Pushups are commonly thought of as an exercise for the pectoral muscles of your chest, but this exercise can be done in many different ways to emphasize the muscles of your arms and shoulders. Regular pushups will work your arms, but inside pushups and diamond push-ups are better exercises to build arm muscles because they target your biceps and triceps. Perform both inside and diamond pushups three days a week to tone the arms.
Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Drop to your knees or support yourself on your toes. Bring your right hand in 3 inches toward your left hand. Bring your left hand in 3 inches toward your right hand to do inside pushups. Inside pushups will strengthen your biceps.
Straighten your spine and tuck your hips. Your torso should be parallel to the floor with your arms perpendicular to your shoulders. Squeeze your abs to stabilize your torso.
Rotate your elbows so that they are pointing toward your feet. Bend your arms and lower yourself toward the floor. Keep your elbows pointing backward so they brush your sides as you go down.
Press your arms straight again and raise your body up again. Do 20 to 40 push-ups, rest for a minute, and then do a second set.
Do diamond pushups to work the triceps brachii, more commonly shortened to the triceps. Place your hands on the floor in a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs touching. Both palms should be turned at 45 degree angles toward each other.
Hold yourself on your toes or drop to your knees. Position your chest over your hands. Flatten your back and tuck your hips.
Bend your elbows allowing them to go out at 45 degree angles in the same direction your hands are positioned. Lower your chest to a few inches from the floor.
Straighten your arms and push yourself back up to do one rep. Do two sets of 20 to 40 reps.
A more accessible version of Australian rules football, touch football provides the same general action without the brutal tackling and hard hitting. In touch football, merely touching the ball-carrier halts play. Only six players take the field per team, with each side generally consisting of two wingers, two links and two middles, also known as centers. The wingers and centers have decidedly different responsibilities.
As their name indicates, touch football centers play in the middle of the field. The two links line up outside the centers, one on each side, while the wingers take position on the extreme outside ends. While circumstances during play may require covering the entire field, centers tend to remain in the middle and wingers generally stick to the outer edges.
Since he¡¯s in the middle of the action, a good touch football center needs to have excellent communication skills, helping direct and organize his teammates into a cohesive unit. The center must also possess superb ball skills, as he’s often passing back to teammates streaking up field on the outside. Wingers are typically the team¡¯s fastest players and score the most touchdowns. Good wingers can sustain their speed throughout the match, and also demonstrate anticipation skills to read plays and exploit opposing defenses. Wingers must be quick on their feet and highly evasive.
Players are prohibited from passing the ball forward, making centers responsible for aggressively pushing the ball up the middle of the field to gain territory and open outside lanes for teammates. Wingers tend to stretch the field, using their speed to swing in behind teammates for quick passes before accelerating into the attack.
Centers are typically the best defensive players on a touch football team. It takes six touches, a fumble or an interception to change possession, and the centers are often the ones clogging the middle of the field and funneling runners into teammates for easy touches. Wingers can be a bit more aggressive on defense, using their speed to race forward and challenge passes in an attempt to snag interceptions or trigger fumbles. Wingers must also use their speed to run down any defensive mistakes.
If you are a recreational soccer player, you might arrive at a game after eating a large meal and find you’re too full to run well during a 90-minute outdoor contest or a 48-minute indoor one. You also might rush to the game without having eaten all day. It’s important to have sufficient glycogen in your muscles to sprint, jump and kick, rather than trying to run on either an empty fuel tank or a too-full stomach.
Sports nutrition texts, including ¡°Nutrition¡± by Stanford University professor Paul Insel, recommend that endurance sports athletes, such as soccer players, eat a diet consisting of 60 percent or more in carbohydrates. This provides fuel for leg muscles, especially the heavily used quadriceps. Good sources of carbs are rice, pasta, whole-grain bread, oatmeal, breakfast cereal and fresh or dried fruit, according to registered dietitian Diogo Ferreira, who collaborates with the Portuguese team Benfica. These foods have a low to moderate level of fiber, and help maintain stable blood sugar levels, he adds.
