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10 Basement Renovation Ideas to Transform the Basement Into a Fun Space

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

The proverb manifests an important truth of life. If you do not take time off from work, your life will become dull and boring. It is necessary to cultivate a hobby to de-stress yourself. Also, it is essential to spend some time with your friends and family because it is not good to work all the time. But, enjoying your life doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend money every weekend. You can make optimum use of the basement and create a personal fun space in your home.

One Basement: Multiple Possibilities

There are so many things that you can do with the basement. You can enhance its usage according to your requirements. But, before you begin the process of transforming it into your dream fun space, talk to a basement renovation contractor. He will be able to guide you with the renovation project and help you in making practical decisions. Here are a couple of basement renovation ideas that you can discuss with the contractor:

  1. Play-Area for Kids

If you want to spend more time with your family, you can opt for a play-area in the basement. Your kids will love it and it will help you to keep an eye on your little ones. Also, it will enable your kids to play in a safe and clean environment. To transform it into a play-area, you can add a couple of gaming consoles, society games, and similar entertainment options.

  1. Music Studio

If music is your life, you should take advantage of extra space in your home. Do not think that limited space in the basement can create a problem because an expert basement renovation contractor will show you creative ways of adding extra space to a cramped room. Also, you can sound-proof the area if you want to enjoy better music quality without disturbing other members of the family.

  1. Artist’s Workshop

If you love to paint, you need a vast space to deposit paints, brushes, and other painting equipment. Luckily, the basement can accommodate your entire painting gear if you renovate it properly to suit your needs. Using the basement area is a good idea because it will protect your masterpieces from prying eyes and keep it safe from the reach of kids.

  1. Gym

If you love to exercise, it can become your personal gym. You can install several fitness equipment and sports accessories in the basement. It will enable you to exercise without disturbance. You can also add a small fridge and fill it with cold, tasty beverages to cool you down after an intense workout.

  1. Boxing Ring

Some people are into fitness and bodybuilding. On the other hand, there are people who prefect sports such as boxing. If you are into boxing, you are aware that a boxing ring requires a lot of space. The basement in your home can provide you with enough space to create a boxing ring.

  1. Casino

It is possible to transform the basement into a casino. All that you have to do is install one or two poker tables, a Russian roulette, a blackjack table, etc. and create an atmosphere of a casino. Having a casino in your home will ensure that you do not spend money unnecessarily. You can spend time with your friends by playing poker in the basement. Installing ambient lighting and task lighting along with an open bar is a nice way of adding the feel of a casino to the area.

  1. Meditation Area

If you are a spiritual person, you can create a meditation area in your home. It can be an ideal space for relaxation. For a meditation area, you need proper ventilation and adequate natural light. So, discuss your requirements with the basement renovation contractor. Also, you can add a fireplace to create a peaceful atmosphere in the basement.

  1. Wine Cellar

Are you a wine connoisseur? You can use the basement to deposit your impressive collection of wine bottles. If you want to build a wine cellar in the basement, you will have to install special cooling devices as well as buy furniture to accommodate your collection.

  1. Home Theatre

Those who love movies can transform the basement into a genuine movie theatre. For it, you will have to invest in quality audio-video equipment, a comfortable sofa, and a small fridge filled with snacks and cold beverages. If you love watching movies with your family members, add a couple of comfortable armchairs. Do not forget to sound-proof the basement so that your movie watching experience doesn’t create any problem for other members of the family.

  1. Gaming Area

Are you a serious gamer? Do you love playing video games with your friends? You can customize the basement according to your requirements and install laptops and desktops that are specially designed to enhance your gaming experience. Do not forget to buy professional-quality webcams, headphones, and other gaming equipment for a better experience.

Two Birds; One Stone

The basement in your home can become your favorite place. Add your personal style to it and make it your den. Remember that spending your hard-earned money in restaurants and movie theatres is not the only way to enjoy your weekend. Instead, kill two birds with one stone. Consider basement renovation to increase the value of your home as well as create a fun space to de-stress and relax.

