Improve Your Climbing Performance

A better climbing buddy

Having a good rock climber with good climbing technique as a partner has many advantages. By simply watching them climb a wall, you can find out a great deal: watch the way they use footwork, watch when and where they takes rest breaks and attempt to replicate their technique. Also request your buddy watch you climb and analyse your technique. This is certainly a beneficial exercise as you may not appreciate a number of the things you are doing wrong, nor where you can develop. I generally prefer to have a climbing partner who has better climbing technique than me, it forces me to improve and produces a higher performance level from me.

Strengthen your grip

Despite the fact that improving upon rock climbing techniques is essential to bettering your performance, you’ll find that you also must have good strength and grip. There are a selection of techniques to strengthen your grip and fingers. Two products I favor are the power ball that concentrates on your lower arm and wrist muscles which consequently enhances your grip and the gripmaster that focuses on your fingers.

Lose weight

Whilst rock climbing, we are fighting against gravity. The heavier we are, the more difficult it will be to climb up the wall. It may sound totally obvious, but shedding some surplus weight will make a significant difference to your ability. Be aware, if you are pretty trim already, it is considerably more beneficial to focus on bettering your rock climbing techniques than losing a few more pounds in weight.

Take time to warm up

It’s going to take a longer time for your hands and feet to warm up than your arms and legs. Without warming up properly, you risk getting the dreaded pump quickly which no climbing techniques can reverse – your session is effectively finished. Instead, ease your muscles in by beginning on extremely simple routes or problems. Also, you should rest in between routes, and devote 30-45 minutes on warming up prior to you attempting harder routes. This can be annoying, however, it does work!

Treat Your Bike Right

At any rate, maintenance is very simple. The first thing you need to learn is to know what type of a bike you have and keeping it on its designated road. For instance, if you have a mountain bike, reserve it for any nature trips and avoid using it for your daily commute. If you have a road bike, try not to use it in areas where you expect it to climb steeper roads. While using your bike on its unfamiliar terrain may not damage it directly at first, it can deal a huge blow to your tires.

Speaking of tires, while you need to keep them inflated, avoid packing in too much air. If you feel that your ride is a little too bouncy, chances are your tires are overinflated. Heavy riding sessions with a bloated tire will lead to you looking for a new one.

After using your bike, wipe off the excess grease on your bike chains. There’s a good chance that the chain is filled with sand and dirt that’s been kicked from your front tire. Make wiping them off a habit after every ride. If your chains start squeaking, you may benefit from adding more lubricant. When doing so, lube only between the chains. Don’t lather the whole thing in lubricant as it is just a waste of lube.

It’s also always a good idea to give your bike a good and thorough cleaning. How often this cleaning is done will be up to you depending on how often you use your bike. At any rate, there are a lot of bike-cleaning kits out there that can help you get the job done quickly. Otherwise, there’s always the good old soap and water. Make sure to remove the chains and gear hubs before splashing, as they need to be degreased before their proper washing.

Benefits of Rock Climbing

Mental Benefits

Climbing rocks are more like solving puzzles. So, it takes proper planning and patience of the individual. One needs to be prompt at decision making and take decisions like which place is better for a move and where they would be led to. Thus, it is sure to enrich your decision-making ability, problem-solving skills. You would become a better goal setter and get the determination to achieve your goals. Your awareness of the surroundings will be more. Your confidence levels will thus get a boost and you would be able to achieve success.

Social Benefits

It is a team sport because you always need to be with a group of people to climb the rocks. Thus, you would need to put your trust on others. This in a way helps to build character and leadership qualities. Every person in the initial stage is the student who learns from the instructors and then is able to become a teacher with much experience and share his or her knowledge with others in the field.

Big Riders Can Start With Cycling

For some people though, riding can be intimidating. That’s the first thing you might want to overcome. But once you have that desire to start getting fit, you wouldn’t actually mind how you would appear on the bike or what will happen to you while on the road.

It may help you build your confidence to practice riding your bike in your yard. Of course, it would be helpful if you get the right bike. You can consult your bike shop to help you choose a bike that fits your body frame and weight.

You may want to practice mounting and getting off your bike so you wouldn’t fall off while doing so. To start riding, experts suggest that the best position is when you are seated on the saddle and lift your left foot and step on the pedal. Lift and put your right foot on the pedal and push it as soon as the left pushes down. (If you are more comfortable starting with your right foot then you may do so.) This way you are moving the pedals in circles and this keeps the bike running.

