Ross Edgley explains how strength and stamina can co-exist in modern day training. It is true, or is it just gym folklore?
There are so many different weight training accessories out there that it can be difficult to know what they do, and if you actually need them.
Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular weight training accessories and what they do.
You’ve probably seen a lot of people putting chalk on their hands or all over their shoulders before deadlifts and squats. Apart from making a bit of a mess, what does chalk actually do?
Put simply, chalk sucks up the sweat and moisture from your hands, so you’re able to grip for longer. Just be careful to get chalk rather than talcum powder as this has the opposite effect and acts as a lubricant.
You don’t want your barbell slipping out of your hands mid-deadlift.
Another piece of equipment for if you’re struggling with weak grip are wrist straps. While they can be really helpful, they do the job for you, so you’re not going to be improving your grip strength anytime soon.
If you're looking at strengthening your grip, it might be worth reserving them for your heaviest sets.
There are lots of different reasons these can be helpful. Firstly, they will give your entire foot much more support in comparison to your trendy trainers, elevating your heel slightly they also contribute to an increased range of motion at the bottom of lifts, which will help you to maintain proper form. They also have a solid, flat base which is important to maintain stability.
All of these things mean improved safety, which is always a good thing!
They might not be the most stylish of belts out there but there is a potential safety benefit to wearing a belt, plus they also allow you to lift heavier weights.
Basically, the belts are thick and stiff and can be adjusted to however tight you fancy. Your abs push against the belt which leads to internal pressure build up. This increased pressure means you have more stability and less stress on the spine, so you can load up that barbell with reduced risk of injury. – perfect if you’re looking at making some strength gains.
Lacrosse Balls and Foam rollers
Lacrosse balls and foam rollers are an affordable and easy way to get a deep tissue massage, self-massaging is great for targeting problem areas regularly to elevate pain/tightness. By rolling over them, you break down adhesion and scar tissue, which will speed up recovery and help prevent injuries.
No pain, no gain, as they say...
Knee sleeves are designed to help prevent injury offering extra support to those delicate knees. They act as compression, which increases blood flow and can offer a reduction in knee pain. They are also good for keeping your knees warm which improves mobility and further reduces the chance of injury.
Everybody feels guilty skipping leg day... these may be a worthwhile investment if you struggle with knee stability/pain.
These are just a few of the different gym accessories out there. Accessories come in all different shapes and sizes from yoga mats to bottles and baseball caps.
If you fancy getting your hands on some Gymshark accessories, check them out here.