Allow three or ideally four hours to digest a meal before a soccer game or hard practice, write sports nutritionist Nancy Clark and Gloria Averbuch, marketing director for the Sky Blue pro women¡¯s team, in ¡°Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros.¡± If kickoff is at 8 p.m., complete a substantial meal between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Have essentially a second lunch, such as a sandwich, a mug of soup or peanut butter on crackers. Allow two to three hours to digest a smaller meal, one to two hours for a blended or liquid meal and less than an hour for a small snack.
Add protein to your diet, consuming lean meats such as chicken and turkey at lunchtime on game days, dietitian Ferreira recommends. Add low-fat milk, yogurt or a fruit shake for additional protein and calcium. Many female soccer players need to take iron, as French international player Sonia Bompastor of the Washington Freedom states in ¡°Food Guide for Soccer.¡±
Avoid fatty foods, such as fried eggs, hamburgers, french fries and sausage before a game, since these can upset your stomach. The one exception could be peanut butter, which you may be able to tolerate far better than other foods with fat, especially if you spread it on a slice of whole-grain bread, nutritionist Ferreira writes.
Sports nutritionist Clark advocates getting your pre-game nourishment from ¡°real¡± foods, as opposed to gels, power bars, protein drinks, sports drinks and powders. She and marketing director Averbuch advocate assembling a good diet from whole foods in their original form.
If you want to eat what the pros eat, ¡°Food Guide for Soccer¡± recommends 50 recipes from players in Women¡¯s Professional Soccer. These include Pasta with Chicken from all-time international caps leader Kristine Lilly, Avocado Salad from Brandi Chastain, Date Bars from Abby Wambach and Game Day Pancakes from Karina LeBlanc of Canada. Nicole Barnhart, the FC Gold Pride goalkeeper, has a well-balanced meal three to four hours before the game, and bananas or apples with peanut butter in the locker room before kickoff.
The Snellen eye test, designed by Hermann Snellen in the 1860s, is one of the most familiar sights at any eye doctor’s office. Comprising 11 rows of letters or symbols that become progressively smaller, the Snellen eye test measures visual acuity, which measures both sharpness of vision and the ability to recognize letters or figures at a certain distance when presented with clear contrast, such as black letters on a white background.
For the Snellen test to be accurate, the chart must be hung 20 feet from the person taking the test. If the room can’t accommodate this, mirrors may be used to simulate a distance of 20 feet, All About Vision explains. The standard point of reference, 20/20, is not the best vision possible, but a reference point for what an average person can see at a distance of 20 feet. Most people with good vision actually have better than 20/20 vision until they reach their 60s or 70s, writes optometrist Wendy Watt in “How Visual Acuity is Measured” on the MD Support website, in which she quotes August Colenbrander, M.D., of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute. The Snellen test is often done both with corrective lenses on and off, testing both eyes separately and then together. A person might have 20/70 vision in just one eye, with better or worse vision in the other eye or better or worse vision with both eyes tested together.
A person with 20/70 vision sees at 20 feet away what most people would see if they were standing 70 feet away. A person with 20/70 vision can read only down to the third line on the Snellen chart, which represents low visual acuity compared with the norm. Legal blindness is defined as 20/200 in the United States, All About Vision reports, so people with 20/70 vision are not considered legally blind.
The Snellen test determines visual acuity only. A person with 20/70 vision also might have other limitations on vision, such as poor depth perception, poor peripheral vision or an inability to distinguish objects that don’t have good color contrast, such as sidewalks and curbs, according to Watt. The Snellen tests also can’t determine color blindness.
States set their own standards for vision requirements necessary to obtain a driver’s license. In most states, people whose vision can’t be improved to more than 20/70 vision in both eyes even with corrective lenses are not allowed to obtain a driver’s license, according to MD Support. In some states, they might be restricted to daytime driving only. A person with a corrected or uncorrected vision of 20/70 vision in one eye but better vision in the other might be allowed to drive, depending on the state’s regulations.
