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Workout Shoes - Shoes for Strength Training
By: Marc David

I've always worked out in just a plain pair of tennis shoes. Rarely to I see or even think that using special shoes would make any difference at all. However, I began to think of better shoe support when I started doing heavy squats. This prompted me to do a little research in specific type shoes for working out that would give me better ankle support and put my feet in a more level position for squats and leg presses.

After some Googling around, I came across the Otomix brand of shoes. There's virtually nothing on the net about workout shoes. There's even less in bodybuilding forums about the subject. Yet soccer players have special shoes, and so do most other athletes. Tennis shoes are great for running but they didn't seem to be wonderful when it came to squatting and doing other heavy leg exercises.

These shoes ( a few versions are available) sell for around $95 on average depending on the website you find, and the sales being offered. With some clever searching, you can find a great price. I ordered my Otomix Ultimate Trainers online and was pleased to see many e-mail and tracking notifications about my order. According to Otomix, these workout shoes were specifically for:

Ultimate Trainer has been designed specifically for weight training and incorporates the new High Performance Bodybuilding system. The HPB system provides a combination of comfort and support utilizing a special wrap around strap adjusted by our innovative lacing system. This shoe is a must for the serious bodybuilder.

Note: Their shoes run a half size small compared to your true shoe size. They suggest that you order a half size larger.

Quickly I opened the box and found everything intact and in brand new condition. I was ready for my leg workout.

Adjusting the laces properly is a must. It came from the factory like most shoes. It wasn't laced thru each of the holes. I fixed the laces and found the shoes to fit nicely and very snug. I felt ankle support and was able to tighten them like a snowboarding boot but not so tight as to be uncomfortable. I headed off to the squat rack.

Doing squats is something I enjoy. Honestly, I enjoy them a bit more now with full support for my feet. These shoes were great first time. NO break in period was necessary. They were comfortable, gave strong ankle support and allowed me to do full squats without any annoying feet issues. I felt like my feet were flat and firmly place on the floor with good traction. Moving onto the leg press, same thing. NO odd arches, no slippage, and good solid firm foot placement for a good pressing motion.

I only use these shoes on leg days. That is really where I want the support. I do not wear them outside for walking around. They are just like gym gloves. Used in that environment as appropriate. The soles of the shoe are good for traction in a smooth, flat gym environment. These particular shoes are not made to be worn as a street shoe. That would be a big mistake. You'd wear out the tread in days and be out $100 very fast. However, in the gym, where they are meant to be, these shoes were incredibly superior.

My overall reaction and opinion of my Otomix workout shoes are very favourable. I would recommend them to anybody looking for some comfortable, high quality, long lasting footwear that is designed specifically for the gym.

About the Author

Marc David is a bodybuilder, writer, and author of the the e-book "The Beginner's Guide to Fitness and Bodybuilding" (BGFB): What Every Beginner Should Know but Probably Doesn't. Marc has written over 20 articles and has been featured in several health and fitness websites. Marc's opinionated and informative articles on bodybuilding, weight loss and training are featured regularly on: http://www.freedomfly.net


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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape

 

Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.


Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
shocks.

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
speaking.

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
time.

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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