Game Originals 5.10.17

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GAME Originals

We are pleased to announce the beginning of GAME Originals. Our fitness range that has you covered for all types of training.

Conceptualised by the demand of our customers, we have created an innovative “Originals” range purposefully designed to motivate, train comfortably, look great and support healthy lifestyles.

The opportunity to inspire and encourage individuals to feel confident when participating in exercise is what we are all about!

GAME are excited to launch the first release of our high quality, affordable, locally made fitness range; GAME Originals.

Available now at gameclothing.com.au

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Healthy after game snack idea’s

The feeling you get from giving it your all, totally pushing your body to perform at it’s best and playing hard is one of the finest sensations we can experience. That rush of endorphins and the satisfaction you get from a first rate effort, whether it be on the footy field, basketball court or running track, makes participating in sport worth every drop of sweat. When you’ve used every ounce of energy in your body it’s tempting to refuel with convenience foods like energy bars, confectionery and fast food. You’ve worked hard, right? You probably burnt 5 Mars bars worth of calories during the game, plus you’re STARVING!

Post Game Snack Idea’s
Stop for just a second and consider the best thing for your body at this time. Your muscle proteins have broken down, your carbohydrate stores are depleted, electrolyte levels are bottoming out and you are in need of serious hydration. The Mars bar is not going to cut it, your body needs replenishing with foods to help it recover not make it work harder.

Sports nutrition experts have found that the best time for refuelling is in the first 30 minutes after exercise when the body is most receptive to vital nutrients. For this reason it pays to be organised and have your post game snack ready to eat shortly after you come off the field or as soon as you get home.

What to eat after sport
The short answer is lean protein and carbohydrates. This is clearly open to a lot of scope so you’ll definitely be able to find something delicious which ticks all the flavour boxes for you.

Eggs – the post workout snack which combines both protein and carbohydrates plus is full of 11 vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fats and antioxidants.
Brown rice, quinoa – both contain carbs, protein and fibre and will fill you up fast, plus they contain magnesium, iron and potassium.

Fruit – fruit is the perfect after sport food as it is convenient, no preparation needed and it’s easy to eat. Fruit such as banana’s, kiwi fruit, blueberries, pineapple and oranges top the list. They’re bursting with antioxidants (fights muscle soreness), potassium (electrolytes), glycogen (to help rebuild muscles), calcium (strong bones), bromelain (a natural anti-inflammatory which helps heal bruises, sprains and swelling) and vitamin C (for muscle tissue repair and iron absorption).

Salmon and tuna – lean fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fats to help rebuild muscles.
Whole grain – whole grain bread, crackers, wraps etc combined with lean protein such as chicken, turkey, tuna and salad provide a killer combo of healthy carbs and protein.
Greek yoghurt – contains double the protein than other styles of yoghurt. Throw together with some nuts and dried fruit for a great after sport snack.
It’s possible to replenish your bodies lost nutrients and help with recovery without needing expensive powders, protein bars and shakes with all these great vitamin and mineral packed natural food sources.

Next time you’re heading out to play, leave the energy bars at home and grab a healthy option for your post game snack instead. Your body will thank you.

volleyball

3 Exercise tips for getting volleyball fit

The type of fitness needed to develop your volleyball game includes vertical jump power, stamina, speed as well as explosive strength. A range of different exercises and training is needed to excel at these skills.

Power training for volleyball

Strength training is essential to your volleyball game. Exercising to establish a powerful vertical jump to be able to spike, set, block and dive quickly and with accuracy over and over during a game involves increasing your explosive strength.

Training to increase your explosive power could include a program of lifting weights. It’s important to gradually build up your weights over a period of weeks to avoid injury.

Plyometrics workouts

Plyometrics workouts involve specific high intensity exercises to build up explosive strength and speed.

These exercises are ideal for the speed and power needed in volleyball’s fast paced game. They teach your muscles how to react fast and with force. Some examples of a plyometrics exercises are:

For legs

  • Drop Jumping – dropping of a step, landing on the floor and immediately jumping up onto another step or box
  • Bounding – over sized strides are used in a running action
  • Standing based jumps – jumping on the spot with a leg tuck or splits when jumping

For arms

  • Chest pass – quickly passing a medicine ball between two players, beginning the throw pushing off from the chest and drawing the ball into the chest when catching.
  • Press up hand clap – press up with a hand clap at arm extended position

A good warm up is essential before carrying out plyometrics exercises.

Volleyball player cardio conditioning

Increasing cardio stamina with high intensity interval training (HIIT) enables you to stay on top the whole game. HIIT cardio training 3 or 4 days per week will increase lung capacity and staying power. One of the great benefits of HIIT is that the period of exercise is usually short but the fitness pay off is substantial.

