We have compiled a short list of equipment that is going to help keep you safe and also make your life more convenient during your workouts!
1. Weightlifting belts are a great tool to increase your performance and also keep you safe. Wearing a belt allows you to create pressure inside your abdominal cavity which increases the support of the spine and disks. This added support allows you to lift more weight which in turn will recruit more muscle fibers and stimulate muscle growth!Try not to always rely on a belt while doing WODs or even lifting. A good rule of thumb would be to use a belt when going over 70%-80% of your 1RM.
2. Wrist Wraps – A lot of the movements we do in CrossFit can effect your wrist health over time. Most of the barbell movements we do require a lot of wrist mobility. If you are missing flexion in your wrist, it is going to put strain on all the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joint. Wrist wraps will provide that extra support for your wrist and also limit the range of motion. There are a few different kinds you can get. We like to use the kind with the draw string rather than the velcro.
The draw string allows you to quickly tighten and loosen the wraps depending on what movements you are doing in the workout.
3. Thumb tape is a great accessory to use especially if you’re using hook grip. The tape will help keep your thumbs from callousing or even bruising. It will also help you get used to using hook grip when it is very uncomfortable in the beginning.
Hook grip is most commonly used during the snatch and clean & jerk to ensure the bar doesn’t slip out of your hands during the lift. Some will even use the hook grip during deadlifts and other pulling exercises.
4. Weightlifting shoes have a flat, hard bottom, with a elevated heal. They are very stable while lifting weights but are usually heavy and almost impossible to run in. The biggest advantage of wearing these shoes is the elevated heal. It’s going to allow your chest to stay more vertical while squatting, increase mobility and depth, and allow you to use more of your quad when you squat which is usually your strongest leg muscle. If you have tight ankles or hips you will see a dramatic change in your squat by wearing these.
5. Hand protection is almost a necessity in the CrossFit world! If you’re doing a lot of exercises from the pull up bars or even barbell, sooner or later you will experience a rip in your hand or callous. There are a lot of different kinds of hang protection and I think it is more personal preference than anything.
Probably the most popular and oldest style are the leather straps. As time goes on a lot of other companies are using more of a cloth or synthetic materials rather than the leather. They seem to grip better and aren’t so bulky. If you have a chance to try a few different kinds out, go for it! Make sure the grips are broken in a little bit before you make a decision.
Most of the pieces of equipment aren’t too expensive, except for the shoes. You can ask a coach if you have any questions, or for their advice on which brand to purchase.