4 Home Gym Accessories That Can Make All the Difference
Success in the gym boils down to working hard and staying consistent. This is true whether you’re working out in a public gym, or in your home gym. Once you’ve got those two elements down, however, there are a number of training accessories that take your workout from good to great. Here are four pieces of gear that can take your training to a new level.
The shoes you wear in the gym are an extension of your body. They connect you to the floor and provide the vital base of support from which your power emanates. Weightlifting shoes are biomechanically designed to put your ankles, heels and lower legs in the best position for your lifts. The best squat shoes, for example, will provide you with the extra heel height to feel natural in the bottom squat piston while also maximizing your leverage and stability.
Good weightlifting shoes will provide a firm base to catch the weight and generate pushing power. Soft, cushioned shoes will not do this, which is why your running shoes won’t cut it on the gym floor. Look for a shoe that delivers a solid base and provides plenty of ankle support. It should also provide a snug fit and have secure lockdown.
Floss bands are thick latex rubber bands that are used to massage trigger points, speed up workout recovery and reduce muscle soreness. They’ve been popular among CrossFit users for a while but have only recently become mainstream. Floss bands operate on the basis of compression and are wrapped around a muscle group like a bandage. They can be used on any of the muscles that you typically train in the gym.
Use the floss band after your workout on the muscles that are the most sore. Once you have wrapped the area, get active by moving the muscle through its full range of motion for up to two minutes. Then take the band off again and move the muscle through its full range of motion.
Admittedly, spending time applying and using a floss band after your workout takes a bit of effort. So, what’s the payoff? Even though there’s not a lot of hard scientific data yet (it’s coming!), users swear by flossing’s ability to increase muscle mobility, promote faster recovery, and relief knots and trigger points.
The original and most popular floss band is the Voodoo. This floss band is a product of Rogue Fitness.
Workout gloves will allow you to train harder with less discomfort and more power. For most exercises, your grip is the vital link between the weight you are lifting and the muscle you are working. When your grip fails, the exercise is over. A good pair of gloves will secure your grip, prevent sweat slippage and increase the power of your wrists.
When you wear workout gloves, you will be able to do more reps than when you don’t. This is especially the case when you are doing compound moves like the deadlift. The wrists and forearms are the weak link when deadlifting. Gloves will prevent sweaty hands and slipping fingers from cutting the rep short. Some workout gloves also come with built in wrist straps to make your grip infinitely stronger.
Workout gloves will also increase your gripping comfort. They will prevent calluses and other discomfort. Not having to worry about your grip will also allow you to more fully focus on the target muscle group.
A quality set of resistance bands will allow you to take your workout on the road. If you’re on holiday or otherwise away from your gym venue, a set of resistance bands will allow you to emulate virtually every exercise that you can do in a commercial gym. Of course, you can use resistance bands to completely replace your gym workouts at home as well.
Resistance bands will normally come in a set of five or six bands which are color coded according to their strength level. They have carabiners on their ends so that they can be easily attached to the provided handles. The set should also come with an ankle attachment and door ankle strap.
Resistance bands work your muscles differently to barbells, dumbbells and weight machines. They are easier at the beginning of the exercise and harder at the end. This provides maximum overload at peak contraction. It also helps you to work on sticking points that you encounter when doing the exercise with conventional weights. With the relatively low cost of a set of resistance bands, they represent a smart investment to take your training to the next level.
Start Your Exercise Routine Today
You can use all of these fitness accessories either at the local gym, or in your home gym. You’ll find that regular exercise improves your health, decreases your anxiety, and increases your energy levels. All of these are good things, and there are virtually no negatives to working out at a pace that fits your current level of fitness. So, pick up some workout shoes, bands, and gloves, and get to work!