While you’re at it, practice your balance. When you do get off balanced, you just put both feet on the ground to steady yourself. With this in mind, you might want to check the height of the saddle seat of your bike that it actually allows you to put both of your feet on the ground to steady yourself.

You may also want to practice braking. It is advisable that you hit the rear brake first before the front to prevent you from toppling over. Once you can get your bike running, you may want to learn how the different gears on your bike works. You may ask an expert to coach you.

Now that you can get your bike on the move, you may want to practice riding your bike within the neighborhood or to a nearby park until you have mastered starting your bike, using your brakes and gears. When you’re confident enough, you can start riding farther and on different terrains and bike paths.

Serving Correctly in Volleyball

The first way to tell whether you are serving correctly is whether the ball is going where you want it to go. I know that sounds very simplistic, but the reality of things is that proper mechanics tends to result in high levels of accuracy. If you are consistently hitting your target then chances are pretty good you’ve got things right. That said, chances are you’re reading this article because you aren’t as accurate or powerful a server as you’d like, so let me provide you with some checkpoints you can use to get yourself on track.

Are you finishing your serve balanced? If not, there’s something wrong. Usually, it comes down to your toss. If you toss the ball too far to the left or right you’ll end up leaning in that direction to try to make proper ball contact. Either that or you’ll be serving the ball in that direction when you didn’t intend to do so. If you find your weight well onto your front toes, then you’ve tossed the ball too far forward, while having to arch your back and lean backwards means a toss behind your ideal contact point. All of this can be fixed by improving your toss.

Is the ball spinning when you want it to float, or floating when you want it to spin? That is a function of your ball contact. You need to make sure you’re stricking the right part of the ball in the correct way to get the desired effect.

Is the ball coming landing short or going too far? Distance in serving is all about the speed of your hand at contact. Swing your arm faster to hit the ball farther (notice I didn’t say swing harder). Swing your arm slower to hit the ball shorter. Make sure to keep your ball contact firm, though. No floppy wrist or mushy hand!

Does your shoulder hurt when you serve? If so, it probably means your arm swing is off in some fashion – assuming you don’t simply have an injury from something else, of course. This again could be related to ball toss, but it could also be a function of your mechanics. This might be hard to judge by yourself, though. You’ll likely want the help of a coach in evaluating your arm swing – or at least the use of video.

Which brings up perhaps the best way to gauge whether you are serving properly. Video yourself serving and compare it to video of someone who serves properly. There are many tools out there these days that allow for side-by-side analysis. This will let you see how your technique stacks up against the good server in the areas of body posture, arm preparation, toss, footwork, and follow-through.

About Skills for Archery

The first I would like to mention is persistence in practice. You can only become a good archer by practicing a lot.

The second skill is form. When you practice you must practice with proper form. The first time you pick up a bow to shoot you need to be aware of proper form so you don’t pick up bad habits. When you practice over and over with bad habits, other parts of your form become bad to compensate for what you are already doing wrong. This is the same in any sport. I also play tennis. I wish I would’ve begun tennis as a kid with professional lessons. As it was I learned as an adult by just going out and playing. I have had lessons along the way but they serve mostly to teach me correct strokes and help me relearn muscle memory or teach my muscles over and over to stroke correctly. It is a drag. If you haven’t begun archery yet, start correctly so you don’t have to re-teach your body how to do it. Learn proper form and understand why it is important.

The third quality is developing the muscles you use when you shoot. When you practice with good form you will automatically be developing the correct muscles you need to shoot. These muscles are in your back, the ones you use for rock climbing and rowing.

The third skill is consistency. Consistency will only come with practice.

Besides form the number one archery skill to have, and number four on my list, is being able to relax under stress. When you shoot with tight muscles the bow will torque on release and cause you to miss. The bow is an almost perfect piece of equipment. The only way it can do the job it was developed to do is if you get out of the way and let it do it’s thing. The only way that can happen with you shooting it is by relaxing and taking yourself out of the mix.

After relaxing, comes number five skill, patience. Never be in a hurry. Always take the time to use proper form, draw, take a breath, breathe out slowly as you relax and then release. “Sigh”, that was easy.

In conclusion the skills for archery that are necessary to become good are:

  • Persistence in practice
  • Use proper form
  • Consistency
  • Develop correct muscles
  • Ability to relax under stress
  • Patience

How to Start Running

Set realistic goals.

As a beginner, you should first write down some short term goals that you can easily achieve. Post them on the refrigerator to remind you. They may be as simple as “I will work out for five minutes longer today.” Build on these small victories first to get a sense of accomplishment before setting long term goals. Later, as your running progresses, and to challenge yourself, make long term goals that you can conquer. One day you may find yourself running in a 5k, 10k or 13.1 half marathon.