While inborn refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can cause vision of 20/70, a number of eye conditions also can cause vision to drop to this level. Diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal detachment and cataracts are a few of the most common causes for a drop in vision, MedlinePlus states. Eye infections can cause a temporary drop in vision that might improve as the infection clears.
Head football coaches are often stereotyped as simple taskmasters, but in reality, their jobs are anything but simple. In addition to running games, head football coaches must deal with players, assistants and team or school officials, all while providing a face for the team. While coaches manage their teams in different ways, there are some key fundamental duties they all must handle.
In ¡°the buck stops here¡± fashion, head football coaches are responsible for a team¡¯s overall offensive and defensive strategies. Because football teams are typically large — from around 20 players at smaller high schools to more than 100 at major colleges — football head coaches typically delegate plenty of responsibility to coordinators. But, with a week between most games, head football coaches typically sign off on any pre-game strategies they don¡¯t create themselves.
The head coach generally outlines what the team does during practice, even though assistant coaches handle most of the individual instruction. Head coaches typically have the final say on personnel matters, such as which players make the team and which become starters. The head coach also sets the team¡¯s rules, and the consequences for breaking those rules. In many ways, head football coaches act as CEOs, setting the overall tone for the team while others execute their plans.
Coaches at huge prep programs can take on elements of the CEO model. But at most levels, head coaches often supervise areas such as weight training, break down video of future opponents and buy equipment. They may also work with booster clubs and deal with parents who may not be happy with their sons¡¯ playing time. Regardless of a school’s size, high school coaches deal with less experienced players, so they must do more fundamental teaching than coaches at higher levels.
The key difference in college is the head football coach must be his team¡¯s key recruiter. Assistants may coordinate and even start the recruiting process, but the head coach must act as the closer. As a result, college head coaches must be familiar with NCAA recruiting rules. Coaches at all levels have fundraising duties, such as appearing at events for school donors. They also have to deal with unscrupulous agents and others who may try to take advantage of star players.
Coaches at the professional level have large staffs of assistants and help from small armies of scouts and personnel experts. Nevertheless, a professional head coach must work very long hours viewing video of opponents, holding meetings with players and assistants, and running practices. Pro head coaches are also involved in personnel decisions, such as which players to select during the college draft and which free agents to sign. On the field, the head coach is the final decision maker for his team, and the only one who may challenge an official’s ruling.
There’s no substitute for football workouts that take place on the gridiron. No matter how many stairs you master, or how much iron you pump, field workouts will still directly affect your game like nothing else. The best way to improve how quickly you get up after being knocked down, or how fast you react to something you see, is to literally recreate it on the field.
Jump lunges: This will increase leg and groin strength while improving stride flexibility. Begin by taking one lunge forward, stopping when your back knee is an inch from the ground, and your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold this position for three seconds, then push off your front leg, jumping high into the air while someone throws a football above your head at your peak height. Catch the ball, and repeat the movement 25 times. Jump squats: This will increase leg strength and jumping height. Do a standard squat, and hold the “down” position for three seconds, then jump high into the air while someone throws a football above your head for you to catch. Perform 25 repetitions. Lateral hops: This will increase leg strength and speed. Place something small on the field, and jump from side to side over the object. Have someone throw a ball over your head for you to catch randomly, to practice reaction speed. Perform 25 repetitions.
Lines: This will improve how well you change direction, and your quickness over a short distance. Line up on the goal line in your “down” position. Sprint to the 10-yard line and back, then sprint to the 20 and back, to the 30 and back, to the 40 and back, and finish by sprinting to the 50. Six cones: This will improve your change-of-direction quickness and speed over a short distance. Stagger six cones over 60 yards, with 10 yards between each. Sprint from cone to cone, planting and changing direction each time. Skill-position players should carry a ball, and shift possession to the “outside hand” during each change of direction. Linemen should perform a swim or rip move each time. Do five sets of these. Gut buster: This will improve your “get up” quickness, and overall endurance. Start by doing 20 up-downs at the goal line, running in place when standing. Sprint to the 50, stop, then do 20 crunches. Sprint back to the goal line, then do 20 pushups. Continue this for five total sets, while adding in 20 squat jumps and 20 jumping jacks.
