Category Archives: Sports Therapy

7 Piece of Powerlifting Equipment for Beginners

7 Piece of Powerlifting Equipment for Beginners

So what’s with all the powerlifting equipment people use? Why can’t they just use their own strength? Surely it’s classed as ‘cheating’ if you use all this fancy stuff to help you lift the weight?

Well technically I guess yes, you could say that. In the same way you could suggest a runner just pops on a pair of daps, or a triathlete just uses any old bike, or a golfer just uses irons.

In powerlifting we use equipment in the same way – to heighten the advantages our body already gives us – or may be lacking.

Let’s look at the major ones:

  • Belt – probably the one I get asked about the most. My mum definitely thinksI wear it to protect my back. It’s not for that – in lifting we take in a big breath at the start of the lift to create an internal pressure throughout the abdominal cavity. Wearing a belt enables us to brace against something making that pressure easier to maintain.
  • Knee Sleeves – these are really to protect the knees. Keeping the joint really warm and allowing the synovial fluid to do its job. It also compresses the joint and provides support to keep the tracking of the patella spot on. It does also provide a small amount of rebound at the bottom of the squat to help launch you back up to standing!
  • Squat shoes – They look a bit odd – I’ll give you that. Their job is to make up for a lack of flexibility in the ankle by raising up the heel and allowing the angle of the ankle to improve without lifting heels off the floor. They are also completely rigid with no cushioning to allow all the power generated in the lift to be transferred without loosing it in a cushioned shoe.
  • Chalk – used on the hands and back to stop slipping or movement
  • Wrist straps – To protect the wrists and keep an optimal position by reducing extension in the joint.
  • Lifting straps – used to wrap around the bar if grip strength is the thing preventing the lift from going up. Grip strength is very important in lifting and life – apparently a key indicator for longevity.
  • Smelling salts – really into the more niche stuff now – but used to clear the mind before a heavy lift

This is why if you see a powerlifter at the gym – they have a bag full of stuff! Sorry about that!

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How to prevent a hamstring tear

How to prevent a hamstring tear

The hamstrings are the muscles on the back of the thighs, and as you can imagine, we use them a lot in running. They’re responsible for driving us uphill, powering sprints, bending the knees and extending the legs. Issues usually arise due to weakness from either being overly long or shortened and tight. Tight, short… Continue Reading

Runner’s Knee

Runner’s Knee

Runners Knee or rather patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is a commonly experienced running injury. This painful condition is caused by irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the patella (kneecap). Around 40% of running injuries are reported to be knee related. Runners knee can flare up during or after long runs and after extended… Continue Reading

RSI and how to prevent it

RSI and how to prevent it

What is RSI? Repetitive strain injury (RSI) doesn’t just occur in sport. Any repetitive activity can lead to an overuse injury. Overuse injuries occur over a period of time, usually due to excessive and repetitive loading of the tissue, with symptoms presenting gradually. Little or no pain might be experienced in the initial stages of… Continue Reading

Cycling and back pain: five top tips

Cycling and back pain: five top tips

Back pain is very common in cyclists and can be caused by several factors, from riding style to muscular strength to lifestyle. The repetitive movements involved in cycling can be tough on the muscles and joints. But there are things we can do to help counteract the effects of this. Here are our five top… Continue Reading