Category Archives: Fitness

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10 Best Lifting Shoes for Squats 2019

I think it’s safe to say that almost every lifter in the gym wants to lift more than they whatever they are putting up currently. If they don’t then why are they there in the first place? What if I told you that a pair of shoes could provide the right amount of support to enhance your lifting ability?Top Squat Shoes Comparison ChartPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Adidas Performance Powerlifting 2 Shoe $$$$Check Price on Amazon2. Adidas AdiPower Weightlifting Shoe $$$$Check Price on Amazon3. Adidas Powerlift.3 Shoe $$$Check Price on Amazon4. Inov-8 Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer Shoe $$$Check Price on Amazon5. Nike Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes $$$$Check Price on Amazon6. Reebok R CrossFit Lifter 2.0 $$$Check Price on Amazon7. Reebok Crossfit Lite TR Womens Training Shoe $$Check Price on Amazon8. Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA Cross-Training Shoe $$$$Check Price on Amazon9. Pendlay Weightlifting Shoes $$$$Check Price on Amazon10. Asics Lift-Trainer Shoe $$$$Check Price on AmazonHave you ever been squatting 225 pounds at the gym and in the middle of your set think: “man, I could really use some squat shoes right about now.” Yes? No? Well I can honestly say that although squatting shoes never immediately came to mind, they can be extremely useful for the dedicated lifter and/or crossfire. Wearing the standard running shoe wouldn’t necessarily hinder your lift, but having that pair of squatting shoes would give you the advantage needed to enhance your lifting experience and safety.Squat Shoes Buying GuideBenefits of Using Squatting ShoesSquat shoes are designed to put the lifter in the best position possible to build their craft. The most evident feature of the squatting shoe is the height of the heel. The higher-than-average heel helps the lifter squat deeper than normal because of the ankle’s adjusted angle. This new angle forms a strong posture that could further challenge the muscles tested in the squat lift.Another feature that identifies a squatting shoe is the straps across the laces used for stability and a natural fit. This is important because a lifter wouldn’t be able to safely and effectively squat with a shoe that isn’t secure to the foot. A secure fit will install a sense of confidence in the lifter; they will be able to lift without any disturbance from a lack of security.Needless to say (or maybe not as obvious as I thought), squatting shoes are not meant for casual or traditional exercise wear. This style of shoe is engineered specifically for weightlifting, and only weightlifting. One should expect to gain enhancements to their lifting using this shoe, rather than gaining the ability to run faster…because you will be disappointed if that’s the case.Best Shoes for Squats ReviewsAdidas Performance Powerlift.2 Shoe It wouldn’t be surprising if some of you were wondering, “why is the Powerlift.2 ranked higher than the Powerlift.3? Shouldn’t the most recent version be the best available?” Well to answer those questions: sometimes the most recent item of a particular brand is the best available yet in other instances an upgrade isn’t always the most logical decision.Let’s start with the color. The Powelift.2 has plenty of different colors, including blue, grey, yellow, red, and the original black and white. Luckily for lifters with wide feet, these shoes are made wide for enhanced comfort. The upper is completely made of synthetic leather; which makes it very light and durable. This material keeps the feet cool at all times, so there won’t be any distractions when you are getting mentally prepared to squat your personal best record. The elevated heel puts the user in a position that increases depth and puts the hips at an awkward angle.One thing to always consider with big-name brands is the price. If you are buying anything of value, the odds are that it will come at a price. This decision is strictly a preference. If you’re someone who is 100% committed to powerlifting, then make the investment and get a pair of shoes that could take you to the next level. If you are on a budget or a beginner, there are less expensive options on the list that could be of some use.Pros:True to sizeHas a wide size, which helps with comfortSynthetic leather is lightweight and durableCons:Wears down easilyHigh priced Adidas AdiPower Weightlifting Shoe  The AdiPower shoe from Adidas specializes in weightlifting. The upper is very comfortable because it is applied with PU-coated leather. This shoe will last a lot longer thanks to this high quality material. The hook and loop strap across the shoelaces increases foot security, which is something important when lifting heavy weights. The heel overlay in the AdiPower sets the standard for lightweight stability. This means that the lifter can transition into different lifting positions without feeling weighed down. They also have the support and stability needed to get through those lifts; starting with the heel.Strength is an asset of the AdiPower shoes that stands out compared to other features. Just by looking at this shoe, you can tell it is meant for something intense, something powerful, like Olympic weightlifting for example. The chassis was engineered specifically for weightlifting, with most of its strength coming from the injected polymer. The outsole hosts “VentFlow” openings that help with comfort and breathability. Ventilation is important when it comes to lifting shoes, because sweat and heat could easily build up when performing intense lifting workouts. Having a good sense of breathability will help the user in the long run because their feet won’t feel like they are in the sauna.Pros:Plenty of breathability and comfort throughout the upper and the outsole.Chassis was made specifically for weightliftingHook and loop strap provides a better sense of fit and security Cons:Expensive price Adidas Powerlift.3 Shoe One of the newest additions to the Powerlift line, this squatting shoe from Adidas has the looks and the features of an elite lifting shoe. Starting with the obvious, this Adidas sneaker has a thick, bright orange Velcro strap that has “powerlift” placed on it. This gives the lifter the extra support needed to get that tedious last rep out. The heel height on these shoes look above average, so there is a great chance that you will be able to get in the position needed to lift correctly. The comfort in this shoe runs high. The lining and the tongue are made primarily with air mesh, which has enhanced breathability in addition to being soft and light.Another great part about the Powerlift.3 is the open forefoot and flexible toe. This helps with foot movement, as the lifter might need to move their feet in awkward positions or transition into different positions. The synthetic upper contributes to the