So, the new season is here and all of a sudden that promise you made yourself of 14-mile-runs 3 times a week, full-body super-sets in the gym and daily ball control drills hasn’t quite made it to fruition.
But fear not! The biggest sports companies and brands in the world have got your (probably untoned) back!
The likes of adidas, Nike, and Under Armour have come up with some ingenious products to give you a mental and physical edge over the opposition whilst you get back on your game. Or at least until you make your next New Year’s Resolution.
So, if your pre-season was more layabout than kickabout, read on to see our top 7 shortcuts to becoming a sporting superman!
Under Armour ArmourBite – From £34.99
Of all the places in the body that we thought possible to gain an instant fitness boost, our jaw would honestly be the last place we’d even think of looking.
But the bods at baselayer king Under Armour make a pretty compelling argument that one simple change in a millennia-old habit could yield incredible performance benefits.
When faced with an adrenaline-pounding situation (like playing a sport), our natural instinct is to clench our teeth.
The Under Armour ArmourBite keeps the teeth at the back of the mouth separated an optimal distance to allow more oxygen to reach the lungs – which leads to an alleged 20% boost in strength and a 25% increase in endurance thanks to increased oxygenation of the muscles and reduced lactic acid build up.
TechFit – adidas Campeon 11 – Shop adidas Teamwear
The same skin-tight tech that propelled the Spainish squad to World Cup glory last summer is now available to the masses for the first time, this season.
Previously only available in the dressing rooms of international squads and top-flight teams, adidas have added the TechFit/PowerWeb system to their Campeon teamwear jerseys for the first time.
The elasticity mimics that of the body’s key muscles, increasing aerobic power by around 5.8% (no, really – a Shippensburg University independent study confirmed this) whilst the skin-tight fit reduced lactic acid build up. Though you might want to run this by your team before you put in an order; it’s not going to flatter some of the more – ahem – broad Sunday league players.
Diadora Gamma Carbonio – $199.99
We did say ‘sporting superman’ in the title – and what good would Superman be without his trademark neigh-invulnerability?
Designed to protect Francesco Totti’s broken leg in the run up to Italy’s 2006 World Cup win, this shinny features lightweight, low profile front plate with an indestructible combination polypropylene/carbon fibre shell.
But just like Superman, the Diadora Gamma Carbonio has one green weakness – Cash. At $200, these shin guards of steel are a serious investment and rarer than Kryptonite.
adidas ION Loop Bracelet – $19.99
Magnet bracelets and ion-therapy are nothing new. In fact, the ION Loop company have been around for a couple of years on their own.
Whilst they have had their fair share of sceptics, one company who believes in ION Loop are adidas, who teamed up with the brand to create a patriotic bracelet for the German Women’s National Team to wear during this summer’s World Cup.
Since then, adidas have commissioned a full run of the bracelets, designed to release negative ions that promote a sense of well-being. So, either one of the two biggest sports brands in the world genuinely believes they improve performance, or they’re cashing in on the Power Balance fad – you decide.
NikeFootball+ iPhone App – Free
If your football team is anything like mine, ‘training’ is usually a couple of shuttle runs and a game of 5-a-side.
Why not see how the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and the Brazilian national team get their sweat on with Nike’s NikeFootball+ app?
You can watch dozens of videos, interviews, challenges and tutorials from the best of the best right on your phone, all you need is a ball to start becoming a better player.
We’re Footy-Boots.com, of course this was going to come up!
Whilst they’re not for everyone, a lightweight pair of football boots like the adiZero Prime or Puma v1.11SL can make you feel half a yard quicker and add a couple of centimetres to your vertical jump.
Other football boots like the Nike Superfly III and Under Armour Blur Pro are designed to give you the best possible traction on bad surfaces, meaning you can leave your marker eating dirt, literally.
Uhlsport Ergonomic Absolutgrip+ Bionik X-Change Goalkeeper Gloves – $189.99
One for the veterans of the old onion bag – the Uhlsport Ergonomic Absolutgrip+ Bionik X-Change Goalkeeper Gloves are as fearsome as their name is ludicrously long.
Bionikframe technology is a lightweight, flexible, impact distribution machine built into the backhand of the glove which, thanks to artificial tendons, stabilizes and supports fingers throughout the game – essentially making your mitts a terrifying man/tech mash-up.
Patented Absolutgrip foam with new ergonomic cut which means the palm, backhand and flap are all made of only one foam piece for the perfect surround grip and fit, which should leave you able to pluck the ball out of the air with ease.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you go out and buy all of these and expect to turn into Leo Messi, but it’s always interesting to see what performance products like these are on offer!
What do you think to our list – do you have any? How do you rate them?
Let us know in the comments!