One of the most powerful strength training exercises is lifting weights. It offers numerous health benefits.
If you are looking to build your muscles, strengthen your bones and joints, or even burn fat, it’s the way to go! This makes it an essential part of any exercise program.
As an athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or even a beginner, you need the right gear to take your weightlifting workouts to the next level.
You've probably gotten the popular ones sorted - barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells.
However, to make those training sessions a total breeze, you’ll require some must-have tools in your arsenal!
Now this is where I come in! Stay with me as I recommend the 10 lifting accessories every lifter should have, and their various uses.
Every lifter needs a lifting belt. This can come in handy in so many ways. For one, while lifting, you don’t want to put so much strain on your back.
While doing squats, deadlifts, and other lifting exercises, this important accessory serves as a support to protect your lower back from injury.
It also gives you stability and strengthens your core as you lift those heavy weights.
Just as soccer players have their footwear, so do lifters.
While some people overlook this vital accessory, they soon come to realise how incredibly difficult it is to lift weights in their everyday shoes.
Lifting shoes should be flat, with minimal soles.This is to ensure that your feet are stable during deadlifts and other weightlifting activities. It will also help to reduce the risk of injury.
During heavy lifting exercises, the wrists feel a lot of pressure. Wearing wrist wraps help to improve grip, protect, and cushion your wrists.
They are also used for stability during exercises like bench press or overhead press.
Your knees aren’t entirely off the hook during weight lifting exercises. Certain lifts like deadlifts and squats place high force on the knee joints.
Knee sleeves help to protect your knees from potential injuries, while enhancing your ability to lift heavier weights.
Having a rock-solid grip in the gym is a great advantage. Luckily for you, lifting straps are just the tools you need!
A strap gives you extra grip on tools like the barbell, making it nearly impossible for the bar to slip out of your hands.
Lifting straps can also assist in increasing your strength. It allows you to overload certain lifts (like the deadlift) beyond what your natural grip strength might be capable of.
What’s more, they’re also helpful as a safety measure during heavy pulls.
You might think you've done and seen it all, until you encounter this powerful accessory.
When you use resistance bands with your barbell or dumbbell lifts, you give your muscles an extra challenge.
For example, let’s take squats! As you lift, the bands stretch, thereby helping to add variable tension and resistance.
The more the bands stretch, the more resistance you feel. In all, resistance bands help to increase the intensity of your workout sessions.
While lifting a barbell, you might feel a bit of discomfort on your shoulders and neck, especially when doing squats or lunges. Barbell pads are the heroes you never knew you needed.
They are like soft cushions put on the bar that feels super cosy on your skin. When you lift a barbell, the pad on it reduces extra pressure placed on the spine, and provides comfort.
So, with this special accessory, your gym times are guaranteed to be much more pain-free.
After a long tiring session at the gym, your muscles might feel all tense. Foam rollers help to give your muscles a nice, soothing massage.
They provide relief from soreness and help to speed up the recovery process.
During lifting sessions, your hands might feel slippery due to sweat from exertion. Chalk is useful in keeping your palms dry and free from sweat.
When your hands are dry, it means two things - less calluses, and a firmer grip on the lifting equipment, which will also help to prevent injury.
As you exercise, it is essential to keep track of your progress. You will need a diary for this, to jot down exercises carried out, the weights lifted, and the goals achieved.
So while not a direct lifting accessory, it’s a must have for lifters, and virtually all gym goers.
I recommend getting a training logbook that has the following sections and columns:
These are major points that need to be documented, in order to monitor your goals.
Champions in the house, there you have it! The tools you need to make your lifting sessions a walk in the park.
Whether you are a beginner lifter, or an experienced one, the accessories listed above are great for use, to reduce injury and enhance overall performance.
So when next you're heading to the gym, don’t forget to pack along these life-savers for a comfortable and safe workout experience. Keep smashing those goals, best of luck to you!