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Aero Pilates Performer 295 – The Total Body Workout

For years, I have been a cardio buff. On any given day, I can be seen on my bicycle, in-line skates, or running shoes. However, that is about to change. After 30 some years of chronic cardio abuse through running, I determined that I needed to mix up my training. Mark Sisson, the founder of the Primal Blue Print suggests spending about 6 hours a week doing various cardio work out routines. Doing Pilates is a great way to mix up the work outs and do what fitness expert call shock treatment . I discovered Pilates reformer exercises that I can do at home and I am hooked!

If you're reading this article, chances are you're almost ready to plunk down a few hundred dollars for a Aero Pilates Reformer Machine. The Stamina Aero Pilates Pro reformer series of machines give you one of the most hard-core workouts that your money can buy. These incredible machines are safe, very efficient, comfortable, and easy-to-use. Most important, they give the results that you are looking for. The machines help you to burn fat, get a cardio workout, and build up your core muscle groups. I bet most people wish they could help control appetite. Sorry, that one is on you!

The reviews for the Aero Pilates are nothing short of rave. Most people admit that using a Pilates reformer machine is an intelligence choice for overall physical fitness. It is an all-encompassing use of the Pilates method. Stamina is the leader and most respected manufacture of reformers in the world. But do not just take my word on it. Do your own homework and find out why it's the best workout. Amazon is a great place to find reviews that are written by real people. You will find grammatical errors, spelling errors, and just an overall real exclusion that only and and user could write. In my opinion, if the review is written perfectly, then it's just a stuck fake review.

I'm very partial to the Stamina pro performer 295. The big selling point for me is a cardio rebounder. Rebounding is well known amongst fitness buffs forgiven a great low-impact cardio workout. With the Stamina Aero Pilates performer you will be able to get your heart rate going as effectively as with the treadmill and at the same time work more muscle groups. Moreover, it's very gentle on your joints, and since your lying on your back, the effect of gravity and the concussion it causes on your legs, spying, and hips is going to be minimized. This machine is really like a mini trampoline or rebounder-both which I'm very fond of.

The Pilates method focuses on using your entire body as a whole unit, not dividing it into separate parts like many bodybuilders do. This machine will work your entire body.

The design of the system is incredible. The performer features 3 heavy duty plastic cords that provide for levels of work of resistance. One of the resistance cords is the power cord for 40% more resistance. It has all true smooth ball bearing rollers that allow the platform to glide gently through the track frame. It has an adjustable padded head rest, adjustable hand and foot ropes and foam shoulder pads.

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Exercise Provides Us Protection From The Disease

It is said that a perfect mind resides in a perfect body. Yes, we know about the significance of daily exercise. It is very important to know how to consider the importance of exercise in the life. Routine exercise is the very valuable element to the slim and smart body. We cannot deny the significance of exercise and not to refuse how to useful for us. We should set the time for exercise early in the morning more than thirty to sixty minutes. Exercise specialists suggest a chart for all parts of the body to warm up. Simply, a common man knows the benefits of exercise including:

1. Provide the protection from the disease.

2. Reduce the heart attack chances.

3. Improve your stamina and building stronger muscle.

4. Protection from obesity and gives the confidence to succeed in all fields of life.

Daily exercise is so important against the dangerous disease like blood pressure, heart attack, obesity, diabetes, constipation and up the cholesterol level. All the above diseases are dangerous for health. Today’s man wants to know about the threat of life because of the disease. Every part of the body works in proper ways and provides a right line to maintain the muscles. When we take an exercise that calories burn in the body and turn into heat. It works as a fuel in the body. When our body does not burn the calories. As a result, we get the extra fat. It is the main cause of obesity. Obesity is causes of heart disease and diabetes. If we will not take exercise in timely and regular basis that we will be many parts of the disease.

Constipation is another harmful disease that is a cause of many diseases. We can say it is a mother of the disease. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes and raise the cholesterol level is all the causes of constipation. Those people who do not take exercise on a daily basis are suffering the fatal disease. Exercise is the only source to reduce the level of all harm of life.

Regular exercise builds your muscle and confidence will be very high in the eyes of the girls. You are a prominent person in any party due to an attractive sexy body. Your resistance level will be very high. You can achieve the target due to a confidence level.

I hope, you will have known about the importance of exercise and you will join the gym immediately. Daily exercise will be part of your life.

