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  • Lose That Muffin Top – Quick As 1-2-3

    I’ve always wondered why they’re called ‘love handles’, after all, who actually loves them?!  Most people nip, tuck and tent to cover the dreaded rolls that seem destined to haunt us forever. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case, following these simple steps can help you lose that stubborn fat and gain muscle in its place.

    The first step is modifying your diet. Now, don’t get worried, I don’t mean live on lemon water and celery for six weeks. Actually, quite the opposite is true. It’s very important to eat a balanced diet, and keep your calorie intake at a decent level to keep your body from storing fat in fear of not having enough energy to live on. Those special fat reserves usually end up right where you don’t want them, on your stomach and love handles.

    Instead of eating three large meals a day, try bumping it up to five smaller meals.  Keep your meals protein packed, and don’t be afraid to eat carbs. Keep your diet healthy, no French fries, donuts or breakfast cake. Whole wheat grains & fresh cooked meals topped with a healthy serving of fresh fruits and vegetables are the best way to go.

    Try eating your salad or vegetables before your meats and starch, this will help you fill up and keep you oil and grease consumption down to a minimum. Vegetables and fruits are also full of minerals and vitamins that help you stay healthy and have more energy.  Stay away from processed foods and red meat as much as possible, and opt instead for foods that are low in additives, like coloring and chemical flavors.  Drink tons of water, aim for at least 16 cups a day.  Drinking loads of ice cold water can help your metabolic rate increase. A group of German scientists found that you could increase your body’s metabolic rate by 30% just by drinking water.  Yes, it is possible to actually burn calories by drinking more water.

    Ok, perhaps I should explain more, a calorie is actually the measure of how much energy it takes your body to heat up and use an ounce of water.  To help your body burn up more of that stubborn fat reserve drink ice cold water, and force your body into calorie burning mode.  This something you can do anywhere, at work or at home, just carry around a thermos or bottle of cold water and chug like your life depends on it.

    Exercising regularly is the key to loosing belly fat. You don’t necessarily need to do hours of crunches, but you do need to get your heart pumping on a regular basis. Jogging, running, swimming, cycling and hiking are all excellent sources of exercise that will help you lose stubborn belly fat.  To get the most out of your work out, find your target heart rate and try to maintain it for at least 20 minutes at a time at least three times a day.  If you have a hard time with discipline, or just really despise cardio, try to find a work out buddy to hold you accountable.  Joining a class or having a friend with you can be motivating and make your exercise more fun and fulfilling.

    Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. If the routine you did last week seems easy now, take it up a notch and make sure you sweat! The more calories you burn, the faster your love handles will be a thing of the past.  Do strength-training exercises a few times a week to build up more muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, so it’s a win-win situation.  Find a routine that works for you, concentrate on your problem areas, specifically your abs for best results.  If you can handle, and fit in, both on cardio and strength training on the same day, do it! Studies show that you will see the quickest results doing both cardio and strength training on the same day.

    Finally stay active! Opt for the more action intense activities, take the stairs, ride a bike to work or walk to lunch. Plant a garden, wash your car, scrub the floor, and play with your kids. Everything you do burns calories, the more active the better, so move it!

    Targeted exercise is another great way to work out that belly fat. A hula-hoop can be loads of fun for you and your kids, and can give you a killer targeted work out at the same time.  Time yourself and see how long you can keep it up, or how many revolutions you can make in a minute!

    Getting rid of stubborn love handles can seem daunting, but it is very doable if you are willing to put in just a little effort.  There are many simple activities you can do every day to help your body burn more calories and melt away those dreaded love handles.  First and foremost, remember that making these changes a lifestyle is important to keeping the weight off permanently!

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  • How to Buy Perfect Boxing Gloves

    Every boxer knows that boxing gloves are their first line of defense. An essential part of the sport, these gloves are not only meant to exhibit power, but are for protection as well. Since there are many different types of boxing gloves available, it can be difficult to decide which gloves to purchase. Here's a guide to help you.

    Boxing gloves are varied because they all serve different purposes. Bag gloves, training and sparring gloves, competition as well as fitness gloves all have a unique set of features. The following will review the types of boxing gloves that are available and accordingly, help you determine which gloves would best serve your needs.

    Size: Considering the many differences, the one thing that all boxing gloves have in common is size. They are available in only three sizes, i.e. small, medium and large. So when you are buying boxing gloves, keep in mind that the size you select should comfortably accommodate your hands and your hand-bandages.

