948 Heisman Trophy.
As a sophomore tailback in 1947, Walker (born 1927) ran, passed, and kicked the Mustangs to an undefeated season. His 38.7-yard kickoff return average set an NCAA record.
After his Heisman-winning junior season, his face could be found on nearly every preseason football magazine.
Readers who delved inside could learn that Doak was his middle name (his first name was Ewell) and that he was expected to be even better as a senior.
Injuries held Walker back much of his final college season, though he was deservedly named to most All-American teams.
However, when it seemed he might again receive strong Heisman support, the modest star asked the committee to withdraw his name from consideration so that a player who’d been able to participate in all of his team’s games might win.
Nevertheless, there were doubts that Walker could make it in the pros when he signed with the Detroit Lions. At 5’11” and 173 pounds, he was small and not enough of a “specialist” in any phase of his game.
He ended up specializing in everything! During his six pro seasons, Walker ran for a 4.9 average, caught 152 passes, kicked 183 extra points and 49 field goals, threw halfback passes, ran back kicks, punted a few times, and — in a pinch — played defense.
Walker led the NFL in scoring twice, in his first year with 128 points and in his final season. He was named All-NFL four times and selected for five Pro Bowls. With “The Doaker” at halfback, Detroit won three division titles and two NFL championships.
No doubt his signature play was his 67-yard dash off right tackle for the decisive touchdown against Cleveland in the 1952 championship game. Walker’s election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986 gave him enshrinement in both the college and pro halls.
To learn more about football greats, see:
Earning a degree if you’re working (or simply busy) isn’t as hard as it used to be. The time, distance and financial constraints of higher education have all but disappeared with the arrival of distance learning via telecommunications and online technology. If you’re already in the workforce but would like to earn a degree, then the opportunity is there. It may require some technological know-how, current computer equipment, and a lot of self-discipline, but it is definitely easier and more effective than it used to be.
Today, you can earn a degree from a major university without ever having sat in one of their classrooms. Many colleges and universities are jumping on the distance learning bandwagon and offering online courses and degree programs. There are even consortiums of universities, such as Canadian Virtual University (CVU). CVU offers no courses or degrees itself, but simply acts as a portal for courses from 14 universities across Canada. There is also the Global University Alliance that is a consortium of?10 schools from the United States, England, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, China, Japan?and Denmark. There are even schools that are complete, stand-alone virtual universities with no campuses, no football teams, and no fraternity row.
In this article we’ll look at how online degrees work, what you should look for if you are pursuing a degree via the online option, and what employers think of online degrees.
Ion thrusters. Scanning tunneling microscopes. The Large Hadron Collider. At first glance, it seems like the coolest inventions are all things you¡¯ll never get your hands on. But it would be a shame to overlook the coolness of everyday tech like the handheld fabric steamer. No, no — just stick with us here for a second: Imagine how magical this thing would be to someone from the ancient world. You plug a little plastic canister into the wall, and it harnesses invisible currents of electrons to flash liquid water into gas and blast the vapors over the topography of a garment in distress. This thing is a Martian death ray for creases and wrinkles — they vanish right before your eyes. The most abused piles of wadded linen look upon this weapon with trembling and despair. In short — we shouldn¡¯t take stuff like this for granted. Click through to see more of our favorite awesome but overlooked inventions in everyday technology. (Read more in How a Clothes Steamer Works.)
Before the 1950s, football players rarely wore face masks, and some, such as punters and quarterbacks, were slow to adopt them even as they started to gain acceptance. When players did begin to wear them, they often tweaked them to their personal preferences, further complicating the face mask’s evolution.
In the 1920s, players wore nose guards as their only means of facial protection. Made of leather, they evolved in the 1930s to cover a player’s entire face with holes cut out for the eyes and mouth. They were hot and uncomfortable, and players were understandably reluctant to use them. The helmet manufacturer Riddell created the first modern face mask for Otto Graham, a quarterback with the Cleveland Browns, in 1953. Legend has it that Graham took an elbow to the teeth in the course of play, and he decided enough was enough. His coach taped some plastic to the front of his helmet, and a few weeks later, Riddell produced a helmet with a permanent shield of Lucite across the front.