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How to Get Ready For a Bodybuilding Show

My Preparation for 2004 Bodybuilding Contests

Back in the day (1996-1999), I had it pretty easy getting ready for shows, much to the envy of those who knew me. I would “diet” by having only one Snickers a day and still be in great shape. I was winning my weight class in almost every show and taking a few overall titles as well. In 2000 and 2001, I had a wake up call at the Team Universe, finishing no better than 9th. Then in 2002, I had mild success in a couple of NPC shows, but still hadn’t achieved my 1990’s-level of conditioning. I was now in my thirties and figured my career was slowly winding down. After six months of mono in 2003, and no competitions, I realized that this year was going to be my swan song. With that mentality in mind, I picked two shows to prepare for-one in September and one in October-to go “gently into that good night”.

The first show would be the INBF Karen Miller Klassic in Youngstown, Ohio, on September 11. I started my pre-contest nutrition program 17 weeks out. The first month included a cheat meal once a week, which I still can get away with, as I tend to lose too much weight too fast (at least that’s my rationalization!). At 12 weeks out, here is my “diet”:

Meal 1

6 egg whites + 1 yolk

½ cup oatmeal

Meal 2

8 oz. red meat or 3 scoops protein powder

7 rice cakes

Meal 3

6-8 oz. wheat pasta

7 oz. chicken

Meal 4 (post-workout)

6 scoops recovery powder

Meal 5

8 oz. red meat or turkey

white or brown rice microwaveable bag

Meal 6

7 oz. chicken or 8 oz. red meat

Totals:

2975 calories

310 g-protein

335 g-carbs

41 g-fat

Now that I look back at this, I am surprised that I ate this bad (relatively speaking). However, I was still losing body fat, and continued this way for a while. Admittedly, my fast metabolism has always allowed me to get away with things most competitors cannot do. Not this time! I had met my match. Here is what my next phase looked like:

Meal 1

6 egg whites + 6 oz. red meat or 8 oz turkey or 8 oz chicken + 1-2 kiwi

Meal 2

2 scoops protein powder + 1 scoop BCAA

Meal 3

10 oz chicken or 10 oz turkey + 2-3 cups salad

Meal 4

same as 2

Meal 5

10 oz chicken or 10 oz turkey or 8 oz red meat + 2-3 cups salad

(Meal 6 when needed)

9 egg whites

OR

Hi Carb Meal (Mon & Thurs)

A typical day yielded around 1550 calories; 300 grams of protein; 37 grams of carbohydrates; 25 grams of fat (all values not including supplements). Well, it worked! I was getting leaner by the day and ended up at 5% bodyfat the week of the contest. The Friday before the show I weighed in at 184, and found out I was the only lightheavyweight! At least I won my class. I also ended up winning the overall. It had been several years since I had accomplished that feat. I was now ready for my next show: the Natural Northern USA in three weeks.

However, between shows, Suzanne, my wife, was going to be running a marathon….in Maui. Somehow, I had to figure out how to stay focused and disciplined for those ten days. It presented a dilemma as to how to help her and be there for her event, while still staying the course for my event. Everyday presented a new challenge. Even simple things like walking the beach would wear me out. I wasn’t much fun. She understood, though, and I will always remember the sacrifices she made on my behalf.

We arrived home with seven days to get ready for Cleveland. I was down to 4.5%, and had achieved the best shape of my life (at least as a lightheavy). I stayed on exactly the same diet between shows. I weighed in at 181, certainly at the bottom of the weight class, but was confident that I had prepared to the best of my ability.

At prejudging, I was sure I placed 3rd-5th based on callouts. It was one of the toughest classes I had ever competed against (and this was my 16th show!). To my sincere shock, I won the class by just a few points. The overall winner (Shiloe Steinmetz) certainly had me beat on pure muscle, but several judges told me that I had had the better physique (symmetry, aesthetics, conditioning), which made me feel good.

