Photo by: MMckein via Pixabay
Having trouble finding what to put under the tree for the friend that’s obsessed with burpees and squats and Workout of the Days (WODs)? Don’t fret. We have 24 CrossFit-inspired gifts guaranteed to give Yuletide cheer.
One of the most important equipment to any CrossFitter or gym-goer is shoes. With many different kinds available in the market, what should you get?
1. CrossFit Trainers
CrossFit is a high-intensity sport. It therefore requires shoes that can withstand grueling workouts. How does CrossFit trainers differ from any ol’ shoe?
These shoes have extra features for added durability, including:
· Extra rubber
· Denser fabric
· Sturdy, less flexible, flat sole
Can your friend wear regular training shoes to do CrossFit? Of course. But he’ll likely burn through the soles in a few weeks. Wearing the correct shoes helps protect against rope burns during climbs and provides stability while lifting weights. They’ll also last your friend longer.
2. Weightlifting Shoes
Speaking of correct footwear, those who include lifting and heavy squats in their gym time will need special shoes, too.
Proper weightlifting shoes have raised heels made from either wood or plastic. This is so the ankle angle is reduced thereby assisting with mobility and stability. This allows one to get to the bottom of the squat more easily.
Weightlifting shoes can be a bit pricey so many choose to use regular trainers. Your favorite weightlifter will definitely thank you for this.
In the Box
A CrossFit-affiliate gym is called a box. Ask any avid CrossFitter and they’ll tell you a box is different from any other traditional gym. There are no pools. You won’t find a sauna or treadmills or mirrors on the walls. It’s an entirely distinct experience. What’s a good gift for this environment then?
3. Box Membership
CrossFit box memberships can be pricey. This is why many opt not to get them. However, there are definite benefits to having one, foremost of which is personalized coaching. This is something any devout CrossFitter will appreciate.
Socks are gifts you hate as a child but absolutely love as an adult. They’re cheap and practical. They last a really long time. And there’s a lot of designs to choose from.
Much like wearing the wrong footwear can result in blisters at best and injuries at worst, incorrectly-sized socks also have an impact. For the gym goer, opt for a pair that’s comfortable and durable. You want to find socks that can keep the feet cool and dry, with padding for the shins and an arch support band.
The invention of smartwatches is a huge boost for the fitness industry in general. But not all watches are made equal. For CrossFit, you’d ideally want to give one that:
· Tracks specific exercises, or allows the wearer to create exercises in the database
· Allows for the creation of custom routines
· Automatically counts reps
· Has a heart rate monitor
· Has a good battery life
And oh, if one comes with a social media sharing function as well, you’ve found a winner. After all, WODs spice up the ‘gram timeline.
6. Training Gloves
If your friend is strength training, he’ll be doing a lot of lifting. Help him protect his skin while enhancing grip by giving training gloves.
One that fits well and provides support is perfect for functional training.
7. CrossFit Shorts
Baggy sweatpants and saggy basketball shorts were not made to stand the rigors of the box. The explosive movements of CrossFit require gear that can take a beating. Lightweight, sweat-wicking shorts made for mobility is the way to go.
8. Knee Sleeves
Knee sleeves, not to be confused with knee braces, are made of neoprene material and slides over the knees. They’re designed for protection against injury and damage. They have a compression element that helps with blood flow and pain reduction.
People that do a lot of running, jumping and lifting will benefit from the added support knee sleeves give.
Headbands are incredibly useful for sweat management. They also help in keeping your head warm. And if you have gorgeous, 1980s Andre Agassi hair, they’re useful for hair management, too.
10. Protective Silicone Rings
I wish I knew this was a thing before I forgot to take off my wedding ring and proceeded to bloody my hand while wall climbing. So yeah, silicone rings? Very handy.
11. Shin Guards
Shin guards protect the shins while training. Many athletes use them, from cycling to soccer. CrossFitters and gym goers will benefit from the protection they give when doing rope climbs. They’re also good for minimizing the pain from banging shins when doing box jumps.
12. Multifunctional Bag
Every gym goer needs a bag that carries all the necessities – from snacks to protein shakers, clothes (both clean and soiled) and shoes.
13. Weighted Vest
What’s a weighted vest good for? Making workouts extra challenging, that’s what.