durability of the shoe without adding unneeded size. The outsole tests great against stable and unstable surfaces. Made with an anti-slip rubber, the outsole will be able to stabilize your position no matter what lift you are attempting.Pros:Lightweight upper helps with flexibility.Anti-slip outsole enhances stability.Mesh material within the shoe helps with breathability. Cons:Lack of color variety.Runs very small. Inov-8 Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer ShoeAnother Inov-8 shoe on the list, the 325 cross-trainer shoes is considered to be the “lightest weightlifting shoe on the market.” The Inov-8 FastLift 325 is manufactured with high-end footwear technology that puts it at the top of the charts for lifting shoes.The FastLift 325 offers one of the most comfortable squatting experiences around. Made with meta-flex technology, the FastLift 325 provides the foot with freedom; you can move your foot in any position while lifting. Stability is also a benefit of wearing this shoe. The FastLift 325 has an external heel cage that keeps the heel stable and power-truss technology that builds a solid foundation for the feet. The 325 lifting shoe has a midfoot strap that runs across Inov-8’s Met-Cradle lacing. This combination offers arguable the most secure fit available in the training shoes niche.Pros:Flexibility in the outsole allows movement for easy transition.Heel cage helps with stability.Meta-flex technology offers excellent comfort.Cons:Not true to size.Wears down easy. Nike Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes  A flexible, lightweight, durable shoe, the Nike Romaleos has the features necessary for the persistent squatter. The Nike Romaleos lifting shoes are built to keep up with the beating taken with dedicated power lifters. The upper is made with a synthetic material and has two hook-and-loop strap across the laces that are made to keep the foot stable inside the shoe. The elastic placed on the top of the shoe helps the back of the ankle move naturally without any restriction. The toe box in the Romaleos is so narrow that they feel restrictive to those with wide feet.The heels are reinforced with TPU heel wedge cups that secure the rear-foot. The durable outsole is flat and made with a strong rubber that prevents wear. The reinforced heel will support the feet when lifting heavy weights. This shoe feature will enhance your lifts dramatically. Although they can’t do the lifting for you, and you will still need to practice proper form, you won’t want to lift without these shoes again after you buy them!Pros:Double hook-and-loop straps stabilize the feet.Synthetic upper is light.TPU heel cups keep the rear-foot in place.Cons:Runs Small.Toe box is very narrow.  Reebok R CrossFit Lifter 2.0 Compared to the CrossFit Lite, the CrossFit Lifter 2.0 looks more like the traditional lifting shoe. The Reebok CrossFit Lifter 2.0 prides itself in flexibility. The CrossFit Lifter 2.0 has an upper consisting of textured and mesh material. The textured part of the upper is used for stability whereas the mesh provides a good level of breathability. The strap across the laces controls the fit of the shoe. You could tighten or loosen the shoe as you please, to provide you the best fit possible.The sole seems fairly durable just by looking at the rubber sole. The outsole is flat with a little tread towards the forefoot. This tread will gain traction with the ground so the lifter can comfortably stay in place while doing their exercise. The midsole contains Reebok’s signature “PowerBax” material that makes the shoe feel like, yet stable. The combination of the “PowerBax” technology and the rubber outsole results in a stable platform.Pros:Rubber sole offers durability.Mid-strap helps form a proper fit.“PowerBax” technology enhances the lightweight feel of the shoe.Cons:Runs ½ a size larger.Quality is average.Heel isn’t very reliable. Reebok Crossfit Lite TR Training Shoe (Womens’) At first glance, the Reebok Crossfit Lite training shoe looks like a thicker version of the Converse Chuck Taylors. Despite the resemblance, these squatting shoes from Reebok supply the user with comfort, stability, and durability. The CrossFit Lite training shoes from Reebok come in seven different color varieties, giving the user plenty of choices to choose from. The style and shape of this shoe might not match the style of “weightlifting shoe” but it is a great alternative for someone looking for something different.The outsole of this squatting shoe is flat, with small teeth that are used to build traction. It is made of a high-abrasion rubber, so it won’t be easy to wear down the sole of the Reebok Crossfit Lite. There is a heel clip provided to stabilize the foot when lifting heavy weights. This heel clip increases the stability of the shoe tremendously, especially since the heel isn’t elevated. You will also receive superior ankle support since the shoe is a high top shoe. The area where this shoe lacks is the front. This shoe might not be as secure as other training shoes mostly due to the absence of an adjustable strap. While this feature isn’t an absolute must, it does help when you need it.Pros:High top design supports the ankle.High-abrasion rubber enhances the durability of the outsole.Heel clip stabilizes the foot when lifting heavy weights.Cons:Shoe is long and wide (depending on your foot size.)Quality is average at best.Not as durable as advertised. Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA Cross-Training Shoe If you are looking for a squatting shoe that is unique in both looks and features, take a look at the Inov-8 FastLift training shoe. The feature that sets this Inov-8 shoe apart from the rest starts with the BOA closure system, which is used to deliver a secure, custom fit with no pressure points. This BOA feature thrives on security as it is stretch free and offers a stable platform for lifters. When most people get in the zone and start to squat and deadlift, the last thing they want to do is kneel down for twenty minutes trying to fix the fit of their shoes. With the BOA dial, the user needs to simply turn the dial to their liking. This is a quick, easy, and stable process.Next part of the Inov-8 shoe to evaluate is the midsole. The heel is raised fairly high; measured at about 16.5 millimeters. This raised heel will provide excellent balance for the individual who is lifting heavy weights. The outsole is made with FastLift technology that consists of sticky rubber used to grip onto the floor. The upper is made of a lightweight, breathable mesh that will keep the lifter light on their feet with enough support to lift the heaviest of weights. The inside of the FastLift BOA shoe has a fabric lining and a removable foam footbed. There is a strap attached to the BOA dial that has the phrase “rise to it,” printed across of it. This, along with the padded tongue and collar, offers great comfort and motivation for anyone who throws these