Start with the right shoes.

For a sport that depends on healthy feet, a quality pair of running shoes is the most important gear you will need. Deciding which shoes are right for you can seem overwhelming, but visit a running store where they have specialized personnel trained to analyze your running gait and recommend the best running shoes for your style. A reasonable price for a good pair of running shoes will cost $75-$100. Replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.

Get the proper running apparel.

While you don’t need to break the bank for running clothes, it is important to buy the right apparel. Cotton t-shirts and shorts will get heavy when they become wet from sweat, which may cause painful chafing to your skin. Invest in running clothes made of 100% polyester or similar synthetic materials that wick away sweat and keep you more comfortable. Women should always wear a supportive sports bra to prevent permanent sagging of their breasts.

Fuel your body.

Running will help you burn 400 calories or more per hour. But in order to get or maintain a fit body, you’ve got to replace them with healthy food. “Your pre-run snack should be sugar boosting, like a banana, energy bar or energy drink says Coach Edwards. Running on an empty stomach is neither good for your body nor does it make running fun.

Hydrate before you run.

Beginners need to pay attention to what and how much they’re drinking before, during and after exercise. Staying hydrated is critical to your running performance and, more importantly, for preventing heat-related illnesses. Drink water often during the day. “The rule of thumb is to multiply your body weight by 0.6 to determine the amount of water in ounces you should consume every day to keep your tissues healthy and injury free,” Coach Edwards says. Dehydration in runners may cause fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping.

Stretch before and after your run.

Some research suggests that static stretching cold muscles can cause injury. “Loosen up cold muscles with light stretching of your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves to avoid shin splints, hamstring pulls and other common running injuries. Hold each stretch for 15-25 seconds. Add easy jumping jacks, a five minute run, or a brisk walk,” says Elizabeth Edwards, a high school track coach and 9 time marathon runner. Cool down the same way to help maintain a healthy range of motion in your joints and prevent tight muscles, which can cause inefficient form and injuries.

Motivational music is cool.

While some runners think music is distracting, many runners believe music provides them an advantage when they pump up their tunes. “Research is mixed on the topic, but I use my music playlist to pace my distance. One day out the week I run without music to focus on my form,” says Coach Edwards. Other runners enjoy listening to books, podcasts or motivational speeches to pass the time. Try what works best for you.

Start at a slow pace.

While you may feel you can run a good distance fairly fast, start with 20 to 30 minutes (your body will be surprised at how long it feels!). Don’t overdo it. Give your body a chance to adjust to this new activity. Gradually increase your distance with a walk and run plan until your stamina improves. Aim to increase your running by 10 percent each week. You should be able run and to carry on a conversation without being out of breath. As you start to feel stronger, run more and walk less, the distance will naturally increase. This will ultimately help you feel better and stay injury free.


Friendly competition has been a part of the human experience since the beginning of time. Unfortunately much of the competition has stemmed from the need to survive on planet Earth. Therefore, it is easy to see how some competitions end with not so friendly outcomes. In order to help maintain a civil atmosphere when testing the limits of human prowess rules were created. One on one sporting events show how important following the rules can be.

Anywhere from boxing, tennis, wrestling and chess, there are guidelines which must be followed in order to adhere to official gameplay. Since fencing is a sport that is considered to be for gentlemen of valor and dignity, the rules must be followed with the strictest of scrutiny. It is interesting how over time as the rules for fencing evolved, the further away the sport has moved from traditional swordsmanship of martial arts.

Many people view fencing much like a game of chess where tactics and tricks can be employed. Masters of fencing change strategies to throw off their opponent. Fencers use timed attacks and distractions while gauging distance. Footwork and blade work need to be studied in order to get a firm grasp of how to fence. Basic moves include the simple attack (lunge, fleche and thrust), compound attack, parry, riposte and feint.

Today fencing is divided in to several areas; academic fencing, stage fencing, historical fencing and Olympic fencing. Olympic fencing is what most people today are familiar with. The competition can either be with teams or individuals. Modern bouts can be conducted using one of three different fencing weapons, each one having its own set of rules. These rules have been developed over the years to add fairness or sportsmanship to the bouts. Electronic devices have also been implemented since the blows can be very quick and hard to register with the naked eye. Points are only tallied when one opponent makes contact with his weapon properly in the strike zone while following the “right of way” rules if they apply. Right of way means the first person to initiate an attack properly wins the point. Right of way rules do not apply for bouts using the epee. The other two weapon bouts which follow the right of way rules are the saber and foil.

