17 Must-Have Gym Bag Essentials You’ll Kick Yourself for Forgetting

There’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve left something behind on your way to the gym. Finding the time to get to the gym is hard enough, so the last thing you want is to feel defeated and give up before you even arrive, all because you know you’ve left something at home. That’s where this article comes in handy. 

Here’s the ultimate guide for packing your gym bag. These 17 essentials will make sure you’re prepared, as well as keep you motivated and comfortable on your fitness journey. 

Portable Phone Charger

portable phone charger
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There’s nothing worse than when your phone dies on you. Make sure your phone is always fully charged so that you can work out to a great play list, follow your favorite fitness app and lastly, get home safe from the gym! 

Microfiber Towel

microfiber towel and a smart watch
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Microfiber towels are ideal for your gym kit. They are lightweight and fast-drying, perfect for wiping away sweat or for hitting the showers, and take up practically no room.

First Aid Kit

First aid kit red box in instructor hand in fitness gym
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Every gym bag should have a nifty little first aid kit, just in case of emergencies. Make sure to stock up on bandaids and painkillers as nothing ruins your workout session like a nasty blister.

Resistance Bands

fitness sport training with resistance band
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Resistance bands are great for adding variety to your regular workout. They’re light and take up virtually no room, and they’re great for targeting different muscle groups. They may or may not be available at your gym, so why take that risk?

Padlock

Unlocked Padlock and key on the blue background
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You never know what the locker situation is going to be like, but if you bring your own lock, you can guarantee your stuff will be safe, allowing you to work out worry-free for as long as you like.

Foam Roller

Healthy Guy Doing an Exercise on a Mat with Foam Roller
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Sore muscles are the worst, but with a foam roller your way more likely to relieve any muscle tension, incorporating one into your gym kit will work wonders for your workout recovery. Just like the resistance bands, your gym may very well already have foam rollers available, but what are you going to do if they are all being used and you’re ready to go home?

Deodorant Wipes

young woman deodorant wipe
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Perfect for if you’re in a rush, deodorant wipes are essential if you need to freshen up whilst on the move.

Hand Sanitizer

Women's hands using hand sanitizer
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Keep the germs at bay, especially when hitting the gym. Hand sanitizer is a very useful thing to keep in your bag if you’re trying to avoid any pesky colds.

Dry Shampoo

woman applying dry shampoo on her hair
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Dry shampoo is a real lifesaver in many situations. If you’re working out before work or in a hurry, you can instantly refresh your hair without the hassle of getting it wet.

Hair Ties

woman tying her hair up
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Always bring extra hair ties; they are essential for any intense workouts when you want your hair out of your face.

Gym Gloves

woman with gym gloves doing crunches
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Gym gloves are a lifesaver for your hands, especially during weight lifting. They help improve your grip, meaning you’ll perform better and be safer. 

Yoga Mat

Beautiful woman teaching meditation to two multi-ethnic men on yoga mats in traditional temple in Bali Indonesia
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Because there is no guarantee your gym will have enough mats available, and there’s no way to know how clean they are if they do! We recommend grabbing a cork yoga mat – it’s naturally antibacterial!

Dry Bag

waterproof bag on the wooden table near the ocean
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Dry bags are a lifesaver, especially when hitting the pool or sauna. A dry bag or waterproof pouch will save you the nightmare of a wet phone and keep all your gym essentials dry.

Snacks

woman eating muesli snack
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No one is happy when they’re hungry, so make sure to maximize your workout by ensuring you have the proper fuel before and after your session. Keep a snack in your bag just in case—there’s no harm in having spares!

Headphones

woman with earphones in the gym
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Headphones are an absolute essential for any workout. They allow you to listen to your own music, the news, or favorite podcasts and even take calls hands-free! Just be sure you’re not annoying fellow gymgoers by speaking too loudly!

Water Bottle

hand holds a water bottle
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You should always have a water bottle to hand to make sure you stay healthy and hydrated, but make sure to use a sustainable, durable and eco-friendly bottle rather than a single use one. These are better for you and the environment and not to mention you can even personalize them.

Spare Socks

woman sitting down pulling up socks
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Spare socks are always handy to have just in case as smelly feet are inevitable if you’ve been hitting the gym hard, so make sure youve got an extra pair to freshen up after, especially if your heading straight out after your session.

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