Weight Lifting Accessories
A Basic Guide to Understanding Weight Lifting Accessories
If you have decided to get into the world of weight lifting, competitive or otherwise, you are likely concerned about protecting your body from injury through the use of weight lifting accessories. Weight lifting accessories, sadly, are very misunderstood and a lot of the times are used incorrectly.
For a basic understanding of the different weight lifting accessories, their uses, and choosing the right ones, read the rest of this article, as it will provide you with very helpful information.
First Things First
Before you go out and buy every single accessory on the market, you need to understand some fundamental things first. To begin with, while safety is certainly paramount, you should focus on only using the equipment and accessories you need. Many people mistakenly think that they should wear a weight belt for any type of lifting that they do. This is simply not the case.
Buying and using unnecessary equipment and accessories serves only to cost you more money and to be more of a burden than a help. Additionally, more experienced weight lifters will likely get a chuckle or two at your expense.
Weight belts are perhaps the most common of the weight lifting accessories you will see in gyms. They are designed to be used while doing exercises that are particularly strenuous on your lower back, such as different types of dead lifts, squats, and even bench presses. Don’t bother wearing one if you plan on focusing solely on pull-ups, curls, or leg lifts.
Choosing a belt can be tricky, but there are some pretty basic guidelines that you can follow to get good results. Belt wideness is very important. A good wideness to shoot for is about 6 – 8 inches. In addition to this, when wearing it, it should distribute the pressure evenly across your back and midsection. You shouldn’t feel it poking or prodding you on one side and not the other, this will only increase the likelihood of injuries.
Wrist straps are another common accessory that you can find in the gym. People use these in order to assist them with their grip, ensuring that they are less likely to drop a heavy weight. It is not necessary to use these straps during lifts like presses, curling, or even warm up sets. Instead, they should be used when you are doing dead lifts, bent-over rows, and shrugs.
Despite the apparent ease of use, many people do not know how to properly set up or wear their wrist straps. Be sure that you read the directions that come with the strap, if available. If none are available, there are several weight lifting websites that will show you how to properly wrap your wrist to help increase the amount of weight you can safely lift. Do make sure that you pay attention to how tight you have your strap. Remember: the tighter it is, the more likely it is to snap on you, causing the potential for disaster.
Wrist and knee wraps are also a good idea, particularly for people that have injured knees and wrists, or simply weakened ones. Knee wraps are particularly useful for power lifting, and enable you to get a little extra cushion and spring at the bottom of a squat. Be sure to get one if you have issues doing squats due to immense pain. If you can suffer through it, it’s fine, but if you absolutely cannot perform, then a knee wrap is a good idea.
Wrist wraps are similar in theory. They enable your wrists to stay straight if they have a tendency to turn or go wobbly. While many people wear them all the time at the gym, you should really only need them if you plan on doing presses or handling incredibly heavy weights.