Top 10 Must-Have Gym Accessories
Author - Ben at Mana collection
There are so many different fitness accessories available in today’s market, that it can be tough to sort the somewhat useful, from the downright ridiculous. Some accessories are nothing more than a placebo and are a total waste of time and money. But to really get the most of every rep, every set, and every workout, there are a few must-have accessories that we recommend, so we’ve put a list together of our top 10!
Need we say any more? Probably the one accessory on this list that would make you stop your journey to the gym mid-way through, and return home when you realise you’ve forgotten them. Whatever you listen to when you train, music is one of the greatest forms of motivation to help you power through your sessions, and really dig deep when the going gets tough. Headphones are also an absolutely vital addition to ‘Netflix and Cardio’ to help pass those long treadmill minutes too.
In the eternal battle between Headphones and Earphones, we think that Earphones just takes the win when it comes to training, and we can’t get enough of the Beats Powerbeats Pro!
Water is the source of all life on Earth, so you could say it’s pretty important. After all there’s a reason why sports teams have a dedicated Water-Boy, and that’s because dehydration is the devil! (Apologies to our readers who might be too young to understand that quote, oh how we envy your youth). Staying hydrated means, you stay on top of your game, whether you’re working out or not. When you train, you sweat - if you’re doing it properly anyway. It’s super important to replace those lost fluids by staying hydrated and sipping water throughout your workout and that means having your trusty water bottle in tow.
We all know the damage caused to the environment by excessive plastic usage, so ditch the plastic bottle for something far more durable and reusable. We’re big fans of the Stainless Steel Bottle by Mana Collection as it keeps your drink cold for 24 hours, which is ideal when training.
Arguably one of the most versatile fitness accessories, Liquid Chalk is an absolute Gym Staple. Chalk eliminates sweat and provides a much stronger and more durable grip, which is why it’s so widely used in weight-lifting, rock-climbing, gymnastics, pole, and a variety of other activities. Chalk is available in a few formats with many power-lifters and Olympic lifters opting for powdered chalk or chalk blocks. These are great, but many commercial gyms don’t take too fondly to them because they tend to create a mess, which is why we prefer to use Liquid Chalk.
If you’re looking for a Liquid Chalk to try, then check out this Scented Liquid Chalk from Mana Collection. This is no regular liquid chalk as this baby smells like fresh Oranges!
Far from being a revolutionary 21st century invention, a towel is an integral inclusion to this list. Let’s be honest, gyms are pretty gross places. With everyone sweating buckets and often being extremely warm, they are a breeding ground for bacteria. In fact, studies have shown that gym equipment contains more germs than a toilet seat. That’s why you should always wipe away any sweat when you’re finished on a piece of equipment. As the old saying goes, ‘wipe yourself before you wreck yourself…’
We recommend getting yourself a quick-dry microfibre towel, and ideally take two with you! (One for you, and one for the equipment). These microfiber towels by Eono are spot-on and even come with a handy little case.
These are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason! A good resistance band is a valuable tool for anyone into fitness, with the biggest benefit being their versatility. Resistance Bands can be used for warm-ups and active stretching to properly prepare you for the session ahead and help prevent injury. Their lightweight and compact nature provides a quick and easy workout on-the-go. They’re also a great tool for increasing or decreasing loads throughout movements, with uses like assisted chin-ups.
Resistance Bands come in a variety of sizes and resistances so if you’re not sure where to start, then take a look at Mana Collection’s lightweight all-purpose Resistance Band.
Foam Rolling can be a pretty polarising topic, with some people swearing by it, and some claiming there are no benefits. Ultimately, this is an entirely personal decision, and for us, it’s a big thumbs up. Foam Rolling can help to ease muscular pain and keep those dreaded DOMS at bay (Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness). When done over a long period of time, Foam Rolling can help to increase your range of motion and also to relieve pain and help treat injuries. An ideal inclusion in the ‘cool-down’ of your Workout, Foam Rollers are a great remedial tool.
There are a variety of Foam Rollers available with various densities, textures, and sizes. You will need to experiment with a few to find the one that’s right for you. Whilst not for the faint-hearted, one of our favourites is this bad-boy from PhysioRoom.
Your wrists take a huge amount of punishment when training; especially when working pressing movements and other big compound movements. Over time, this repetitive load can begin to damage the wrists and cause discomfort and pain when training so it’s wise to keep your wrists protected with a sturdy set of Wrist Wraps. By limiting the movement, the wraps protect your wrists from taking a battering, allowing you to train pain-free for longer.
Do you use Wrist Wraps but get fed up of those annoying little thumb loops? Then check out Mana Collection’s Wrist Wraps which use a brand new design to do-away with thumb loops!
If you’re looking to improve your pulling movements, then you will be hard-pressed to find a better tool than a good set of Lifting Straps. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and for many of us, our grip fails before our muscles do. Whilst lifting straps will not completely fix a weak grip, they will certainly help make this less of a limiting factor. Give lifting straps a go for any deadlifting, rowing, or pulling motion and see if you can squeeze out an extra rep or two. If you’re looking for maximum grip, then try pairing lifting straps with Liquid Chalk.
If you’re going to be moving some serious weight, then make sure to get yourself a sturdy pair of padded lifting straps like these from Mana Collection.
Once reserved for only the most hardcore powerlifters and Olympic lifters, belts have become far more commonplace in the gym. By compressing your abdominal cavity, Lifting Belts help to reduce the stress on the lower back and prevent hyperextension during a range of lifts. By doing this, belts provide an additional layer of protection to help keep any nasty injuries at bay. It’s important to only wear lifting belts when absolutely necessary and for the lifts where it’s relevant. Worn correctly, a lifting belt should be so tight that it’s slightly taxing to wear, so you shouldn’t be strutting around the gym during your rests with it on.
There are a variety of Weight Lifting Belts available, with different materials and different fastening methods. We recommend experimenting with a few to find what works best for you. We tend to use this Weight Belt from RDX because the neoprene design and fastening mechanism is super easy to adjust.
Last but not certainly not least, is the humble Gym Diary. There are few products out there that offer such a powerful way to enhance your training for such an affordable cost. Tracking your workouts keeps your sessions laser-focussed and ensures you are continually making adjustment and improvements whilst you pursue your goals.
Want to start tracking your workouts but not sure on how best to start? Grab yourself one of these Gym Diaries from Mana Collection for a super easy-to-use fitness tracker.
And finally, a Gym Bag…
We didn’t include it in our initial list, because that would be like writing a food shopping list and adding ‘carrier bag’ at the end, and what kind of nutter does that? Unless you want to walk along like a human version of ‘Buckaroo’ we recommend getting yourself a decent Gym-Bag too. Something with compartments is spot-on here, so everything has its own dedicated space.
What are your go-to gym accessories? Is there anything on the list that you think we missed? Let us know!