With copious amounts of training accessories out there from straps to bands to shoes and electronics, it’s hard to know what’s really worth it.
I am here to help and even share my favorites with you.
All of these tools are PERFORMANCE ENHANCING.
They help you lift more, get stronger, be more efficient and fill gaps that your body is incapable of filling (why you need to focus on YOUR BODY before accessorizing). See post on 3 Training Accessories You Need to Stop Using.
So let’s dig into my favorite training accessories, what they’re for and when it’s appropriate to use them.
Lifting straps are for lifting a load that your grip strength is too weak to handle, but that the rest of your body can lift (in the simplest of terms).
They can also be used in a burn out/failure set where your grip is going to be the limiting factor.
Straps are not limited to deadlifts, although this is where they are most commonly used. Remember what they are for – helping out your grip when it is the limiting factor. This can be for any movement done with a barbell or dumbbell where your hands would fail before the working muscle groups (bent over rows, Romanian deadlifts, single arm dumbbell rows, Bulgarian split squats etc).
Normal working sets, warm up sets or every exercise in your workout.
What you should be doing to strengthen your grip – work it like you would a squat or any other big lift.
Use farmer carries, bar hangs and other exercises that challenge your grip. It will be uncomfortable and you need to be consistent, probably training to failure quite often. But that’s what has to happen if your grip is your limiting factor. You need to make it STRONGER. Train it appropriately.
My favorite straps can be found via the link below
There are tons of types of resistance bands out there. They can be used for assistance on exercises like dips and pull ups, or as actual exercise equipment like banded hip thrusts and band pulls.
Today I am sharing my favorite hip circle for building strong glutes.
This band is TIGHT. Like really freaking tight. It takes some time to break it in. I thought it would never break, but it does after 2-3 months of using it regularly.
Mini bands or hip circles can be worn at the ankles, just below the knee or just above the knee and are used to force ABDUCTION at the hips. Abduction simply means moving the legs outward, away from the midline (think alien abduction).
You can wear them for:
Get my favorite hip circle below
Not all training accessories are strength based. Remember the definition, “performance enhancing.”
I can’t think of a bad reason to use a heart rate monitor or at least learn about them.
I have several other blogs on tracking your heart rate to get the most band for your buck in your strength and conditioning. Read 3 basics of heart rate training here.
Get more specific results from your cardio, and learn to use training intensity to your advantage with my favorite heart rate monitor and chest strap.
The Polar a370 does track heart rate without the strap but it is far more accurate WITH the strap. Well worth purchasing both to get high quality training data.
With the Polar flow app you can see all of your data laid out over time to see trends, training cycles, and heart rate improvements.
Again, there are tons of accessories out there. Feel free to try the ones I shared today. Just remember that the goal should always be to NOT need accessories which are designed to help limiting factors.
Move the best you can, and get as strong as you can WITHOUT all of the accessories first my friend.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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