shoes on.Pros:BOA dial makes it easy to adjust the strap for a better fit.Raised heel provides balance.Lightweight fabric in the upper.FastLift Outsole provides excellent grip to the ground.Cons:Run bigger than expected.Quality is subpar. Pendlay Weightlifting Shoes This shoe is a 2014 limited edition version of Pendlay’s weightlifting collection. This durable squatting shoe is primarily made with a combination of synthetic leather nylon mesh that helps the shoe stabilize the foot snugly inside. One side note about this shoe that everyone should be aware of is that it runs significantly smaller compared to your standard running shoe. An ideal rule to go by for the Pendlay shoes is to order a half a size lower than your regular shoe size. The Pendlay lifting shoes have two adjustable Velcro straps going across the laces. This gives the user options to tighten or loosen the shoe depending on their foot size and how much support they desire.You can tell that the heel of the Pendlay limited edition-training shoes is elevated, which provides a significant advantage to the squatter and/or dead lifter. A lifted heel will benefit the lifter in the long haul, as they will get better depth during squats. Another note-worthy feature of the 2014 Pendlay shoes is the single sole design. The purpose of this design is to make the sole durable and flexible, since it is only one piece. Furthermore, there is a ninety-day warranty for this shoe just in case it wears out during that time period. The Pendlay 2014 limited edition shoes for weightlifters are strongly recommended for weightlifting only. Pros:Elevated heel provides the lifter with better squatting depth.Two adjustable straps give the lifter control of their fit.Single sole design enhances the strength and flexibility of the Pendlay shoe.Cons:Runs ½ size small compared to the standard shoe.Not very comfortable.  Asics Lift-Trainer Shoe The Asics Lift-Trainer is a lifting sneaker that stabilizes the lifter’s foot for a proper lift. This shoe offers comfort, support, and style. Starting with the fit, Asics has a padded tongue and color for ultimate comfort and support. The feather last at the forefoot enhances the stability in that area so that you can move your foot in several positions without discomfort.The Asics Lifting shoe has a great level of breathability thanks to the moisture absorbing sock liner and the mesh lining throughout the upper. The sock liner is removable just in case the user would like to replace it with a gel sole or something medical-related. The heel of this shoe is measured at over half an inch, so you can expect your flexibility to be slightly enhanced due to this increased angle. You will be able to maintain the best depth possible for any type of squat or deadlift that you are aspiring to get through during your gym session.Asics’ signature DuoMax Support System in the midsole will keep the shoe feeling extremely light while still providing quality comfort. The GEL cushioning also contributes to excellent comfort because it will absorb the impact that the lifter would feel when applying substantial pressure towards their feet. The fully rubber outsole will be able to secure your feet because of the solid traction that is applied to the ground. You will be able to easily lift during your set without the worry of an unstable shoe.Asics has some great, unique quality features that are something to look forward to.Pros:Specialized Asics material offers a unique lifting experience.Raised heel enhances flexibility.Cons:Not as durable as other brands.Some reviews claim the shoe isn’t comfortable. Conclusion & RecommendationsSquatting shoes can assist a powerlifter or fitness addict in reaching their goals. If you have the form, and have the drive, the next step is to purchase the right pair of squatting shoes that will ultimately put you in the best position to win. Unlike running shoes, this type of shoe has less padding, extra support using a strap over the shoelaces, and a raised heel used to increase depth and change the position of the hips. Squatting shoes will enhance the lifter’s depth during their lifts. Sure, squatting shoes are more of a luxury rather than a necessity, but luxuries are always good to have.Based off of this list, it is clear that Adidas has dominated the market for lifting shoes. The Powerlift series proves to have the advantage, primarily because of the high quality material used when they were manufactured. They have the right amount of height in the heel so that the squatter would hit the right depth to increase their weight.If you want to shy away from Adidas, there are other options out there that you can depend on. Inov-8 has two pairs of training shoes that can qualify as a reliable asset to a lifter’s squatting session. The FastLifts are made with superior technology that will show the difference when it comes down to it. There are also reasonable options from Nike and Reebok, but ultimately the Adidas brand runs away with this one.The post 10 Best Lifting Shoes for Squats 2019 appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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10 Best Wrist Wraps 2019: Crossfit, Weightlifting, & Carpal Tunnel

Wrist wraps are an interesting product to review. There are multiple types that include powerlifting, Olympic lifting, CrossFit, or something for those that deal with or are trying to prevent carpal tunnel. Some fall in somewhere between each of those as general workout/lifting wraps. Throughout this article and review, we will cover a little of each, starting with a buying guide that will break down what you should look for in each chosen section.Top Wrist Wrap Comparison ChartPictureNameTypePriceWhere to Buy?1. Wrist Wraps by Rip Toned Crossfit$$Check Price on Amazon2. CrossFit Wrist Wraps-Strength Wraps- WOD Wear Crossfit$$$Check Price on Amazon3. Pivot Elite Rotating wrist support Crossfit$$Check Price on Amazon1. StrapWrapz by Nordic Lifting Weightlifting$$$Check Price on Amazon2. Anvil Fitness Lifting Straps Weightlifting$$Check Price on Amazon3. Cobra Grips PRO Weight Lifting Gloves Weightlifting$$$$Check Price on Amazon1. Futuro Night Wrist Sleep Support Carpal Tunnel$$$Check Price on Amazon2. Mueller Fitted Wrist Brace Green Line (Right) Carpal Tunnel$$Check Price on Amazon3. CarpalCure (Right) Carpal Tunnel$$$$Check Price on AmazonWe have combined them all into one guide as we felt that it would be the most concise way to show you the types of wraps available for different aspects of your life and workout. With that said, the buying guide will include subsections for each wrap type, so don’t hesitate to reference those sections during the reviews. The review section will also be broken up into the top wraps for each type of use, instead of one big review that covers wraps of all types. Save this page as a place to reference when you need to look up a new wrap for a new use.Wrist Wrap Buying Guide (What to Look