HIIT is a group of exercises performed at high intensity for a short period with a rest in between exercise of less than a minute. An example of a HIIT workout is:

  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks – 10 second break
  • 30 second wall sit – 10 second break
  • 30 seconds of push ups – 10 second break
  • 30 seconds of ab crunches – 10 second break
  • 30 seconds of step ups – 10 second break
  • 30 seconds of squats – 10 second break
  • 30 seconds of triceps dips- 10 second break
  • 30 second plank – 10 second break
  • 30 seconds of high knees running on the spot – 10 second break
  • 30 seconds of lunges – 10 second break
  • 30 seconds of rotational push ups – 10 second break
  • 30 second right side plank – 10 second break
  • 30 second left side plank – 10 second break

The pay off for all this hard work is your performance on the volleyball court will become more responsive and increased over all fitness means you’ll still have energy and power to give it all in the last minutes.

Tips to keep hydrated during exercise

Staying properly hydrated during exercise is extremely important for many reasons. If your body’s not getting enough water or liquids during the game, your performance mightn’t be the only thing to suffer.

Water is essential to the body to maintain blood volume, regulate temperature and allow muscles to work. You lose fluids during exercise from sweating and the moisture on your breath.

You don’t have to be running an ultra marathon on a very hot day to become dehydrated. Any exercise where you break a sweat, even lightly, can cause dehydration if you don’t replace the lost water. Although exercising at a high intensity in humid, warm or hot temperatures will mean you lose water faster.

You can’t perform at your best if you are not properly hydrated. Dehydration can affect physical function as well as reducing reaction time due to impaired mental ability. This could result in loss of coordination, problems making quick decisions (like where to kick the soccer ball) and increased perception of exertion. Ever had a huge game of netball, footy or basketball and played your hardest, only to have the coach ask why you were hanging back? This could have been due to dehydration.

Symptoms of dehydration

Symptoms of dehydration can vary from mild to severe. The more dehydrated you become the more extreme the symptoms which can occur. Signs you are not getting enough water can include:

  • dry mouth
  • feeling thirsty
  • little or no urination
  • dark yellow or amber coloured urine
  • confusion or irritability
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle cramps
  • dizziness
  • fatigue

Issues can occur when you become dehydrated during, as well as after, exercise until you regain the lost liquids.

How to stay hydrated during exercise

  • Make sure you start your training, exercise or game well hydrated.
  • Schedule regular drink breaks during exercise, organise water stations or carry adequate liquids with you.
  • Assist your liquid intake by including foods high in water during breaks, before or after exercise. eg – watermelon, oranges, strawberries, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, rock melon or honeydew melon or pineapple.
  • Little and often is better than gulping down large amounts of water in one go.
  • If you are exercising hard for more than an hour sports drinks or a natural alternative (see below) can help you perform for longer.
  • Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. If you are thirsty, or have a dry mouth, you’re already showing signs of dehydration.

Replenish electrolytes naturally

Sports drinks promotions tell us that we need their drinks to give our body’s essential electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during exercise. It is true that these two things will help your body hydrate and replenish energy after sport, however commercial sports drinks are not the only way to achieve this.

Sports drinks are full of refined sugar (much the same as a soft drink), artificial colours and flavours. Here are several easy ways to get electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride) and carbohydrates naturally.

  • Juice – Celery + Apple + Lemon – Naturally occurring electrolytes in this juice come from the celery, apple and lemon.
  • Mix – Sea salt + Baking soda + Lemon + Maple syrup + Water – Baking soda reduces the body’s acidity and provides a source of sodium bicarbonate.
  • Shake – Raw coconut water + Chia seeds – Raw coconut water contains electrolytes and potassium and is low in sugar. The chia seeds contain omega 3 fats, protein and fibre for energy.
  • Blend – Frozen banana + Almond milk + Kale – Banana and almonds provide potassium and magnesium to help regulate fluid stores. Kale is an excellent source of magnesium and calcium.

Don’t let dehydration stop you performing at your best. Remember to stay hydrated all day and drink extra fluid during and after exercise.

Ref – Natural electrolyte drink recipes

The importance of a good cricket warm up

Everyone who is involved in the health and fitness industry should be aware of the importance of stretching, before and after activity, to help lower the risk of injury. Whether you’re participating in a game of cricket on the weekend, involved in coaching and training or just enjoy keeping fit; we all know the frustration of succumbing to an injury that keeps us off the field or cricket pitch.

Yes, even cricket teams need to stretch and warm up before a game.

Stretching is the necessary process of elongating and warming up the muscles prior to exercise, to prepare them for physical activity. A warm up, correctly performed, will help to raise the body temperature, increase blood flow and promote oxygen supply to the muscles; all of this is aimed at preventing injury during sport. It will also help to prepare the mind, body, muscles and joints for the physical activity to come. A cool down is just as important to help the muscles and tendons to relax and loosen, to prevent them from becoming stiff and tight. A cool down also prevents waste products, such as lactic acid, from building up in the muscles.

