If you ever told me I would be working out dressed like this I would have thought you were crazy.
Weightlifting Gear for Women
What am I even wearing? Well, knee compression sleeves, weightlifting shoes and lifting straps. Yup, I had never heard of those either. Backing up a little bit here to give some context. I have been weightlifting for about four years now. When I first starting working with Scott as my personal trainer I was introduced to things like dead lifting, squats and this thing called the barbell. I never would have made a beeline for any of these items on my own at the gym. I feel like lifting can be a little bit of a restrictive club because someone almost always has to give you the key to entry. I had never perceived myself to be athletic so I never would have found weight lifting on my own. I think this lack of confidence can be totally common with women. We stick to the safe parts of the gym because it becomes a comfort zone. In my case, I needed a trainer to show me what I needed to be doing.
The rationale behind any training gear no matter what the sport is to have a little assistance to protect certain areas of your body. As I l have learned more I can recommend these things as items you should clearly have to help. So here is a little breakdown of what I am wearing and why…
Scott stuck a pair of these in my Easter basket years ago because I kept complaining that the barbell was chaffing my hands. Maybe I wined. Just because I lift weight does not mean I am now tough. You can take the Barbie weights away from the girl, but you simply cannot take Barbie out of the girl. Besides being an accessory, gloves simply protect your hands from excess wear and tear.
I like to call these magic shoes, but the fairy dust is rather simple. Weight lifting shoes help you lift more weight. Most traditional sneakers or running shoes are designed to absorb force. Rather than absorb your goal when you are lifting is to create as much force as possible. More force helps you lift more weight. When we lift more we get stronger.
Weightlifting shoes have a raised heel. This puts us at a major advantage because it allows you to squat deeper and get into a better position.
Mine are purple. 🙂
Knee Compression Sleeves
The sleeves help because it increases your stability and allows you to produce more force. You are allowing mobility to happen at the ankle and the hip to control the position of the knee. The elasticity of the knee sleeve takes some of the force off the patella tendon which means less pain in the knees. There is also a warming effect (blood flow) that helps to mitigate the stiffness that comes with weight training and elevates blood temperature which helps it contract more effectively.
For women, they can be very helpful because women naturally have a wider pelvis and hips. To get the knee cap over the middle toes you have to get your knees out further. If you struggle with getting your knees out wide you can be a little more susceptible to injury.
It is a smart measure to prevent injury when learning to squat and you are not yet proficient in the movement.
It makes a lot of sense that my legs are stronger than my grip, right? Well if you are using your grip in an exercise you do not want to be limited in how much weight you can handle due to a weak grip.
I use them mainly for RDL’s (Romanian Deadlift) in my training.
Your turn: Do you lift heavy weights?
Use any “gear” in your style of training or workouts?
I always love hearing from you! If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email.