Workout Gear You Need in the Gym
Fitness is not all supplements, diet, and routine. You need the right equipment to help you make substantial gains. Here are some important pieces of gear you need in the gym:
A weightlifting belt is a great piece of fitness gear for stability, and injury prevention. Lifting belts keep creates a material for your abs to stabilize against. This is vital for heavy complex lifts such as squats, or deadlifts. The added stability helps you mechanically with the lift but also gives you confidence in your safety. This article on belts by Bodybuilding.com provides more information on the benefits, and caveats of lifting belts.
Despite proper form, lifting will put pressure on your joints. Depending on your build and genetics, lifting may put a greater strain on your joints than others. Getting the appropriate brace can protect your wrists, knees, and/or elbows from over-extension or breakage. Braces range in levels of protection and comfort, but the majority of your standard braces are pretty affordable. Tape can also be used if you have experience with applying it correctly.
Lifting Straps and Grippers
Lifting straps are useful for maintaining grip with pull-based exercises such as cleans, deadlifts, and rows. These straps are tied around the bar after being connected to the wrist and hand in order to strengthen your hold on the bar. Many people, as they go up in weight, can struggle to maintain the grip even though they do not feel over-exerted. This article by BreakingMuscle has some great information on straps. Straps do not actively improve grip, but compensate for it. Grip trainers, or "grippers" can actually improve grip strength with repeated use.
Chalk or Grip Lotion
Chalk is another great accessory for the avid weightlifter. Using chalk also improves grip, but its aim is to prevent slippage rather than strengthen your hold directly. Anyone who spends a substantial amount of time in the gym knows how slippery barbells and dumbells can get with sweat. Chalk keeps your hands dry, and lets you get a proper hold on the bar instead of slipping on those back-end reps. Chalk is not universally accepted by fitness centers, however. You may need to look for alternatives depending on your gym, such as grip lotion. Grip lotion does functionally the same thing as chalk, but without the mess. This article by Livestrong provides additional information on the pros and cons of chalk.
Weightlifting gloves are yet another alternative for improving grip, but also protect your hands from wear and tear. Callouses can develop pretty quickly on the hands of an avid gym-goer. Gloves prevent callouses, improve your hold on equipment, and offer some protection for your hands from injury and strain. Make sure the gloves fit snugly on your hands, however. Loose gloves can have the opposite effect and actually weaken your grip. Want to know more about another great piece of fitness gear? Click here to read about foam rolling, and the numerous benefits it can have on your body!