Gear to prevent injury
When training there is a load of gear that can prevent you from injuring yourself and offer your muscles support. If you have bad joints or muscle pains, then this equipment is crucial to preventing you from developing an injury or tearing a muscle. You have probably seen people in the gym wearing things like lifting belts and other support gear and have wondered what its for? Well in this article we are going to be sharing the benefits and effectiveness of different equipment and accessories used for support.
Why do I need this gear?
Although some of this equipment may look pretty cool, its purpose goes beyond looks. If you suffer from any pain in your muscles or have weak joints, then equipment could assist you in doing movements and prevent injury as well as easing pain. An example could include using elbow wraps if you suffer from bad elbows or have had an injury in the past. There are many different types of lifting gear like belts, writ wraps, joint wraps and even gloves. As well as assisting you with movements this gear can also protect your skin from the environment and grips.
When lifting heavy using gear is also wise. This can reduce your risk of injury and in some cases improve your form. For example, when dead lifting and squatting wearing a lifting belt can help keep your back straight and prevent you from injury through bad form. Using gear will help you keep good form on the heavier lifts and increase support. This is the reason that when you see people breaking records or their personal best wearing various forms of support gear. When doing cardio, you may also benefit from using joint supporting gear, this is due to the high impact putting stress on joints.
The most common step to injury prevention on heavy movements and lifts is wearing a lifting belt. This is common in the bodybuilding and powerlifting industry as a belt reduces the risk of you developing a back injury when under stress. This reduces stress on your lower back by compressing your abs , increasing pressure in this area meaning your core becomes more engaged and takes some of the strain off your back. This allows you to maintain good posture throughout the movement.
Many lifters have also reported feeling safer doing movements when wearing a lifting belt. This is due to the back support and the good posture experienced by wearing the belt. Although a lifting belt is good in many cases, there are some negatives of using a belt. These include some people reporting that the belt is uncomfortable and decreases their range of motion. It also has been said to decrease your experience on how to do movements. For example, you may not know when to squeeze and contract your core muscles as a lifting belt does it for you. So, with that said its best not to use a lifting belt for every movement but only for some. For example, when lifting heavy then that little bit of extra support isn’t to bad and can protect you from a painful injury.
Another piece of equipment that is used to decrease your risk of injury and improve performance are straps. There are different types for example wrist wraps and knee wraps. They are a stretchy piece of fabric that you can wrap around your joints and this creates compression and supports the joint. The main purpose of this accessory is to provide your joints with support and prevent injury .A wrist wrap protect your wrist by not allowing it to move causing a sprain or break. This is crucial when weightlifting as they extra pressure on your joint can cause serious damage if it was to move in the wrong direction.
As well as the heavier weight the extra support on your wrists can also help during high volume exercises. This is due to your muscles fatiguing and making your grip weaker. Although wraps are a good thing they can be overused. Always having that support on your wrists can cause your muscles around that area to be less developed as they are under less stress. So, if you are wandering when you should use them the truth is it’s up to you. If you have a wrist injury, recovering or are going for a heavy lift then wraps are essential. These are also handy in workout when grip can easily fail before you are ready to finish your set. For example, shrugs or rowing movements.
Compression sleeves are used to keep pressure on your muscles and can support them in movements. They are often worn for tennis elbow and carpal tunnel. The compression caused by the sleeve can also increase the blood flow to muscles. This allows more oxygen to be delivered to your muscles which means you will be able to go for longer as your cells can produce more energy. This helps you avoid fatigue, and it can also relieve muscle soreness. If worn post workout, the rush of oxygenated blood to your muscles can also speed up recovery time and help you get that one step closer to your goals.
If you train outside or in harsh conditions, then sleeves can also protect against your surroundings. For example, if you train outside then sleeves can protect you from uv rays that can cause skin cancer. This can also prevent unwanted scrapes and scratches when training. You can also get compression clothing like shirts and leggings that provide a similar support and effects.
The obvious way to see if someone lifts is to see the sate of there hands. If their hands look like the barnacle covered hull of a ship, then its likely they have been hitting the iron. If you are sick of having hands that aren’t the best to look at or want to keep your in pristine condition, then lifting gloves is something you should be looking at wearing. The hardened skin caused by lifting weights is called callus and can make your hands look beaten.
Wearing gloves can also improve your grip. Usually people would use chalk to eliminate the moisture from their hands, with gloves this is not needed as its not your bare hands touching the bar. This also decreases the risk of dropping weight due to a slippery bar or sweaty hands, as a result you will not get injured as a result of dropping your weight. The gloves also provide cushioning for your hands, also reducing the risk of any tissue related injury caused by impact to your hands.
In conclusion, there is a range of accessories you can be using while you workout to prevent you from injury. Less time spent out due to injury means less time out of the gym which is key to achieving your fitness goals quickly. Its not only in the gym where these accessories can be used, another example could include using compression clothing or sleeves while running or doing another form of cardio. Here you will also be at less risk of injury or straining yourself and performance will also be improved.