Posted on

Shifting into Shape: The Evolution of Fitness Trends [INFOGRAPHIC]

Slow and Steady Wins the Race? OR Fast and Efficient Gets Results?

We’ve seen a huge change in fitness trends over the past few decades. We’ve altered the way we define effective cardio and strength training, and on top of that we’ve added an incredible amount of technology into the mix. Our workouts today focus on reaching results faster and more efficiently.

Check out this infographic to see how we’ve managed to make our workouts more powerful than ever!

evolution of fitness infographic

Share This Infographic On Your Site

Cardio Trends

  • Past Trend: Used to do at least 20 minutes of cardio to reach fat-burning levels.
  • Current Trend: Now we reach higher fat-burning levels in under 20 minutes.
    • The workout – high-intensity interval training (HIIT) #2 Fitness Trend of 2015 (according to ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal)
    • What’s the logic behind that? When you “damage” your muscle tissues (as you do in this type of extreme workout), your body uses up more energy to repair those tissues.
    • This tissue repair ramps up your metabolism during the workout and maintains it for hours after.
  • Past Trend: Cardio is not used to build muscle mass.
  • Current Trend: Cardio exercises can help you gain muscle faster.
    • Hours upon hours of cardio may hold back some of your muscle gain, but quick and intense cardio workouts (i.e. getting your heart rate up to max levels for shorter periods of time) boost your metabolism and help you build muscle faster.
    • Keep in mind that if muscle building is your goal, then you should be consuming more calories than you’re burning.
    • Cardio also gives you a healthier heart and better blood circulation, pushing nutrients to your muscle tissue and repairing your muscles faster.

Weight Training & Strengthening Trends

  • Past Trend: Get a perfect six-pack with weighted ab crunches.
  • Current Trend: Use stabilizing exercises to get that gorgeous six-pack.
    • Weighted crunches can definitely help define your six-pack, but what that’s really doing is growing your muscle.
    • If you do too many weighted crunches you can end up looking bulky in your stomach rather than lean.
    • Stability training and balancing exercises engage your core and all the muscle fibers in your abs.
    • This core engagement tones your abs while burning calories, creating a leaner look.
  • Past Trend: Add muscle mass through isolated strengthening exercises.
  • Current Trend: Get faster, more desirable muscle-building results with compound exercises.
    • The muscle growth hormone is released proportionally to how many muscle fibers you hit, so the logic here is that the more comprehensive your exercise, the more growth hormones are released.
    • Compound exercises include: Squats with weight, lunges, deadlifts, etc.
    • You can do fewer reps and sets, and quickly get out of the gym and on with your day.

Technology + Fitness Trends

1990’s

  • Thighmaster – A small, simple device you place between your legs which you squeeze together to work out your hip adductors.
  • ROM Gym – A full-body workout machine that works muscles, cardio, and flexibility (looks like stationary bike with extra features).

2000’s

  • MyFitnessPal – an app for the iPhone which allows users to track their workouts and eating habits, as well as share their progress with the user community.
  • Wii Fit – A video game workout you have to interact with to “play”. The game features yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games that you can play with your friends and family.

2010’s

  • Flywheel – Data-driven, competitive spin classes featuring high-tech stationary bikes.
  • OMsignal – Fitness tech clothing that can track your heart rate, steps, breath and more.

Today (2014-2015)

  • Blast Motion Technology – A wearable fitness tech piece that links to your smartphone or GoPro and captures highlights of your fitness activities. The technology replays your highlights with metrics laid over the footage. Used for sports like baseball, basketball, and golf; action sports like BMX, motocross, and skateboarding; and other activities like gymnastics, weightlifting, and volleyball.
  • HealthKit – An app that centralizes all of your health- and fitness-related information by linking to other third-party apps.
Posted on

Exposé of an Adrenaline Addict: Mike “Hucker” Clark (BMX Pro)

BMX master, Mike “Hucker” Clark, gave Blast Motion the inside scoop on how he got into biking, how BMX has changed over time, and how he uses Blast Motion technology to take his skills to the next level.