    Bag Gloves: These gloves are designed for throwing hard and heavy punches against the punching bag. A bit bigger than other gloves, bag gloves are only slightly heavy, because the top half of the gloves are thickly padded. While they offer protection to your knuckles, these gloves provide minimal wrist support. Though bag gloves help boxers have better control over the accuracy of their punches, not all boxers use them.

    Training/Sparring Gloves: Both training and sparring gloves can be used for all training purposes. Sparring gloves are simply extra-padded training gloves. The extra padding serves to lessen the impact of your punches on your sparring partner's body. These gloves are available in five weight classifications, as follows:

    • 10 ounces
    • 12 ounces
    • 14 ounces
    • 16 ounces
    • 20 ounces


    Training and sparring gloves are intentionally constructed to be heavy, as they are often used to increase a boxer’s stamina and arm strength. The 10 ounces(oz) training gloves are usually worn by professional boxers’ for sparring and training. The 14oz and 16oz gloves are more appropriate for those who are just starting out their boxing careers.

    Professional Competition Gloves: With regards to weight, professional competition gloves come in 8oz, 10oz and 12oz weight categories. We recommend that these boxing gloves be utilized for professional fights only. These gloves are lightly padded, so that your punches deliver powerful impact to your opponents.

    Professional competition boxing gloves are laced up. These boxing gloves give your hands some room for flexibility and protect the bones in your hands and wrists from severe injuries. Female boxers use the 8oz boxing gloves, while the 10oz and 12oz gloves are worn by male boxers in professional matches.

    Amateur Competition Gloves: Popularly worn by amateur competitors, these gloves are perfectly suitable to new boxers. Available in red and blue colours, the top half of these gloves are painted white. The reason behind these white target areas is that, in competition fights, they are used to determine whether a boxer has won a point or not. These gloves offer your hands good wrist support and are usually fitted with Velcro straps.

    Fitness Gloves: Fitness gloves are light-weight and best suited to use for light pad or bag work. These gloves offer their wearers a good cardio workout and are a good training tool for novice boxers. A good benefit of these gloves are that, they are inexpensive to purchase and can be bought from your local sporting goods store.

    Before buying boxing gloves, there are two important things you should do. Firstly, consult your trainer. They will know which type of boxing gloves, as well as the size and weight of the gloves that will work best. Secondly, wear the gloves before you buy them! Since you are going to be using the boxing gloves, ensure that you feel comfortable wearing them. Don’t always go for expensive gloves; even moderately priced ones sometime are a great choice.

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  • How to Buy an Exercise Cycle

    Cycling is a great form of exercise. It burns calories, and with enough resistance, can build up the leg muscles. But sometimes, the weather just isn’t conducive to riding a bike, or you may live in an area where it is hard to find a place to ride your bike. If this is the case, then you may want to consider buying a stationary exercise cycle for your exercise. Exercise cycles come in different styles, sizes, and price ranges.

    One of the first things to consider when buying an exercise bike is the cost. You can find exercise cycles to fit your budget, whether you have a lot to spend or just a little. Keep in mind the less expensive bikes will not have the range of features that the more expensive bikes will. More expensive bikes may have features, such as variable resistance levels, speedometers, and odometers. Cheap exercise bikes may not have these features.

    You should also consider the style of exercise cycle that you want. Most exercise bikes are two styles, upright, and recumbent. An upright bike is much like your regular bicycle. You sit on the seat, with the pedals below the seat, and the handlebars in front. With a recumbent exercise bike, you have a seat with a back rest, and the pedals in front. A recumbent bike may be a good choice if you have back problems. You can recline against the seat and pedal with a more relaxed posture than an upright bike. The downside, though, is that recumbent bikes will take up more space.

    Space is another consideration in choosing an exercise cycle. As stated above, a recumbent bike will take up a lot of space. Upright bikes can take up a lot of space, but you can also find folding models, which you can fold up for easy storage when the bike is not in use. These folding models may not have a lot of the features that you will find in the larger models, though.

    If you are really cramped for space, you can find exercise bikes which consist only of a set of pedals, which you set in front of your chair or couch. You simply set it on the floor in front of a seat, and start pedaling. Naturally, you won’t get as much of a workout as you will with a full sized exercise bike, but any exercise is better than none. These small compact exercise bikes are great if you want to burn a few calories while you’re watching TV.

