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Supportive Lifting Gear- is it for you?

posted on May 13, 2019

If you’ve been in the Strength Lab, then you’ve seen some of our members using supportive lifting gear. I recognize that a standard commercial gym, like an LA Fitness or Gold’s Gym, (or other fitness place) may not be as open or accustomed to group weight training.  So if these items are unfamiliar to you, strap in (get it) and I’ll explain what they are and how they can help you.


We’ll start with a basic definition- what is “supportive lifting gear?” It’s any type of gear/equipment that aids a lifter. They can be worn to support a joint, help a lifter brace and support their back, or help with a mobility issue. This includes but is not limited to: Weight lifting belts. Wrist wraps. Wrist straps. Knee sleeves. Knee wraps. Etc, etc.

(For the purpose of this article I will not get into lifting gear- briefs, suits, bench shirts, etc.)



The Belt.

What’s it for?
The fore fathers of strength training learned that power, strength, and stability comes from our core. With that came the realization that wrapping a thick piece of leather around your belly and bracing into it (using your abdominals to create pressure that also supports your back) made them stronger. So a belt will help increase your strength once you learn how to use it to brace properly while under load.

Is it for you?
If you’re looking to improve your strength and technique, and add some pounds to your squat and deadlift, then YES! Ask to borrow one of ours, or one of our members, and see if you like it. Then we can direct you how to order yourself

one! The other cool part- these things last a lifetime. So it’s a minimal investment into your training to help make you stronger and keep your back safe


Wrist wraps.

What are they for?
These elastic wraps are used to support the wrist. They are not necessary, but can be very helpful for any heavy benching or heavy overhead pressing. But they can be useful if you’re dealing with a sore wrist or even coming back from an injury.

Are they for you?
If you like benching or doing overhead press but it bothers your wrists at times, then YES! Just grab one of us and we’ll show you how to wrap your wrists properly.


Wrist straps.

What are they for?
These non-elastic wraps are used in helping your grip strength. They can be used for pull ups, pull downs, rows, deadlifts, and some other movements.

Are they for you?
Have you caught yourself doing an exercise only to have your grip give out way before the muscles you were targeting got tired? Then YES, these bad boys are for you. You don’t need to use them for everything- otherwise your grip will never get stronger. But they are a great tool to use when you’re doing a row and your grip starts to get tired- throw the straps on with our help and now you’ll be able to finish the set and get the most out of that particular exercise.

Knee/Elbow sleeves.

What are they for?
This is a piece of equipment that is probably a little more familiar than some of the aforementioned items. Knee sleeves are used to stabilize the knee (to a small extent) and to keep the joint warm.

Are they for you?
Do you have achy knees or elbows? Then YES! This one is pretty cut and dry. Try them- and if they feel good, then wear them!

Knee wraps.

What are they for?
Originally lifters started using ace bandages to provide stability to their knees while squatting. Naturally that progressed into the invention of elastic and heavy duty knee wraps so lifters could lift more weight because they would get some spring and rebound out of their squat if they wrapped their knees tight enough.

Are they for you?
Honestly, if you’re not competing, then I’d say you can avoid this piece of equipment. They’re fun because you can put them on and instantly squat a few more pounds, but unless you get hardcore with wrapping them, the knee sleeves may be a more comfortable bet for you.



There are a handful of other items that I didn’t dive into- something as simple as chalk or weightlifting shoes (flat soles or heeled shoes)- can aid. your lifting as well. But for the time being, this is a start! If you are thinking about buying any of this equipment, ask! Our staff can help determine what will be most helpful for you.

Also thank you to our friends at EliteFTS for their images and indestructible equipment. You can find all of the above mentioned items at www.elitefts.com


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