For)CrossFit Wrist WrapsCrossFit wraps have a bit of an overlap with lifting wraps in that they are used to help support the wrist, similar to a back support. The key is to not use them too often, no more than half the time, so that you can build the strength in your wrists without letting the muscles become reliant on the extra support. The wrap itself is used more for the support and less for strength gains.For example, look at any Olympic lifter, how many are actually using wraps? For CrossFit, the same is true. You want to use them when needed, but not so much that you rely on them. With that said, look for a wrap that is going to work for your personal style. Some wraps are Velcro while others are traditional wraps that are a bit more flexible.When wrapping your wrist, proper positioning is key. Make sure that the wrap is just above or at the crease near the wrist and palm of your hand. Some of the wraps on this list will be very easy to put on as they will basically be like a glove. For those that aren’t easy, follow the manufacturer’s directions very carefully.While CrossFit wraps are very similar to lifting wraps in many ways, you will want to look for something with a bit more flexibility. This will ensure that you have the ability to move from one work out to another. If you are including pull-ups, push-ups or other non-weight lifting exercises in your daily routine, you want something that is going to work on all of those exercises and flexible support is key.Lifting Wrist WrapsThere is plenty of arguing going on about straps online when it comes to lifting. Many claim that it is a cheat and reduces the “pure” nature of the sport. In reality, there is a space between that wrist straps should be used regardless of what random individuals online may say. First, for non-competitive lifters, they are a no-brainer. The idea is that you are trying to wear out specific muscles in your weightlifting and in specific types of lifting, the hook or strap on the wrap is going to ensure the bar doesn’t go crashing down on the floor when you fatigue too much.With that said, wraps are not allowed in competition, so you shouldn’t rely on them exclusively. Use them to increase your overall strength gains, but don’t use them to the point that you can’t lift without them.There are a few types of straps that you will find, so we will cover each here just to give a solid overview of what to expect.Loop Straps This type of strap is the most common and will be the easiest to find in a material of your choice (leather and cloth are most common). They give a secure fit around the wrist, but they can be difficult to wrap around the bar one handed. In addition, the loops leave extra material hanging and can make it difficult to bail from a failed lift. You won’t see these in Olympic lifting at all.Speed or Olympic Straps This is a closed loop strap that is much easier to attach to the bar and much easier to bail from a failed lift. This is the primary reason they are used in Olympic lifting. You won’t get as secure of a grip and the tightness can’t be adjusted, but they are good if you are wanting to move towards a more professional level of lifting.Hook Straps These are becoming more popular as they don’t require any wrapping and they offer a hook that will allow a standard bar to easily rest. The big problem is that you can’t grip the bar as tight as you can with others and that can impact your technique negatively for certain lifts. In addition, the hook is made for standard bars and won’t fit specialized bars in many cases.Carpal TunnelWraps for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often very different from the wraps you have read about previously (if you read the other sections) and are made specifically for those that are going to be typing a great deal. Carpal Tunnel is a wrist injury that comes from trauma or injury to the wrist, hypothyroidism, repetitive use of vibrating hand tools, over active pituitary gland, and many others. So, while they are often looked at as something used for typing, they aren’t exclusive to that – it is just the most common use and what people associate with the syndrome most often.Unlike other wraps, the ones used for Carpal Tunnel are going to be a bit less scientific in the reviews. This is because you need to be extremely comfortable using them during your normal activities. You will find that in lifting or other workouts, you end up with a short use wrap that has a specific purpose. For CTS you are using a wrap or brace that will last throughout the day at times and it needs to feel right.There are two primary types of supports for those suffering from CTS. The first is using bandages to simply wrap the wrist. This can be a good choice as it is generally a lighter option, but it requires much more work to put on and does not offer the same type of support that you would get from a brace. That brings us to braces, which are more commonly used for more severe cases of Carpal Tunnel. These are essentially like gloves with a harder brace to keep your wrists angled correctly and help to prevent the progression of the syndrome.The choice you go with is up to you, but our advice, at least for recurring cases, is to go with a comfortable but firm brace. Using a bandage to wrap your wrist is not only difficult to put on correctly, but it often doesn’t offer the same health benefits in regards to recovery that you would get from a brace. When looking at braces keep the material in mind. You want something that is firm, but also breathable. If you are planning on wearing the brace throughout a day or work, you don’t want to build up sweat throughout the day. There is no perfect brace, but with a little research you can get a good idea for the ones that are likely going to work best for you.Wrap and Brace CareIt doesn’t matter if you get a wrap or a brace or just use bandages, keeping them in good shape is important. There isn’t a whole lot to it, but it needs to be mentioned in its own area just to ensure that your wrap lasts as long as possible. Most will not do well in the washing machine, but with a quick rinse in the sink and a little hand soap, you should get the sweat out of the wrap and letting it air dry is all that is required.As you sweat in your wrap it will be a perfect home for bacteria to grow. This will make it so that the wrap doesn’t last nearly as long as it should. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning. Barring any clear directions, do a little research on the material and ensure that you clean them properly. You are making an investment (regardless of the size) and the more use you get out of it, the better.Best Wrist Wrap ReviewsBefore getting into the actual reviews, I wanted to take a moment to explain how we rate the products and how this review will be written as it will be different than most. First, value is what we look for first – a product that is a good price (based on our research) and a good quality, will generally win over a similar product that is better but priced much higher. That isn’t going to be the case in every situation, but most of the time “bang for your buck” is our main concern.For this review, the products will be broken up into three separate sections. The first will be CrossFit Wrist Wraps, followed by Lifting Wrist Wraps (which includes Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting), and finally Wraps and Braces for Carpal Tunnel. The top three in each section will be picked, but for CrossFit and Lifting I will make a special note if they are good for both types of exercise. With that out of the way, read on to the reviews.Best CrossFit Wrist Wrap ReviewsWrist Wraps by Rip Toned The first pair on the list is a set of wrist wraps that can be used for lifting as well as CrossFit. The big points here include the fact that they will stabilize your wrists which will boost your performance in burpees, strength training, pushups, planks, and all types of lifting. They are also guaranteed, so if you don’t see an improvement, you’ll get your money right back.They are also endorsed by the 2014 World Champion Powerlifter Kevin Weiss, which you can take or leave as a positive. It may be good marketing, but the wraps themselves deserve the stamp of approval either way in our opinion. If you suffer from wrist pain, this pair will alleviate it significantly. They are extremely secure and keep your wrists in the position they need to be. They also help you prevent injury.Easy to put on and take off, they have the advantage of being beginner friendly as they will fit in one specific way – no need to read through instructions or watch videos on how to wrap, they just fit. They work for men or women; the only issue will be with people with smaller wrists. In that case, they may not be the right choice – otherwise, these are the best for CrossFit and general workouts and not a bad choice for lifting as well.ProsGreat for CrossFit and Lifting.Very secure fit.Easy to put on and take off.Works well for men or women.Stiff, but comfortable.ConsNot a good choice for people with small wrists.For some, they are entirely too stiff. CrossFit Wrist Wraps-Strength Wraps-WOD Weightlifting Wrist Wraps While the name implies these are good wraps for all workouts, including powerlifting, these are more for CrossFit and less strenuous workouts. This wrap is the style that comes as a long “ribbon” that you have to wrap around your hand and wrist to give support. While they do provide support, they fall far short of the heavy duty wraps on our list.These are also much more difficult to put on than the wraps that you just slip over your hands, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a high spot on our CrossFit section of the list. You can customize how tight they are which allows you to have more or less support based on the particular activity you are planning on focusing on. They are also extremely affordable and easy to throw in your purse or gym bag for travel. The biggest drawback is that they are seriously lacking on heavy support.ProsGreat all-purpose wrap.Extremely affordable.Traditional wrap, gives a bit more customization of support.Easy to travel with as they roll up into a small package.ConsCan be a little difficult to put on for novices.Lacks the support needed for heavier lifting.Some can smell when first opened. Pivot Elite Rotating Cross fit wrist & callus protection This unique design is patent-pending and for good reason!  It has the ability to rotate the grip around your hand and attach it to the neoprene wrist support.  The whole rotating feature makes it easy to move from “wearing” to “not wearing” the grips.  That’s a blessing when you’re cross-training and moving quickly from one training exercise to another.  It also provides callus prevention qualities, and features lots of neat ideas like enhancing grip on barbells, kettlebells and pull up bars, and it secures the grip when not needed.  The construction quality is heavy duty for ultimate longevity.Pivot Elite Rotating StrapsThere is no leather in the construction which is a mixture of Neoprene, synthetic leather, velcro and metal (pivot screw assembly).  The Pivot Elite is really and truly a multi-purpose, versatile addition to any lifter’s gym bag. ProsInnovative design.Solid palm protection.Enough Support and protection for elite level athletesConsFinger holes were too small for some usersPivot screw assembly broke in one user’s case Best Lifting Wrist Wraps ReviewsStrapWrapz by Nordic Lifting The StrapWrapz by Nordic Lifting are some of the best all-around wraps available on the market. They likely won’t fit the bill for seasoned veterans, but casual lifters, or those still newer to the sport will find everything they are looking for in these wraps. More seasoned users may still like them, but there are a few questions as to how well they grip on your hands and how well they let you move during your lift.For the most part, they are fantastic wraps that offer a great deal of support. While they say they can be used for CrossFit training, they are a bit too cumbersome and heavy to make that list. For just lifting, though, these are the best value out there and they have built in straps that are great for deadlifts.ProsGreat for most lifting.Added support for your wrists.One size fits all (most).ConsDoes not offer the best grip on hands in some cases.Can be too large or cumbersome for anything but lifting.Quality is not consistent. Anvil Fitness Lifting Straps If you read through the CrossFit section, you are going to notice a similar pattern so far. While the first lifting strap was a simple to use, yet innovative, wrap, these are more traditional wraps that require more experience to put on. With that said, they are a bit easier to figure out as a foam support pad is included in the wrap which makes it much easier to figure out where to start. Still, you will likely need to follow instructions or watch a video to put them on correctly the first time.That isn’t a negative though, the lifting hooks can wrap 2 or 3 times around the bar and they work with dumbells, barbells, kettlebells, row or pull up work and just about anything else. The main use for this wrap will be towards the end of your work out when you are losing some of your grip strength but need to push just a bit further. They are a bit large for smaller wrists, but other than that they would have been our top pick if they were a bit easier to put on for newer users.ProsIncredibly versatile.Comfort is unmatched.Very durable wraps.ConsMay be difficult to use for beginners.Not sized perfectly for smaller wrists. Cobra Grips PRO Weight Lifting Gloves There aren’t many negative things to say about the Cobra Grips outside of their price point. They are more expensive than traditional wraps, but they offer support and a solid grip. They offer new patented technology that will ensure you have a solid grip while also