    When you’re looking at buying an exercise bike, you should look at the features available, and match the bike to your needs. If you are looking for a more intense workout, you should look for bikes with variable resistance. These bikes have an option to increase the resistance on the pedals, giving you a more intense workout. Lower resistance will allow you to increase the pedaling speed, giving a different type of workout. Other options you may or may not want on your exercise bike are speedometers, which will let you know how fast you are going, and odometers, which let you know how far you have gone. One feature that you should look for, no matter what kind of bike you’re getting, is an adjustable seat, so you can set it at your own ideal height.

    Exercise cycles come in different styles and price points. Take a look at what is available, decide what features you want in a bike and the space you have available. Once you buy an exercise bike, you can get a good cycling workout, no matter what the weather.

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  • How To Buy A Good Treadmill


    People today are starting to become more concerned with their health and well being. For this reason, fast food restaurants are listing nutritional facts, gyms are offering specials on membership, and individuals are looking for easy ways to lose weight. The marketing industry has picked up on this trend and that is what makes it so difficult when you are looking to buy a treadmill. With so many different styles, choices, features, and prices being offered, how can you decide which treadmill is right for you?

    To start off, treadmills are great investments when you are looking for exercise tools. Because it is so natural to walk or run, people get more satisfaction and usage out of treadmills. The odds are better that you will adopt and keep a good work out system going longer than with other, alternative means of exercise.

    One of the biggest factors when looking at purchasing a new treadmill is the price- how does it compare to other models and brands? Most individuals on the market for one of these work out tools are probably going to invest a significant amount of money for one; it is definitely true that you get what you pay for. When looking for a treadmill based on price, it is important to compare each one in your price range, keeping in mind that there are usually sales and discounts that are being offered as well.

    The next feature that merits attention is the motor of the treadmill and the amount of horsepower. This is extremely important since the motor of this machine is getting more of a work out than you are. Unfortunately, this part tends to be a little tricky since there are many different ratings. The number that you want to look at is the "continuous duty rating," ideally you want a machine that falls in the 1.5-2.5 HP range.

    Other ratings that you may notice include the "peak duty" and the "treadmill duty," these numbers are less important to worry about. Preferably you should look for a model that boasts at least a one year warranty on it's motor. Additionally, many people complain that their treadmills run too loudly- a DC motor, or direct current, tend to be the quietest types on the market today.

    Another aspect to consider would be its stability and how smooth it's ride is. When you are looking at the different models, wear your work out tennis shoes and test them out. If you experience any that are shaky or jerky, eliminate them immediately. Examine the hand rails- Do they appear sturdy? Can they steady you? Are they in a position that you could easily grip them without interfering with your arm motion?

    One of the main things that individuals complain about is boredom when they are working out or exercising. Try to look for a brand of treadmills that has the most preset and/or programmable workouts to change and vary your incline and pace. Many models also offer a pulse monitor which is needed for a lot of specific work outs based upon your heart rate. Other features that are usually offered include a place for your water bottle and a book or magazine, an outlet for video or audio players, and some newer models even have a spot for internet connection.

    Another complaint many people have about their treadmills is the amount of noise and space they use. If you had planned on watching your favorite TV shows while running, could you hear them over the noise of your machine? Will it take up all of the space in your guest bedroom or office? Check the dimensions of the model you are interested in and compare that with the space you have designated for it, both folded and open for use.

    In conclusion, making the decision to purchase a treadmill is a very good idea. It is a very popular way of getting exercise and it is known for all of the conveniences they offer. However, there are literally countless numbers of different makes and models that are being sold today in stores so having an idea of what aspects are most important to you will help in your decision making process.

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  • The Initial History of Lawn Tennis

    Tennis can trace its roots back to France in the 14th century.  The game was originally known as "Paume" and was played with the palm of the hand instead of a racket.

    Even in the beginning the court was separated into two halves by a net.  Each half was marked by fifteen sectors, each one numbered one through fifteen, so that was different!

    But even the scoring mostly carried through to today as the winner of a point got 15, then 30 and then 45, just like the modern game. Gloves were originally used by the participants to protect their hands.  Eventually simple clubs and then more sophisticated bats followed. It wasn't until the 16th century that the very first strung racket was introduced into the game by an Italian priest. The game Paume had become extremely popular in France by this time, mainly with the upper classes.  Louis XIV himself was a big fan and supporter of the game. Due to its popularity in France, Paume spread to other parts of Europe as well, including England where it became known as sphairistike.

