The Best At-Home Workouts For Beginners

If getting to the gym on a regular basis is something that’s difficult to accomplish given your current lifestyle, squeezing in a few exercises in your own home is something that should be highly considered. For those that do not have a lot of experience with working out in the first place, the following exercises are just for you. No matter your level of training, these can be done by just about anyone.


One of the most basic workouts known by everyone in the fitness world. Pushups require very little space in your home, and can be done just about anywhere. This workout utilizes multiple muscle groups throughout your body, as well as strengthening your shoulder joints. With this added strength, you’ll better prepare yourself for more advanced workouts once you have time to hit the gym.


Yet another exercise you can perform right in front of your television. For the best results, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and while maintaining a straight back and your head up, sit back into this position. Be sure to focus on your knees bending over your toes with your chest out, and do not bend your back. Squats are great for improving overall strength, but your thighs and glutes are the primary beneficiaries.

Calf Raises

For the other portion of your legs that squats don’t focus on, these are great for strengthening both your calves and shins. A proper form involves standing straight and bringing your heels up slowly off the floor, holding your position at its peak. Then, slowly return to the starting position. Beginners in exercising tend to skip this workout, as they feel their calves are the least important muscles. However, strong calves improve your balance, prevent your feet from rolling, and calm the effects of shin splints.

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4 Surprising NBA Players on the Market

Trade rumors around the NBA swirl on a regular basis, season after season, so it’s not uncommon to see a few stars mentioned throughout the chatter. Now less than a week away from the all-star break, there are a number of players rumored to be either interested in other teams, or being used as trade chips by their respective organizations. Below are some of the biggest names on the market.

Carmelo Anthony

Recent controversy surrounding the New York Knicks has left the organization in turmoil. After an unorthodox scuffle between former player Charles Oakley and a security guard, the Knicks banned Oakley from Madison Square Garden, leaving most fans up in arms. That incident combined with the seemingly endless talk of Carmelo Anthony being traded has created a great amount of tension between the organization and its fans.

Now at the age of 32, Anthony is being consistently critiqued by both coaches and fans, who are concerned the once-beloved forward is now considered overrated. After 14 years in the league, Carmelo Anthony has won numerous awards, including the NBA scoring champion in 2013, and being named an NBA all-star 9 times. Though his talents seem to be slowing today, Anthony is still a very marketable trade prospect. Few players can shoot a 54.3 true shooting percentage while averaging 23 points per game; statistics that have left the Knicks organization undecided as to whether or not a trade will do them any good.

Jahlil Okafor

The only reason Okafor being on this list is surprising is the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers drafted the college star just two years ago. Aside from that, his past two seasons in the NBA have been average at best. Though his numbers were impressive during his short time at Duke University, the Sixers are looking to opt out of Okafor, as they already have a number of impressive centers on their roster.

Joel Embiid has been nothing short of a superstar in his first active season with the Sixers, solidifying his position as the team’s starting center. Him, Nerlens Noel, and Dario Saric all provide the power and height necessary for success in the paint, effectively rendering Okafor as nothing more than a backup. Both the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls have expressed interest in the young center, so the Sixers have a number of options.

Wilson Chandler

The Denver Nuggets have had trouble utilizing Chandler’s role on the team, who joined after the Carmelo Anthony trade six years ago. Chandler remains a willing player with enough skill and physicality to take advantage of smaller defenders, as well as bigger ones. Only 46.3% of his two-point shots are assisted, showing his individual capabilities. The Nuggets, however, have switched his position over and over, making it look as though he is the one to blame for the team’s weaknesses; a possible reason as to why Chandler is rumored to be asking for a trade. Now at 29 years old, Chandler is no longer in his prime, but still brings a lot to the table. His skills would fit well with a younger, less versatile team that may be in need of leadership.

Jimmy Butler

Though it has yet to be confirmed that Butler is actually available for a trade, the Chicago Bulls have expressed interest in hearing what other teams would offer for the 27-year-old star. At the beginning of the 2016-17 season, trade rumors surrounding Butler began, though the Bulls reportedly decided otherwise after their strong start.
After acquiring 3x NBA Champion Dwyane Wade from the Miami Heat this past offseason, and trading their star player Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, the team seemed to rely on Butler to step up and become even more of a playmaker. However, now that the upcoming draft class from this year’s NCAA basketball season has proved a number of players are more than capable of being successful in the NBA, the Bulls are reportedly in talks with the Boston Celtics on a potential trade for even more draft picks. If any team is able to offer more than what the Celtics can, Butler would most likely prove to be a true asset to any given roster.

Youth Basketball Drills for Coaches

Coaching a youth basketball team is a challenging task, but perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences you can take part in. Regardless of the age of the players, or the reason for why they are playing, effective coaching is key in guiding them to success. Below are a few drills you can teach these young athletes to improve their play, and most importantly, allow them to have fun.


Drills involving players’ footwork are essential. Basketball is all about quickness and agility, and to lack proper footwork would destine one for failure. These simple drills can greatly enhance a player’s footwork for the quickness needed in-game.

