Sports Life Hacks You Need to Know
Are you an athlete? Kind of?
I can work with "kind of," because that's kind of where I'm at these days. It's difficult to stay in playing shape when you're pretending to work at a desk nine hours a day.
"Click-clack" used to be what you heard before taking the field, now it's just the sound of a keyboard chipping away at your soul.
That being said, graduating and getting a day job doesn't mean your body can't remain a temple of semi-athletic dominance—a well-oiled machine that eats weakness, sweats vodka tonic and bleeds the hot goo of victory. You'll need some help, however, and that's where these basic tips come in handy.
The following are sports life hacks you need to know. They'll elevate your rusty game, give you an edge and keep your raggedy, weekend-warrior self in one piece (more or less).
Horse Liniment: Baste Your Body with It
We're not as young as we used to be, and we've come to the point where "rubbing dirt some dirt on it" just means having to shower before you limp in to the chiropractor's office.
What you should rub on sore and strained muscles is horse liniment, which, as its name suggests, is an ointment designed for soothing lathered horses that works doubly well on lathered twenty-somethings.
If you're unfamiliar with how liniments of this nature work, the ointment attracts blood to the applied area and promotes healing in "fatigued muscles, joints and tendons."
I'll now take a moment and remind you to not put horse liniment in your mouth, cuts or any bodily orifices. I know this guy says you can put it on cuts, but that's his particular product. As a general rule of thumb, horse liniment is minty as a mother and will burn like hell on raw flesh.
GIF via @ArtsyStarky
Find the Sweet Spot for Your Free Throws
Stop spinning the ball in your palm and tapping out show tunes.
Bouncing out the beat to "Wells Fargo Wagon" might make you feel better at the free throw line, but locating the sweet spot in the center of the charity stripe will actually help you sink the shot.
On hardwood floors, the sweet spot is literally nailed into the ground right behind the free throw line.
That's right, a noticeable nail should be hammered into the floorboards behind the center of the stripe. By lining up your right foot (or left, depending on your dominant hand) over its center, you'll be shooting as dead-on at the bucket as possible.
I know. It was there the whole time and we had no idea. No explanation.
Image via alyshadeshae.com
The Three Most Essential Exercises
Pull ups, pushups and lunges—these are the three most basic and necessary exercises, according to NFL trainer Todd Durkin.
Durkin has trained the likes of Reggie Bush, LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees, among other football stars, and maintain that these are the three basic workouts everyone can do that will help maximize your performance on the field.
So if you're in a hurry (you are), these workouts are your bread, butter and daily rosary.
GIF via @briansgifs
Pickle Juice Is a Miracle Cure
If you're facing some heavy cardiovascular activity, or just trying to heal up some sports blisters—pickle juice is your answer.
As John from YouGoProBaseball.com says in this video, Nolan Ryan claimed to have used pickle to treat/prevent blisters on his hands incurred while pitching. I've never tried this method, but I can attest to pickle juice's effectiveness as a cramp-buster.
Tests have proven that when ingested, the juice from a standard jar of pickles will treat cramping much more effectively than water, relieving muscles 37 percent faster than plain H2O.
I ingested my first "Pickle Pop" halfway through a long bike ride in the Appalachian mountains, and frankly, it saved my life and therefore receives the Larry Sanders stamp of approval.
GIF via @Wiz_Spurtin
Slap a Solid Five
I believe I've mentioned this in prior articles, but the high five is the most simple and elegant sports celebration—when done properly.
Slapping a solid five seems easy, but fans and athletes alike constantly find ways to botch the job and turn it into an ham-fisted failure for the entire human race. With that in mind, here is the solution:
When you're going in for a high five with you buddy, just look at each other's elbow. Maintain eye contact with the elbow, and simply extend your arm as you would normally for a high five.
You'll get solid contact every time.
GIF via Imgur.com
Wipe Your Indoor Basketball Shoes off
If you're playing on a polished wooden basketball court, wipe the soles of your shoes off from time to time.
You don't want to be the guy slapping obsessively at his Jordans, but wiping the bottoms of your sneakers once or twice over the course of a pickup game will keep the dust off and help you stay grippy.
Nothing is worse than slipping around on shoes you bought specifically for their grip.
Unless you're in a raptor costume, in which case it's perfect.
Image via Tumblr.com
Keep Your Head Down in a Footrace
Just keep it down and to the front.
There's no reason to go looking around if you're running a short footrace. Checking out your opponent's position only helps in longer distance races, where jockeying for position and keeping a look out for big moves is important.
Don't worry about the other competitors, just keep your head in your lane and focus on pumping your arms. And run through the finish line.
God, it's like you haven't heard anything I've been trying to tell you.
Image via WhiffleGifs.com
Clip Your Damn Toe Nails
Want to extend the life of your shoes, gentlemen?
How about making sure those nails on your big toes can't double as sushi knives. Indeed, just by keeping your toe nails properly maintained, you'll save a load of friction on the mesh toe of your cross trainers and prolong the life of your athletic socks.
Cutting those bad boys down to size will help your cross trainers maintain their fit and look presentable. You don't have money to just throw around, and you also won't stab your significant other as you toss and turn in bed at night.
Throwing a Reliable Spiral
Grip the ball lightly.
That's it. There's no exact science to throwing a spiral. Eli and Peyton Manning put only their pinky and ring finger over the laces, while Troy Aikman put his entire palm across the white stitching.
We all have different sized hands and will naturally hold the ball in whatever way we feel most comfortable; however, gripping the ball lightly seems to be a constant for throwing a decent spiral.
You can check if you're gripping the ball too tightly by holding it over your head with the tip pointed down. If you can see a sliver of daylight between your palm and the ball—you're doing it right.
GIF via ReactionGifs.com
Treat Athlete's Foot with Vinegar
You're an athlete (kind of), so why should you be surprised when you wake up with the foot of the athlete?
If you get athlete's foot, there's no need to go buy a tube of "Tough Actin'" Tinactin.
Your cheapest and easiest bet is to soak your foot in equal parts vinegar and water for 15 minutes, twice daily. You can also add a cup of white vinegar to your wash loads in order to kill any fungal agents hanging around in your socks.
Boom. Foot funk eradicated on the cheap.
Image via @multitudeofgifs
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