One of the greatest benefits of stretching once you have put on your cricket uniform but before going out on the cricket pitch, is that you lengthen your muscles and tendons. This will allow for an increased range of motion, and means your limbs and joints can move further before a potential injury may occur.

Cricket Warm Up

Let’s look at the four types of stretches:

  1. DYNAMIC – a stretch through the full range of motion, eg an arm rotation.
  2. STATIC – a dynamic movement that is then held at the most extreme point, eg a lunge held at its deepest position.
  3. ISOMETRIC – a stretch against resistance, eg the splits whilst braced between two chairs.
  4. RELAXED – a stretch aided by resistance, eg a front split.

These different types of stretching focus on a different variety of flexibility, so it stands to reason that different sports require different types of stretching. For example, gymnasts require all types of flexibility, for cricket, only dynamic flexibility is required.

Stretches and warm ups for cricket

  • Arm rotations – particularly recommended for fast bowlers. Spin each arm round in several directions, gradually increasing the speed. Perform 15 reps per arm or until you feel blood rushing to your hand.
  • Hugs – to warm and lengthen back muscles. Hug yourself tightly then immediately try and clap your hands behind your back then hug yourself again. With each clap, try to bring your arms higher up your back. With each hug, focus on flaring your back muscles out and shrug your shoulders. Perform 15 reps.
  • Front kicks – to lengthen the muscles in the backs of the legs. Put your hand out in front of you and using it as a target, attempt to kick your hand with the leg on the same side as your hand. Perform 10 reps with one leg, doing 2-3 sets in total.
  • Side kicks – same as above, just kick out to the side. Again, 10 reps for 2-3 sets.
  • Squats – make sure your knees don’t go beyond your feet. Go down as low as you can, ideally with your butt around ankle bone level. Perform 10-15 reps depending on your fitness levels.
  • Seated torso twists – sit on the floor with your legs straight and wider than shoulder width apart. Bring your hands up to your armpits and twist at the waist, making sure your buttocks remains on the ground. Perform 10 reps on each side, with 3-4 sets.
  • Seated side bends – same as above but bend to the side. Do 10 reps with 3-4 sets.
  • Seated forward bends – remaining on the floor, bring your feet slightly closer together. Bend forward, making sure your back becomes curved. You want the back to curve to stretch the back muscles out. Perform 10 reps with 3-4 sets.
  • Shoulder raise – lying on your stomach, put your hands on the floor, under your shoulders. Use your back muscles and your arms to push your torso up, but make sure your hips stay on the ground. Work up to locking your arms out.

Put on your cricket uniform and warm up!

Make sure you perform a general warm up before playing cricket, to prepare your entire body for the game; including your heart, lungs and muscles. Allow enough time so you’re not rushed but also take care to not overdo it and risk using up vital energy stores before your game even starts.

How to choose the best sports shoe for you

We have all suffered the effects of bad fitting or inappropriate shoes at some stage of our lives. Blisters, black toenails, aching feet, joint pain and tendonitis are just a few problems which can occur from wearing the wrong shoes.

So how do you know the which are the right shoes for your sport? Shoe stores often label shoes as ‘running’, ‘tennis’ or ‘football’ shoes but this does not mean one style suits all. There are many aspects to consider when investing the big bucks on a new pair of sports shoes.

Know your feet

Knowing your feet and your gait (the way you walk) is the first step in finding the best shoes for you. Many professional sports shoe stores will examine your gait with the use of specialised equipment. Width, length, arch shape and the tendency to turn or roll your foot inwards or outwards are all factors which will determine which shoe fits best. An experienced shoe fitter or podiatrist can advise you on the best type of shoe for your needs.

Remember to have your feet measured and analysed each time you buy shoes as age, weight loss or gain and injuries can change the size of your foot or the way you walk.

Know your sport

Different sports demand different movements and unique pressures on your feet and body. Running, for instance, requires good cushioning and arch support to minimise impact to your joints and encourage your foot to move with out turning inward or outward. Netball and basketball, which have lots of side to side movement, stopping and starting requires a shoe with more stability support to prevent ankle injuries and added grip to avoid slipping.

Higher price doesn’t always equal a better shoe

Studies of sports shoes have shown that going to the top of the price range doesn’t always convert to a better shoe. Mid priced shoes ($150 to $200) proved to be comparable to the upper price range ($200+) in support, the only difference the high priced shoes was they may last slightly longer and increased mid-sole cushioning.

