No matter how often you train, whether it’s once a month or one a day there are certain sports essentials that are handy to have.
If you're playing as part of a sports team, your coach would definitely want you to have the necessary equipment like a football gauntlet machine to help you maximize your performance during your training sessions.
Although you can easily spend a fortune on the latest high-tech sports equipment, it’s not always necessary. You can still optimize your sports performance with affordable items.
From the basics to the more specialized pieces of equipment, here are six items that you need to own in order to optimize your sports performance.
1. Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is important for anybody, but especially when you are participating regularly in sports.
As you run around a field or hit the baseball across the court, you are using energy to produce force and acceleration. In turn, your body gets hotter and hotter and you start to sweat.
To replenish your lost water stores, keep a water bottle by the side of the pitch. You can sip on fresh, soothing water to stay hydrated and optimize your performance.
To make your hydration even easier, get yourself a sport cap bottle. This type of bottle has a smooth, ergonomic mouth that makes it perfect for taking a quick sip of water during your training session.
These bottles have leak-proof lids and a coated aluminum handle that make transportation easy so you can stay hydrated no matter where you are training.
2. Comfortable Trainers
Most sports require a lot of running or jumping. For this reason, having a high-quality pair of comfortable trainers is key. In order to produce lots of force and acceleration, you’re going to need some shoes with good grip, and they need to be breathable and lightweight so they don’t slow you down.
Some sports require a specific type of shoe. For example, soccer or football players need boots that have specialized studs underneath to maximize grip and speed. Basketball players require flat, soft shoes that enable them to be light on their feet during a game.
3. Sports Bag
You’re going to need somewhere to keep all of your other accessories. If you don’t own a sports bag, you might end up forgetting something important, such as your boots or water bottle, and this could hinder your performance.
There are lots of great duffel bags available, so find one that is large enough to fit all of your essentials in. If you're a badminton player, you know how important a badminton bag is. It's where you put all the necessary equipment that will help your game. The best thing about these bags is that they are lightweight and convenient.
It’s also important to find a gym bag that is odor-resistant so your used gym wear doesn’t start to smell!
You can keep all of your essentials in your gym bag so you can head straight out the door just before your training session and arrive on time.
4. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands can do wonders for your weight lifting sessions. They are used by many gym goers to activate the muscle prior to a workout to maximize muscle growth and strength gains.
Even if you’re not heading to the gym to lift weights, you can still use resistance bands as part of your warm up before a cardio session or a sports game.
They are usually made out of an elasticated soft plastic that sits comfortably around your legs. They are available in packs of five, ranging from a light resistance to an extra heavy resistance. Don't worry about forgetting which one is which, as they are always color-coded!
Luckily, they’re lightweight and easy to transport in your gym bag, so grab yourself a pack and start using them to warm yourself up before exercise.
5. Fitness Watch
It’s always handy to track your progress and see how you’re doing during each training session. Fitness bands cost much less than they used to, so you’re bound to find one within your price range. Make sure to find one that is compatible with your smartphone.
They usually require you to download an app, but once you’ve done so, you’re good to go. From here, you can monitor your heart rate and collect real-time data about your workouts using your fitness watch.
6. Yoga Mat
Whether you’re stretching after an intense workout session or you’re practicing some yoga on your rest days, a yoga mat is a must. Having a soft mat provides cushioning to your body as you stretch so you can focus on engaging your muscles and improving your flexibility.
Yoga mats are affordable and long-lasting, so make sure to grab yourself one! They can be easily rolled up and transported to and from your training location.