    In the mid-19th century, the game was changed slightly and was being played on a rectangular grass court, becoming very similar to modern day lawn tennis. The very first lawn Tennis club was founded in 1872 in Leamington Spa, England.  Somewhere between 1859 and 1965, Major Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera, a Spainard, incorporated elements of the game of rackets with that of the ball game Pelota from Spain and played it on a croquet lawn.

    The men later moved to Learnington Spa and founded the world's first tennis club, the Learnington Tennis Club. In late 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield, of the British Army Cavalry,  created, and then patented a similar game.  He designed it for the amusement of his guests on his estate of Nantclwyd, in Llanelidan, Wales. His version of the game simply became known as "sticky."

    It was in 1874 when Major Walter Clopton Wingfield created rules and tried patenting his New and Improved Court for Playing the Ancient Game of Tennis. He even put together an eight page rule book for the game entitled "Sphairistike or Lawn Tennis". It didn't really take.  The major's court was in the shape of an hour glass and had a twelve yard baseline that narrowed to only seven yards at the net. For serves, the serve had to bounce once but it had to do so beyond the service box instead of within the service box, like today. He also used a modified scoring system based on badminton scoring.  While having a big influence on the evolution of lawn tennis, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield was unable to enforce his patent. However, the major did borrow heavily from the French and real tennis for the terminology of the game.  Most of that terminology stays with us today for the modern game.

    The All England Croquet Club planned to hold the very first Gentleman's Singles Championships in 1877 (the precursor to the Wimbledon Championships).  However, there were multiple versions of the game being played and a rules committee was put together to put together a common set of rules to be used. Royal tennis scoring was to be adopted.  There would be one service fault allowed without incurring any type of penalty. And the court itself changed greatly from that of Major Walter Clopton Wingfield.

    It was now to be a rectangle 26 yards long and 9 yards wide.  The net separating the sides was to hang 3 feet 3 inches high, and hanging from five foot posts, each three feet off the court. The posts are now only three feet and six inches and height and the net dips to three feet in the center, the rules have remained basically the same ever since. The very first Championships in 1877 saw 22 gentlemen compete in the tournament that was eventually won by Spencer W. Gore, who defeated W.C. Marshall in the final 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

    The game of tennis is now played all around the world with roughly 200 countries members of the International Tennis Federation and the Wimbledon Championships are the most distinguished in the game!

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  • Different Swimming Strokes That You Can Learn

    Swimming is a great exercise that works all the muscles of the body.  There are several swimming stroke and styles.  All of which, work the body out, but in different ways.  Knowing several different swimming techniques can help you find a swimming stroke that works best for you and your overall health.

    Swimming consists of repeating a certain body motion while that allows you to move in the water.  There are several different kinds of swimming strokes that you can learn.

    In order to successfully swim, you must synchronize your breathing and your swimming strokes.  You also have to use your entire body, including hands, feet, torso, hands and head.  Each swimming stroke requires a different movement in order for you to swim.  Some will focus on arm movements while others focus on leg movements.

    Different Types Of Swimming Strokes And Styles

    Front Crawl: This is a fast style of swimming that includes Trudgen, Trudgen crawl, Double trudgen, Double trudgen crawl, Dolphin crawl and Catch up stroke.

    Breaststroke: Is preformed face down in the water. The arms move synchronously while the legs move like frog legs.

    Butterfly stroke: I performed face down.  The arms move in a forward circle while the legs perform a dolphin kick.

    Slow butterfly: (also known as the moth stroke) Is similar to the butterfly except the glide phase is extended.

    Dog paddle: Face above water while paddling with hands and feet in an alternating motion.

    Human stroke: Similar to the dog stroke, except you extend the arms more and pull them back further.

    Survival travel stroke: Alternating underwater arm strokes.

    Breast feet first strokes: Legs are extended and the arms are moving in a pushing uplifting motion.

    Snorkeling: Swimming on your chest, with your face in the water and a snokle on your face for breathing.

    Fin swimming: Swimming with fins…usually on the feet.

    An arm and a leg: Similar to breaststroke movement.

    Backstroke: Swimming on your back while kicking your feet and moving your arms in an alternating over the head motion.