supporting your wrists.The Cobras are often compared to the Versa Grips, which are one of the biggest names in this category, but the price puts them off our list besides the mention here. If it weren’t for the Cobra grips, which are as good or better than the Versa Grips, being a less expensive alternative the Versa Grips would be in this spot. Still, the Cobras are great for more experienced lifters and only fall to number three on the list because of their price point. They are likely the best for pure lifting that we have put on the list, but value is our big focus on every item. For the average user, you are better off going with one of the other two listed in this section.ProsNew technology on offer that gives a solid grip and wrist support.Wider grip works well with bigger hands.Extremely comfortable wrist wraps.ConsDesigned for more experienced users.Priced for more experienced lifters. Best Carpal Tunnel Braces and Wraps Futuro Night Sleep Wrist SupportCarpal Tunnel doesn’t just cause discomfort or pain while you are typing on the computer or using your wrists for repetitive action, it can cause a constant issue throughout your day and night. The Futuro Night Wrist Sleep Support Wrap works on the left or right wrist and helps relieve the discomfort associated with the syndrome.Easy to use, lightweight and easily breathable, this is one of the best wraps to use even when not working. The only real issue we have is the locking system, which is very adjustable, is suspect when it comes to durability. It may only last you six months or so. It is priced low enough that you shouldn’t be too put out, but it is worth a mention.ProsCan be worn all night without any discomfort.Can be worn on the left or right wrist.ConsDurability is questionable.Construction may only last half a year. Mueller Fitted Wrist Brace Green Line (Right) Mueller goes green with their extremely comfortable and supportive brace. Made from eco-conscious non-petroleum based materials, this is a brace that is perfect for those that are concerned about the manufacturing of their product. This brace is sturdy and extremely comfortable for daily wear but may not hold up as well for sleep. They have plenty of sizes to choose from and most will fit any wrist, so you are sure to get a comfortable fit no matter which one you purchase.Mueller would be number one on our list if it could work on either wrist, but you won’t have to pay much more to grab a pair than the Futuro. Still, if you just need one, this review stands for the left wrist as well. There are a few complaints about uncomfortable stitching from some users, as well as Velcro that doesn’t stand up well for support, but these are likely just manufacturing anomalies. Still, keep it in mind when you are making your purchase.ProsExtremely comfortable for daily use.As sturdy as any other brace on the list.Eco-friendly materials for the eco-minded.ConsOnly works on one wrist as opposed to the Futuro’s dual wrist design.Some quality issues with the stitching and Velcro are not completely uncommon. CarpalCure (Right) CarpalCure is the only brace on our list that is clinically proven to help heal your wrist. While it is very similar to other braces, what makes this brace unique is the active technology inside. Essentially a vibration throughout your wrist will help alleviate pain while promoting healing. The material used is neoprene which, when kept at the right temperature, also promotes faster healing. All in all, this is the best brace for serious sufferers on the list.The big gripe here is the price. It has consistently been between three to five times more expensive than the others on the list. That makes it a hard sell in our eyes, but for those that suffer from serious discomfort, it is worth the investment. This is a fantastic brace and you pay a pretty penny for it, but the others on this list provide relief for a much lower price. It all comes down to your level of suffering.ProsPromotes healing.Sturdy and comfortable.Helps regulate temperature.Clinically proven to work.ConsPremium price tag.Somewhat bulky.Results vary based on other users of the device.Wrist Wraps and Lifting Straps Conclusion & Recommendations There you have it, a list of all the types of wraps and braces you may need to protect your wrists and help them heal. Obviously, the final pick (CarpalCure), is the best brace for recovery, but won’t do much for prevention. The CrossFit Wrist Wraps at number two (under the CrossFit section) and the Rip Toned at number one are the best two all-around wrist wraps available. They may not do the trick for power lifting or more advanced lifters, but for those that are headed to the gym for CrossFit and moderate lifting, the two are about even in how well they work.For those looking to do some heavy lifting on a more professional level, the StrapWrapz and Anvil Lifting Straps are going to be the place to look. They offer two takes on the traditional support needed for lifting at a higher level. If you are looking for something a bit more innovative the Cobra Grips are a great place to start. While the Cobra’s are primarily reviewed in our lifting section, their flexible design could have just as easily landed them a spot on the CrossFit section.When it comes to recovery, we already mentioned the CarpalCures but the price tag is too high for average recovery. The Mueller Fitted Green Line is a great place to look for recovery while you are at work, or doing your daily duties. For overnight support and recovery, you are likely going to be best served going with the Futuro Night Wrist Sleep Supports.The key here is to know what you need. Are you primarily working on a CrossFit regimen, or is powerlifting your goal? Are you simply looking for support while you are at work, or recovery while you sleep? Unfortunately, there isn’t a brace or wrap that covers all three of the sections we reviewed on this list, but we made sure to add affordable options in each category that will make it painless to purchase one for each need you may have. Keep an eye on the Carpal Tunnel braces though as most are made for a right or left wrist – only the Futuro works for either.The best advice is to look for a wrap or brace from a reputable retailer (online or brick and mortar) that allows exchanges and returns. If you end up with a brace or wrap you don’t need, there is no reason that you should just be stuck with it. If you find one you like, but it isn’t perfect, do not hesitate to try something different, you can always go back. Use this list as a jumping off point. You may start with one of our suggestions and follow a rabbit hole to something unique that is perfect for you. Everyone is different, so there is not a perfect choice that we can suggest – we are here to get you started and give you are opinions on the best wraps and braces out there.The post 10 Best Wrist Wraps 2019: Crossfit, Weightlifting, & Carpal Tunnel appeared first on Sport Consumer.

