When it comes to weight training, sometimes we are able to achieve greater results with the help of a few tools or gear!
Let’s take a look at a few pieces of kit that can help you push your training further.
#1 Lifting Belt
When you think of a weight lifting belt you usually think to the exercises squats and deadlifts. However, the reason why the belt is extremely beneficial is that it can be used for any exercise that involves your back, such as pull downs and rows.
The reason for the belts importance is that it acts as a stabilizer in your spine when it is being put under pressure and compression. When you perform lat pull downs you are activating your arms and entire back, however, it is important that when you pull down with your arms and upper back you are not pulling with your lower back.
✓ By using weight lifting belt you can help keep the lower back stable and prevent movement that can lead to a possible injury. Make sure to find a belt that fits you properly and is snug around your waistline. If the belt, when tightened to its full amount, is still loose and can move easily, you will want to consider exchanging your belt for a smaller fitting one.
✓ It is also important to avoid tightening the belt too tight on your abdomen for this can cause potential stomach pain and cramping when performing certain workouts. I also do not recommend the use of a weight belt to be worn when performing abdominal exercises intensely.
#2 Lifting Straps/Hooks
Straps are a piece of leather, usually, that wraps around your wrist and has a loose end that you will wrap around the bar you are using to help keep your grip on the bar or equipment. These can be beneficial for most exercises that require movement of your arms, for example: shoulder shrugs or lateral pull downs.
By using straps, you are enabling your grip strength to become much stronger, in return, allowing you to perform many more reps compared to usual due to the nature of your grip not giving out or your strength outperforming your grip.
✓ By having a better grip and being able to perform more reps, we in return will get better results and become stronger as a whole. Although the straps will help on many exercises, do not rely on them entirely for every exercises and repetition that you perform.
✓ You will still want to incorporate many exercises and sets in which you perform the exercise with and without the straps or hooks.
#3 Gym Clothing
The last thing I recommend, and is the most important thing I recommend to anyone, is loose, comfortable clothing. When you workout, whether its weight training or running, you will want to wear loose clothing that will not get caught up during a particular movement.
You will want to have adequate mobility while at the same time wanting your clothing material to be somewhat stretchy
if possible. A regular tight t shirt and jeans is acceptable to workout in, however, it is not the smartest.
If you are wanting to train your legs and perform squats or lunges and you are wearing jeans or another form of tight pants, excluding tights/spandex, there is a good chance your range of motion is going to be limited and you may possible rip/tear your clothing which leaves the ability for clothing to get caught up on something.
✓ By wearing a tank top of loose t shirt, you are enabling your upper body to have plenty of room to move and maneuver comfortably.
✓ If you are using heavy weight and your clothing is too tight, preventing you from moving your limbs properly, your results will suffer from a lack of range of motion during exercises and could even potentially increase your risk of becoming injured in the gym.
Take Home Message
These are the few pieces of equipment I keep in my weightlifting kit. I know many people who also use gloves, which can help protect your hands from getting blisters and bleeding when performing certain exercises that may potentially have rough bars.
However, I personally do not find gloves to be that comfortable so needles to say I do not use gloves myself. This does not mean I am saying not to use gloves. If you find that gloves help your perform certain exercises better, by all means go ahead and use them.
The use of any equipment is a personal preference and not everyone will use the same things. Hope you learned something new today and have a great workout!