Some other key points:

o As mentioned above, my metabolism affords me to do very little, if any, cardio work. This year I did perform two days of either stair climbing, or sprint/plyometric work. I like this kind of activity, regardless of an upcoming bodybuilding show. It also granted me the exclusion of doing direct leg work with weights for most of the contest prep.

o I am not a proponent of dropping water, or sodium, before a contest. I drank 2.5 gallons of water each Friday before the show, as well as continued to salt my foods. The only change was the addition of potassium Wed-Sat. I lose water through sweating, not so much through dietary changes.

o My strength training also does not change until the very last week. My split looks like this:

o Day 1=back

o Day 2=hams/calves OR sprints/stairs

o Day 3=chest/biceps

o Day 4=abs/quads OR plyometrics/stairs

o Day 5=delts/traps/triceps

o My training philosophy is very instinctual, therefore, I never do the same workout twice in a row. In fact, I never plan any workout, other than the body part(s) I am going to perform that day.

o I train in a non-traditional, undulating periodization model. A once popular European model for Olympic athletes has migrated to the United States and has been applied to American athletes (although it has limited application to bodybuilders). There are numerous texts and articles for more details on this philosophy. I have tailored the different cycles found within periodized models to include variety within a workout as well as between workouts. With that said, it is unrealistic for me to outline a typical workout regimen, but this will give you some idea (upper body only).

Back

-¾ deadlifts 4 x 6

-Front pulldowns 3 x 12

-One arm high pulley row 3 x 10

-High Hammer row 3 x 20

Chest

-Incline barbell press 4 x 6

-Incline dumbbell press 3 x 10

-Hammer decline press 3 x 20

-Pec deck 3 x 12

Biceps

-Seated dumbbell curl 3 x 10

-One arm preacher curl 3 x 12

-Hammer curl 3 x 15

Shoulders

-Seated dumbbell press 4 x 8

-Seated dumbbell side raise 4 x 12

-Seated dumbbell rear fly 4 x 15

Traps

-Seated machine shrug 4 x 8

-Behind-the-back barbell shrug 3 x 15

Triceps

-Seated preacher curl 3 x 10

-Cable pushdown 3 x 12

-One-arm dumbbell extension 3 x 15

This is my off-season, as well as pre-contest, style of training. The only exception is that rest intervals decrease (i.e. 60-90 seconds) considerably during a pre-contest mode. I must re-iterate that the above is what I believe works for me. It has a loose base in scientific theory, but more than anything, it is grounded in anecdotal evidence.

This year has been a learning experience, just like every year since my first show in 1990! As I get older, and hopefully smarter, I enjoy the process, the learning, the challenge, much more than the outcome. It is nice to win, but that is only one night, and not up to me anyway. All the weeks leading up to the contest are in my control, and I cherish each small victory along the way.

I am undecided as to whether I will continue to compete. It is hard to just “turn it off”, and train for the hell of it! My goals now become more intrinsic-just to keep getting better, not necessarily bigger. By virtue of my achievements this year, I now have more questions than answers….

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An Introduction To Swimming

Swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities all over the world. Swimming is also a form of sport in several countries. Besides, the number of injuries associated with swimming is comparatively lesser than other sports. A lot of people frequently go to water parks, and lakes to enjoy swimming and other water sport activities.

People are becoming conscious about the various benefits of having a fit and a healthy body. Health and fitness experts always stress the importance of including swimming in their exercise regime. Swimming improves the blood circulation in the body and is a great workout for all the muscles. It is a form of low impact aerobic activity and increases strength and cardiovascular stamina. Apart from being a full body exercise, it is also a great way to relax and rejuvenate. A lot of people swim regularly to control their weight and improve body contours. In fact, swimming is considered as one of the greatest stress busters. Many people, who have the resources, prefer to have a swimming pool in their house.

Many people pursue swimming as a profession as well. There are people who work as lifeguards at swimming pools and beaches. They rescue people who are unable to swim or those who are facing problems while swimming. Some expert swimmers take up the job of a swimming coach to teach and guide new and amateur swimmers. They teach them the technique of swimming resistance and various swimming strokes. It is advisable for swimmers to wear appropriate swimming costume to reduce friction and facilitate unobstructed swimming.

As the human body gains buoyancy in water, the swimmers can float effortlessly. However, water offers more resistance than air. Various water-based activities include water aerobics, water therapy, and water toning. These activities are instrumental in enhancing metabolism and offers relief from the fatigue and exhaustion associated with routine life.

It is recommended for new swimmers to begin swimming under the guidance and training of a proficient swimming coach. It can be fatal to enter a swimming pool without having prior training.

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The Ken Patera Workout

For those who are new to weight training/lifting and have no idea who Ken Patera is here’s a little background for you.