It has always been a dream of mine to be a professional biker. Not many people can say they’ve gotten to see their dreams come true – I feel incredibly fortunate.” – Hucker

mike hucker clark

Blast Motion Interviews BMP Pro, Mike “Hucker” Clark

Question: How did you get the nickname “Hucker”?

Hucker: When I was younger, I used to be one of the sketchiest kids on the bike. I was confident I could nail almost any trick and so naturally I fell – a lot. My friends started calling me “Hucker” because I constantly “hucked” myself into new tricks and went for it at all costs. I was somewhat fearless.

Q: Where did the Hucker story begin – how and why did you first get into BMX?

H: I have loved riding my whole life. I had an older brother who biked with some pro riders from Huntington Beach and they would come to the house and talk about the tricks they were doing and I got super excited. I knew this was something I had to try. So I started making my own dirt jumps in my backyard and gave it a shot. It was right after my 12th birthday when I rode my first real jumps at Sheep Hills BMX Park in Costa Mesa.

Q: How has BMX dirt riding changed since you began in the late 90s?

H: It has changed a lot. In the earlier years, people didn’t know what was possible. We were pretty carefree. We simply got an idea for a trick, and then we tried it – not knowing if it was at all possible. Now we’ve seen so many more tricks accomplished that it’s harder to be original, but technology helps with this. It seems like we can accomplish the impossible because rather than spending hours in a foam pit practicing some trick or another, we can try it several times, review the footage and the metrics, and then make the appropriate tweaks when we try the trick again.

Q: When you first started competing, how did you work on perfecting your tricks (i.e. technology, coaches, self-taught, etc.)?

H: Most people learn their tricks in a foam pit, but when I started out those weren’t as accessible – the closest one was a couple hours away. So I learned by trial and error on the dirt. The “error” part was a little more painful than it would have been in the pit, but it definitely motivated me to stick the trick. I never had any coaches, but I did have some older rider friends/mentors.

Q: How has the Blast Motion Replay technology helped you perfect some of your new tricks?

H: It’s so awesome to have that kind of technology in the palm of your hand – and it’s so affordable! To capture this high-quality footage I used to have to source much bigger cameras or even hire professional videographers. Now it’s incredibly convenient.

Q: What is your favorite metric that Blast Motion Replay offers (i.e. acceleration, vertical height, hang time, rotation, etc.)?

H: My favorite metric would probably be vertical height. However, I also love seeing the in-air rotation metric because when trying out a 360 or 720 it can tell me if I am over- or under-rotating. When I go back and watch the clip I can see exactly how far off I am.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Check out Hucker using the Blast Motion In Air Hang Time metric here]

Q: When you are not biking, you’re spending time in the water – do you think the Blast Motion technology could be applied to your surfing hobby as well?

H: I have grown up in the ocean – I would love to see what g-forces I can pull when I’m surfing. I’d also love to use the Blast Motion Technology to see my acceleration metrics in snowboarding and skateboarding as well.

Q: Could you ever see yourself coaching BMX, and if so, would it be helpful to use Blast Motion then?

H: I have been a mentor to kids and I actually help coach at a BMX summer camp that my buddy owns. There is no way the Blast Motion technology wouldn’t help when coaching. I could work with a kid on a 180 or 360 and then show them their replay clips and metrics to help them nail it.

Q: Other than surfing, what do you do off-the-dirt to have fun and relax?

H: I do lots of fishing and snorkeling, as well as flying remote control airplanes, helicopters, and drones. I also travel a lot; I’m home maybe 5 months out of the year.

Q: Do you have any advice for talented, young riders who are trying to break into the BMX industry?

H: The key ingredient is to have fun and wear your pads. Go at your own pace; don’t try something you’re not comfortable with simply because all your friends are doing it. Don’t forget to be safe both on and off the bike. That’s a recipe for great biking and maximum enjoyment. [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Posted on

Improve Your Golf Swing

Whether you’re just becoming familiar with the golf course or it’s been your place of solace for years, there are always small improvements you can make to boost your game. Are you frustrated with your accuracy? Do you want to beat your best score? Whatever your goals, it all starts with improving your golf swing. Take these tips with you the next time you visit the driving range.

golf swing

Analyze Your Form

First and foremost, you have to understand what you’re doing wrong. Like with most sports, there’s a formula golf pros stick to that helps boost ball speeds and improve accuracy.

