By Dominic Darcangelo

It’s important to maintain and improve strength and speed in-between seasons. By providing additional resistance, new training, and more difficult movements, an athlete is able to progress and be a more valuable asset moving into the quick-approaching season. The athletic movements below help improve core strength, power, and overall athletic ability and can all be achieved in the comfort of your own home.

Single Leg Squats

3 Sets of 10 For Each Leg

Start Position: Standing, one leg lifted slightly off the ground, but kept close to the planted foot.

Down Position: Squat so that the knee is at a 90º angle while keeping your planted foot stable and the lifted foot in a fixed position, hovering next to the planted foot. Finish by pushing back upwards to the start position. This movement will use core strength, as well as hamstring power, and looks to improve speed and agility.

Pushups: Inversion, Normal, Eversion @ Close, Standard, and Wide Stance

5 Sets of 3 For Each Stance – Movement from position to position should be smooth and consistent.

Start Position: Back should be flat, arms should be locked and hands should be inverted.

Down Position: The chest should come 2-3 inches from the ground before moving back towards the start position.

Inversion Hand Placement: Stance – Close
Normal Hand Placement: Stance – Standard (Shoulder Width Apart)
Inversion Hand Placement: Stance – Wide
Inversion Hand Placement: Stance – Standard (Shoulder Width Apart)
Eversion Hand Placement: Stance – Wide


Each movement should be performed for 25 repetitions before moving  on to the next exercise.

Ins and Outs

Start Position: Start with shoulders back, legs extended, hands firmly assisting with balancing.

End Position: Legs are pulled from the starting extended position to the chest while balancing, then extended back to start position.

Advanced Ins and Outs

Start Position: Hands are placed above head to reduce assisted balance. Helps engage core muscles.

End Position: Legs are pulled from the starting extended position to chest while balancing, then extended back to start position.


Start Position: Arms should be extended straight to the sides and legs should be extended straight forward.

End Position: Legs are pulled to the chest and arms are wrapped around the legs. Return to start position.

Full Sit-Ups

Start Position: Start with your legs extended and arms at your side.

Move directly upward from the start position.

End Position: Reach and touch the opposite foot.


Start Position: Extended position

Finish Position: Bring arms and legs together while keeping each as straight as possible.

By Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

Although “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”, the holiday season can be extremely stressful for parents with the gift lists, crowded stores and endless holiday shopping. That’s why we put together a quick and easy holiday gift guide for active kids. Not only will these suggestions provide you with some last-minute gifts to finally finish your shopping, but they will also keep your kids happy, moving and healthy in 2017.

S’ip by S’well

I have one of these water bottles, and I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Not only is it great for adults on the go, it’s also perfect for children to keep in their backpacks or gym bags. Since all schools and sports centers have water fountains, this is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way to keep your kids hydrated all day long.

This S’ip by S’well is 15 ounces and uses authentic technology to keep beverages cold and hot longer than your average bottle. Made from BPA-free, double-walled stainless steel, the S’ip keeps drinks cold all day long. Plus, they come in cute designs, like the bicycle one listed above.

UNICEF Kid Power

The holiday season is a time of giving, which is why these UNICEF KID Power bands caught my eye. The premise is simple—purchase a UNICEF Kid Power Band, and Target will donates $10 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. The band tracks your child’s movement and the more they move, the more Kid Power points they earn. Kid Power points are converted to funding by partners, parents and fans. UNICEF then uses the funding to deliver lifesaving packets of therapeutic food to severely malnourished children. Not only does the band get your kids moving, but it helps a child in need.

For more information on the UNICEF Kid Power program, visit

Eat Like a Champion: Performance Nutrition for Your Young Athlete

by Jill Castle MS RDN CDN

As a Dietitian, I certainly recognize that all young athletes have their own nutritional needs. But most kids are unaware of basic sports nutrition principles and they don’t eat properly to compete. Much of the food that kids eat actually slows them down, but the right nutrition can increase their energy, bolster their motivation and improve their performance. This book, written by a Registered Dietitian, teaches kids how to:

  • Tailor diets for training, competition, and even off-season
  • Find the best food options, whether at home or on the go
  • Understand where supplements, sports drinks, and performance-enhancing substances do–and don’t–fit in

Plus, the book includes recipes for young athletes. It’s a must-read for every active kid, ages eight through eighteen.

Gorilla Gym Kids Deluxe

This indoor gym includes a swing, plastic rings, trapeze bar, climbing ladder, and swinging rope. And you can install it in seconds right in your doorway without drilling, holes, bolts, or marks on your walls or door frames. Perfect for ages 3-12, this indoor gym can hold 300 pounds and allows kids to climb, swing and play all day in the comfort and safety of your home. It’s perfect for the cold winter, when kids are trapped indoors.

Receiver Gloves

Great for any young football player, these extra sticky and flexible Nike Receiver Gloves are very popular with young athletes. The palm provides a superior catching surface to help improve catchability from wild throws. The synthetic mesh on the backhand allows air in to keep hands cool and dry, and the adjustable wrist closure secures the gloves’ fit for ideal performance.

Nike Headbands


For the young female athlete who wants to avoid distraction while playing, these headbands are stylish and functional. The silicone interior holds hair in place during intense activity so that hair isn’t flopping in her face. And, she’ll love the variety of colors and styles in her pack of headbands that allow her to customize her personal style whether she’s in class or at team practice. 

A-Game Sports Gift Certificate

A-Game Sports offers first class instruction programs for kids of all ages in baseball, soccer, softball, lacrosse and even basketball. In addition to one on one and small group lessons, athletes of all skill levels (from beginners to seasoned players) can choose among the many sport-specific scheduled classes and instructional programs that A-GAME SPORTS has to offer all year round.

We are also focused on teaching kids to be better people and live healthy lifestyles. As part of this goal, we offer nutrition counseling services for you and your child. The

A-Game Sports nutritionist can speak with your child and work with you to setup a unique individual nutrition plan to reach all of your 2017 health goals.

**Mention this article and receive 20% OFF nutrition counseling services at A-GAME SPORTS! Offer valid until 1/15/17

Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and food and nutrition writer, specializing in sports nutrition and adolescent nutrition education. Natalie has worked with many prestigious organizations, such as Hospital for Special Surgery, the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, NY Yankees Baseball Camps and NYC Charter Schools.  She has also written for many food and nutrition publications, such as Women’s Running, Spright, Toby Amidor Nutrition, The Active Times, SuperKids Nutrition and Food & Nutrition Magazine, and she has been quoted in Women’s Health Magazine and Men’s Health.