Patera is a former Olympic Weightlifter and USA powerlifter. He won several medals at the Pan American Games (including gold), and finished second in the 1971 World Weightlifting Championships. He was the first American to clean and jerk 500 (503 1/2) lbs, which he achieved at the 1972 Senior Nationals in Detroit. He is also the only American to clean and press 500 lbs, and he was arguably the last American to excel at weightlifting on an international level.

Patera also competed in the first World’s Strongest Man contest in 1977, finishing third behind Bruce Wilhelm and Bob Young.

Patera went on to have a long career on professional wrestling. Here is a typical Patera workout. Patera would switch up his routines constantly, as well as sets and reps. Use your own judgement based on your comfort level.

The Ken Patera Workout

Snatch

Clean and Press

Bench Press

Squats

Notes: Lift 2-3 times per week using whatever set and rep scheme your comfortable with except for squats. Perform one set of each squat exercise and one set only. Get plenty of rest, eat good food and drink lots of water. Remember to lift heavy and with max intensity.

Understand that to be successful in any weight training program – hard work is a must! Half-hearted effort does nothing for you. If you’re new to weight training or grossly out of shape, consult a physician first. End of disclaimer.

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Vertical Jump Test

An athlete’s vertical Jump is a milestone in his sports career; in sports like basketball and volleyball, the player with the highest jump is the most feared score winner and defender of all. For Generations, people have been trying to figure out ways of enhancing the explosive power of a person’s vertical jump. Aside from the great bout on unlocking the limits, it has also been a problem measuring the accurate progress of a person’s vertical jump during his training.

Wall Nut

The most basic way of measuring the height of a person’s vertical leap is by standing beside a wall while raising one of your hands as high as possible, feet lying flat on the ground;afterwards, put a line or marker on the tip of your finger. This is known as the “standing reach”. Put oil or powder at the tip of your fingers then jump several times and touch the wall so marks would be left behind to indicate your highest reach upon jumping. Measure the distance between your standing reach and the highest point you have made. This is the height of your vertical jump.

Kinematics

Some people use a more scientific and accurate way of measuring the vertical jump, by using a pressure pad, laser beams and kinematic equations. This is measured by taking note of the time an athlete can complete a jump before he falls back to the ground. The equation for this is h = g*t2/8, where (h) is for height, (g) is for the pull of gravity which is equal to 9.81 m/s2 or 32.2 ft/s2 and (t2/8) for the time an athlete can complete the jump from the ground and back to the ground in milliseconds. This equation if usually calculated by a software installed to a computer where the pressure pad and laser beams are connected.

Infrared Laser

This is also an accurate way of measuring the vertical leap of a player, where he is required to stand and jump in between two infrared laser planes facing each other. How does it work? Well, not as complicated as computing kinematic equations; in fact, it just works like jumping beside a wall and subtracting your standing reach off your maximum jump reach. The only difference is that first, it is using infrared laser beams and second, it is a way lot more expensive than the regular jump and reach beside the wall.

Whatever method it is you are using, as long as you are sure that your vertical is gaining more and more power and you can feel that there really is progress in what you are doing, you are surely getting somewhere. Question is, are you? If you are not pretty sure that there is ascension in your vertical jump training, I would advise you to seek help from vertical jump professionals.

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Swim Training For Fighters (Part 1)

Swimming for conditioning is little used, little known or incorrectly used by most fighters and coaches. Not that they the coaches don’t have a plan, or goal but a lot of coaches take standard gym work into the pool and stay at one end, doing partner carries and jump squats, all great stuff but if they really understood the benefits of swimming they could put together a swim specific programme from circuits to aerobic, anaerobic and endurance sets.

Swimming is a great exercise and will increase lung capacity if used properly by a fighter which obviously has benefits in the ring in relation to hydrogen conditioning, swimming also puts 25lb of pressure on the whole body when swimming and is also a weightless form of fitness.

Obviously the benefits can only be reaped if the fighter can swim and is comfortable in a pool environment. The exercises below can be changed at anytime and are only a suggestion.

There are many swimming aids out there from paddles to pull buoys and all can be utilised, however one of the easiest and cheapest is to wear a t-shirt and extra swim shorts during training for extra drag, however caution should be exercised and only use this extra drag every few weeks. If you don’t your body will adapt and you will require more and more clothing for drag.

