Whether your gymnasts are new to the sport or veterans on the mat, they can ensure that gymnastics practices are great by being prepared.
To help out, we’ve come up with the ultimate list of what your gymnasts should put in their gym bags – and provided it in a format that you can share with your gymnasts. These 10 items are things that gymnasts of any level should never leave home without.
The first step to having a great practice is being prepared. So to help out, we’ve come up with the ultimate list of what your gymnasts should put in their gym bags. These 10 items are things gymnasts of any level should never leave home without.
10 things to put in your gym bag
You should bring your grips to practice. But it’s also a good idea to bring a spare pair. A second pair of grips you are working to break in is a great option for a backup pair.
2. Wire brush and sandpaper
While you are at it, throw in a wire brush and some sandpaper. These items are used to care for grips and are a staple to any gymnastics bag.
3. Rubber Bands
Often gymnasts use rubber bands to keep their fingers on their grips or the Velcro of their grips fastened to their wrists, so storing extra rubber bands in your bag could come in handy.
If you change at the gym, remember to bring your leotard and shorts if they are part of your regular gymnastics attire.
Even if you don’t frequently get ready for practice at the gym, it’s a good idea to have an extra leotard and change of clothes – just in case.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but ask around and you’ll learn from parents and coaches that forgetting a leotard or important article of clothing happens more often than you think.
5. Hair accessories
Don’t think it’s just about vanity. Having a secure hairstyle is an issue of safety for gymnasts so it’s important for you to keep all hair out of your face and eyes.
Long hair should be secure so that it doesn’t get caught in any apparatus. Besides that, you’re probably like most gymnasts who like to keep their hair neat. With a properly packed bag, you’ll be able to put it right back if any strands fall out of place.
Hair accessories you’ll commonly see in gym bags are:
- Clips and bobby pins
- Brushes and combs
- Elastic hair ties
6. Change of clothes
I love sitting around in sweaty clothes, said no one ever.
Without packing a change of clothes, you’ll find yourself in one messy situation after practice.
Changing out of sweaty clothes helps you keep your skin healthy by minimizing the length of time salty sweat remains on your skin. Changing clothes also provides the perfect opportunity to apply any lotion and lip balm that should be used to help you battle dry skin.
While gyms tend to be on the dry side and hydrating your skin may be tempting before practice, it’s important to only pull out any personal products such as lotion after practice. It probably goes without saying, but you don’t want slippery hands when you’re on any apparatus!
Need we say more?
Your teammates and coaches will appreciate if you carry deodorant in your bag – and use it. When you are working hard, especially on a hard day, you may even need to reapply!
Feeling out of energy? Pop a snack.
It’s not just a good idea for you to pack snacks in your bags, it’s a necessity. Keeping a healthy snack on hand will help if you start feeling depleted of energy part-way through practice – not to mention those after practice munchies.
The snacks you pack in your gym bag should be energy-packed, convenient on-the-go and easily digestible. Trail mix and granola bars are two great choices.
9. Water and sports drink
Operation hydration is in full effect.
When you’re doing any type of physical activity, it is always a good idea to remain hydrated. So it’s no surprise that within your gymnastics bag lives a large quantity of refreshing water and/or non-sugary sports drinks.
Bring your water bottle if you prefer it over disposable plastic bottles, but make sure the lid is tightly secured.
10. Adhesive tape
Tape is, no doubt, something that you need to keep in your gymnastics bag. While your gym will have tape on hand, there’s nothing more convenient that reaching into your gym bag when you need to roll an ankle or wrist.
How to keep your gym bag organized
Having a gym bag full of the things you’ll need for a successful gymnastics practice is one thing. Keeping said bag organized is another.
If you’ve spent hours in the gym, the last thing you want to do is clean out your gym bag daily. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Here are two simple steps to keep your gym bag organized:
Have a place for everything. Whether you prefer individual storage bags, a wet dry bag or a full-blown caboodle, make sure each of your 9 survival items has a proper place in your gym bag.
Similarly, make sure you have a specific place for items when you take them out of your bag. Keeping a routine will help prevent losing or misplacing any items you use or remove from your bag regularly, such as a water bottle or hair brush.
Keep a list of your bags belongings. Something as simple as a printed bag list can come in handy when you are organizing your bag for a busy day or week to come.