CROSSFIT GYM BAG ESSENTIALS, PART 1
Alright, I admit it. I have a problem: I carry around a 20lb gym bag. It's packed full of stuff, it has tons of stuff I hardly ever use (hey, you never know when you're going to need a stopwatch...), and I've definitely been made fun of for my sandbag - I mean gym bag. I've got 2 jump ropes, a pair of receivers gloves (try doing alligator walks on concrete without them), extra ankle socks, an extra tshirt, chapstick, sunscreen, athletic tape....the list goes on. Say what you will, but I'm always prepared.
Don't get me wrong, you don't need lots of gear to do CrossFit, but it's become my hobby of choice so I like having my own stuff that fits and works the way I like it. Think about how kids are when they start a hobby. So let's start a little series about basic necessities for your gym bag. Don't worry, you don't need a weekend-getaway-sized bag like me, but for the next couple of days I'll give you some easy ideas for your Christmas list :)
Problem: Bloody and eventually scarred up shins
Solution: SOCKS. Tall ones. (plus some other alternatives)
Here's the deal: tall socks are great protection for deadlifts and rope climbs, and even olympic lifting. If you're lifting anything from the floor correctly, the bar should stay right against your legs the entire time. This can lead to scraping along your shins, especially in a deadlioft because the weight is often heavy. During rope climbs, the top side of the ankle often gets rubbed raw from pinching the rope. A nice pair of tall socks will offer you some protection from these scrapes and rope burns.
For female CrossFitters, these socks they've become a bit of a fashion statement/self expression item as well. So ladies, feel free to get bold and colorful, and stripes are pretty popular, too. I've gone the route of getting $2 ones from Target, but if you tried rope climbs today, you can see how a crappy sock won't last long with all of that rubbing, so quality is key. You're looking for a nice thick sock that breathes well and covers at least to mid shin.
Reebok is the official supplier of CrossFit gear, and they make a compression knee sock which is said to enhance circulation and decrease recovery time.
WOD Gear is another good supplier. There's a variety of colors to choose from on this site in simple designs.
Some men prefer more of a crew length sock, as seen here on Rich Froning, the Fittest Man on Earth. This still protects your ankles on rope climbs and offers some coverage for deadlifts and olympic lifts. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to climb rope like that if you wear these socks, too
Another alternative would be to go with something like Rock Tape Shin Skins (endorsed by 2008 CrossFit Games champ Jason Kalipha). They're slightly thicker than most socks, but still breathable.
And finally, if you want to spend a little more money, Skins makes high quality compression calf tights that can double as protection for your shins. At $60, they're an investment, for sure, but this brand has been a favorite amongst CrossFit athletes for years and comes with a 1 year warranty.
10 min AMRAP:
5 squat snatches (95/65)
3 rope climbs