When setting up your swing, stand with the ball of your foot, your knee cap, and the back of your shoulder lined up vertically. Position yourself with the ball in line with the left side of your face and the club face pointed toward the target. Have a friend photograph or video tape your setup posture so you can see for yourself how to adjust your body until you’re in this ideal position.

Once you have your setup posture down, focus on your swing. The proper form for each swing will vary depending on where you’re taking your shot from, so you’ll want to practice at various distances. To get started, check out Todd Anderson’s guide to golf swings at GolfDigest.com.

Track Your Progress

Now that you have a better idea of where you’re going wrong, it’s time to take your game to the next level by tracking your swings so you can continue to get it right. You can always develop your own way of tracking your progress, such as recording your scores, having a friend videotape your swings, or keeping a journal with you on the course to record any tweaks you made and the outcomes.

Using Blast Motion is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your progress. The motion sensor attaches to your club and records your metrics. The sensor automatically captures video, creates and curates video highlights, and overlays your metrics onto the video to create a visual record of your improvement. You’ll be able to review metrics of both your putt and full swings including downswing time, swing speed, efficiency, loft, lie and more.

Forget About Your Arms for a Moment

If you’ve been playing golf for a long time, then you know that your body does much of the work when swinging. However, this concept does not come so easily to new golfers, and it can be tough to change for those who have been focusing on their arms—and only their arms—for the majority of their career.

The real key to power in your golf swing is to use your body for momentum by rotating your shoulders and hips when you swing.

Golf Tips Mag shares a great exercise to help you get the feel of using your body and not just your arms. Begin in a dead-stop position, and place your club behind the ball. Without taking a backswing, attempt to drag the ball into the air. This task is difficult if you swing only with your arms and hands, but once you start putting your body into the swing, it becomes easier to get the ball into the air.

Relax

Golf is supposed to be a fun, relaxing sport, and to many, it is. Unfortunately for others, it can get frustrating to achieve that perfect swing. The secret is to relax your body and not let that frustration get to you. When relaxed, you’ll feel more confidence in your stance, and your body will move more naturally through the swing as you pivot your shoulders and hips.

Like with any sport, practicing your swing will help you become a better golfer, so keep at it and aim for consistency. What exercises do you do when practicing to help improve your swing?

Posted on

Evolution of Sport – Baseball

Baseball has a long history in the United States. The roots of America’s favorite pastime go back to the early 1800s. It was a British game that involved a pitcher throwing a ball at a “striker” swinging a flat stick that inspired the modern-day game of baseball. The rules of baseball were written in 1837 by Alexander Cartwright, a member of the Knickerbocker Club in New York. The rules originally written by Alexander Cartwright lead the way towards making the game we watch today.

baseball

So what has changed in the nearly 130 years since the game of baseball first appeared in American culture? Would we even recognize the original game that Cartwright envisioned if we saw it today? What are some of the biggest changes to the game?

A Tale of Two Leagues

The popularity of baseball in the mid-1800s led to the founding of the National League in 1876. It started with 8 teams. In 1901, the American League was formed with 8 teams of its own. These teams were considered bitter rivals of the National League. Today that dynamic is different. Both leagues are much more competitive within the leagues, and really don’t worry about the other league until the playoffs leading to the World Series begin. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. If you’ve ever been to an inter-league game between the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox then you know that rivalries between the two leagues DO exist. Still, the National League versus American League mentality is not nearly as bitter as when the American League came on the scene in the early 1900s.

The Ball Itself

The history of the actual baseball is an intriguing one. The baseballs used at today’s games are formed from wool yarn that is covered by cowhide. These balls weigh 5 ounces and have a circumference of nine inches. The modern-day baseball came into play in 1976 when balls were no longer made with horsehide – a change from the beginning of the game. In the early 1900s, balls were also not wound as tightly and were not even weighed. Until 1920, pitchers could modify balls with things like spit or tar to have an even greater advantage over the batter. Those rules changed after batter Ray Chapman died on August 16, 1920 after a spitball thrown by Carl Mays struck him in the head.

