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Monthly Archives: May 2012

  • The Hand that Once Rocked the Cradle Now Lifts the Barbell – Wearing Weightlifting Gloves

    It only took about 4,900 years for weightlifting to embrace women, but a much shorter time for glove makers to recognize that women need their own specific gear


    PARKER, CO -- Weightlifting has been around for at least 5,000 years when Chinese soldiers were required to lift weights as part of their training, so the U.S. Olympic Committee tells us. And images of Greek athletes, muscles bulging as they competed in the original Olympic Games, are an indelible part of our western culture. This venerable competition survived the demise of the ancient world to rise like a phoenix and become an event at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

    It was a mere 101 years later that women weightlifters would participate for the first time in the world championships for weightlifting. US women won eight medals competing in the world championships over the years. It wasn’t until 2000 at the Olympic Games in Sydney that women weightlifters could lift for Olympic gold, however. Tara Nott, lifting in the 48kg class, was the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in her event. Cheryl Haworth, lifting in the 75 and up kg class, won a bronze medal in the Australian Olympics, lifting 258.5.

    While women weightlifters were waiting to get an Olympic event of their own, American women competed nationally in the Miss Olympia, a competition which began in 1980. Among the standards for competitors in the competition, Wikipedia tells us, was to be “fitness models for the average American woman.” Rachel McLish, the first winner of the competition, was very promotable and raised awareness of women’s weightlifting.

    But just because these women were stronger than the average female, they were not spared the sex discrimination that women in every other sport suffered on their way to the top. The International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) made several changes to the rules for female body builders in the 1990s in an attempt to feminize the sport, according to Wikipedia. Judges were told to deduct points from women who were “too big,” which meant too muscular. In 2005, the IFBB created a rule that required women to reduce their muscle mass by 20 percent in order to enter the Ms. International competition. Meantime, men’s body building rules have not changed.

    Women weightlifters have changed the sport now to be more about weight lifting and less about how they look. Originally, women competed in bikinis to show off their muscular development. Now they wear gym clothes, tee shirts and shorts and a good pair of sport shoes. As always, sport clothes and equipment makers recognized a good market when they saw it: Just as the sports bra is now available in every style and size for every activity, women weightlifting gloves have now become a staple with sports equipment purveyors.

    Until weightlifting gloves came along, lifters used straps or wraps to protect their hands and some still do. Gloves, however, offer weightlifters several benefits, according Protection is the foremost benefit because lifters who workout many hours a week can develop painful blisters and rough calluses. In addition, bars that have seen a lot of use can flake into sharp fragments causing abrasions to the hand.

    The second benefit is to the lifter’s grip which can be strengthened by the use of gloves. Gloves eliminate the sweaty grip that comes with a serious lifting workout. A good weightlifter’s glove can be easily washed and dried -- again, dealing with the sweat factor. And finally, just the act of putting on the gloves can build a lifter’s confidence as it becomes part of their pre-lifting ritual.

    Gloves for the men weightlifters have been around for a while but they don’t work well for women. According to, the glove must fit snugly; having a wrinkle in the palm of the glove while lifting 150 pounds is not an option. The solution, of course, was to create weightlifting gloves specifically made for women.

    Women’s weightlifters’ gloves come in several fabrics and styles. Neoprene and leather gloves offer the best grip. Most gloves have the ends of the fingers cut off to allow for air circulation. Some gloves have an adjustable wrist band which lends additional support during lifting.

    For a women’s weightlifting glove of your own, see Ladies Only Sports line of Harbinger weightlifters’ gloves for women. We offer four models: women’s flex fit, the training grip, pro wash & dry and the power glove, all at $25 or less. Check them out at

    Ladies Only Sports is the online source for active women, with a complete line of sports bras, workout tops and bottoms, workout gear and such accessories as jewelry, pom-poms, water bottles, heart rate monitors and pedometers. Call 877-567-5239 for complete details.



  • CW-X Stands Alone in the Conditioning Sports Wear Market

    The sports garments are the result of Wacoal Sport Science’s  40 plus years of experience and research in the manufacture of performance apparel


    PARKER, CO -- The CW-X line of conditioning apparel gives every athlete what they want most: Additional support and strengthening with less fatigue and a quicker recovery. Japan’s Wacoal Corp. entered the sports performance apparel market in Japan in 1991. Since then, it brought it CW-X Conditioning Wear to the U.S. market through its subsidiary, Wacoal Sports Science Corporation, now headquartered in New York City.

    Wacoal Corp. began manufacturing intimate apparel in Japan in 1946 under the name of a precursor corporation. With decades of experience of the human anatomy, complex fabrications and apparel design, the company was well situated to experiment with a line of apparel that would take sports clothing to a whole new level of athletic performance.

    “For 40 years, scientists at Wacoal Human Science Research Center in Kyoto, Japan have studied kinesiology, the science of human movement,” the CW-X Web site says. The heart of the Kyoto study was the electromyographical measurement of the electrical pulse activity of the muscles (muscles firing into motion).  In that time, Wacoal tested over 35,000 people and analyzed injuries related with warm-up and cool-down periods associated with various sports. Their exhaustive study of joints and muscles over time has resulted in 50 patents worldwide. The study showed that unsupported or partly supported legs both show a frequency decrease during exercise which indicates fatigue. Legs of athletes supported by CW-X showed a negligible decrease in frequency.

    A major component of the CW-X line is the Support Web which provides both muscle and joint support, according to company reports. The company has identified several secondary benefits, including increased stability and balance, greater efficiency of movement, better shock resistance in joints, decreased muscle oscillation, increased circulation and faster recovery. The bottom line for the athlete, according to company sources, is better endurance and less fatigue.