Four cones: This will improve your reaction speed and quickness over short distances. Place three cones in a straight line, each separated by 10 yards. Designate the cones as 1, 2 and 3. Set the fourth cone 15 yards away, and get in the “down” position by that cone. Run in place and have a partner yell out random numbers between 1 and 3. Sprint to that cone and back, running in place every time as you wait for the next number. Do three sets of 60 seconds. Shuffle and hit: This will improve your leg strength and reaction speed. Line up two cones 10 yards apart, and get in the “down” position next to one cone. Have a partner stand in front of you, holding a hitting dummy. When he yells the signal, get out of your stance and hit the dummy, then shuffle sideways to the next cone. Get back in the down position, and wait for his signal. Repeat this in three sets of 45 seconds.
It¡¯s tough to know where to start when you want to lose weight, but you’re on safe ground if you begin with regular cardiovascular exercise. Cardio activities raise your heart rate and help burn excess calories. Depending on your preferences and your physical condition, you can choose from low-impact activities such as swimming or riding a stationary bike, to more intense cardio forms, including running.
Among all types of exercise, cardio is unique for its particular weight-loss benefits. Most cardio activities burn comparatively more calories than their strength-training or flexibility counterparts in the same amount of time. Regular cardio exercise can also help you sleep better, feel more alert and energetic, and enjoy reduced risks for cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis.
The American College of Sports Medicine has two basic recommendations for cardio exercise. The first suggests 30 minutes of moderate cardio five times per week, and the second recommends 20 minutes of intense cardio three times per week. Each is adequate for general health and weight maintenance. However, people who are trying to lose weight and elevate their fitness levels may need to exceed the basic guidelines and lengthen the duration of each workout, or choose to exercise on a near-daily basis.
Cardio workouts boast an astonishing variety of exercises. One of the most simple is brisk walking. It requires no special equipment except a pair of sturdy shoes, and it¡¯s possible to do almost every day in any season and any location. Jogging is a level up from walking, while running is even more demanding and may require time off for the body to rest. Cardio workouts can also consist of exercise DVDs, aerobics classes, dancing and some calisthenics.
Cardio exercises range from mild to intense. More vigorous exercises burn the greatest number of calories, so they can be beneficial for weight loss, but they are typically best suited for people with high fitness levels. Organized sports, such as basketball, football and tennis, are some of the highest-intensity exercises that burn the most calories. You may need a day or two of rest between very intense cardio workouts, but in most cases it¡¯s appropriate to do mild to moderate cardio almost every day.
Regular cardio exercise is an integral part of a productive and effective weight-loss routine, but it shouldn¡¯t be the only part. The Cleveland Clinic states that the best weight-loss plans involve a balance of cardio, strength-training and flexibility exercises. If you mix all three types of workouts, you can do a bit of each type every day, or practice cardio for only a few days per week and do the other exercises on different days.
Becoming a professional athlete might be a dream for some sports enthusiasts and athletes, but it¡¯s not always the best bet. Intense competition, a life on the road and grueling practice might take some of the fun out of enjoying a sport from an amateur standpoint. Although amateur and professional athletes have a few things in common, such as some shared skills and passion for their sport, the primary differences lies in the fact that for professionals, performance within a sport can make or break their careers.
Getting paid is the litmus test of professional versus amateur athletes. Not all pro athletes are millionaires, however. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for professional athletes in 2010 was $43,740. In contrast, amateur athletes do not get paid for competing. They might receive perks related to participating in their league — for example, team gear or sponsored post-game dinners from local businesses — but they do not receive paychecks for playing.
In some cases, professional athletes might be older than amateur athletes because of rules established within sports organizations. For example, the NFL has rules in place barring young athletes from playing professionally directly after graduating high school; the idea is that they¡¯ll protect their younger bodies from injury and have the chance to complete some higher education while continuing to develop their athletics chops in collegiate competitions. “The Sport Journal” states that some sports critics dispute this reasoning, though, saying that it allows amateur athletes to be exploited since they¡¯re not being paid to play while in college. In some sports, younger athletes might opt to be home schooled and accept formal sponsorship in order to become professional earlier in their careers.
