29 Dec 10 Great Fitness Accessories.

Ab WheelI’m asked a lot about the training accessories I use, so I thought I’d write up a short list to share.

This is not the primary equipment I use (meaning kettlebells, plates, bars, etc.), but some of the “staple” training accessories.

These are all pretty much standard in my training, although some are supplemental training aides (you’ll see what I mean below).

These are in no particular order.


I use these primarily with Olympic weightlifting exercises.

I also use them for squat work and sometimes with barbell presses.

These are an easy to use wrist wrap to support the wrist joints with heavy lifts.

They’re a nice, comfortable fit and do an excellent job in adding the right amount of support.

I really like these and use them very often in the exercises I mentioned.


Recently, I started back using knee wraps in my squat training.

I used them for years when I was younger, but got away from them for many years.

Today, I’ll use them primarily for front squats and back squats to provide extra joint support.

These knee wraps are high quality and do an excellent job for what I want.

I should mention, I’m not a fan of the knee sleeve, as I don’t think they provide much support, as compared to these knee wraps.


Chalk is absolutely essential, in my opinion.

I use chalk each and every training session for barbell and kettlebell work to maintain a secure grip and prevent the weights from slipping in my hands.

You have to be careful not to overdue it with the chalk, but it’s an essential part of strength training.

Again, I believe it’s mandatory, certainly for barbell work, but for kettlebell work, as well.


The simple ab wheel is such an important piece of fitness equipment, I had to include it in this list.

The ab wheel is so simple but offers tremendous benefits for shoulder girdle strength, abdominal and trunk strength, and hip mobility and strength.

It’s an inexpensive, but ultra high value tool that benefits all of us, so there’s no reason not to include it our training programs.

Simple, not easy, and a training essential.


These are high quality straps I use for accessory exercises like heavy barbell high pulls, shrugs, barbell rows, or Romanian Deadlifts.

I usually prefer not to use straps and certainly don’t use them in primary lifts, but as fatigue becomes a factor in a training session, I will use them to assist in strength work.

A valuable and essential training accessory, but a caution is to NOT become too reliant on them.


Weightlifting shoes are a requirement for Olympic weightlifting.

Certainly, I’m not using these for kettlebell training (I’ll use a flat soled shoe such as Chuck Taylor’s for that) but for weightlifting, these are absolutely necessary.

I like the Nike Romaleo’s as I have a wider foot and these have a great fit and are high quality shoes that should last a very long time.

These are expensive, but it’s an investment in your training, so it all depends how serious you are.

These make a huge difference with the solid support and extra heel lift for correct Olympic weightlifting.

I also use them for my front squat work.

Again, you do NOT need these for kettlebell training, but rather are required for the O-lifts.


This is one that I don’t consider essential, but worth a consideration on the list for minor joint or soft tissue restrictions.

I was having a bit of elbow discomfort a few months ago (mild medial epicondylitis), so I decided to test out the voodoo bands based on the information from Kelly Starrett’s book, Supple Leopard.

The concept of using voodoo bands as a soft tissue mobilization was really interesting to me and I had heard of some miraculous results with the bands, so decided to give them a shot.

I have to say I had almost instantaneous relief from the bands after doing a voodoo wrap job, as described in the book.

I didn’t do anything else to treat the epicondylitis, with the exception of adding in a few standard stretches to the affected area.

But, for the most part, I don’t have any issues with the elbow anymore.

I really despise the description of a “quick fix,” but that’s exactly what the voodoo bands provided.

It’s an unconventional approach which appeals to me and it worked, so that’s why it’s here.

For minor knee, elbow, ankle, or shoulder dysfunctions, there may be something to adding a compression component to the affected area to relieve minor soft tissue problems.

Voodoo bands (or a bicycle tire inner tube) may be worthy to consider, but I’d check out Supple Leopard for more information.


Fat Gripz are flat out awesome.

I’ll use these primarily in deadlifts to increase grip strength and I’ve also used them in barbell curls (on the rare occasion I actually do them).

For deadlifts, they make the lift significantly more challenging as the grip demand is so much harder with a thicker grip.

The next day, your forearms (wrist flexors) will be  toasted, especially when you start out using them.

This is a great way to build forearm and hand strength for a crushing grip.

Easy to use, highly effective, and great for variety in deadlifting.


I don’t always use foam rollers each session, but I do like them sometimes for global soft tissue work.

The bottom line is they help to loosen up tight muscles and they make you feel better, so it’s a nice, easy tool to use prior to or after training.

For more local (or specific) soft tissue work, a lacrosse ball is the way to go.


And, a good quality weightlifting belt is an essential piece I use for heavy barbell work.

Weight training belts help to support the spine as a “rigid corset” making it safer for heavier lifting.

The Rogue weightlifting belt is a high quality belt and offers great support for a very reasonable price.

If you’re serious about the barbell, you need a quality weightlifting belt.

Well, there’s my list of 10 key weight training accessories.

There’s definitely more things I use.

Maybe I’ll post them in a future article.

Let me know if you have questions about any of these and thanks for reading.

Please share it.


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