    The CW-X line includes shorts, tights, tops, socks, sports bras and something called sleeves which are supports for the calf for athletes who prefer to exercise in shorts. Each garment is designed to provide specific benefits for a particular part of the athlete’s anatomy. In support socks, for example, the use of the Support Web support the calf and arch of the foot and stabilize the ankle, reducing fatigue and speeding recovery.

    For warm weather especially, both CW-X shorts and tops contain mesh ventilation panels to let body heat escape and cool air in. Performance tops are designed with an exoskeletal support system that specifically targets the trapezius muscles and scapular bones of the upper back for better posture and more controlled arm movement. Shorts also contain a ventilator panel and are designed to support abs and lower back to strengthen the core during running, skiing or other activities.

    CW-X also has a comprehensive line of sports bras featuring the firm’s Support Web technology, including the Ultra Support Bra, the Support Bra II, the XTempo, and the VersatX Support Bra.

    Find all of the CW-X Conditioning Wear items from Ladies Only Sports at

    Ladies Only Sports is the online source for the active woman, with a complete line of sports bras, workout tops and bottoms, plus sizes, and related gear and accessories from leading brands in the business. Call 877-567-5239 for complete details.


  • Compression wear increases performance and improves recovery

    They are not leg warmers -- they are compression calf sleeves. (Although if you find yourself in a pinch, they are fashionable enough to pass.) The latest leg accessory, compression calf sleeves, is worn to increase performance and recovery during or following a workout.

    The concept behind compression clothing is to apply the greatest amount of pressure in the part of the garment that is farthest from the heart (the ankle) and the least amount of pressure at the point closest to the heart (the calf) to create a pressure gradient across the veins. Blood circulation and blood flow is increased because of faster return of deoxygenated blood to the heart. These calf sleeves are designed at optimal compression level and any sock or sleeve that exceeds this pressure level requires physician supervision.

    Compression clothing greatly reduces concentration of lactic acid in the blood and can increase the wearer’s lactic threshold, which can ultimately lead to improved performance and leg power. Wearing compression calf sleeves also speeds up recovery time and decreases soreness after strenuous workouts.

    Compression socks are ideal for runners, cyclists and triathletes but anyone on their feet can reap the physiological benefits, particularly those who are shifting from a sedentary to active lifestyle.

    The comfort of the leg sleeves is in the breathable wicking fabric that helps the athlete to stay cool and dry as it simultaneously fends off bacteria.

    Famous wearers of the calf sleeves include long distance runner Dane Rauschenberg, triathlete Lincoln Murdoch, seasoned Iron Man Joe Bonness and former American Olympian and author of “Galloway’s Book of Running” Jeff Galloway.

    Zensah, the maker of the innovative, seamless sportswear is named after the Italian word “senza” meaning “without” because Zensah aims to free athletes from limitations through their uninhibited, cutting edge sportswear technology.

    For all of your workout apparel and gear, including a full line of compression wear, contact Ladies Only Sports at 877-567-5239 -- the best source for sports tops, bottoms, sports bras and everything for the active woman.

  • Fashion takes hold in fitness – the return of the skirt for the feminine workout

    It's not just Gucci who's color blocking. Color blocking is trending to running wear. Color blocking’s bold colors—two or three broad bands of color—take the challenge out of keeping a feminine look while working up a sweat. In athletic wear, color blocking must maintain its low-maintenance features including straight-out-of-the-dryer ease. When a woman looks good and feels good, she’s at her best. Our top pick for spring is the pop of pink the Touring Skirt by Lole  paired with the Super Cute & Stylish Stamina Tank.

    Did we say skirt? Absolutely. As we approach the summer months, women everywhere are turning up the heat on their wardrobe and their workouts to include sport skirts. Ladies Only Sports outfits women of all sizes in workout wear including workout skirts and dresses by the brand Skirt Sports, the pioneer of feminine workout wear. Skirt Sports was born in 2004 when professional triathlete Nicole DeBoom won an Ironman wearing a homemade skirt. From there she set out to create a business of weaving fashion and performance into one flattering workout skirt style. DeBoom is on a mission to banish the boyish look and, "inspire the whole world to convert to the skirt."

    Wicking is the buzzword in workout wear—for good reason. Fabric that wicks away sweat instead of causing the material to cling and stay damp makes your exercise routine more comfortable. And it’s better for your skin. When sweat is trapped up against the skin, blemishes are significantly more likely to break out. Wearing outfits that wick allows your skin to breath. Ladies Only Sports carries a variety of sports bras, camis, T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, capris and skirts.

    The modern woman has things to do and places to be. There’s no time for a full wardrobe change between errand and elliptical{or as some of us like to say Core Power to happy hour.} Our reports indicate an increase in street wear-inspired threads in the gym. The Lole line is especially versatile.  Tuck your essential away with the Shadow Pack by Nathan, the lightweight waist pack that has just enough room for a cell phone, ID, credit card and a lip balm.

    Just for fun, Ladies Only Sport added whimsical runner charms to our arsenal of accessories. Styles include plenty of sterling silver 26.2’s and 13.1’s as well as the "Run like a girl" and "Will run for cupcakes" charms. This could be exactly what your necklace has been missing: the spring bling with a sporty attitude.

    Gather your girls, slip on a sporty skirt and pop into the Zumba studio, and by the time the endorphins kick in you'll forget if your out on the town or busy burning calories.

    Ladies Only Sports is the source for sports bras, tops, bottoms, gear – and, of course, workout fashion for the active woman.

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