Training with the right fitness gear is going to make a huge difference in your performance and recovery. But what exactly do you need to bring for your next WOD? While you have countless options out there, we’re going to share our top seven picks and why you need them. Keep reading!
7 Pieces of Fitness Gear Every Athlete Needs
1. A Versatile Weightlifting Belt
A lifting belt provides support around the part of your core after your ribs end. When you fasten it on and brace against it (by taking a big breath and holding it), it protects all of those muscles and bones and also helps you safely lift more weight.
For a belt that you can quickly put on and take off during WODs, try the Everyday Velcro Lifting Belt. Because it’s so user-friendly, you can easily fasten it for all those thrusters you’re doing, but then just as quickly undo it for kipping pull-ups.
If you’re not sure if you really need a weightlifting belt, or specifically when you should wear one, check out our blog on when it makes sense to use a belt.
2. High-Coverage Hand Grips
Your hands are your most valuable tool, and they have such an important job to do. From rope climbs and pull-ups to burpees and barbell work, we demand a lot of them.
Having a pair of full-coverage hand grips will ensure that you avoid rips and tears, which can set you back on your training. We recommend leather gymnastics grips. Athletes love these because they’re soft and flexible right out of the box. At the same time, though, they’re durable and can withstand all of the wear and tear. It’s the perfect balance.
Learn more about the different types of fitness gear in our ultimate guide to gym grips and hand care.
3. Durable Knee Sleeves
Knee sleeves are a helpful tool for weightlifting and heavy squats. The compression helps to warm up the knee joint faster and keep it warm. This, in turn, helps with recovery, because they aid in keeping inflammation down. Plus, you get an extra boost getting out of the bottom of your squats.
The Everyday Knee Sleeves are designed to provide compression, support, and warmth. They help to reduce pain, promote blood flow, and limit the strain on your knees. Because they’re a great all-around knee sleeve, they’ll carry you through both grueling WODs and heavy lifting sessions.
Some athletes think that knee sleeves are “cheating,” but this is completely inaccurate. Look at them as a support system, not a crutch.
4. Reliable Weightlifting Straps
Have you ever noticed that your grip is the limiting factor in how much you can lift? This is when weightlifting straps are a good idea. Essentially, they remove a lot of the weight and pressure from your grip, which is then transferred to the straps. It’s going to feel like the bar is simply hanging from your hands, which allows you to go for more reps and more weight.
Get yourself a strong pair of cotton weightlifting straps. They’re designed with grippy silicone to give you even better hold on the bar.
These will work well for functional fitness athletes and Olympic weightlifters. If you’re a powerlifter, you might consider opting for thicker straps, since you’re going to be pulling a lot more weight.
5. A Set of Resistance Bands
Resistance band exercises are excellent for both building strength and boosting recovery. It’s a low-impact way to target tinier muscles that might otherwise be ignored.
There are all types of bands, and the ones you keep on you will really depend on your needs and goals. However, having a variety of resistance bands in your gym bag is a smart move. You can use these for your warm-ups or cool-downs, or even incorporate them as part of your WOD.
This shorter band is great for exercises like squats and monster walks.
6. Finger Tape
This one is a no-brainer. Tape can be used all around your fingers and even across your palms. It’s a simple way to protect that skin throughout pull-ups, barbell work, and dumbbell/kettlebell exercises.
Find a tape that’s tough but flexible, with bullet-proof adhesive.
7. A Smooth-Spinning Speed Rope
The speed rope that you use for single- and double-unders is really important — it’s going to play a big role in how quickly and easily you can knock out those reps. A rope that’s heavy and tough to spin is going to slow you down and get caught on your feet.
The Cyclone Super Speed Rope offers smooth handling and efficient turning. This means that you don’t have to work as hard to move the rope around your body.
High-quality fitness gear can serve as a powerful tool on your journey to becoming a fitter, happier you. The items on this list will help keep you safe and strong, assist you during your WODs, and make recovery just a little bit easier. Use them strategically and they’re going to serve as a loyal ally.
Ready to stock up your gym bag and take your training to the next level? Shop The WOD Life’s full selection of gear today!