New gym gear is the ultimate motivation to hit the exercise studio, but did you know certain activewear buys can actually elevate your workout, making your reps work harder?
Lifter trainers, sometimes known as weightlifting shoes or lifter shoes, fall into this category, created to super-charge your squats for maximum effectiveness. Exercise pro Gemma Atkinson is a fan, sharing a photo of her Reebok weightlifting trainers on Instagram writing: "My kinda heels [crying laughing emoji]. Lifter shoes changed my squat game."
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Gemma is wearing Reebok's weightlifting trainers, which start at £100. Gemma points out: "There's loads available. Some people can't stand them so look into them properly before investing."
What are weightlifting shoes?
Weightlifting trainers are a fairly unusual shoe, with a raised heel to keep you stable in your squat position and allow you to squat deeper.
While many people opt for totally flat-soled shoes for weightlifting so they can transfer as much force to the floor as possible, when it comes to squats you can benefit from having an elevated heel to deliver more force when driving back up, toning the glutes as you go.
"Lifting shoes are purpose-built to help with weightlifting," confirms personal trainer Josh Davies who works with fitness professional Aimee Victoria Long. "They combine a flat sole with a raised heel, meaning they give extra support and stability when doing heavy lifts. This allows the wearer to get deeper into a squat position, which is handy if they're lacking mobility in their ankles and hips. They are designed for people that like to do heavy compound movement as well as Olympic lifting."
Gemma Atkinson shared her love for weightlifting trainers on Instagram
Many gym trainers have squishy soles, and this can impact your performance. "Lifting shoes are great compared to normal trainers because when you squat, the energy, speed, power and momentum that you produce from your lift travels through your feet to the floor," explains Reebok's UK brand ambassador Tyrone Brennand. "If you're wearing normal trainers with a spongy sole you lose that energy, power and momentum."
While your normal gym trainers are great for cardio, lifter shoes have an entirely different set of benefits. "Weightlifting shoes are solid which allows you to generate as much force from the ground as possible," adds personal trainer Niko Algieri. "This means when you drive your heels and feet down into the ground, you are using your muscles for maximum output rather than the shoe absorbing the downward force."
Shop the best shoes for weightlifting
Reebok Legacy Lifter II Wit Weightlifting Shoes, £160, Wit Fitness
These are the exact weightlifting shoes Gemma Atkinson wears. They have an exaggerated raised heel for stability, plus a textile upper to keep feet snug and secure. Reviewers say they have helped them lift their personal record.
Nike Romaleos 4, £179.45, Nike
Another big investment, these bright and bold weightlifting shoes are new to Nike and have raised heels to help you drive up for maximum power. The platform is sturdy too, making it ideal for heavy lifts. These also have straps across the top of your foot for an extra stable feel.
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