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Fitness Paraphenalia

Whether you're performing your Fitness Exercise or Strength Training in a sophisticated gym or in your basement at home, you can bring nothing more than what you're wearing, or you can include an assortment of Fitness Accessories that may (or may not) help you with your Fitness Program.

We're talking about weight belts, wrist and knee wraps, pads, jockstraps, and gloves. Although some of these may not be that necessary, it might help you (to some extent) get psyched to go to the gym. In this section, we'll outline your options and make some recommendations about the Fitness Accessories that might be right for you.

Weight Belt
Wearing of Belts has been a popular debate topic among Fitness Enthusiasts. A Weight Belt is made from thick, dense leather and is roughly six inches wide. It's buckled securely around your waist just above your hips. For a Weight Belt to offer any significant support, it has to be pulled really tight. This Fitness Accessory may be beneficial when performing exercises with higher, near maximal, and maximal loads for exercises such as the dead lift or other power lifts.

When you Wear a Weight Belt when you lift, you tend to maintain an erect posture. However, Wearing a Weight Belt can give you a false notion that may have you struggling to lift more weight than you can handle or is necessary. Also, this Fitness Accessory offers support to the muscles in your lower back and abdomen that you're "aiming" to strengthen. As a result, your progress in that area is minimized. If you do have a weak lower back, a weight belt may be necessary to work out pain-free until your abdominal and lower back muscles are strong.

Wrist Wraps
The two Kinds of Wraps that you can use in the gym are the wrist wraps and the knee wraps. Wrist wraps are shorter than knee wraps and are affixed with Velcro. This is commonly used when doing heavy bench workouts. For Wrist Wraps to be effective in giving you stability, they have to be pulled really tight. Still, don't Wear Wrist Wraps unless necessary. That is, unless you've recently suffered a wrist injury and need the support, or if you have a tendency to "hyperextend" your wrists while you perform a bench press.

Knee Wraps
This type of wrap is longer than wrists wraps and is cinched by tucking the wrap under itself and pulling. Knee Wraps are commonly used when performing Squats or using a leg extension machine. Similar with wrist wraps, try to Avoid Using Knee Wraps. Remember that when you wrap your knees, you remove a significant amount of the workload from the muscles and transfer it to the wraps. If you do need to Use a Knee Wrap, just wrap it tight enough to add support; not too tight that it offers assistance in the lift.

Gloves
Weight-lifting gloves usually have padded palms and cut off fingers for ventilation and dexterity. If you're Fitness Routine or Program include heavy exercises such as chin-ups and lat pull downs, and hate having callused hands, you may consider wearing gloves. Yet, many experienced weight lifters feel that it is easier to lift if they have greater (non-gloved) contact with the bar. This may or may not be applicable to you. But if you decide to Wear Gloves, do find a pair that has a grippy texture on the palms. Make sure that they are comfortable but fit your hands securely without restricting your movement. Also, try to avail of gloves made of fabric that allows your sweat to evaporate so your gloves won't get stinky.

Pads
Some people prefer Pads Instead of Gloves. Pads are small, flat, neoprene squares that are held in your palms like mini-potholders. This Fitness Paraphernalia does not only offer the same comfort and improved grip as gloves, it also saves you from worrying about having sweaty palms. Only, you have to carry them around the gym, thus they tend to disappear often.

Straps
This Fitness Paraphernalia is one of the common pieces of accessory in the gym. Straps are made of a sturdy non-stretch material. They are worn around your wrists and then wrapped around the bar where you plan to lift. Straps are used to reduce the burden on the gripping muscles in your hands and forearms that often fatigue before your large working muscles. Straps are also helpful in traditional stretching routines when your arms can't reach as far as you need, or to give a gentle, extra pull to a muscle group. However, avoid overusing straps since it can prevent your hand and forearm muscles from becoming stronger.

Weight belts, wrist and knee wraps, gloves and straps can help or hinder your progress to achieving your Fitness Goals. Use them with care.

 
 
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