Top Twelve Gym Accessories You Need to Up Your Game
Dedicated athletes and long-term fitness lovers know you don’t need anything except your body to get in a good workout. While this is true, there are so many fitness products designed to make your workouts more effective. With that in mind, it might be time to leave your old ways behind and pick up some new gym accessories.
From the best shaker bottles to lifting straps and resistance bands, here are the top twelve gym accessories to improve your workouts—plus a few bonus items you’ll definitely want to consider!
Top 12 Gym Accessories
1. The Best Shaker Bottle
Blender bottles are one gym accessory that most fitness enthusiasts use. Anyone who has ever bought a protein powder knows that blending it or using the best shaker bottle is critical to achieving a drinkable supplement. Most protein powders don’t blend very well without the added help from something hard to break up the chunks.
There are a couple of things that separate an average shaker from the best shaker bottle. While it might not seem like much, it can mean the difference between choking down a nasty, congealed shake or chugging a smooth, rehydrating, macro-delivering beverage.
- The best shaker bottle is made from tough plastic. Both the gym and your gym bag are not delicate places to exist, and your shaker cup needs to hold up. Thick plastic prevents cracking and excessive wear.
- The best shaker bottle has an easy-to-open lid but won’t accidentally pop open and spill all over your stuff. Have you ever smelled a three-day-old, spilled protein shake? Yikes.
- The best shaker bottles have a metal spring ball that helps to blend and smooth the supplement. Sometimes the ball included is small, harder plastic, but the smaller the ball, the easier it is to misplace when you wash your shaker cup.
- The best shaker bottles help you calculate your water consumption accurately and have easy-to-read measurements to help you do so. No more guesstimating about the 8oz you mix with your protein.
- What really separates the best shaker bottles from the average is the ability to store a single serving of your supplement in the same cup. If you’ve ever put your powder in the bottom of your cup first, then added water, you know it never mixes completely. You have to use a spoon to dig the powder out of the corners, you might get some chunks when you drink, and what’s worse is you’re wasting the product. You can’t mix your shake ahead of time, or else it gets thick and gross. So, what’s the solution? The best shaker bottle has a separate compartment to store your powder and keep it dry, then add to the cup after you’ve filled it with water. Problem solved.
2. Better than the Best Shaker Bottle
If you’re looking for something even better than the best shaker bottle, check out the Cellucor Vortex Blender Bottle. It’s a bold claim, we know—what makes it better than the best shaker bottle?
The fact that this one is an actual, portable blender places it above the rest. The 18oz cup attaches to a removable base containing an 11,000rpm motor, which switches on the blades to tear through even the thickest powders and create the smoothest protein shake you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.
Choose the Vortex over the average shaker cup if you’re someone who adds creatine to your protein shake or any other supplement that naturally stays a little more gritty. The powerful motor and blade combo will ensure the grittiness is brought down to a minimum.
3. A Supplement Funnel
The days of creating a powdery mess every time you take a scoop of your protein are a thing of the past once you add a portable funnel to your gym accessories.
Store this handy little funnel inside the best shaker bottle, and then add your protein to your drink. This gym accessory comes in handy, particularly when your powder scoop is bigger than the mouth of your bottle, like those times you’re adding your supplements to a disposable plastic water bottle.
4. A Reusable Water Bottle
While we’re talking about disposable plastic water bottles, let’s talk about upgrading. If you’re looking at gym accessories and you don’t already have a reusable water bottle, you’re going to want to get on that—disposable water bottles aren’t just terrible for the planet; they’re also terrible for your body. According to the World Health Organization 90% of bottled water contains tiny plastic pieces that end up in our bodies.
You can cut down on the waste and toxic chemicals by using a BPA and BPS-free reusable water bottle. Try varying sizes to see what works for you, but if you’re a gallon-per-day kind of person, you might find the bigger, the better. Fewer trips to fill up your bottle, all the same hydration.
5. Water-Proof Headphones
Music is an excellent addition to any workout. A great song can energize and motivate you to take on the heavier weight or run the extra mile. Unfortunately, a bad song can have the opposite effects. Whether your gym doesn’t play your style music, or worse, doesn’t have music at all, bringing your own headphones and music can ensure you’re feeling your best no matter what.
When selecting gym accessory headphones, make sure the ones you select are comfortable and won’t be ruined by your sweat. Wireless headphones are an excellent option for the gym, so you’re not attached to your phone.
6. A Quality Pair of Lifting Straps
Now that we’ve covered basic gym accessories like the best shaker bottle and a convenient funnel, let’s talk about gym accessories that can truly take your workout to the next level.
When you’re at the gym and loading up the barbell for deadlifts, do you ever think you’d be able to add another plate, or even two, if only your wrists and fingers were stronger? Well, you are probably right—and there’s something you can do about it. Add lifting straps to your gym accessories.