The number of balls used in games has also changed. A typical Major League game today uses 60 to 70 balls. When balls end up in the stands, it’s customary for fans to keep them. Umpires pull balls out of play after they’ve been hit or landed in the dirt a few times to maintain the integrity of the ball and keep the game fair. From 1900 to 1919, only  5 or 6 balls were used each game. Now known as the “dead ball era,” this time frame gave pitchers a distinct advantage because batters could not hit the overused balls as far. To put this concept in perspective, during those years the leading home run hitter in a season would have just 14 home runs. In 2014, Nelson Cruz had 40 home runs and was the leader in both leagues. Even a decade earlier that number was even higher, but a crackdown on players using performance enhancing drugs is believed to have led to a drop in home runs in recent years.

The Evolution of the Baseball Bat

The first six years of the National League allowed players to determine what bats they wanted to use. There were no rules on weight, height or even what material the bats were made from. Over the years, the width of the bat became regulated to the 2.61 inches it sits at today. The maximum length for a bat is still the same today as it was in 1869 – 42 inches. Bats that are 33 to 34 inches long are commonly regarded as the standard for today’s players, though. At one time baseball players could use flat-sided bats, but rules changed to make them round in 1893. The types of wood used in bats is also regulated now and players can choose between ash, maple and birch. There isn’t an exact weight requirement but bats cannot be 3.5 ounces lighter than the length of the bat.

Outfield Change

Major League Baseball is the ruling body when it comes to most changes to the game but occasionally players or owners facilitate modifications to how baseball is played. One example is shortening the outfield requirement. Over time, team owners have made the joint decision to shorten outfields to make home runs more common in order to excite fans. Case in point: when Fenway Park opened in 1912, the distance to its outfield fence was 488 feet. Today that distance is just 420 feet. These decisions made owners, fans and batters very happy. Pitchers, understandably, aren’t fond of the smaller outfields, though most modern-day pitchers still have better records than their predecessors.

Introduction of the Designated Hitter

In 1973, the American League debuted a new kind of player: the designated hitter. This position was designed to ramp up excitement at pivotal times in the game. In the first year the designated hitter was used, hits in the American League went up by nearly 2,500. Not only does the designated hitter concept increase excitement in the game itself, but it extends the career lifetimes of batters. It also means that for American League pitchers, there are never any “easy” outs like there still are in the National League when the pitcher is at the plate.

The Introduction of Technology

The introduction of technology has impacted the game of baseball at almost every level. As an example, video technology was first used in baseball in 2002, and is still used to track pitch speed, break, and location. Between 2002 and 2014, video replay outside of the plate was limited, and only calls disputing home runs were evaluated. During the 2014 season, video replay was expanded, and now the manager of each team can issue one video replay challenge per game.

Technology is also used to evaluate umpire calls, and as a result, umpires are becoming more accurate. Prior to the use of Pitch f/x, a camera used to evaluate umpire calls at the plate, umpires had a median accuracy rate of about 83% (in 2007), as of 2013, that accuracy has become closer to 87%.

The sport of baseball continues to evolve with its fan base. Each generation of players is better than the last and they infuse a new energy into the game. Though the logistics and specifications of baseball have changed, the excitement of hearing the crack of a bat on a summer night remains.

What do you think the game will look like in another 100 years?

Posted on

6 Ways to be a Good Teammate

Playing in adult sports is a great way to get some exercise and make friends. No matter what your job or family life, taking a break to get away for athletic pursuits is good for the mind and body.

Good sportsmanship is emphasized in children’s leagues but sometimes those principles go out the window when adults are the players. A big benefit of playing on a sports team is socialization, so being a good teammate is important. Having a winning attitude, no matter what the outcome, will make the experience more positive for you and everyone else playing alongside you, whether you’re playing basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball or any other team sport.

teammates

Take a look at a few ways to be an upbeat, encouraging player that people want on their team:

1. Show Up

It’s best to view team sports participation like you would view going to work or meeting a volunteer obligation. If you commit to being part of a league, then go to your practices and make games a priority. Be on time to practice, games and any other team events. Of course there are always things that will come up, but don’t put your team on the back burner. Think of how much better your team will perform if everyone commits to showing up.