    Feet first swimming: A slow stroke on the back while the arms propel the body forward feet.

    Corkscrew swimming: Alternating between front crawl and backstroke every arm.

    Underwater swimming: Swimming under the surface of the water.

    Gliding: Swimmer is stretched out with their arms and legs stretched.

    Turtle stroke: Swim on your chest and extending the right arm then pulling back.  Afterwards, pushing with your left leg and repeat on the opposite side.

    Sidestroke: Swimming on your side while moving your arms as if you are pulling a rope.

    Combat sidestroke: Designed by the Unites States Navy SEALs to reduce profile in the water and to be more efficient.

    Oar stroke/Moth Stroke: Consists of the opposite motions of the butterfly stroke.

    These are various swimming strokes and styles that you can learn.  There are so many to choose from that I am sure that you will find one that is comfortable for you.  Try a few different styles to see which ones work best.

    Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout.  It helps to build muscle as well as helps with weight loss.  Constance is the key to success.

    Swimming will strengthen your muscles while at the same time, improving your swimming skills.   If you are just learning to swim, try practicing each technique until you find one that works best for you.  Then move on to another swimming technique until you are comfortable with all of them.

    Be careful and always take a swimming partner with you or a swim instructor.  Of course, your swimming partner should know how to swim and be prepared in the even that you need help in the water.  You need someone who is very experienced.  It is dangerous for a person to try to save someone else, without the risk of drowning themselves.  A well trained swimmer or swimming instructor will know the proper way to help a drowning person out of the water.  Panicking can cause you to sink faster, so remain calm.

    Although it is not likely that you will be in a situation where you will need to be saved, it is important that you are aware of all of the risk involved with being in  the water.  Take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety.  An most importantly, have fun.  You should enjoy being in the water and learning lots of new and different swimming stroked.

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  • Simple Ways to Increase Stamina for Hockey


    Stamina training for hockey players means highly intense, short and repetitive powerful exercises.  So wherever you train, make sure that there is a clock in sight. That way you can, not only time your exercises, but you can also improve your speed. This sport demands their players to have both, good upper body and lower body strength. The power behind the accelerated shots, speed and quick changes in direction demands a lot of energy of the player. Not only that, but strength endurance is just as crucial. Hockey players are constantly training to build their stamina. Here are a few exercises that will help in building your endurance:

    Speed Training

    Since its a cardiovascular sport, running is extremely important for a player. Start by sprinting for five to ten seconds followed by a 30 seconds break. Gradually work up the sprinting sessions for longer periods followed by shorter breaks. Running on a treadmill is fine, but training on the field is much better, since the quick back and forth changes in direction will also keep you alert on the field. Also, when you're running, think like a sprinter; move fast and quick, do not worry about the miles that you are covering. Running or cycling uphill is suggested, as it is very beneficial at increasing your core strength and stamina as well.

     Bear Crawl

    Similar to push-ups, this exercise is a full body workout. It works the muscles of your arms, shoulders, neck, core, thighs, hamstrings, calves and even the wrists. Most players use this exercise to strengthen their entire body. The Bear Crawl is to be performed as follows -

    1. Lower your body till your hands touch the ground and spread your feet so that they are in a line with your shoulders, keeping you fairly close to the floor. Move one hand and the opposite foot as you crawl across the floor. For instance, crawl forward with your left hand and right foot. As you move forward, make sure to keep your back as straight as possible. Bend your elbows and knees while you are doing this exercise, but keep them off the floor!

    2. Putting your body weight onto your limbs, these exercises should be practiced for a few minutes covering atleast 15-20 meters at a time. Start slow and over the time increase your speed.

    3. Over the time you can even accommodate lightweight dumbells into the exercise.


    A minute or two spent skipping with a jump rope is very beneficial at increasing your speed, agility and stamina. For stamina training, you must jump rope at a normal pace and start skipping till you start to sweat. Do it for atleast 5-10 minutes, per day. Set the pace for your rhythm and breathing and alternate the skipping between each foot. Move your wrists and hands while doing this exercise. An intense exercise in many sports, skipping will increase your lower body strength, making your calves stronger.

    The advantage of these exercises is that, they need little or no equipment while training. Renowned for providing excellent results, these exercises are tried and trusted methods of stamina training, and they definitely eradicate boredom while you work out.