  • Quick Stance
    • This drill teaches the importance of positioning one’s self for speed. With the weight spread entirely across a player’s feet at shoulder-width, bending all joints allows for a quick burst of speed on both defense and offense. Keep your arms in tight as an offensive player to protect the ball, but follow the ball with your hands if you are on defense.
  • Jump Stop
    • Jumping from one foot and landing on two is an important drill for dealing with a strong defense. Landing in the triple threat position, players must get their heels down and their backs straight. A proper jump stop should be heard. If your shoes squeak upon landing, you’ve effectively stopped in the correct stance.
  • V Cut
    • Sometimes called the “offensive zig zag,” this drill begins in the triple threat position. Players should drive to their right with their weight on the outside foot, then plant and step, cutting back to the left. This is a great escape move that players can eventually manipulate in their own ways for better agility.

Ball Handling

Dribbling and handling the ball is a cornerstone in basketball elements. Sloppy ball handling skills can translate directly to steals, traveling, or a variety of other simple mistakes. The following drills are very effective in developing players’ ability to dribble, pass, and drive.

  • Dribble Drive
    • Broken into two parts, the dribble drive skill can be either direct, or crossover. For right handed players, going to your right is a direct drive, and to your left is a crossover; the opposite being for left handed players. Beginning in a ready position, the direct drive involves taking a long, low step forward with your right foot and keeping your back leg straight, holding this position. For a crossover drive, begin in the same stance, but cross your right leg over to the left in a long and low step, keeping the ball firm in your left hand.
  • Two Ball
    • Dribbling two balls with each hand, bounce them at the same exact time for about 20 reps. Then, bounce them interchangeably to develop a better feel for dribbling. While this may be more of an advanced drill, it is certainly helpful in improving a player’s ball handling skills.

Just For Fun

If players are beginning to show signs of exhaustion or just plain loss of interest, get them motivated to keep moving with the following drills that are not only fun, but beneficial in developing skills that can be applied in actual games.

  • Loose Ball Scramble
    • As a coach, have players line up at half court. Throw the ball toward the foul line and have every player race to get it first. Vary how you throw the ball by rolling it on the ground, throwing it straight ahead, or high up in the air. This can simulate in-game situations of a loose ball.
  • Monkey-In-The-Middle
    • A classic childhood game applied to basketball, this can improve both defensive and passing skills. Have 3-5 players form a circle with one player in the middle. That one player must attempt to steal the ball from the others who should be varying their passing strategies to avoid having it stolen.
  • Blind Shooting
    • Have your team compete to see who can make the most foul shots blindfolded. Not only can this generate a lot of laughs among teammates, but it can develop a better sense in how and where to shoot the ball when standing at the foul line.

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy in the Locker Room

Schools, gyms, and sports venues can all house breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, and fungus in their locker rooms. With groups of people all using a single area to change or bathe, it’s no wonder why this can be a fairly unhygienic environment. Below are just a few guidelines to follow that could aid in staying healthy, and avoiding potential illness within all forms of locker rooms.

  1. Wash clothes at least twice a week

Even if you feel as though you barely broke a sweat, letting post-workout clothes sit without washing them invites bacteria from odors to fester within the fabric. Be sure to take these clothes home and wash them at least two times per week to avoid repercussions like skin rashes, fungal infections, or dermatitis.

  1. Refrain from sharing products

If your routine following exercise consists of more than simply changing clothes, like showering or shaving, avoid sharing the products you use for these activities. Towels have a nasty tendency to harbor staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as staph; a bacteria that mostly causes skin infections. Symptoms can range from rashes, pimples, or boils, all the way to MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) in extreme cases, though it is rare.

Sharing razors can be particularly hazardous, as this runs the risk of transmitting bloodborne illnesses like HIV and hepatitis. Because they can also preserve bacteria from the skin, razors should be cleaned daily as well. This coincides with the practice of not sharing soap or deodorant, as germs and bacteria can also call these products home.

  1. Always shower following physical activity

After strenuous exercise, it is important to shower, not just for the sake of no longer reeking of body odor, but to also avoid developing rashes caused by perspiration left on the skin, which produces bacteria and fungus. If any injuries were suffered during your workout or sporting event like cuts or scrapes, bacteria can easily enter the bloodstream through these wounds, also leading to possible infection. Showering is vital in order to prevent these post-workout germs from becoming anything more than just that.

  1. Cover your feet

It should go without saying that locker room floors are very dirty. They are notorious for housing bacteria that can cause fungal infections like athlete’s foot, or warts caused by the HPV virus. Protecting your feet in these environments is extremely important, especially in shower stalls. Investing in a pair of shower shoes would be wise, as germs around drains and floor tiles tend to linger.

  1. Wash your hands

This is a no-brainer. Public locker rooms, as stated before, are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria, and the use of your hands is unavoidable. After all is said and done, make sure you wash your hands before exiting even if you’ve already showered, as these microscopic monstrosities can be airborne.

Whether you’re a professional athlete or a member of a local gym, the level of hygiene that you practice within a locker room should not differ. For your own sake, and for the sake of those around you, be cautious in this open environment, and follow the guidelines listed above in order to maintain your physical health.