Pool Circuits are probably the easiest to start with and understood so below are a few circuits to start of with

Circuit 1

You will require access to swimming widths (deep end) for this circuit and require two mats one at either side for certain exercises, ensure a warm up is conducted prior to the start.

Swim 10 widths front crawl as fast as you can.

Pull yourself out the pool and do twenty press ups, slide into the pool swim a width underwater on the opposite side conduct nineteen press ups, then repeat until you have completed the set.

On completion swim 10 widths front crawl again then conduct double leg v sits as above on completion repeat the process and conduct double squat thrusts

Circuit

10 widths front crawl sprint

Press ups 20 -1 swimming a width underneath taking 1 press up off each side

10 widths front crawl sprint

Double leg v sits 20-1 swimming a width underneath taking 1 V sit off each side

10 widths front crawl sprint

Double leg squat thrusts 20-1- swimming a width underneath taking one squat thrust off each width

Rest is up to an individual between the sets but no longer than a minute.

Circuit 2

As above but run between width’s, this can be done in the shallow end or at the deep end if using the deep end use an aqua jogger which is a blue support belt which goes around the waist and is normally used for rehabilitation work in the pool.

Circuit 3

As above but swim lengths and only one front crawl sprint length is required between the exercises

Circuit 4

Make sure you have a partner for this set.

Both sprint from the shallow end until the deep end starts then back ten times.

Partner 1 piggy backs number two for ten sprints above then change

Partner 1 sprint’s same distance backwards for 4

Partner 2 squat jumps until partner 1 finishes (head under water back straight bum touching heels then explode upwards)

Swap over

1 minute rest repeat once more

Circuit 5

Partner squat jumps 30 seconds on 15 rest for 3 minutes

Swap over

Band punches standing with shoulders under water partner 2 holding band at rear for extra tension

30 seconds on 15 rest for three minutes (no bands use aqua dumbbells)

Swap over

Front crawl sprints* 30 seconds on and 15 rest for 3 minutes

Partner holds your ankles whilst you swim hard for 30 seconds on front crawl

Swap Over

Rest 1 minute repeat

Again the above are a suggestion however I feel these are the better exercises a fighter should be using in the pool for conditioning, as the lungs need to be overloaded in order to increase oxygen up take.

The last circuit should only be used with fighters who are competent in the water and are able to swim at a reasonable standard.

Deep end access will be required

The fighter treads water with their hands for two minutes, then feet for two minutes hands in the air.

The fighter then has their hands placed together behind their back using an elastic band, he then sinks to the bottom of the pool as soon as his feet touch the bottom he explodes to the surface sucks in a breath of air and submerges again, complete this for five reps.

If the band breaks the fighter starts again, for a more advanced workout tie the legs with an elastic band as well.

This drill develops the CV system and allows the fighter to go hypoxic as the hydrogen will start to soar through the body.

Give them a go and see how you get on, we have tried to minimise the amount of kit required, if you have no bands or aqua dumbbells to pull buoys will suffice for a start.

Next time we will look at swim sets to develop the fighter and add additional training to their arsenal.

If you try them please get back to us and leave a comment.

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3 Drills That Make Batting Cage Work More Productive

Batting cage batting practice is a great way to improve batting skill, bat speed and batter confidence. This article discusses three Hitting Drills That Make Batting Cage Work More Productive. The three drills are the MOVE UP, COUNT ADJUSTMENT and LINE DRIVE CONTEST. These drills are great ways to get maximum benefits from your batting cage workouts. The three drills are:

Move Up Batting Drill

Purpose: Used to improve bat speed, visual concentration, and batter confidence.

Description: The MOVE-UP hitting drill: The batter learns to see and hit the ball quicker out of the machine or batters hand. Before the drill begins, 4 spots are marked on the floor, in measured distances of 40, 35, 30, and 25 feet. The machine or pitcher should maintain a safe medium speed velocity during this drill. The accuracy of your pitching machine must be checked and rechecked during the drill for safety purposes. The spots are the locations at which the batter will take a certain number of swings. The batter hits 4 balls at each spot and then move closer to the machine or pitcher at the next spot.

