Women's Gym Bag Essentials

Learn what to pack in your gym bag with this Pro Tips guide to must-have gym gear.

July 10, 2015

Success in the gym depends on more than just your workout. A well-packed exercise bag is key to being comfortable and confident in the gym. This Pro Tips guide breaks down the top gym bag essentials for women.


In an ideal world, after a long workout would come a long shower. Unfortunately, scheduling can often render that unrealistic. For those days when a post-workout shower isn’t possible, it’s always helpful to have a gym toiletry bag handy.

Helpful hygiene items to keep in your gym bag include:

  • Deodorant
  • Face towelettes
  • Body wipes
  • Dry shampoo
  • Hair brush

If a shower does fit into your schedule, shower shoes are a must. Some gyms provide towels, but it can be beneficial to bring your own as well.

PRO TIP: Use travel-size containers for shampoo, conditioner and body wash to free up space in your bag.


Comfort is key, and it can often be found in the little things. Stock your bag with small, easily forgotten items like hair ties and socks. Storing socks in your bag has added value in the summertime when you may be wearing open-toed shoes before heading to the gym. You may also want to include a change of undergarments.

Ever wonder what to do with wet gym clothes or towels following your workout? This can be a pressing concern when it comes to how to pack a gym bag for work. In these cases, it’s helpful to have plastic bags in tote. This can help keep dirty clothes and towels separate from other belongings.


When going to the gym, it’s best to leave valuables at home. However, you may still want to protect your belongings. A lock can help you safeguard your personal items in the locker room. Check with your gym beforehand to find out which type of locks they allow.

After retrieving your gear, be sure to put the lock back into your bag so you always have it at the ready.


Even the best laid plans have some bumps along the way. This goes for your gym routine, too. That’s why it's helpful to include some fitness gear as part of your gym bag items. Imagine arriving at the gym only to find that the machines you need are occupied. Small, compact gear like resistance bands can help you improvise. Check out these tips for how to do upper and lower body resistance band exercises.

Also consider routine-specific gear. If you're going to hit the weights, pack a pair of lifting gloves or straps. Meanwhile, if you’re a yogi, you may want to stow a mat or yoga block to make the most of your practice.


Sometimes a workout can cause you to work up an appetite. Ward off the post-gym munchies by keeping a few energy bars in your gym bag. Make sure they’re individually wrapped to prevent crumbs from gathering in your gear.

It can also be helpful to have a reusable water bottle included with your gear. Doing so can help you avoid interrupting your routine with trips to the water fountain. Not sure which water bottle is best for your sport or activity? Check out these Pro Tips on finding the right water bottle for you.


Technology is becoming increasingly intertwined with fitness. Wearable technology can monitor your workouts to help you maintain your focus. Packing a fitness tracker, heart rate monitor or running watch can help you track how close you are to your goals. Pro Tips breaks down the details of wearable technology in this guide.

While wearable tech can keep tabs on your heartbeat, a pair of earbuds can maintain the beat of your music. An armband can help you store and carry your phone whether you’re changing tunes or need to make a call.

If you often hit the gym after a busy day, consider leaving a portable charger in your bag in case of a battery emergency.

Now that you know how to pack a gym bag, you can discover how to dress for gym success. These Pro Tips guides can help you learn how to choose the right leggings and find the best sports bra.