Are you looking to improve the weight and safety of your lifts? These three lifting accessories can immediately help you to push your limits and lift heavier weights.
Lifting straps are fabric strips which fit around your wrist and wrap around the bar or dumbbell you’re lifting. They greatly improve your grip for pulling exercises such as deadlifts, shrugs and rows. Their major benefit is that they allow you to fatigue your larger muscles without your grip strength giving in.
Straps provide a solid connection between you and the weight for heavy lifts and allow you to push yourself without your grip letting you down. However, they shouldn’t be used for every set as this would prevent your grip strength from developing. It is best to save them for the heaviest lifts you perform in your session. This way you use them only when pushing your limits and improve your grip strength the rest of the time.
Lifting straps are available at great value with prices from €6 upwards.
Wrist wraps compress around your wrist and offer great support for pushing exercises such as bench press, military press and dumbbell press. They support your wrist joints and prevent over extension when pressing heavy weights or performing overhead exercises. They also offer a feeling of greater stability when performing lifts.
Again, you should ideally use them when working with the heavier lifts of your workout (eg. above 60% of your 1RM). Warm ups should be carried out without wraps to help build strength in your wrist flexors.
This extra support should allow you to increase your weight on pushing exercises. It’s also important not to use wraps to mask wrist pain which may be caused by an injury or bad form.
Wrist wraps can be found from €11 and upwards, a great weightlifting investment.
Squat shoes or weightlifting shoes provide a solid base for you to exert force through as you perform a lift. Many people train in runners which have cushioning built in, designed to keep you comfortable running. This cushioning however, prevents you from efficiently exerting force downwards during a lift. Squat shoes have a flat, solid sole with no cushioning which allows for a direct exertion of force downwards.
They prove a huge benefit in exercises such as squats, clean & jerks and even bench presses. Squat shoes also typically feature a raised heel which allows you to reach a deeper squat position and good support for a safe lift.
It’s an investment that will almost certainly improve the weight of your lifts and your confidence in pushing heaver lifts. Once you try them, you wont want to squat without them.
You can find weightlifting shoes from €90 upwards, with Nike and Adidas being the most popular manufacturers. While they’re the most expensive of the list, they do offer a serious benefit and should last multiple years if only worn on the gym floor.