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Thule Car Bike Racks

Thule Bike Rack

Thule Bike Rack - the Thule 958 Parkway 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack with 2 inch receiver

Whether you are an avid cyclist or just a casual enthusiast that occasionally enjoys a nice bike ride in the park, you will inevitably find yourself having a need for a car bike rack.  The sheer volume, size and variety of bike racks on the market can be intimidating for the casual rider who isn’t very well versed in these products but rest assured, it’s easy to find the right rack for your needs.

Car Bike Rack Quality

The first issue you probably want to address is what price range are you looking at.  A casual rider may not need the very best bike rack on the market while someone who is loading and unloading their bike several times a week will want all of the bells and whistles that a higher end bike rack has to offer.  The good news is that you can have both as even some of the higher quality bike rack manufacturers still offer products on the lower end of the price scale.  They feature the same high quality construction, just maybe not all of the bells and whistles.

One of the names in this industry that you can always count on to product a high quality product is Thule Bike Racks.  Thule has been in this industry for years and has even been an OE supplier to many of the car companies that offer these accessories new at the dealer, definitely a name you can trust.

Bike Rack Reviews

As we mentioned earlier, there are a huge number of different bike racks from many different companies available when you go looking for them.  One of the best things you can do to help you research these products is to find a website that offers a large number of bike rack reviews.  You can read Thule bike rack reviews on these types of sites and find the perfect model bike rack for your needs.

So whether you are a casual cyclist or a budding professional, all it takes to get it right is a little bit of research before you buy.

Ready for a Pilates Reformer Workout?

Stamina Pilates Reformer

Stamina AeroPilates Pro XP 556 Home Pilates Reformer with Free-Form Cardio Rebounder

Pilates has become one of the fastest growing forms of exercise methods and for good reason. Everyone from Hollywood stars to stay-at-home moms are finding results with the Pilates method. The Pilates Method is particularly known for its ability to build core strength and the long, lean muscle tone often associated with dancers. These results mean that many people are turning to Pilates classes or a Pilates DVD in an effort to gain the many benefits this exercise program can offer.

Despite all the information around, the world of Pilates for beginners can seem a little overwhelming with its different methods and various types of equipment and machines. One very popular Pilates machine is the Reformer. If you’ve never used, or seen, a Pilates Reformer, it can be a little intimidating. The Reformer has gears, straps, springs and pulleys and to a beginner, it appears a bit medieval and menacing. The Reformer is used to provide additional resistance while working through the Pilates exercises.

However there’s no need to be scared provided you progress at the right pace and don’t rush to get busy with a Reformer too soon. The machine looks kind of like a single bed frame with a sliding carriage attached to it. The Reformer uses springs that can be adjusted in order to regulate the resistance and tension. With its various cables, bars, straps and pulleys, the Reformer is a versatile machine allowing various Pilates exercises to be performed in a variety of positions.

Many instructors will require beginners to start with mat Pilates before they attempt to use any of the Pilates equipment or machines, such as the Reformer. Mari Winsor, founder of the Winsor Pilates Method, agrees. “Mat work is a great option for beginners because of its emphasis on learning how to control your muscles during exercises,” she says. “The work is too specific to be done in a group reformer class. You need to be watched like a hawk in the beginning.” Most students take mat Pilates and practices the Pilates exercises for about three months before they attempt a Reformer Pilates class.

And even when ready to start a Pilates Reformer workout, many students take several months of private instruction before they join a group class. In fact, many Pilates studios won’t even let a beginner take a Reformer class until they’ve had several private lessons to master the basics of the Reformer.

The pulley and spring system of the Reformer creates a challenging workout, more challenging than the Pilates mat workout. However, it also results in visible results in a very short time. Legs, arms, and abs become firmer and more defined.

The Pilates Reformer is now available in many models for home use, these are reasonably priced and often come with an instructional DVD featuring a certified Pilates instructor but don’t rush into using one until you are quite ready.

Pull up bars vs. weight lifting

Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar

Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar - over 400 buyers loved this product

When it comes to your body and physical health it’s important to include a plan for strength training in addition to any other cardiovascular exercises you may be doing. Building muscle helps burn more calories and reduce fat in addition to making your body stronger. There are different exercises to do for each part of your body including upper body, abdominal and lower body exercises.

For upper body exercises you can either use weights to increase your muscle mass or you can do exercises that use your own body weight as resistance. The latter requires fewer pieces of equipment and space so it is less expensive and more efficient. Weightlifting maybe be more precise in that you can target certain muscles more or customize the amount of weight depending on your abilities and goals.

