4 Pieces of Workout Gear That Will Make Your Training More Effective

These accessories can help you get the most from your training sessions.

There are certain accessories you use while you play your favorite sports or work at your job. So it should make sense that you need workout gear while you train. If you want to take your body and performance to the next level, these fitness accessories should be added to your gym bag.

Wrist Wraps

Wrist Wrap

Wrist Wraps provide stability and support your wrist while you perform movements like Bench Press, Overhead Press, Rows and Curls. Wrist wraps can support the wrist joint as well as the cartilage and tendons around the area, so the only thing you need to focus on is working the muscles you're trying to build.

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Stable wrists can help you maximize your grip strength. A good wrist wrap is about 18-24 inches long. Wrap above and below the wrist, not just the wrist itself. You want it to be snug but not so tight it cuts off circulation.

You should wear wrist wraps only when you are lifting heavy; otherwise you risk creating weak wrist joints that lack stability.

Elbow and Knee Sleeves

Knee Sleeve

Elbow and knee sleeves provide the same support for the their specified areas as wrist wraps do for theirs. The advantages of sleeves over wraps is that they support your joints without assisting too much with your lifts. Some lifters use elbow and knee wraps to provide an assist on heavy lifts, like powerlifters do with squat suits and bench shirts. The downside of wraps for the elbows and knees is that if they are wrapped wrong, they can actually do damage to the tendons with too much pressure. Sleeves for the knees and elbows provide solid support all the way around. Sleeves should be tight when put on but not so tight that they cut off circulation.

Again, you should use these only on your heaviest sets.

Weighted Vest

Weight Vest

Weighted vests provide extra resistance on the upper body that is distributed evenly, so you carry more weight while training. One benefit is that all of the weight is not in one area, as it is with a weight belt or chains around the neck. Also, most vests allow you to adjust the weight by adding or removing the weights from the pockets. Vests are great for bodyweight exercises as well as for sprints or movement drills. If you can maximize your speed with the vest on, imagine what you can do when you perform without it. Vests can be anywhere from 10-50 pounds. Some go even heavier than that, but can be cumbersome.

RELATED: Should Athletes Use a Weighted Vest for Speed Training?

Foam Roller

Foam Roller

Recovery from training is just as crucial as training itself. Foam rollers serve as a way to self-massage, break down muscle fibers, target injured areas, and even help you warm up before training. They can be used on the back, shoulders, arms and legs. They aren't that big and can fit in your gym bag. Standard rollers are about 18 inches long and made out of foam; others are made out of hard plastic or rubber. The kind you get should be based on your preference.

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