Graham’s Lucite face mask proved to be impractical because the Lucite shattered on impact, cutting players and spraying Lucite fragments in their eyes. The NFL outlawed the substance for use in football helmets in 1957. Riddell’s next helmet to include any sort of face mask was the BT-5. It involved just a single bar across the front of the helmet, made of rubber and plastic. The BT-5 gave way to a series of improvements over that single bar. Double bars, then triple bars, followed, with some linemen wearing entire cage-like coverings over their faces. Riddell made S-Bar face masks with a special protective eye covering as of 2010, but face masks are still individualized to players’ preferences and can involve different patterns of several bars.
In the 1960s, Otis Taylor of the Kansas City Chiefs reportedly bolted two face masks onto his helmet simultaneously for ultimate protection. Joe Theismann, quarterback for the Washington Redskins, preferred the old-style one-bar face masks so much that when Riddell stopped producing them, he bent the bar backward and downward on the new version so he could still see the playing field without obstruction. Some players, however, bent the bar upward to protect their noses better. In 1974, the Kansas City Chiefs had their face masks painted white to contrast with players’ hands so that officials could plainly see when an opposing player grabbed one.
The NFL ruled for the first time in 1956 that it was illegal for one player to grab another by his face mask — except if that player was carrying the ball. In 1962, the NFL upgraded the rule to include all players. Tinted visors were officially prohibited as face masks in 1987, except if a player requires one for an optical condition. Up until 2008, inadvertently grabbing a player by his face mask brought a five-yard penalty and intentionally grabbing it to stop or bring a player down brought a 15-yard penalty. In 2008, however, the NFL dispensed with the five-yard version.
Kicking a soccer ball requires orchestrating your feet, legs, hips, torso, head and even your arms to ensure the proper form and provide balance. The hip joint, which connects the femur or thighbone to the pelvis, serves as the crossroads for a kinetic chain that transmits power to the soccer ball. Some of the body¡¯s most powerful muscles allow the elegantly designed hip joint to move forward, move backward and rotate when thwacking the ball.
The hip joint is used when standing, walking, running and kicking. The femoral head fits perfectly into the other half of the socket or acetabulum, which is a concave depression in the pelvis, and the femur can rotate around an axis. Cartilage coatings in the acetabulum permit smooth motion in the joint during a soccer kick. The hip joint enjoys a wide range of motion in all directions, including flexion limited by the hamstrings, extension by ligaments around the joint, abduction by the adductor muscles and adduction by the tensor muscle on the outside of the hip.
The gluteus maximus extends the hip and rotates it. The hamstrings flex the knee and rotate and extend the leg. The abductors enable the leg to move sideways in the hip joint, and adductors permit you to swing one leg across the front of another. During normal gait, the muscles of the hip flex and send one leg backwards, and then the muscles extend, swinging the same leg forward through 60 degrees of motion until the heel strikes the ground. A soccer kick entails more dramatic use of the hip joint and its muscles.
Kicking is the most widely studied skill in soccer, writes Adrian Lees, an exercise sciences professor at Liverpool John Moores University. Lees contributed a chapter on how biomechanics apply to soccer skills in the landmark text ¡°Science and Soccer.¡± Kicking begins with placement of the supporting foot beside the ball. The hip joint enjoys constant involvement in all phases of the kick; the movements can be divided into four stages.
The kick begins with a priming of the leg in a backswing, The second stage, the forward motion of the kicking leg, begins with the rotation of the leg around the hip joint and bringing the thigh forward. In the third stage, the upper leg decelerates until it is motionless at ball contact, Lees explains. At this point the hip joint takes a back seat to the powerful involvement of the knee as the lower leg snaps forward and the foot, toes pointed down, smacks into the lower middle of the ball. During follow-through, the fourth stage, the foot may reach above the level of the hip. A kinetogram looks like a series of stick figures freeze-framing each hip and leg position during a soccer kick. The hip joint smoothly rotates forward in an arc to help the player kick the ball and perhaps achieve a well-placed pass or shot.