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6 Best Exercise Balls 2019: Ab Workouts & Back Pain

We live in a world now that requires us to spend a great deal of time sitting. There isn’t an easy way to exercise when most of your time is spent in front of a computer on your butt. Unless you are fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your view) enough to have a job where you spend the day on your feet, you are likely looking for a way to strengthen your core while also burning some calories. Exercise balls were made with this in mind and are a perfect way to get your exercise in, even when you are busy with other work. The strength that you will get in your core, plus the constant balancing you will need to do, will help you get into shape without making a significant impact on your personal time.Top Exercise Balls Comparison ChartsPictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?1. Live Infinitely Exercise Ball with Workout Guide $$Check Price on Amazon2. DYNAPRO Exercise Ball with Pump $$$Check Price on Amazon3. Black Mountain Static Strength Exercise Stability Ball $$$Check Price on Amazon4. Superior Fitness 600 Pound Exercise Ball with Stability Ring and Resistance Bands $$$Check Price on Amazon5. Gaiam Balance Ball Chair (300 pound)$$$$Check Price on Amazon6. Incline Fit Anti-Burst Yoga Exercise Ball with Base $$Check Price on AmazonExercise & Yoga Ball Buyer’s GuideWhen you start to shop around for a ball, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Where will the ball be used most? How often will you use the ball? How portable does the ball need to be? How does it look (especially important if you plan to use it in an office or other public space)? How safe is the ball? Will it burst while you are using it?Exercise balls are called many things, so as we get into the review it is key you know what those names are. Exercise balls are the most common name, but you will also find names that include therapy balls, Pilates balls, yoga balls, physio balls, gym balls, Swiss balls, fitness balls and others.Key FactorsBurst ResistanceEach ball has a durability rating. This is essentially how much weight it can handle before it is likely to burst. You will need a ball that can withstand your body weight plus any additional equipment you plan to add, such as small weights. For the balls that don’t state a specific rating, expect 100-200 kg, which is 220 to 440 lbs. Some balls also include anti-burst tech which will ensure that a puncture does not send you falling flat onto the ground.SizeExercise balls come in a number of different sizes. Ranging from 18 inches to 33 inches in ball height, you will need to find the one that is right for you. The average users will likely find that the 22 to 30 inch balls are perfect. For a quick reference use the following chart as a starting guide:4’10” and under, use an 18 inch ball, or Small.4’8” to 5’5”, use a 22 inch ball, or Medium.5’6” to 6’0”, use a 26 inch ball, or Large.6’0” to 6’5”, use a 30 inch ball, or Extra Large.Over 6’5”, use a 33 Inch ball, or Extra Extra Large.This is a rough guideline and you may find that you need something a little larger or smaller. If you are behind a computer all day, you may be looking for a chair replacement for an hour or two of your day, and you will need to measure your regular sitting position to find the right size for that. Just make sure it will also support your weight.A Few PrecautionsBefore going any further, this is a key subject that needs to be mentioned. No matter what ball you end up purchasing, you need to remember that this is an inflated balloon, more or less. If you have any injuries from the past, such as spinal injuries or issues, you should speak to your primary care physician before using a ball. In addition, make sure you inflate the ball exactly as the manufacturer instructs. Over or under inflated balls can lead to premature bursts which can only lead to harm.Exercise Balls as ChairsAt one point exercise balls were talked about as a possible replacement for a chair at work. It didn’t pan out early on, simply because of the difficulty or business regulations. Ultimately, things have taken a turn for the better. There are some serious business out there that are creating office exercise ball chairs. Essentially, they work the same as a chair, with rolling wheels on the frame and a low profile black ball that sits in the middle. It is worth researching, but for a writer like me, I’ll stick with a traditional ball. If you are in an office, consider one of the chairs.For our review we will be looking at a number of different exercise balls, but keep in mind that what they are specifically used for is somewhat up in the air. While most are good for exercise or yoga, they are just as good as an office chair replacement. We will try to mention that in the review, but keep the sizing charts in mind. Where available, we will also include the weight that the ball supports, but if it is not listed by the manufacturer refer to the average, which is often much lower than some of the best out there. Still, they may show up as a solid choice for a budget, but we want to stress the importance of getting a ball that will support the weight that you plan to put on it. That includes your own body weight, plus any weights you plan to use while on the ball. Also, keep in mind that a ball that is rated at 2,200 pounds is rated at a stationary weight. For more active use, it may drop as low as a 600 pound guarantee. Think of it this way, if you are bouncing on the ball intensely you are going to put more pressure on it which can possible cause wear or bursting. So, make sure you keep those things in mind as you read our review.Best Exercise Balls ReviewsLive Infinitely Exercise Ball with Workout Guide (2,200 Pounds) My ball of choice and the one I use at my desk is the Live Infinitely ball. I use a 75 cm ball which works perfectly as a desk chair and requires me to sit up straight. It would upset my parents and teachers back in my youth, that something so simple could get me to “sit up straight” which they constantly hounded me about. This forces me to work on my posture and core strength throughout the day and makes the fact that I am sitting for a majority of it much less infuriating.The ball comes with a workout guide, which I honestly haven’t used much but seems to be very thorough, as well as a hand pump. My biggest complaint is the pump itself. The instructions aren’t complicated, but they aren’t the most well written either. The pump will give you a workout as you try to get the ball up to the initial 80% mark for the first 24 hours. The problem is that it doesn’t include any way to measure how full the ball is, as some other brands will include, requiring some significant guess work.Still, the ball is easily the most secure ball I’ve used yet and I don’t feel like it is going to burst or break any time soon. The quality is strong and my daughter has even started to try to sit on it – and at six, she has been more successful than I expected. Some reports have been found that the wrong size ball shows up, so make sure you get the size you want from a place that allows returns or exchanges in case there is a problem. Otherwise, this is easily the best ball on the market for a desk chair and exercise. It also has a 600 pound anti burst guarantee.ProsEasily the best ball on the market for all around use.Can support 2,200 pounds.Ribs along the ball create an anti-slip texture.Feels sturdy and safe.ConsThe hand pump is a significant workout.Does not include any measuring device to ensure it is inflated fully (instead it says to measure from the wall to the box on the floor and just expect that is correct).A few packages seem to include the wrong size. DYNAPRO Exercise Ball with Pump (2,000 pounds) The DYNAPRO, for better or worse, is a near carbon copy of the Live Infinitely. This only comes in at number two because it is able to withstand a slightly lower level of pressure. It also varies more widely in price than the Live Infinitely. Put side by side, it would be all but impossible to tell the difference between the two, all the way down to the pump that is used.The big knocks here are price and the lack of an online exercise guide. It does include a card that shows a few exercises as basic drawings (think