Reduce Golf Scores Quick

The short game of golf consists of a significant portion of your scores in most cases more than 60 percent of your total score in a conventional round of golf will consists of shots inside on 150 yards. Spend as much time as you can on the range working on wedge shots from inside of 150 yards. In order to master distance control it requires regular practice and there is really no other shortcut. The touch around the greens with pitching and chipping will only get better with regular practice so be sure to take the time around the greens before each round on the practice greens. Putting is a key aspect to golf and in order to become a good putter you need to learn to pick one main putting style and putter and then to stay with that approach. When it comes to putting you need to learn to make sure to see that ball go in the hole from every distance whether it is a short putt or a very long one.

Being too aggressive on the course is one of the most common mistakes that golfers make that are trying to lower their scores. Simply picking more conservative targets that are far enough away from hazards can make a big difference since your misses will cost you less strokes. It is also important to manage your emotions well on the course before and after each shot. If you make a bad shot then try to learn whatever you can from it and then forget it and believe the next shot will go to your target. When you step up to any shot you must believe the ball will go to the target otherwise you need to step away from the shot if you get distracted and start your routine over again.

Choose A Boxing Gym

Some health clubs have fitness or aerobic boxing classes, which focus only on the workout itself. No sparring is involved. If you only want to hit the bags and the punch mitts, these classes are perfect. If you do want to compete at some point, talk to the trainers to see if they do prepare people for that. If not, seek out another gym.

Take into account the atmosphere of the health club. Some are glorified social clubs, while others cater to a certain crowd, like bodybuilders, for example. The culture of the club may have a bearing on how you may like or not like training there.

Traditional Boxing Gyms

A buddy of mine attends a gym where mostly professional boxers train. He described the boxing training atmosphere as being intense and no-nonsense. The fighters are hungry, and they want to win championships.

These types of gyms are usually privately owned. Some have a mix of amateur and professional boxers among their members. I have heard of a few gyms that are strictly for professional fighters only. Be prepared to work when arriving at the door of a traditional boxing gym. The trainers will expect that everybody who comes there will work hard on their training. They’re not going to waste time on anyone who won’t.

Prices vary. Unlike health clubs, some boxing gyms do not require people to be locked into long term contracts.

Participants can pay their membership dues on a monthly basis. On average, monthly fees can be as low as $50.00 all the way up to a couple of hundreds a month. Those who know they’ll be going less often can pay a day fee, which may range between ten to twenty-five bucks each time. Paying a day fee is also a good way of checking out a gym before committing to boxing training there.

Personal training as well as group classes can be had at traditional boxing gyms, but keep in mind that separate fees are involved.

Some of the older gyms haven’t gotten around to making their places welcoming to women, unfortunately. Don’t be surprised to find there’s no designated women’s washroom or locker room in older gyms. If you can overlook having to use a converted custodian’s supply room in order to change into your workout clothes, more power to you. Maybe if you push enough, management will make the changes.

Municipal Park District Boxing Gyms

If you live in or near a big city, boxing training via the park district may work for you. The fees to work out are much less than going to a health club or to a private gym. Another plus is that these types of boxing gyms often can be found closer to your neighborhood.

Their biggest asset, being open for all, can also be a park district’s boxing gym’s major drawback as well. All kinds of characters are drawn to boxing gyms. Private health clubs and traditional boxing gyms can put barriers up to keep some problem personalities out. Those who train at park district gyms may have to grin and bear some difficult people. It’s a great idea to talk to the coach before signing up to get a feel for how those types of gyms operate.

Boxers in these types of boxing gyms often participate in local competitions, and some park districts do hold boxing shows throughout the year. If you find an adults-only boxing class through the park district, great! But keep in mind that the park district’s main focus is being family-friendly and providing recreation for youths. Many of their boxing programs may be for all ages, in the same gym, at the same time. If it’s not going to be a problem to train alongside grade and high school kids, then go for it. Being around people who are at different levels in terms of boxing skills is a good thing. Everyone can learn from each other.

These types of boxing gyms tend to be no frills. The field house, or building where the boxing gym is, may not be in the best of shape. There may not be locker rooms or showers, depending on the location. If the coach can’t make it in on any given day, the gym may not open.

Getting personal attention once in awhile may be a challenge depending on how many people are in the class. Some people question the level of training and the quality of coaches who work within the municipal recreation system. But you may prefer training in these types of boxing gyms as opposed to privately owned gyms.