Pull ups are one type of exercise that is very good for the arms, chest and back muscles. Basically the exercise involves using a bar to pull oneself up using the arms. The standard pull up requires you to stand facing the bar and grip it with palms facing outward, hanging with arms straight to begin. Keeping the shoulders down and back straight you smoothly pull your chest towards the bar by bending your arms, holding briefly and then lowering yourself back down.

There are a few different types of pull up bars but the one most commonly used is the type that is installed in a doorway. Pull ups can also be done on free standing pull up bars that are either held up by posts on the floor or ground or hanging from someplace higher like a tree or a beam. These can be purchased or built and installed by yourself at home. This one piece of equipment will allow you to get started on some quick, simple but effective upper body exercises that will begin building muscle mass right away.

Safe Kettlebell Workouts

Art of Strength Kettlebell Training Clinic DVD Anthony Diluglio

Art of Strength Kettlebell Training Clinic DVD Anthony Diluglio

It is really fun to bring home a new fitness toy to play with. You have spent the money, you have made your goals, and now it is time to get after it. We have all been there. But it is important to use every piece of fitness equipment in a controlled way so that you are safe and actually get fitter and stronger rather than injure yourself or anyone else. If you want to start working out with kettlebells, here are some tips that will help keep you safe and making steady progress.

1. Make sure you have enough space

Kettlebell workouts involve movements that you might be unfamiliar with if you have done much training in a traditional gym, or have followed programs out of magazines. You will be swinging a weight through the air, and will be standing up from the ground with a kettlebell pressed overhead. So rule one is: never contest for space. Make sure the area around you is clear, that the surface you are on is level, and that there are no pets or children in the vicinity.

2. Do not push too hard, too soon

This isn’t specific to kettlebell training, but it does apply. The surest way to slow down or stop your progress (or motivation) is to work too hard in the beginning. Use an appropriate weight and use appropriate speed for the movements. Learn good habits from a kettlebell instructor and work within your limits.

If your face is turning purple, you’re probably working harder than you need to. If your jaw is clenched and you have excessive tension in your body, you’re probably working harder than you need to. Our bodies don’t learn as well when they’re in a rigid, uncomfortable state.

So challenge yourself, but slow down enough to become familiar with the movements and never push into pain.

If you use kettlebells correctly, your life will change in ways that you will love. You will get stronger and feel better. If you use them incorrectly or unsafely, they may still change your life–but in ways that you will not enjoy.

Be safe, have fun, and you’ll make great progress.

The Best Indoor Bike Trainers

Bell Motivator Mag Indoor Bicycle Trainer

The Best Indoor Bike Trainer

Many warm weather exercisers find it to be a struggle to maintain their fitness levels when the weather turns cold and daylight savings time kicks in. Getting dark early and those cold temperatures don’t make it very easy to continue an outdoor fitness regimen of any kind and very few sports are impacted as much as the sport of cycling. The good news is that you can cycle indoors with a simple purchase of a device called an indoor bike trainer.

What Is An Indoor Bike Trainer

Indoor bike trainers consist of two basic kinds of devices that simulate the act of riding a bicycle. There are freestanding bicycle trainers that are more like an exercise bike that you would see at a gym and then there are the bike trainer stands where you load your actual bicycle into a frame. This bike trainer has a roller device that applies friction to the rear wheel requiring more exertion on your part to maintain your pedaling cadence.

These bicycle trainers can vary slightly in design and function but ultimately they all seek to accomplish the same thing and that is to allow you to ride your actual bike indoors and out of the cold weather elements.

Types of Indoor Bike Trainers

There are two basic types of indoor bike trainer stands with one being a magnetic trainer that is commonly referred to as a Mag trainer. The other type is a fluid trainer and might often be referred to as a kinetic bike trainer. These two machines appear very similar on the outside but they are quite different on the inside.

You might have already guessed the main difference in construction, the Mag trainer uses magnets to provide the friction that you must overcome while a fluid trainer actually uses a thick silicone based fluid that creates friction required to pedal the trainer. While these trainers appear quite similar, they function differently and can have some major differences in ride quality as well as noise level that they put out.

These may not be important to you or they could be a deal breaker. The best thing you can do if you are considering purchasing an indoor bike trainer is to read reviews on the various machines and make the best decision for your own personal situation. The best indoor bike trainer for you is the one that fits your needs the best.

