These days there are many accessories that help to increase strength and build high quality muscle. With so many different products available on the market it can be difficult to determine which you need - and don't need - in your gym bag.
Although willpower and determination are the two vital ingredients for weightlifting progress and growth, there are certain products available to help maximize your success.
Ryan Rodal discusses the items he considers to be gym bag essentials.
7 Gym Bag Essentials
#1 - Weightlifting belt
A weightlifting belt is not absolutely crucial at all times while lifting. However, it will help stabilize the core and prevent hyperextension of the lower back while performing max attempts or low reps at a high volume.
Belts generally come in the standard and lever variety depending upon personal preference. A high quality belt will go a long way in providing extra structural support. Although you should never rely on a belt for every set in every workout, using it on heavy deadlifts or squats may prevent major injury from occurring.
#2 - Wrist straps
There are many types of wrist wraps available on the market today. They range from simple to the more advanced Versa Gripps.
Wrist straps come in handy during exercises that do not rely upon grip strength. During back workouts especially, wrist straps help eliminate the use of the bicep in the movement and place much greater emphasis on the back muscles such as the lats, rhomboids, traps, and rear delts.
Try using straps for your pulling movements and you may find you're stronger than previously believed. Never let your grip strength be a factor in lifting heavy weight.
#3 - Olympic lifting shoesHaving an elevated heel will help aide many people in reaching depth and performing squats to their full range of motion. A quality pair of Olympic lifting shoes is a worthwhile investment for lifters that are serious about increasing their squat numbers.
Some people prefer to squat in flat-footed shoes, but whatever the case may be find out what type of shoe works best before making the purchase.
#4 - Wrist wraps
Wrist wraps help during pushing movements such as the bench press and overhead press. They stabilize the wrist, helping to keep it in the same plane as the rest of their arm.
Quality wrist wraps will be snug but not so tight that circulation is cut off completely. As with any gym accessory there is a time to use it and a time not to. Heavy movements will be aided with the use of wrist wraps.
#5 - Shaker cup
Shaker cups have made tremendous technological strides during the last decade. Gone are the days of taking a used Gatorade bottle and using it for your post-workout protein shake. Now we have blender bottles, cyclone cups, and even containers with multiple storage areas used for both pre and post-workout supplements.
Keeping a couple shaker cups in your bag is recommended. You don't want to put your pre-workout in your smelly protein shaker and vice versa. These cups are relatively inexpensive and come in handy.
#6 - Knee sleevesSome people complain about knee pain while squatting. Knee sleeves are a great option that can help eliminate pain and keep the knees warm between sets.
Knee sleeves can also be adjusted down on top of the calves for added protection while performing deadlifts. Just be sure to rinse off after every use to help avoid the awful sweat stench from a high volume leg workout.
#7 - HeadphonesWe all know the feeling. The pre-workout is packed and the BCAA's are ready to go. You get in the car, drive all the way to the gym, only to discover you left your headphones at home. Now you are either relegated to working out in silence, or suffering from the sounds of Selena Gomez on repeat.
Keep an extra set of headphones in your gym bag in times of emergency. On second thought keep an entire set of gym clothing and shoes in your car at all times. You never know when you may need to perform a workout in a pinch. Always be prepared for emergency gains.
What are Your Gym Bag Essentials?
Having a properly packed gym bag with all the right equipment goes a long way towards success in the gym. If you're in need of a stylish gym bag at a reasonable price, look no further than the Tiger Fitness gym bag. Keeping your bag ready to go with the right gear will lead you to the land of tremendous gains.
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