Gymnastics Practice: What to Pack in Your Gym Bag

Female gymnast wrapping wrists in preparation, cropped

 PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier/Getty Images

These are the items that you should always include when packing a gym bag for women's gymnastics practice.

Leotard (and an Extra)

This one is obvious, most likely, but surprisingly easy to forget. If you change at the gym, bring your leotard and shorts if you use them. Even if you always wear them to practice, bring an extra, just in case.

Your Grips

Another one you'll probably think of, but make sure your grips are in there. Also, it's good to have a backup pair that you're working to break in. If you have time, take a few turns with your new grips every now and again. That way, when your current pair gets too old you've got another one ready to go.

Also, if you have a wire brush or use sand paper on your grips, put those in your grip bag too.


Have a snack in your gym bag in case you feel like you're completely out of energy halfway through practice -- or if you're starving on the way home. Granola bars are easily digestible and can keep in there for a long time, as can something like trail mix.​

Water and/or a Sports Drink

Bring your water bottle if you like to have your own. Just make sure the top is on tightly.

Hairspray, Clips, Brush, Hair Elastics

It may be overkill to have a brush, but some gymnasts love to be able to fix their hair during practice if it falls out. And extra clips or elastics can prove helpful in a pinch if you're having a messy hair day or your current hair elastic breaks.

Lip Balm and Lotion

Gyms are dry, and lip balm and lotion can help. Just be sure to apply any lotion after practice, not during. It probably goes without saying that you don't want slippery hands when you're doing gymnastics.

Rubber Bands

Many gymnasts use rubber bands to keep their fingers on their grips, or the velcro of their grips fastened on their wrists. If you plan to do these things in practice or in meets, pack extra rubber bands.


No explanation needed really, but your teammates may be grateful if you have some backup deodorant on a hot day, or during a hard practice.


Your trainer or coach will have some, but just in case, pack an extra roll of athletic tape if you regularly tape your ankles, wrists, or anything else. 

Change of Clothes

 If you like to change after practice, bring clothes to do it.

Personal Products

Any important medicines should probably be in your gym bag, as should epi-Pens if you have life-threatening allergies.

And don't forget things like tampons. A backup stash can be a lifesaver for you or a teammate.

Sealable Container For Valuables

Inevitably, someday you'll forget to take off jewelry or earrings before you get to the gym. Have a little zip-up pocket or case in there to keep necklaces from getting tangled and earrings from getting lost.

You may also want a spot where you always put your cell phone if you have one. The same pocket every time, or a zip-up pocket can help you find it quickly after practice. 

Something Small But Fun

Maybe it's a poem or inspiring quote that reminds you why you love gymnastics. Or maybe a small good-luck charm. If you're having a rough day in the gym, it can help to have something comforting and happy in your gym bag.