There are a lot of training gimmicks out there that are nothing more than overpriced garbage sold through soulless marketing. Just turn on your TV and you are going to see all kinds of ab machines promising you wonders, if you train just a few minutes a day with the presented piece of garbage. That’s why it’s usually better to stick to the basics, learn how to eat and once and for all forget about that mainstream propaganda. With that being said there is non-standard lifting equipment that could actually work better than the original. However, we are not talking about an easy way out or gimmicks. Here’s a list of less used training gear that could sometimes ‘save your life’.
1. Gymnastic rings
While more and more people are training with gymnastic rings it’s still not a popular training tool. If you are experiencing elbow pain from pull-ups, ring pull-ups could take the stress off your joints.
The rings move freely and allow you to find a position that is not as stressful to your joints. At the same time you also get a great contraction in your lats that is hard to match on the pull-up bar. Give gymnastic rings a try. You don’t have to buy fancy stuff – just built them on your own.
2. The Trap bar
The trap is not as popular as you may think. Many gyms don’t actually have one. Regardless, this is a great tool that can allow you to deadlift with more upright posture which reduces the stress on your lower back and stimulates the quads more than the regular straight bar version.
3.The Angled Log Bar & The T-handle barbell
The angled log bar as well as the t-handle barbell allow you to use a slightly different grip when benching. Your wrists and elbows can assume neutral position and as result there is less stress on your shoulders. Of course, the same thing can be achieved by just using dumbbells instead of barbells but bars make it easier to rack and unrack the weight.
People who hate getting heavy dumbbells into position and experience pain when doing bench presses with the regular straight bar can benefit from similar non-standard bars.
4. The Front Squat Harness
The front squat is a solid exercise but for some people it’s really hard to hold the bar properly without wrist/elbow/shoulder pain. This is when devices like the squat harness come into play. If your gym has one, use it. It will allow you to front squat with less wrist pain. For more information on front squat and wrist pain we recommend this post.
5.The Safety Squat Bar a.k.a Hatfield Bar
The so-called safety squat bar takes the stress off your shoulders and allows you to control the bar on your back more when you are squatting. This piece of equipment is particularly useful for people who have poor shoulder flexibility or some sort of an upper body injury that prevents them from doing regular straight bar squat. However, before using the safety squat bar you need to learn proper from. The biggest mistake people make is grabbing the handles and pulling them down. This will raise the bar and cause serious stress on your neck. It may even make you go unconscious. For proper usage of the safety squat bar consult the video below.