Procedure: The batter hits 4 to 6 balls at each spot, then moves to the next spot closer to the machine or pitcher. The machine or pitcher should not deliver the next pitcher until the batter assumes a proper stance, triggers or loads to the proper launch position, and has visual focus on the pitcher or machine. The batter starts the drill at 40 feet and hits at all spots until he has hit 4 to 6 balls at each spot, ending with ball hit at the closest spot to the pitcher, 25 feet. Distances can be shortened or made longer to meet the needs of your players.

Coaching Points: Sometimes you may have the player hit two balls at each spots moving toward the machine and then hit two balls at each spot moving away from the machine, until two balls are hit at each location or distance. This process makes the batter adjust to varying changes in pitch speed. This drill is great for teaching batters to stay-back and let the ball in.

Count Adjustment Drill

Purpose: The drill is great for teaching young hitters to make adjustments in their approach at the plate based on the current count. Batters learn to be properly aggressive for the following counts or situations 0-0, 2-0, 0-2, 3-1, runner at 3rd with 1 or less outs, and hit-in-run.

Procedure: In a normal cage hitting, the players would be hitting every pitch in the correct and proper direction based on the pitch location. To change the approach, a coach calls a count such as 2-0. For the next two pitches, the batter will be properly aggressive as he would with that count in a game. Of course in this situation, the batter is looking for a pitch in that perfect spot. If the ball is at that anticipated location, the batter attacks, the ball. If the ball is not in that spot the batter will hold off the pitch and adjust to the new count of 2-1 or 3-0. If the coach calls, Runner at 3rd, the batter is looking for a pitch up to drive deep enough for a score or tag and score. The batter will try to lift the ball and drive a deep fly ball to the outfield. If the coach calls for a Hit-and-Run swing, the batter will execute a hit-and-run approach at the plate and hit the ball in a direction that would be behind the runner.

Line Drive Contest Drill

After a session of batting cage workouts, it is good to end the day with a competitive and fun line-drive hitting contest. An assistant coach will do the pitching. The coach is protected by a L-screen. The player should only swing at great pitches. The contest is to see which player hits the most line-drives in a row. A line-drive is a ball that hits the side walls, back wall, or pitchers L-Screen hard and directly off the batters bat. The hit ball can not touch the top of the cage in front of the pitching protective L-Screen. As long as the batter hits line-drives with each swing, the batter adds one to his score for each line-drive hit. This drill is a good method of teaching batters to perform and hit under pressure.

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7 Best Beatles Workout Songs

I’m old fashioned in my tastes and my favorite band of all times is the Fab Four from Liverpool, the Beatles. I have all the Beatles songs, even the rare ones, on my iPod and I always take it with me to the gym when I workout. Naturally, not everyone is a Beatlemaniac such as I am so I don’t expect you to have every single one of their songs, but if you want to know which are the best Beatles workout songs, I can suggest a few:

1. I Feel Fine – A short but super-catchy tune sung by John Lennon with the rest of the gang on backup vocals. This number can get you into a better mood in a matter of seconds.

2. Twist and Shout – This is actually a cover that the Beatles did on their first album of an American song, but their version withstood the test of time. The words “Shake it now baby” should be enough to prove that this is an awesome workout song.

3. Oh Darling – I just love this song all the way through. I think it’s the crazy guitar and Paul McCartney’s insane vocals on this song from Abbey Road that make it an all time favorite of mine. The chorus line should help you lift bigger weights no matter which exercise you’re currently doing.

4. I Saw Her Standing There – An awesome song from the Beatle’s first album. This number is a great cardio workout song and also works for strength training. Quick, upbeat, and powerful, what more do you need.

5. Eleanor Rigby – I know, this isn’t a Rock song, but something about the tempo of the strings on this song make it into such a powerful number that it always gets me into a deeper level of concentration and helps me workout better.

6. Day Tripper – This song was never featured on one of the Beatles main albums but it still earned a #1 spot on the charts. And why wouldn’t it, it’s one of the all time catchiest songs I’ve ever heard in my life.

7. Hard Days Night – John Lennon sounds like a working class hero in this song and you get the feeling that you’d better put some more into your routine yourself. I like this song especially as both John and Paul sing in it and it’s really fast and furious like a workout song should be.

One thing you should know is that most of the Beatles songs are rather short so you may need some more to cover your entire workout. These seven are surely a good start.

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