As we approach the new year, I’m on the hunt for a new gym bag. My favorite purple Adidas bag I snagged on eBay few years ago is hitting the bricks. I’m looking for a bag that’s slightly larger than what I have now to better accommodate my clothes and collection of gym accessories I’ve built over the years. Gym accessories are not required for success, but I do have some favorites that I rely on for nearly every workout!
If you have a gym membership, then your facility should be providing the majority of what you need to get a workout in. However, sometimes you may prefer having your own accessories for reliability or to enhance your workout over. For example, my gym has one ankle strap that is free for anyone to use, but it’s only one. If it’s in use, you’re out of luck. Also, one ankle strap isn’t as efficient as having two.
Even though I’m one that carries around various gym accessories on the floor, it can be rather annoying to be around someone who has littered the floor surrounding them with a bunch of crap. If your gym allows it, I recommend carrying your gym bag with you or having a second smaller bag for your accessories.
Now where I’m going to find a new bag is a good question. I’m at a bit of a crossroads, however, since I would like to thrift the bag or buy it second hand, but I also realize there’s a cleanliness factor there. I’m going to search through eBay again and hope to find a deal, like I did a few years ago, but there’s no promise of that. I have also been searching the aisles of the thrift store should something appear.
If you’re heading into 2019 with fitness goals, I want to emphasize that it’s about your mindset, dedication, and balanced nutrition. Gym accessories are fun to have and they’ve only further helped me achieve my fitness goals, therefore I believe there’s a time and place for them. So check out my favorite accessories that I keep handy for my workouts!
The most obvious gym accessory for anyone is a pair of headphones. I’m not really one for listening to the awkward grunts hear on the gym floor or the music they’re pumping over the speakers. In my bag, I keep the TaoTronics Bluetooth headphones similar to these that you can find on Amazon. The headphones are comfortable and stay in place for all my workouts including jumping rope. I prefer headphones that sit inside my ear, but are not are form fitting to the shape of the ear. I have my rook pierced which makes the form fitting headphones problematic. Also, I always wear my hair in a topknot so the Beats by Dre style headphones don’t interest me either.
The tricky part to Bluetooth headphones is that you have to remember to keep them charged for your workouts. My headphones are getting to be a few years old now, so I’ve noticed they don’t hold a charge for as long as they used to. I’ve definitely hit the gym after work and my headphones have died on me. So to avoid that, I now charge the headphones each evening before my workouts.
I added jumping rope into three of my four lift last year when my knee was recovering from the tendinitis. I wanted to find a form of cardio that limited impact on my knee and that didn’t add too much additional time at the gym. Swimming is a great cardio option that has minimal impact on joints, but sadly I am just not a mermaid. Jumping rope was something I could easily work in between sets to keep my heart rate up while lifting.
I purchased my rope on Amazon after doing research on what length would best suit my height. Checkout this site for more details on what would work best for you. In addition to using the jump rope at the gym, it pairs well with any home workout to help keep my hear rate going.
Jumping rope has been great for my workout split. I’ve gotten great results from the added cardio while reducing the number of days that I feel I need to commit to cardio-only sessions. It does take some practice to get used to the exercise, but once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll fly! It usually brings a few compliments at the gym too!
Wrist Support Wraps
Once again, this is an accessory that I’ve come to love due to tendinitis. After having a second flare up in my left wrist and at the advise of a hand therapist, I purchased the DMoose Fitness Wrist Wraps. DMoose has many designs to choose from and mine have a cute floral, almost Hawaiian print on them. I wear the wraps on any upper body days (dead lifts, back, chest shoulders) and event on my squat days. Sometimes when I perform squats I notice that my wrists do not always stay neutral when gripping the bar.
I want to be clear, that the wraps are not meant to cure an existing injury or prevent another from occurring. They do, however, provide basic support and awareness of proper form. If you’re lifting heavy at the gym, I recommend a set of wraps or other wrist support that fits your training.
I gave up lifting with gloves years ago and my hands have paid dearly for it. When it comes to dead lifts, gripping the bar with bare skin yields the best results, and I have built up the calluses to so. For a little extra grip, I carry with me a bag of chalk, specifically this Chalk Shot. The bit of the chalk helps keep my hands dry to better grip the bar.
Now, I will admit that the chalk is not 100% necessary and some would argue I’m not lifting enough weight for it to be needed. But, I don’t care. I’m a small, petite gal dead lifting at least 1.5 times over my body weight. That’s a lot of weight on my small hands and if the chalk helps me, then that’s what matters. If you’re in the same boat, even if you’re not dead lifting that much weight, I highly recommend chalk. Make sure you check your gym’s rules regarding chalk – some commercial gyms may not allow it.
As much as I hate being that girl at the gym doing glute kickbacks, they’re a staple in my routine. To get results from glute kickbacks, they need to be weighted with resistance from cables – hence the ankle straps. My gym has one ankle strap that unreliably floats around and I’m not talented enough to use the single cable straps.
What are your favorite gym accessories? Have you tried out any of the accessories that are in my faves? Are you going to give any of these a try? Let me know down below!