When thinking about the gym generally it’s thought of as a place to just turn up and you’re set to go. However, there are a few pieces of gym gear that you can bring with yourself to not only help you increase your lifts but also reduce the risk of injury.
Here are 5 things you may not have considered purchasing but may be beneficial to look into adding them to your workouts in the future.
Here is my list top of 5 pieces of gym gear you need to own:
1. Wrist wraps
My first recommendation if you’re not using them already is investing in a pair of wrist wraps. You can find them for around £5 on Amazon and are certainly worth picking up if joint health is at all on your radar.
These are simply used for pressing exercises but mainly the bench press. The idea is to wrap them tightly around your wrists so that your wrist doesn’t get put under as much pressure when lifting heavy weight. These aren’t needed if you’re lifting lightweight but as soon as you start putting a few more of those plates on you should be thinking about these.
AQF Power Weight Lifting Wrist Wraps
These are the wrist wraps I personally use, they are high quality at a low price. (Buy now off amazon.co.uk)
2. Lifting Straps
These are used primarily for the deadlift usually must people lift with an overhand grip and this is all well and good for lesser amounts of weight. However, as you increase the amount you’re lifting generally your grip strength will go first meaning you won’t be able to unlock your full deadlift potential!
So what options are there I hear you ask, well there is, of course, the under over grip but this can lead to long-term muscular imbalances, so I would advise you stay away from this if you can. You can also train your grip strength which is what I would advise you to do most as it’ll help you in the long run, you can do this by using specially designed grip training machines. Finally, you can also go for straps and these just wrap around the bar and help you keep a good grip throughout the movement so that you’re able to shift more weight.
Beast Gear Weight Lifting Straps
I’ve used these straps myself over the past year and haven’t found any problems so I’ll recommend these ones to you. (Buy now off amazon.co.uk)
3. Arm blaster
This is something you might want to wait until you have a little bit of gym experience behind you to use, but what actually is it and what does it do?
I first spotted this contraption on some sort of YouTube video and thought I have to try one of these out. Basically, what it does is isolates the biceps so you don’t have to worry about your form as well as taking the pressure off of your shoulders. By isolating the muscle, it of course makes it much harder to do each curl thus meaning you can look at using less weight to still reap the benefits. This can be extremely beneficial for those of you that have a home gym and don’t yet have a stacked dumbbell rack, you can just pick up and arm blaster for around £15, making your existing dumbbells more effective.
This can be somewhat awkward to carry into the gym with you as you generally use it for one or two set then you have to carry it around with you for the rest of your session. The way to get around this is to leave it in a locker while you’re not using it if your gym will allow that.
Gold’s Gym Bicep Isolator
You can’t go wrong with these things just make sure to get one that’s not going to snap on you like this Golds gym one (Buy now off amazon.co.uk)
4. Lifting belt
If you’ve been lifting for a while then you more than likely own a lifting belt. Even so, I’ll go through the benefits of one now because it’s certainly something you want to look at picking up especially if you’re doing squats or deadlifts frequently.
Without getting all technical a lifting belt will stabilize your spine, in turn, reducing the amount of stress put on it by around 40%. This is significant in the long term and can most definitely prevent injuries during lifting in the short term.
If the mere fact that it’s going to keep you safe while lifting heavy isn’t enough for you and you’re all about results then I’ve got good news because a lifting belt will also increase your performance. For lower body exercises, which is what I’m solely talking about here, it will actually increase your strength and power as WELL as your muscle growth.
I’ll sum this one up by just saying get a good lifting belt it’s a no-brainer. However, I will warn you it can be quite uncomfortable digging into your stomach you until it’s broken in but just bear with, it gets better.
Hawk Fitness Weight Lifting Lever Belt
I prefer a lever belt in the gym as opposed to the traditional buckle belt (Buy now off amazon.co.uk)
5. Get a water jug!
Now, this may seem simple and it definitely is. You’ll probably know by now that water is relatively important to any human (or animal) but it’s especially beneficially to those of us doing a lot of physical exercises.
You may have got to the gym and realised you have forgotten your water bottle only to give proceed regardless, well for about 5 minutes until your throat feels like a junkie’s carpet. This is why I always recommend leaving a water bottle in your car or gym bag so you never forget it.
I don’t just recommend a normal water bottle, oh no, I mean one of those big half gallon bad boys. By having one of these you almost force your self to take in as much water as possible during your work out without worrying about having to take a walk across the water fountain to refill it every 5 minutes. It’s the little things you know (or the big things in this case).
Bulk Powders Pro Series Half Gallon Water Bottle
This is a quality one I’ve used in the past, just make sure not to put it in the washing machine. (Buy now off amazon.co.uk)