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  • How to buy Cricket Bats

    From sourcing the raw materials to the finishing, cricket bats are prepared meticulously. Bats are manufactured for different conditions, age groups, batting styles and players. The law regulating the game states that, the blade of the bat should be made of wood. The willow is a natural fibrous wood, out of which the bats are carved. Around the world, bats are made from two types of willow - English willow and Kashmir willow.

    • English willow is comprised of soft, fibrous wood which aids in better timing of the cricket ball. Due to its high performance effect, the English willow is the preferred choice of batsmen playing at the competitive level. Kashmir willow is made of hard wood, because of which the impact of the sweet spot is reduced.


    • The handle is made of cane and rubber. Nowadays, carbon fibre and titanium are also used in manufacturing the handles of high-end bats. It helps in shock absorption, better strokeplay and reduction in the weight of the bat.


    • The number of grains on a bat determine its softness or the hardness. Each bat differs from the other in terms of the number of grains. Generally, bats having six to twelve grains are considered to be of good quality.


    • The bow of the bat is another factor which needs to be checked. Players prefer bats with a large bow and thick edges. The bow of the bat decides whether the bats pick-up is light or heavy. Depending on their style and the playing conditions, batsmen decide whether they want the bow to be on the higher side or the lower side of the bat.


    • The tail end of the bat is known as its toe. The blade of the bat takes majority of the impact while playing, but the toe also needs to be strong to face Yorker deliveries.


    • The process of manufacturing cricket bats begins by deciding which type of willow is to be used. The wood is then chopped into logs and ultimately into clefts. These clefts are then placed in drying rooms, so that they reach the adequate moisture level, after which they are carved into the right shape. Pressing of the bat ensures that it is well equipped to handle the impact of the ball. After adding the handle, the shoulders and the blade are shaped according to the player's preference. Polishing provides the finishing touch to the bat.



     The laws of cricket have specified the width and length of the bat.

    •  The length of the bat should not exceed 38 inches. The maximum width allowed is 4.25 inches, thus the blade of the bat should not exceed that limit.


    • Short handle (SH) bats ensure better control. Long handle (LH) bats are suggested for players who are above six feet in height. Harrow size is meant for teenagers, who are spoilt for choice between the long handle and the short handle.

    The following table will help to decide the right size of the bat.

    Cricket Bat Size Chart
    Bat Size Approx Age Height of Batsmen   (feet) Bat Length (inches) Bat Width (inches)
    1 4-5 to 4feet(')3inches(") 25 3/4inches(") 3 1/2inches(")
    2 6-7 4'3" - 4'6" 27 3/4" 3 1/2"
    3 8 4'6" - 4'9" 28 3/4" 3 3/4"
    4 9-11 4'9" - 4'11" 29 3/4" 3 3/4"
    5 10-12 4'11" - 5'2" 30 3/4" 4"
    6 11-13 5'2" - 5'6" 31 3/4" 4"
    Harrow 12-14 5'6" - 5'9" 32 3/4" 4 1/6"
    Full SH 15+ 5'9" - 6'2" 33 1/2 4 1/4"
    Full LH 15+ over 6'2" 34 3/8" 43/4"


    Before and After

     Consider the following points before and after purchasing a cricket bat.

    •  Before – The age and the height are the first criteria that are taken into consideration. Afterwards, the weight of the bat needs to be determined. If the batsman is playing at a professional level, then the placing of the bow and the composition of the handle should be well thought out.


    • After – After purchasing, the bat needs to be oiled and knocked. The face, edges, back and toe of the cricket bat should be oiled using a soft cloth, and left to be dried overnight. Knocking ensures that the bat is not directly exposed to the impact of the ball.


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  • How to Buy Hockey Sticks


    Field hockey, or hockey as it is simply known, is a team sport. Involving two teams of eleven players, this sport is impossible to play without hockey sticks, or the hard and solid field hockey ball. Played globally, this sport is the national sport of India and Pakistan.

    A popular fact about hockey sticks is that, they are all manufactured to be right-handed; there is no such thing as a left-handed hockey stick. This means left-handed players who are new to this sport will have to adapt to this standard stick design. When it comes to selecting a hockey stick for yourself, there are four things that you should focus on. They are as follows:

    1. Material Compositions and Stiffness
    2. Stick Size
    3. Stick Weight and Positioning
    4. Toe/Head Shape

    Let us review the above criteria in a more elaborate manner.