Pull Up Bar: A Great 3-Step Exercise

Doorway pull up bar

Maximum Fitness Gear All-In-One Doorway Chin Up Bar (No Screws Required) with Bonus Top 20 Exercises To Six Pack Abs Guide

Pull up bars provide an easy to learn 3-step exercise that helps to strengthen the arms, back and neck by using the body’s own natural weight.

To correctly perform a pull up exercise, you should stand directly underneath the pull up bar. A pull up bar is often installed in a doorway or can be a separate piece of exercise equipment known as a free standing pull up bar. Any pull up bar must be positioned at least 7 feet above the floor so that once you are hanging from it, your feet are not touching the floor.

The first step involves gripping the bar with both hands, which can be done in one of two ways. In an overhand grip, the palms of the hands grip the pull up bar facing away from you, with the thumbs of both hands pointing toward each other on the bar. In an underhanded grip, the palms of the hands face toward you as you grip the bar, with the thumbs pointing away from other other.

Once you grip the bar, you simply straighten both arms and hang from the bar with as minimal movement as possible. Do not sway or rock the body back and forth while hanging from the pull up bar. Keep your knees and leg straight and your back straight but not arched.

Now comes the most challenging step, bending your arms and lifting your chest up to reach the bar. Once your chest has reached the bar, take a second or two, then lower your body back down to the hanging position and continue reaching up to the bar for several more sets.

A pull up bar meant to be installed at the top of a doorway or a free standing pull up bar are both good investments as exercise equipment. When done on a regular basis, the pull up is an exercise that is easy to learn and you get effective results, strengthening of the upper body and the core muscles.

Treadmill Running vs. Running Outdoors

Lore of running

Lore of Running

Running is a very popular form of exercise and why not, it doesn’t require any expensive equipment and it’s one of the most efficient ways to burn calories. Some day you may be faced with the question of if you should run on a treadmill or outdoors. There are a number of differences between the two which are discussed below.

Impact on your joints: Both running on a treadmill and running outdoors are going to have some level of impact on your joints. The more expensive treadmills have a high degree of cushion and put a lot less pressure on your joints than running on asphalt. However, running on grass has less impact than treadmills.

Efficiency: Since a treadmill provides some assistance by pushing your feet back you are working less than if you were running outside where you have to use all your energy to push off the ground to move yourself forward. There is also wind resistance which requires you to exert more energy outdoors.

Convenience and privacy: A treadmill is much more convenient and private than running outdoors. You can jump on it at anytime, rain or shine, and you can watch your favorite television show too. The convenience and privacy alone can save your running program especially on those days when you don’t feel like going out on public display or when it’s extremely hot out or pouring rain.

Cost: A good electric treadmill can be expensive. The cheap treadmills have less cushion making them tougher on your joints. For those who can’t afford a treadmill but would like the convenience of knowing how many miles they’ve run, at what speed, their heart rate, etc. should think about purchasing a GPS watch which can be purchased for as cheap as $100. Treadmills can also take up space so if you don’t have a lot of room in your home you might want to stick to outdoor running.

Safety: Those that live in the city are better off running on a treadmill for safety from lots of traffic and pollution. It is especially important not to be breathing in chemicals when you are exercising as you are breathing heavily.

Soccer Goals for Practice or Play

PUGG 4 Footer Portable Training Goal Set (Two Goals and Bag)

PUGG 4 Footer Portable Training Goal Set (Two Goals and Bag)

It’s hard to get from the backyard to the arena at the World Cup. Endless hours of practice are the difference between the fan screaming in the stands and the player proudly wearing the colors of his home country.

To get you started on your way to the national team, you are going to need a net in the yard for after hours practice. A terrific starter system is the Pugg four footer portable training goal set (Two soccer goals and a bag.) This set can also be purchased in six and two and a half foot sizes. This portable goal system is ideal for the backyard, parks and playgrounds. It sets up in seconds and, if the weather turns inclement, quickly folds down into an oval with a carrying bag for transport. No messing about with a multi-piece system, just break down and run for cover.

For the days when you are working on your game by yourself, Goal Sport source has the perfect solution, a rebounding soccer goal. These rebounding soccer goals measure six feet by eight feet are made with elastic webbing for proper ball return. This net is easy to set up and will fold flat for easy transport and storage. This system does weigh fifty-eight pounds so an adult may be needed to help with set up and moving

For the serious player, the Samba Match Standard Sixteen Feet by Seven Feet Professional Soccer Goal Net is the gold standard. These are the soccer goals that are used by Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United. These nets weigh eighty-five pounds, are extremely durable and can be left outdoors in all kinds of weather. For the off season, it can be easy taken down and stored in the carry bag.

