Weightlifting requires very little to get started. Aside from optional equipment, like a power rack and bench, all you need are weights and the motivation to work out on a regular basis. However, the right accessories can enhance your weightlifting exercise. This article explores six popular weightlifting accessories to improve your workout and promote more significant gains.
One of the great things about weightlifting is its low barrier of entry. While equipment, like a power rack and weight station, can help, it certainly isn’t required. All you need to get started are some weights and the desire to push yourself. A pair of dumbbells or a weighted barbell will allow you to perform squats, bicep curls, chest presses, lungs, and more. With that said, you can improve your weightlifting regimen by using the following seven accessories.
Featuring a padded material with open fingers, weightlifting gloves offer several benefits. First, they protect your hands from calluses. As most bodybuilders know, lifting weights will eventually cause the skin on your hands to harden. Wearing weightlifting gloves protects against this phenomenon by creating a barrier between your hands and the weights. Second, gloves stabilize your wrist, reducing the risk of injury, while allowing you to lift heavier weights.
2.) Magnesium Carbonate Chalk
If you don’t wear gloves, you should chalk your hands before lifting weights. Magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) chalk is designed to absorb moisture and improve gripping strength. When you lift weights, your hands will develop perspiration, which can reduce your grip strength. A simple solution is to chalk your hands before lifting. Chalk dries up the moisture on your hands, allowing for a stronger, more secure grip.
3.) Weightlifting Belt
What are weightlifting belts and how do they work? Often worn by powerlifters, weightlifting belts are designed to brace the spine using pressure from the abdomen and core muscles. When worn, your abdomen muscles will push against your spine from the front, and your core muscles will push against your spine from the back. The result is stronger support for your spine, reducing the risk of workout-related back injuries.
4.) Wrist Straps
Wrist straps, also known as lifting straps, are designed to reinforce and strengthen your grip. While there are several types, most feature a band that’s strapped around the wrists using Velcro and a looped piece of material that’s placed around the weight. After you’ve secured the strap to your wrist, you place the loop through the barbell. In addition to reinforcing your grip, wrist straps also help to isolate the respective muscle or muscles that you are working out.
5.) Knee Sleeve
According to a study conducted by S&C Research, knee injuries are among the top five most common types of injuries sustained by bodybuilders. Consisting of ligaments, cartilage, bone, and tendons, the knee is a complex structure. Add the sheer stress of resistance-training exercises, like weightlifting, and you have a recipe for a knee injury. While it’s no substitution for proper form, wearing a knee sleeve can reduce your risk of injury when lifting weights.
Made of durable elastic material, knee sleeves are worn over the knees for increased support, stability, and blood flow. They help to stabilize the components within the knee while promoting increased blood flow. With more blood pumping to your knees, you’ll recover from injuries much faster and experience reduced pain.
6.) Wrist Wraps
Not to be confused with wrist straps, wrist wraps are simply designed to stabilize the wrists. Wrist wraps help to minimize fatigue during workouts, allowing you to lift for long periods of time without having to worry about injury to your wrist. Wrist wraps go around the wrists and connect with Velcro attachments. Unlike their wrist strap counterpart, however, wrist wraps don’t feature looped material that’s attached to a weight.
These are just a few accessories to improve your weightlifting regimen. Regardless of which ones you use, the most important step in achieving bigger gains is mastering your form. Lifting weights with poor form will restrict your ability to develop muscle while increasing your risk of injury.