2. Cheer for Others

Team sports are meant to be interactive. When you aren’t on the field or court, stay in the game by encouraging others around you. Not only will you be a good teammate, but you will learn more about your sport by paying attention to the way others play it. Enthusiasm is contagious so trigger a team culture of cheering with your own example.

3. Know your Strengths and Weaknesses

Let your teammates know exactly what you are good at and comfortable contributing to the game. This doesn’t mean you can’t challenge yourself to learn more along the way, but being realistic about what you can and cannot do will help your team. Don’t take every shot if you are really only good at lay-ups and don’t offer to play first base if you’re only comfortable playing in the outfield.

4. Be Flexible

In addition to offering your strengths, be willing to fill in where the team needs you the most. That may mean not always getting your first choice but view it as a chance to prove yourself in a different capacity. You may even find a new position that you like even more.

5. Say “Congrats”

When you don’t win (and this will happen occasionally), be a good sport and let the opposite team members know they played well. This includes shaking hands at the end of the game, and even congratulating the coach. Of course your first loyalty is to your own team but it will be a warmer environment for everyone if you show good sportsmanship, whether you win or lose.

6. Remember to Have Fun

This one can be especially tough if you have a strong competitive side. Sometimes you’ll win, others you’ll lose. It’s okay to be passionate about the sport but remember it is supposed to be social. If you have a bad game or practice, try to remember the reason you joined the team in the first place. Was it to become a perfect basketball or flag football player? Probably not. Enjoy yourself and everyone around you will have a better time too.

Whatever your reason for getting involved in an adults’ sport league (exercise, relaxation, competitive drive), keep in mind that you are just one person. Consider what is best for your team and act accordingly. It will make it a better experience for you and everyone who calls you “teammate.”

Posted on

Wearing and Sharing Infographic

Do you want to know your jump height, sprint acceleration, hang-time? Show off your achievements? Post your improvements? If so, you’re like the many who use one or more wearable devices while working out. Blast Motion commissioned a study to see who is using wearable technology, what metrics they are tracking and where they are sharing their fitness photos and videos.

To find out what the study found, get the infographic now.

Posted on

STUDY: The World’s Top 20 Most Socially Engaged Skate Channels on YouTube

Top 20 Most Engaged Skateboarding ChannelsToday active Americans research nearly every major purchase and life decision. We are constantly connected, socially savvy, outfitted with mobile and wearable devices, social networks, and easy access to online communities with outspoken peers.

According to an exclusive Blast Motion survey – 73% chat about favorite sports on social media, and 60% share photos/videos/stats about their personal performance. Although these statistics are high, authentic social engagement is still lacking among many specific sports and lifestyle brands — effectively sidelining them from the conversations within their own communities.

Fortunately, when looking at the social skateboarding community, we discovered an outstanding group of athletes, vloggers, shredders, coaches, media outlets and brands who have mastered the art & science of creating authentic content, using social media to build genuine and lasting connections with the people who share their passion… and sense of humor!

At Blast Motion we are dedicated to redefining the digital experience with wearable motion capture technologies. By shining the spotlight on these highly engaged skate channels and unveiling their secret sauce, we are aiming to open the floodgates for sports and lifestyle brands to discover innovative ways to join the conversation — authentically and on the community’s own terms.

Here’s just a few tips from a group of skateboard vloggers with a collective 1.2 million subscriber base:

  • Steven Fernandez: Don’t post the same thing as everyone else and post everyday.
  • Josh Katz: You’re going to make it further if you’re doing it out of a genuine passion for skateboarding and not just to get lots of followers.
  • Andrew Schrock: Odds are you’re not in Street League or the X Games. If you’re not doing the biggest, best skateboarding, then you need to do something to stand out and make people remember who you are…And have fun! People want to see that you actually love what you’re doing. Smile once in awhile or do something goofy.

About

The study was commissioned by Blast Motion and conducted by digital marketing and sports influence marketplace Raynforest, Inc. Engagement ranking is based on the actions such as average daily views as a percentage of total subscribers recorded on November 14, 2014. Reach is a ranking of the total views per video, as reported by vidstatsx.com