Assessing your vertical jump height can give you an idea of where you rank compared to other student athletes, and can clue you in to whether you need to work on your jump height before you try out for a sport. When you can get higher vertically, you have an advantage in basketball, volleyball, football, and track and field.
A good high school athlete will have a vertical jump of 24 to 28 inches. A very good jump would be in the 28- to 32-inch range. An athlete with an excellent vertical jump would rise 32 to 36 inches. Anything above 36 inches would put a high school athlete at the top of his class. When Michael Jordan was at the peak of his career with the Chicago Bulls, his vertical jump was measured at 43 inches.
Vertical jump is largely a function of strength. The stronger you are in your legs, hips and core muscles, the more power you will be able to harness when you jump. Power in your legs, hips and core muscles will give you the ability to get higher in your leap. Strength workouts that include squats and lunges will give you the ability to jump higher. According to sports coach Brian Mac, if you are a heavier person, you need to apply more power to achieve the same jump height as a lighter person, because you have a larger mass to move.
Once you have developed strength in your legs, hips and core muscles, developing your jumping skills with plyometric training will help you jump higher. High school athletes can do this by standing to the left of a 15-inch box and jumping over it so you are on the right side. Do 10 back-and-forth jumps and then take a one-minute break before repeating the drill.
Basketball players want to increase their vertical jump so they can dunk the ball or have a chance at becoming a better rebounder. Football receivers who can increase their vertical jump have a chance to go over the defensive back and make a key catch. A soccer player may be able to get over the top of the defender and head a shot into the goal. In addition to the benefit vertical jump can bring in each sport, it can help make an athlete more confident every time he competes in his chosen sport.
The javelin is a throwing event in the sport of track and field. Success in throwing the javelin requires a combination of power and speed; while the javelin is the lightest of the throwing implements, there is a greater demand on precise movement skills. The arm goes through a specific movement sequence during the throw, and mastery of it results in superior performance.
The javelin throw dates back to the time of Hercules. It evolved from a hunting weapon and was part of ancient Olympics as early as 700 B.C. It became a popular sport in Scandinavia in the late 1700s. Once made from wood, today the javelin is made out of aluminum or graphite and weighs between 600 grams and 800 grams. Throwing techniques have changed from a linear movement to an arc.
Throwing distances are based on three variables: throw, angle of release and velocity. Two components, speed and power, are required for improved performance. Power requires the most force in the shortest amount of time. Momentum must be transferred from your lower body, through your core to your upper body. Movement must occur from the most proximal point, your shoulders, through the elbow, hand and fingers, the most distal point.
There are three phases in the movement in throwing the javelin. First, the run-up or approach occurs as your arm is bent and kept close to your head, keeping the javelin in alignment with little to no arm movement. Next is the transition or withdrawal phase, in which the javelin is brought back in alignment with the shoulder with your palm up. Finally is the delivery and follow-through phase, rotating your shoulder and extending your arm to release the javelin. Using the proximal to distal movement enables your arm to move in a whipping motion for release and follow-through.
Your biceps contract to flex your elbow during the carrying phase. Your deltoid, or shoulders, flex to lift your arm up so the javelin can be held higher and raised to your forehead. During the withdrawal phase, your back muscles contract as you bring the javelin back. The non-throwing arm is extended forward as your throwing arm is brought back. This movement stretches your pectoral, or chest, muscles. From there, a stretch reflex, an involuntary contraction of your chest, helps bring your throwing arm forward with increased force. During the delivery phase, your shoulder initiates the movement, transferring movement through your triceps, wrists and fingers to extend your throwing arm forward to release the javelin.
While your upper body muscles are directly involved with holding and releasing the javelin, the force is generated throughout your body. Initial force is initiated in your lower body muscles and transferred through your core through to your upper body muscles. Any weakness in the transferring muscles will diminish the force and reduce performance.