Whether you kick around a ball for fun or have higher aspirations, a proper goal and practice system will improve your game.

Best Exercise Equipment For You

Barrys Bootcamp Complete Workout System

Barrys Bootcamp Complete Workout System

Exercise is essential for body fitness and if you want to get in shape or improve your workout, there are many types of exercise equipment you can opt for. We can categorize exercise equipment into two broad groups, based on the types of exercises; cardio exercises and strength training. Stretching is essential, in any case and both of these types of exercises can help in a well shaped, fit body.

Cardio is short for cardiovascular and as the name suggests, focuses on fat burning by increasing the heart rate. Exercise equipment for cardio exercises includes stationary bikes, treadmills, elliptical trainers and stair climbers. This exercise equipment usually comes with a display screen that constantly monitors your heart rate and gives the status of amount of calories you are burning at your current rate. This equipment comes with different options through which you can customize your workout. Cardio exercises are important for general body fitness and keep your body and heart in a good shape.

That cardio exercises are for weight loss is a general misconception held by most people. These exercises become critically important in the current day and age of long, sitting jobs in which there is minimum movement. Backache and exhaustion are common problems faced by working people which are attributed to the lack of exercise. Cardio exercises help your heart and lungs to become stronger, increases bone density, reduces stress, reduces the risk of heart disease, gives temporary relief from depression and anxiety and helps you sleep better at night. Weight loss is an added advantage of cardio exercises as this exercise equipment is built in a way that helps you burn fat when your heart rate increases.

Strength training or weight training helps in building muscle strength and also to maintain the results of cardio exercise on your body. The exercise equipment for strength training includes free weights, weight machines, balancing or resisting equipment. You can choose from a variety of free weights that come in different shapes, sizes and weights. Round weights can be placed on the ends of barbells. Weight machines are also available for weight training; however, many people prefer to have free weights as it uses muscles throughout the body to maintain balance as you left them.

Weight equipment in the form of weight machines comes with a stack of incremental weights attached to a pulley which allows you to increase weight as your muscle develops and becomes comfortable with a certain amount of weight. Also, it is more users friendly and safer than free weights. Most of the machines come with a pin that can be inserted into a certain amount of weight block that you want to lift. It is important that you consult a trainer before you move to heavier weights. There are some exercise equipment that uses your body weight for resistance – ending up strengthening your body. These machines may not necessarily involve weights. It includes chin up bars that work up the biceps and triceps, crunch machines for building up abs and more.

Instead of investing in all that equipment and spending a lot of money however you could try a low cost solution to getting in shape such as the Barry’s Bootcamp system. That way you can get super toned before deciding if you want to invest more in the very best exercise equipment.

Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gym Review

Bowflex Home Gym

Bowflex Home Gym

Summer is here and everyone wants to look great. Diets mat not be enough to lose unwanted bulges around your belly. You need exercise too. With the Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gym, you do not need to sign up for a gym membership however. You can do all your workout routines at home in your own time, which makes it easier to stick to an exercise program. Rather than enrolling in a gym where you will pay year after year and spend on gallons of gas to get there, you can invest in the best home gym and look great for the rest of your life. Just put the Bowflex home gym in your garage or turn your study into a mini gym, so that you can have a body fit for the beach. You do not even have to buy new clothes to look presentable while working out, any old comfortable clothes will do!

The Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gym covers a whole set of gym exercises in one comprehensive and effective machine. It may seem complicated to look at but once you have read the instruction manual, you will know exactly what to do, although there are more than 200 exercises that can be done with this machine and even more can be incorporated once you have mastered them.

Most machines are designed for specific workouts and are not suited for more precise exercises like specific muscle workouts. But not this machine, you can easily tone your hamstrings, biceps and triceps by just adjusting the equipment to the proper settings. The Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home gym is indeed the ultimate in home gyms.

Most exercises recommended for those who are starting out are the low impact and high repetition ones. You can then slowly start working on specific muscle or muscle groups once you have become more conditioned to train with heavier weights and also know how to execute certain exercises with the right posture. It would be great if you can also consult a professional like an exercise trainer or physical therapist on which exercises to start with as they can not only show you but to also let you know the mechanics of the workout program as well. Or you can opt to buy a program to follow along yourself.

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