Weightlifting is an exercise or activity that can significantly improve your fitness and tone your body. It focuses on developing the size of your skeletal muscles and strength for more body power. When performed correctly, weightlifting is an excellent way to help improve your health. However, as weightlifting involves movement with (heavy) weights, you should prepare yourself before attempting this activity.
Accidents during weightlifting can happen and result in injury if you are not prepared. This fact is the reason why you should always be prepared before lifting any weights. With this in mind, there is certain equipment that can help or assist you during weightlifting sessions. Learning about them will genuinely help you in your weightlifting experience. Below is a brief outline of some the weightlifting equipment you should be aware of.
Knee sleeves protect your knees from injuries and reduce the risk of damage. Also, weightlifting knee sleeves for protection support the wearer and reduce the sensation of pain. A knee sleeve also compresses your knee so you have better blood flow and you can exert greater control and stability.
As mentioned, the compression of the knee sleeves promotes blood flow. Thus, it can help in reducing pain and discomfort.
People who use knee sleeves may keep them on even after their workout to help reduce swelling, and aches and pains. Wearing knee sleeves helps stabilise your knees so your upper body can more easily lift the weight.
The mouthguard is a mouth protector. It helps in minimising the impact of the blow to the mouth, reducing the risk of injuries to your tongue, jaw, and lips and (if you are really unlucky) broken teeth. Although mouthguards are mainly used for contact sports, mouthguards are also important for weightlifters.
In a number of sports/activities that require people to brace for impact or show strength, clenching the jaw is a perfectly normal response. According to some studies, clenching the jaw actually helps the body during strenuous activities such as weight lifting.
However, clenching your jaw too much and pushing yourself to your limit may result in damage. Specifically, this can cause injuries to the jaw and teeth – but wearing a mouthpiece can help to reduce the risks during weightlifting.
Choosing the right training shoes for you will depend on what type of physical activity you are about to perform. In weightlifting, you will need a shoe to help you use all the force that your body exudes when lifting. Weightlifting shoes have raised heels that allow the wearer to improve their overall position.
Wearing appropriate footwear such as weightlifting shoes can also minimise injury should an accident occur (such as dropping the weight). Weightlifting shoes are often thickly cushioned and designed specially to protect your ankles, toes, and feet and offer you balance stabilisation that is required during lifting.
Aside from your knees and legs, your back is a crucial part in enabling you to lift anything heavy. With an injured back it can be difficult and painful to even lift a small object from the floor.
Weightlifting belts help protect your back by supporting it during lifts. These belts can help reduce stress on your lower back when lifting and prevent your back from hyperextension during overhead lifts, for example.
Wrist Wraps and Lifting Straps
Wrist wraps (or lifting bands/straps) can support and stabilise your wrists when you are performing weightlifting exercises. Wrist wraps also help in placing your wrists under the bar and prevents hyperextending. Pressing movements and overhead lifts, for example, can cause your wrists to be pulled into excessive extension under heavy load and might cause serious wrist injuries. A supporting wrist wrap will help you to avoid this.
Wrist wraps can also help reduce pain and ensure that your position and technique will be unchanged when your grip gives out. Further, they can also aid you lift a heavier weight when your hand grip may not be sufficient (an example of this is is in competitions such as World’s Strongest Man).
Weightlifting is a challenging activity that will need some preparation by you. The above provides a quick overview on some of the equipment you may want to use when weightlifting, whether with lighter or heavier weight.
This equipment can aid your technique, help you avoid injury, and enhance your overall weightlifting experience.