Shop around, do the research and try on different styles and brands. Don’t be swayed by looks as the funky looking pair may not fit as well as the boring coloured pair. Anyway, if you are playing hard enough no one will be looking at your shoes (a great team uniform on the other hand, will have everyone looking).

The importance of warm up exercises

Correct warm up exercises can decrease muscle tension, reduce injury risk and increase player performance by increasing blood flow to the muscles. An essential element in the pre-game or pre-training routine, warming up for 10 to 15 minutes can mean the difference between losing players out injured and playing with a full side.

Warm up also has other benefits for your team such as settling nerves and psychologically preparing the players for the game ahead. Pre-game is an important time for team morale, encouraging positive energy between players and casually discussing the game ahead can prime the team for the coming match. This mental preparation helps to clear the mind, increase focus and build concentration.

Benefits of a good warm up:

  • Enhanced range of joint motion
  • Elevated body temperature – improves muscle elasticity, reducing strains
  • Facilitates a rise in muscle temperature – allowing muscles to contract hard and relax fast increasing speed and strength
  • Prepares the body for the specific types of movements related to your sport
  • Raises heart rate and breathing in readiness for the game
  • Primes your nerve to muscle pathways to be ready for exercise
  • Reduces incidence of injury during the game

As we have mentioned in a previous blog (Stretching – Should we be doing it?) static stretching is not the best way to prepare your body for exercise. Starting with a gentle sports related exercise, walk or light jog is a better way to begin your warm up as it gently increases your heart rate and breathing while increasing the temperature of your muscles.

Stretching – Should we be doing it?

Do you always stretch before you exercise? If so, read on to learn about the latest studies and opinions.

Most people stretch

Many people believe they should be stretching before they exercise, with the aim of loosening up before their workout. Most fitness experts now agree that static stretching before exercise is not only counter-productive, but could be potentially harmful.

Flexibility

Stretching is the process of trying to lengthen muscles and soft tissue to increase flexibility. However, flexibility is mostly genetic; you’re either born flexible or tight. Flexibility refers to the maximum joint range of motion that can be achieved without causing injury to the joint support tissues. The important point for athletes, is to have the maximum functional range of motion required to perform an activity. So that “functional range” is more important than flexibility.

Stretching

Over the years, there have been many reasons given for stretching, most of them are inaccurate. Stretching does not prevent injury or improve performance, but warm up activities do, so time is best spent warming up the muscles, rather than stretching before exercise.

Traditional stretches, such as bending to touch the toes or stretching a leg on a fence, often cause the muscles to tighten, rather than relax; this is the opposite of what is intended for exercising. Experts say it’s the equivalent of stretching a rubber band to its limit; when a person stretches to their limit, they are more likely to pull a muscle. When you stretch before exercise, the body may think it’s at risk of being over stretched. Therefore, it compensates by contracting and becoming tense. This then limits you to be able to move as freely or as fast.

What the experts say

Dr Kieran O’Sullivan, an exercise expert at the University of Limerick, in Ireland, has studied various types of stretching and the impact on athletes. Dr O’Sullivan says, “We have developed this idea of static stretching at the wrong time. Stretching helps with flexibility, but people should only do it after exercising.”

In the last few years, several studies have found static stretching before playing sport makes you slower and weaker.

Researchers at the University of Zagreb, in Croatia, analysed 104 previous studies performed on participants, who engaged in static stretching and then had their muscle strength and power tested. Their findings revealed that static stretching reduced the strength in muscles by almost 6% and reduced muscle power by approximately 2%, with the impact increasing in participants who held the stretches for 90 seconds, or more.

“These findings primarily apply to people participating in events that require strength and explosive power, more so than endurance. But, other research indicates evidence that stretching impairs performance in distance running and cycling, too.”

Can stretching make you weaker?

A similar U.S. study found that stretching before weight training can actually make you feel weaker during your workout. Researchers discovered that, when squatting with barbells, fit, young men could lift 8.3% less weight after static stretching.

Try warm ups

Instead of stretching, many experts recommend warming up with sport-specific exercise, such as kicking for football, walking for joggers or a few ‘air’ serves for tennis. This type of light movement increases the heart rate and blood flow to the muscles, warms the body temperature and allows you to reach your full range of motion.

Research also shows that static stretching doesn’t work as well as more active types of stretching that incorporates movement, such as lunges.

Robert Meroni, of the University of Milan, says static stretching forces the muscle being stretched to endure pain, but active stretches work more muscles and the stretched muscles learn to extend while another group is working.

Don’t stop stretching

Experts don’t discount stretching completely, recommending people to stretch several times a week and that most types of stretches help. However, to maximise the benefit of stretching, consider how and when you do it. It’s recommended that you perform active stretches, that mimic your intended activity prior to exercise, to gain benefit and minimise potential injuries.

Speak to an experienced team member today

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