The Best Weightlifting Gear – What Do You Really Need?
If you’ve ever visited any kind of gym, you’ve likely seen the regulars with all kinds of straps, wraps and other complicated contraptions. If you’re not familiar with this gear, you’ve likely asked yourself: “Should I get this gear myself?” “Will it make me fitter, stronger or safer?”.
But you also don’t wanna be that individual who has all the gear and no idea.
The truth is that you won’t need the majority of the weightlifting gear out there. Each piece of gear you’ve seen has its own specific use and should be used only for its intended purpose.
Here, we’re going to outline what are really the most important pieces of gear and why you might like to pick a few of them up.
1. Wrist Wraps
Wrist wraps can be an incredibly important accessory in the gym. If you do any kind of heavy pressing movements, it’s a good idea to pick up a really high quality pair like those displayed in the above picture. Click here to get these wrist wraps.
Wrist wraps use compression to keep your wrist joints warm and flexible, reducing the chance of injury. A really good pair will also force your wrists into a straight line alignment when pressing meaning you can press your full force directly into the bar (this’ll actually mean you can press more weight!).
Wrist wraps can really make a huge difference to your results in the bench press, overhead press or pressing machines. Click here to find out more about wrist wraps.
2. Knee Sleeves
Knee sleeves can also be a super helpful piece of equipment to help you out in the gym. Knee sleeves are typically used when training legs and can help you with exercises such as the many squat variations and the leg press.
Knee sleeves also use compression to keep your knee joints warm, flexible and in uncompromising positions. A nice tight pair of knee sleeves can give you a bit of rebound in the bottom position of most movements too. For example, you may find yourself more comfortable in the hole in the squat with a pair of knee sleeves. They won’t make a huge difference to your numbers, but will help psychologically to keep your form on point.
As a last point on knee sleeves, be sure to wash them weekly! They tend to give off a most unpleasant odour faster than you may think.
3. Weightlifting Shoes
Now, if you’re getting serious about training and you’re making a move into more strength style/Olympic lifting/powerlifting workouts, then a good pair of weightlifting shoes are likely to be a really good investment.
If you’ve ever squatted in a pair of regular trainers, you might have noticed a lack of stability or even the tendency for your heels to rise up. Along with ankle mobility exercises, a good pair of weightlifting shoes can keep your squat form more stable and safe.
Weightlifting shoes have a raised heel (so yes you’ll also look a little taller!), which allows you to stay more upright in the squat. As a result, more of the load is transferred to your legs and less to your back. This means your back stays safer and you’re really hitting those legs properly.
There’s a lot of other weightlifting gear out there such as weightlifting belts, knee wraps and even squat suits. Go out and take a look at it, find what will work best to help you work on your weaknesses.
The core message here is that you don’t really need any of this equipment to get fitter and stronger. However, if you want to be doing this injury free in five years’ time, it’s probably a good idea to pick up some equipment that’ll protect your joints.