Whether you’re getting into powerlifting for the first time, interested in learning a little about powerlifting equipment or on the search for gifts for the female powerlifter in your life — we have some great insight for you.
Much like men’s power lifting, or bodybuilding in general, powerlifting equipment for women consists of specialised clothing, underwear as well as some safety and injury-prevention accessories.
Let’s have a look below at the powerlifting essentials for women.
Off the top, powerlifting is incredibly tough on the body and it’s important to do everything you can to reduce the impact and chances of injury. That said, keeping pressure on your joints and strapping where you can is imperative.
To kick things off, for the squat, knee sleeves are an essential to keep pressure on the knees as you go in for the big lift. Although not technically a ‘must,’ knee sleeves are the key to that mind-muscle connection power lifters work so hard to develop.
With pressure on the knees, you’re able to better press through the muscles in the leg and really lift with a reduced risk of injury.
Similarly to knee sleeves, wrist straps can be worn for everything from the bench, squat and deadlift to, again, reduce risk of injury and keep pressure on those wrists as you squeeze up for that squat.
As we know, the wrist is a hinge and plane joint, and keeping it in check as we power lift is imperative to reducing the chance of injury and getting the most out of our squats, dead lifts and benches with confidence.
In women’s powerlifting, and men’s for that matter, there’s arguably nothing more essential than the tried and true lifting belt. To protect the back as best we can, the lifting belt works to allow you to breathe into it in a sense, and enables some rigidity to support the back’s alignment.
There are restrictions on width in competitive powerlifting, with 10cm wide and 13mm thick limitations, however, this limit is adequate to prevent injury in most senses.
In all, a lifting belt improves stability and significantly works to reduce risk of poor form and injury.
With safety checked off our list, there’s some unique clothing types used in women’s powerlifting too, and we’ll take a look at these below.
Women’s Powerlifting Clothing
The clothing we’ve outlined below is required and regulated by women’s powerlifting competition heads, so keep in mind that specific garment types are not permitted in some events.
For those competing in a powerlifting event, it’s important that you’re wearing either a soft suit or singlet. These are required in both local and Federation events, so be sure to take a look at the specific requirements for these events and their associations.
A lot of women powerlifters head to brands such as Lifting Large, Titan and Inzer for their powerlifting singlets as the brands are often given the go-ahead when it comes to powerlifting events.
Under the Singlet
Beneath the required singlets, you’re able to wear a t-shirt for competing during the disciplines of bench press, dead lift and squat. However, it is important to know that in some cases the deadlift discipline does require this t-shirt to be removed and and only a singlet is permitted.
Keep in mind that the t-shirt-under-singlet rule will change depending on the Federation Rules and the event you’re competing in. That said, make sure to have a look at the rules and requirements for your specific event.
In all cases socks are permitted and a requirement when it comes to shin coverings. You want to be sure you’re keeping your shins protected from the deadlift bar should there be a drop or a miscalculation during your lift, and some high quality socks are the best way to do that.
When it comes to marketing and branding, you’re able to display any branding and manufacturing logos unless otherwise stated. Along with this, you can choose the colour of your socks too.
One final thing to note is that you’re not permitted to have socks on that reach up to your singlet or cover your knee sleeves and knee cap supporters.
When it comes to footwear, you’re required to wear squat shoes, though these are arguably quite stylish and awesome-feeling on the feet, so head out and grab yourself a really good pair of squat shoes because these are a requirement.
There are also squat slippers and boots too, so be sure to have a look around online for these too as they might suit your outfit and lifting style a little better.
And there you have it! The essential powerlifting equipment for women.
Keep in mind that during some events there are rule changes and small alterations made to better suit circumstances or branding partnerships, so although we’ve outlined the essentials here, it’s always good to look at what’s required by the event you’re taking part in.