Lifting straps are pieces of strong nylon or cotton fabric that loop around the wrists and wrap several times around the bar. They help support the lifter’s grip and keep the bar secure, allowing them to lift significantly more weight. These gym accessories can help anyone that does deadlifts, rows, shrugs, rack pulls, or any other exercise in which gravity is not on your side while holding the weight.
7. A Lifting Belt
Weightlifting belts aren’t gym accessories reserved for professional bodybuilders. They can help anyone that lifts heavy weights by reducing stress and preventing hyperextension of the low back.
By compressing the abdominal cavity and the organs inside, lifting belts increase the IAP (intra-abdominal pressure), which provides more support to the bones in the lower back. What’s more is the sensation of the stiff, thick belt around the waist makes the lifter more mindful of maintaining proper form while performing the lift. All these factors help to prevent injury while lifting heavy.
8. Resistance Bands to Perfect the Booty
Resistance bands have always been a go-to gym accessory for warming up and enhancing a bodyweight exercise. However, if you’re still using annoying rubber bands that slip and roll, we have excellent news for you—it’s time to upgrade! Resistance bands, more recently referred to as glute bands or booty bands, have come a long way. Look for bands made of thick woven fabric with grip strips on the inside to prevent slipping. Your favorite gym accessory just got a big upgrade.
Use these loop bands for:
- lateral steps
- hip thrusts
9. Bar Pad to go Heavy
As with deadlifts, you probably feel like you could go a lot heavier with your weighted hip thrusts and squats if the bar wasn’t literally bruising your hips and back. Most gyms have pads to wrap around the barbell, but they’re usually thin and worn. Plus, sometimes they’re in use the entire time you’re at the gym! Solve this problem by adding your own bar pad to your stash of upgraded gym accessories.
Look for a bar pad that is thicker than one inch and constructed from firm but soft foam. It should have a sturdy Velcro closure that ensures it won’t move until you want it to. Now you can add more weight without the added discomfort. Booty gains, here you come!
10. Yoga Mat for Stretching
Most people realize the importance of cooling down and stretching after a workout but realizing the importance and actually doing it are two different things. A couple of things might keep you from stretching—there’s the additional time it takes, and there are also those grungy gym mats with the faint smell of someone else’s sweat.
Purchasing your own quality yoga mat is one way to encourage yourself to take care of your body by stretching sans the extra gym germs. You can find yoga mats at any price point for your gym accessories, but you should look for one that’s between 3.3mm and 6.35mm thick and made of a grippy material. This prevents slipping and sliding, no matter how sweaty you are. Now you can stretch and sip from your best shaker bottle without thinking about all the other sweat that’s permanently absorbed into those gym mats.
11. Foam Roller for Enhanced Recovery
While you’re adding the best shaker bottle and a new yoga mat to your list, you might want to look into another gym accessory that can improve your recovery—a foam roller.
Foam rolling is an SMR (self-myofascial release) technique that can help:
- ease muscle pain
- increase ROM (range of motion)
- reduce cellulite
- relieve pain, especially in the back
- aid in relaxation
Tossing a foam roller in your gym bag and adding a ten to twenty-minute stretch and roll to the end of every workout will have you feeling brand new; trust us.
12. An Awesome Gym Bag
Now that you have a huge list of gym accessories that will help take your workouts to the next level, you need a way to carry it all! You need a spacious gym bag with lots of compartments. It needs to hold up to being lugged around the gym and toted to and from your car.
Check out the Beyond Yourself Gym Bag. It features tons of room, two main zippered compartments, and a designated area for the best shaker bottle. It’s got a stylish design, and the bold orange pops against the thick, black fabric. This bag can carry all your new gym accessories, and the padded strap allows for comfortable use.
GYM ACCESSORY BONUS: Lifting Gloves
If you struggle with rough, blistered skin on your hands, there’s a simple solution—lifting gloves. Lifting gloves cover your palms while leaving your fingers exposed, so your grip is not affected, but your skin is protected. You won’t be stopping because your hands hurt, and you might be able to bump up in weight once you remove the discomfort from the barbell and dumbbells on your skin!
GYM ACCESSORY BONUS: Gym Face Mask
These days, working out in a gym setting requires some more specific gym accessories to keep you safe. That world’s best shaker bottle won’t do much to protect you against dangerous germs. So, add a face mask to your bag and never workout without it.
The same cotton face masks you wear to the store will be fine, but you might find the fabric a bit hot and stuffy as your respiratory rate rises, and you start to sweat. Instead, look for one made of breathable, sweat-wicking fabric that’s designed for working out. Keep safe while staying fit!
While you can certainly get an excellent workout without these gym accessories, you know you can kick it up a notch or two and meet your fitness goals faster by adding things like bar pads and lifting straps to go extra heavy. Include a lifting belt, yoga mat, and foam roller to reduce the risk of injury and aid your recovery, and don’t forget the best shaker bottle, because your supplements only work if you take them!