Amateur athletes might play baseball, tennis or volleyball just for fun, getting together on the weekend or after work for a pick-up game or to compete against other recreational teams. Professional athletes must frequently compete on weekends, evenings and holidays, depending on their competition schedule, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Time away from home can quickly accrue as pro athletes travel around the country, or around the world, during competition season.
Playing any sport involves some degree of risks, and some high-impact sports can be quite dangerous. Broken bones, concussions and other injuries create the potential for high medical bills and extended physical therapy. Some professional athletes might receive extensive medical benefits and insurance coverage as part of their contracts; other professionals or semi-pro athletes might receive travel money and contest fees but be expected to purchase their own health insurance. Amateur athletes who become injured will be personally liable for their injuries, covering medical costs of game-related injuries with their own coverage or paying out-of-pocket.
Toe injuries can occur quite easily. Whether you’ve dropped a heavy object on your toe, stubbed your toe on the newly arranged furniture or kicked the wall when realizing your lotto ticket was one number off, there’s one commonality: it hurts. Your toes are made up of 19 different small bones that can easily be injured and even broken. While serious toe injuries require a doctor’s care, taping them limits any movement that can cause further pain or worsen the injury.
Gather all the supplies you’ll need. Getting your materials together before you start will prevent you from having to walk more than you need to before you get your toe supported by wrapping it.
Check to see if you are bleeding. With some toe injuries, the skin may be cut. If so, spread on antibiotic ointment and place a small bandage on the toe to prevent the blood from sticking to your wrapping and to keep germs out of your wound.
Grasp your hurt toe and its neighbor. The next uninjured toe will also be included in the wrapping, so decide which toe you will use as a buddy to support or splint the injured toe.
Insert padding in-between the two toes. This can be gauze, cotton or another similar material such as a piece of felt. Padding should be the same length as your toes and should be thick enough to fit comfortably between the two without stretching them too far apart. The padding provides cushioning between the two toes so that they don’t rub together and cause pain; it also absorbs any moisture that may be between the toes.
Wrap it up. Place one end of the tape on the front of your toes and begin to wrap around both the injured and support toe. Make two to three rounds or more, depending on the size of your toe, with the tape in an even fashion to support the entire length of both toes. Cut the tape and press gently down until the end is secured.
Since the 1945 introduction of the Nigerian Football Federation, the West African nation has become a top soccer contender on the international stage. Nigeria, under British control for centuries, has played in the World Cup and Olympics, and held its own professional national championships since gaining full independence in 1960.
Although sports have been an integral part of Nigerian society for centuries, they were little more than leisure activities. Prior to 1963, few athletes made an international impact, especially in football. According to Online Nigeria, the National Sports Commission was founded to lay the foundation for all sporting event organization in Nigeria. Though the Nigerian Football Federation already was a governing body, football in Nigeria was still confined to the African boundaries, rarely making appearances outside the continent. Championships were played among rival clubs from Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar.
Nigeria began participating in Africa’s Challenge Cup in the 1960s. The Cup was originally named the Governer’s Cup by the British. The Challenge Cup fueled Nigeria’s desire to play in the World Cup, though the team was unsuccessful in qualification matches. But Nigeria qualified for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. It produced widespread national interest, along with more emphasis on Nigerian soccer. In 1972, the Nigerian National League was born, beginning with five teams and growing to 12 by 1978.
Nigeria won bronze medals in the 1976 and 1978 African Cup of Nations competition. In 1980, the Super Eagles won the championship in Lagos. In 1984 and 1988, Nigeria captured silver medals in the tournament.
Since the 1980s, Nigeria’s U-17 team has won three international world championships, including in 2007. Nigeria qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with a 3-2 victory over Kenya in 2009. Nigeria tied South Korea 2-2 in South Africa, but lost to Greece and Argentina and failed to make it out of the first round. Nigeria, which has produced top players such as Mikel John Obi and Jay-Jay Okocha, will again be a favorite during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.