better stick figures) which is a bonus, but not as complete as the number one on our list. There are also a number of complaints that this ball does not have a very long lifespan. This isn’t going to be the case for every user, but keep it in mind.Finally, as this is a pretty close copy of the number one ball on the spot, it is hard to recommend over the Live Infinitely unless you find a significantly lower price. This is a fine option if you don’t like our number one, or have issues with it, but it comes in at the second spot for a reason.ProsGreat ball in most cases.Very similar to our number one pick and may be found at a lower cost.Includes a simple exercise guide.ConsQuality control issues are more rampant than expected.May not have the durability expected.May have a chemical smell.Inconsistent results from other users. Black Mountain Static Strength Exercise Stability Ball (2,000 pounds) Black Mountain comes in at number three as it is a solid ball that offers a few differences from the other two on our list. The same issues can be found if you look hard enough, but for the most part, this is a sturdy and durable ball that will last a good amount of time. It has less textured look to it and is a bit slicker than our number one pick, which will be a personal preference choice. I personally like the stickier rubber used for the Live Infinitely, but from my research online, everyone prefers a different texture.The ball is not all that different from our first two picks, but the pump needs some work. It seems like a no-brainer to get this one because it uses a foot pump which should be easier to inflate the ball with, but that isn’t the case here. The pump is actually inferior to the hand pumps and may require you to purchase or use something different. The nozzle constantly comes out and can require a partner to make sure it stays in place. There are reports of the ball bursting after only a few hours, but that is a rarity that can be found in just about any ball you purchase.Overall, this is a ball that is similar to our first two but has enough differences in texture and material to set it apart. Again, the preference will come down to the type of feel you want when using the ball, so make sure you purchase from a place that offers exchanges.ProsGreat ball, very similar to the first two.Slicker than our number one pick, which may be what you are looking for.Enough ribs to give it a gripping texture, but not so much that you stick to the ball.ConsThe foot pump is very finicky and may require a run to the local athletic store to get a better one.Quality control is not perfect.May burst quickly if not filled correctly (always follow the instructions). Superior Fitness 600 Pound Exercise Ball with Stability Ring and Resistance Bands The Superior Fitness ball is the first significantly different ball on our list. It is a 65 cm ball that is made specifically for exercise and yoga. Don’t buy this if you are looking for a solid desk chair replacement, unless the 65 cm is the right size.The big advantages here are the stability ring and resistance bands. The ring keeps the ball in place and the resistance bands will add more options for your exercise routines. This is an especially good item for heavier individuals looking to start to work off that fat and get into a healthier body. Included is a 100 picture exercise guide that gives you an outline of what you should do with the ball. Not the best guide out there, but it is better than nothing at all.The ball seems to sink a bit the heavier you are, but if you continue to refill it if it loses its strength you should get into a good spot where the ball supports you easily. The only reason this isn’t number one is because of the lack of options for those looking for a chair replacement and the less than optimal exercise guide.ProsSpecialized for healthy workouts.Stability ring helps those that are far out of shape stay sturdy.Resistance bands add value and additional exercise options.ConsThe workout guide left us wanting something more complete.Lacks flexibility as only a 65 cm ball is currently offered.The hand pump is better than a foot pump, but not by much. Gaiam Balance Ball Chair (300 pound) Similar to the Superior Fitness ball, this ball is made specifically to act as a chair. It includes a 52 cm removable ball, which is small for a desk chair replacement. The trick here, though, is that the ball includes a sliding base with a lumbar support back that creates a chair when the ball is inserted.You likely won’t use this for exercise on its own, but as a chair, it gives you more support than a ball alone. You also have to pay a significantly higher price since it comes with the additional hardware. With that said, this is the perfect choice for someone that simply wants a unique and healthier chair to sit on.A few complaints that keep this from rising higher up on the list. At only 300 pounds, this isn’t going to be ideal for many people that likely need it most, or safe for that matter. The rolling wheels on the chair are a bit of a mystery as they provide less stability and make it difficult to stand up without tipping over. The fact that the ball can’t be used for exercise by most users is a disappointment as well.ProsIdeal for those wanting a new office chair.Comfortable enough to sit on for a few hours, but will push you to get up and walk around more often than a traditional chair.The included chair, itself is great for lumbar support.ConsNot the ideal size for exercise for most individuals.Wheels on the chair cause stability issues.Only 300 pounds supported which excludes many users that likely need this most. Incline Fit Anti-Burst Yoga Exercise Ball with BaseThe Incline Fit comes in as the final choice on our list for a few reasons. First, it is a fantastic ball and we added it because it is worth consideration. It is also a ball that offers a bit of both worlds when compared to the number one and number three spots on the list. It includes a base which will help with balance, as well as a unique texture that will help you use the ball in a way you see fit. Where other balls are ribbed from top to bottom, this is smooth throughout with a bumpy texture in the center.The hand pump is a concern again, but it is superior to the foot pump. The price is fair, especially since a base is included. The big concern is that the ball has no indication of a weight limit, though people upwards of 350 pounds have claimed to use it with no issue.The quality control seems a bit off, though not enough to be a major factor in our review. Some have claimed to receive the wrong size over and over again, though this may be user error due to not following directions for inflation. Overall, this is a good ball that fits certain needs, but the lack of information is a concern.ProsUnique textureIncluded baseThe hand pump is better than the foot pump.ConsLack of weight information.Quality control may be a bit lax.I’m personally not a fan of the texturing, though that is a personal preference. Conclusion & Recommendation You may have noticed that there isn’t a significant difference between exercise balls on the market. Most fall within a few different areas and the best, such as the Live Infinitely at number one and the DYNAPRO at number two offer a wide range of uses.  Most balls will perform well enough for the majority exercise ball exercises performed.If you are looking for a single purpose ball, to be used as an office chair, the Gaiam at number five is a perfect choice at a fair price. Finally, number three and six both offer bases which allow additional security as you exercise. They aren’t our favorite ball on the list, but that will ease you into the routine at a more comfortable pace than the rest.When you start to narrow down your search, make sure you are finding the right size ball for your needs. Some won’t offer a guide, so use ours as it is pretty universal across all companies. As always, make sure you purchase from a reputable retailer that will allow you to exchange the product in case it comes in the wrong size or you get one that didn’t get pulled off the line in quality assurance. The ball should last you a while, so don’t hesitate to exchange one that has you concerned.  The post 6 Best Exercise Balls 2019: Ab Workouts & Back Pain appeared first on Sport Consumer.