CrossFitters are known to push the limits. Using a weighted vest lets them add additional load and heft. This will easily transform any exercise into resistance training.
14. Grip Tape
Hand grip tape, or gymnastic grips, help promote training consistency while maintaining hand longevity. Good hand grip tape can save your friend from blisters and calluses.
For the friend that does heavy lifting, a hook grip tape also offers additional protection while letting the fingers stay locked for the lift duration.
15. Refillable Chalk Ball
Chalk absorbs moisture and is used by weightlifters to keep hands dry. Dry hands provide better grip, letting one hold heavier weights for longer.
A chalk ball is a relatively simple yet beneficial tool. It’s also less messy compared to loose chalk.
16. Axle Bar Adapter
Bar adapters wrap around barbell and dumbbell bars. The purpose is to increase bar diameter. Thicker bars are supposed to cause greater arm muscle activation, resulting in greater gains.
Nifty Home Gym Additions
The COVID-19 situation has effectively sidelined many box and gym sessions. For those that had to make do with available items at home, or those who went further and set up their home gyms, these are fantastic additions.
17. Gymnastic Rings
Gymnastic rings are fantastic bodyweight exercise tools. They are quite versatile, being able to attach almost anywhere. The unstable nature of the rings stimulates deep muscles and offers a greater range of flexibility and mobility workouts conventional workouts cannot give.
18. Smartphone Mount
Make it easier for your buddy to record his workouts by giving a smartphone mount. This relatively cheap gift makes taking pictures and videos more convenient. He can monitor his progress and post #WOD with relative ease.
19. Smart Kettle Bells
This took two things – gym equipment and technology – and merged them together. It looks like a standard kettlebell, but sits on a base that allows automatic stacking. This means the weight can be adjusted in seconds. Real-time, automatic tracking that connects to an app makes monitoring performance a breeze.
20. Plyometric Box
Designed to increase speed, explosiveness and power, plyometric boxes are a staple in all CrossFit boxes. And sure, your friend can probably DIY one for his home gym, but giving him one as a gift elevates his home gym and probably makes for safer jumps off, too.
The Way to a Man’s Heart…
… is through his stomach. Or in this case, the way to healthier nutrition and more gains.
Food items are always welcome gifts. But for the CrossFit and gym-loving friend, sugar cookies just won’t cut it. Instead, think about giving paleo snacks. For the too-lazy-to-cook bud, healthy meal subscriptions are a winner.
You also can’t go wrong with gifting protein – peanut butter, protein powder, and for sugar addicts, protein chocolate.
Live to Train Another Day
Finally, make sure to stress the importance of rest and recovery by choosing one of these to go underneath the tree.
22. Mobility and Recovery Tools
Investing in mobility is a must not just for athletes. Making sure the body is limber minimizes injury risk and helps one go through workout routines more effectively. Making sure the body is rested well enough to handle another day in the box is also crucial. What are some of the best tools for mobility? What helps muscles recover faster?
· Massage gun
Massage guns have been in the market for a few years but have lately gotten more popular. Massage has long been proven to help with reducing muscle tension, improving circulation, reducing stress, promoting relaxation and increasing joint flexibility and mobility.
Massage guns take this further by letting you have the benefits at a fraction of the cost it takes to schedule massage therapy. They’re also highly portable devices so your gym rat can bring it with him wherever it’s needed.
· Foam rollers
Foam rollers, much like massage guns, focus on myofascial release to help alleviate pain and promote muscle healing. Slightly less portable compared to massage guns, foam rollers are still useful devices to add in any home gym.
23. Hand Balm
Hand rips are sadly common for CrossFit athletes. It’s rather frustrating to get them, as they’re not only as painful as they sound, they also hinder progress. So of course, preventing them (or treating them, as the case may be), is always a priority. This is why hand balms should be a constant in any Crossfitters gym bag.
24. Cooling and Warming Lotion
Soreness is common after a tough workout. Stretching helps with pain management, as does a long, relaxing bath soak. For more intense muscle soreness though, lotions may help. Cooling lotion is perfect after baths, while warm lotion provides a more relaxing effect.
Christmas gift-giving doesn’t have to be as hard as a Filthy 50. Take the stress out of holiday shopping with this useful guide.