    Material & Stiffness

    Typically hockey sticks are crafted out of either mulberry or hickory wood. Hockey sticks manufactured out of high-quality wood have more strength and stability, which ultimately benefit the player. Besides wood, hockey sticks can also be constructed out of composite and fiberglass materials.

    Wood and synthetic sticks offer different degrees of stiffness, which means they offer varying levels of shock absorption and power. Those new to hockey should select a hockey stick that offers good shock absorption and is slightly flexible. Advanced players prefer using stiff field hockey sticks, as they offer extra power when hitting the ball.

    Stick Size

    The height of the player determines what size hockey stick would best suit them. A simple way to determine whether a hockey stick length is right for you, is to hold the hockey stick vertically by your side. Let the toe of the stick touch the ground. If the height of the stick is close to the height of your hip, then it is acceptable for you to use it.

    The table below lists down hockey stick dimensions that are compatible with different player heights.

    Height of Player

    Length of Hockey Stick

    Up to 4 feet (ft)

    28 inches (in)

    4 ft to 4ft 3in


    4ft 3in to 4ft 6in


    4ft 6in to 4ft 9in


    4ft 9in to 5ft


    5ft to 5ft 3in

    35in - 35.5in

    5ft 3in to 5ft 7in

    36in - 36.5in

    5ft 7in to 5ft 10in

    37in – 37.5in

    Over 5ft 10in


    Stick Weight And Positioning

    Medium-weight hockey sticks might seem like the preferred choice, however only the mid-field players regularly use them. Forwards use light-weight hockey sticks, as they offer greater control in moving the ball and don't interfere when tackling or dribbling at rapid speeds. Heavy sticks are more appropriate for defenders to use, since they need to get maximum power and distance behind each shot. It is recommended that beginners start playing hockey with medium-weight hockey sticks, which will help them train and learn the game properly.

    Toe/Head Shape

    The curved bottom end of a hockey stick is known as the toe or head of the stick. The head or toe can be shaped in four different ways. They are as follows:

    • Shorti: The shorti is the most common shape seen on hockey sticks. This style offers hockey players good dribbling and control, while they are moving the ball.
    • Midi: Mid-field players prefer using sticks which have a midi toe shape. Novices to playing hockey should use hockey sticks that have this toe design as well.
    • Maxi: Since the maxi has a large receiving area and good hitting power, defenders typically use sticks that have this type of toe shape.
    • Hook: Constructed to be J-shaped, this head style has a large stopping surface. Many defenders utilize sticks with the hook head, when they are playing on grass surfaces.

    When you are buying hockey sticks, remember that a high price doesn't guarantee a perfect fit for you. Remember, there is no formula to find a perfect hockey stick. So, take your time to decide and test out the hockey sticks when you are buying them.

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  • Manchester United - Worlds' Most Popular Football Club


    Manchester United Football Club is one of the leading football clubs all over the globe, in terms of its fan following. It has a century old history and has seen a lot of events unfold over a period of time. Apart from normal controversies that surround football, the club has faced adversities like the Munich air disaster and bombing of their home stadium.

    Newton Heath LYR Football Club was formed in the year 1878. In the year 1902, the name changed to Manchester United and moved to Old Trafford in 1910. In 2013, Forbes magazine valued the club at $3.3 Billion. The club boasts of having more than 200 officially recognised Supporters Clubs across the world, and it carries out tours to those destinations to expand their fan base.

    The Old Trafford stadium, or the 'Theatre of Dreams' as it is fondly called, was partly destroyed because of the bombings during the Second World War. The club faced heart-break in 1958, when the aircraft carrying some players crashed in Munich and eight players had died. The team had won laurels for its achievements before the incident and were known as 'The Busby Babes' because of the manager Matt Busby, and the fact that the average age of the team was 22. The manager resurrected a champion team again and led them to glory. This comeback story is what appeals to a lot of people which converts them into hardcore fans. Their rivalry with other clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal is quite noteworthy.

    Sir Alex Ferguson is a name which has become synonymous with Manchester United. He has been the manager of the team since 1986 and has taken the team to a higher pedestal in tournaments all over Europe. He is the current manager of the team and is one of the most admired and respected managers of all time. Over the years there have been many star performers for the club, a few of those names are Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles, George Best, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and the list continues.

    MUFC Fans from around the world, join me and sing out loud “Glory Glory Man United!”

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