Hey. Hi Hello! It’s Friday, which means if you’re an adult human with a normal job then you’re almost ready for the weekend! However, if you’re anyone that doesn’t fit that job description, then today feels like any normal day. Plus, if you’re like me you totally forgot that it was Friday because all the days just seem to blend together at this point.
In a desparate attempt to be a *real* blogger, and get my life together, I did some major planning and organizing today, which included figuring out what topics to blog about. It’s been about 6 months now that I’ve been on this new format of posting twice a week, and honestly I’m starting to run out of ideas. Either that or my brain is slowly beginning to decay, which is a scarier thought than I’d care to confront right now.
If you can’t tell by the title of this post, today we’re talking about the 5 most important pieces of exercise accessories, according to moi…and probably every other fitness influencer out there. I’m sure most of you will be lucky enough to go to a gym that will probably have these pieces readily accessible, but I am not so fortunate. While I pay a boatload for rent, that money is clearly going to an incompetent management team rather than giving the residents what they want (I’ve literally been asking for these things in the gym for months now to no avail).
Now, of course, before we dive right in, I’m just going to state the obvious that these things AREN’T like the be all end all of exercise equiptment. Obviously you can get effective workouts in with whatever equiptment is available to you, even if that just means doing body weight stuff. However, I’ve found that these five pieces have really allowed me to incorporate a lot more versaility into my routines and I would definitely recommend picking them up if it’s an option. So, without further adieu, let’s get started!
- Hip Circles / Resistance Bands – First. you may be asking yourself “What’s the difference between a hip circle and a resistance band?” I’M GLAD YOU ASKED. Hip circles and resistance bands essential do the same function in that they’re utilized on certain parts of the body to isolate and activate deeper muscles within the body. However, hip circles tend to be a thicker, more cotton-like material, and often have a stronger resistance than the regular bands. Personally, I prefer to incorporate resistence bands into my warm-ups, and then add the hip circles in to the actual workout, especially with squats. Honestly if you buy nothing else, I suggest picking up either one of these. They’re easy to travel with, and are so multi-functional to help create plenty of workouts you can do within your own room! Buy the hip circle I use here and the resistance bands I use here.
- Barbell Pad – Now, I was never one to invest in a barbell pad until this past year when I started using my own gym, and it’s become the one thing that has allowed me incorporate hip thrusts back into my workouts (which is the best way to grow your glutes BTW). The main reason I need this is because for some god forsaken reason, whoever picked out the equiptment for my apartment gym decided to pick up the barbells from hell. I mean, these barbells are lined with grips that literally feel like spikes. I can use them to squat with little to no pain, but the second I tried to hip thrust with them, game over. However, barbell pads aren’t just great to protect your pelvis from bruising with hip thrusts. Rather, they can be used to protect your neck/back with squats and lunges too. Most gyms should have one of these, or a blue foam matt to use, but the theme here is my gym sucks, so if you’re like me, I suggest investing in this bad boy ASAP.
- Ankle Strap – Surprisingly, this is one that most gyms I’ve been to don’t seem to have, especially here in the city. When I was training through a gym, I would modify cable exericses like glute kickbacks, side lunges etc, by having my client use the regular handle and just step their leg through it so that it almost acts like an ankle strap. However, I noticed that it’s just a lot harder to feel the mind-muscle connection this way because you’re more focused on keeping the handle on your leg and not having it fly off. There are 1001 different lower body cable exercises you can do, and having an ankle strap (or two, one for both leg) makes it easier to do them and get the most contact in the muscle as possible. 10/10 would recommend the purchase, which you can pickup here.
- Ab Gliders – Anyone who knows me knows that I hate training abs. I thoroughly avoid training abs as much as possible, and will continue to do so until I feel my diet is at a good enough place that I’ve cut any fat around my stomach. I mean, abs ARE made in the kitchen, after all. But, these aren’t just useful for ab exericses, you can use them to do some lower body work as well, and they work just as well! The ones I got are double sided, so I can use them on the wood floor in my apartment, or bring them with me and try them on fake turf at my home gym! They’re a great replacement for many TRX exercises too, because although those are gaining popularity, still not every gym has them, so pick up some ab gliders instead to spice up your life.
- Wrist Straps / Exercise Gloves – This last one has become a necessity for me, due to the same reason I needed a barbell pad. I mean seriously, who the heck designed my gym in the first place?! My mom was always harping on me to get some lifting gloves ever since I started, because she I guess the idea of me, a girl, having calluses was not an appealing thought to her. The gloves that I invested in have integrated wrist straps, which are especially great for pull-ups, as if I can do those! BUT, they are great if you can, but also for deadlifting as well because I can actual focus on the movements rather than the fact that my hands are being eaten alive by a thousand tiny metal monsters. Pick yourself up a pair here (I got size small because I have the hands of a tiny human i.e. I’m 5’2).
SO, that wraps up my 5 Must Have Exercise Accesories! Hopefully you’ll consider picking yourself up one (especially some resistance bands, trust me on this you will thank me later!) If you have any work-out accesories you swear by, sound off in the comments below! But until next time, xoxo.