The use of weight lifting belts was once restricted to Olympic and powerlifting competitions. However, in recent years, even recreational lifters of various ability and experience levels have begun to use weight belts. Is a weight belt beneficial for recreational lifting?
Benefits of Using a Weight Belt
There are two basic functions of a weightlifting belt. It inhibits back hyperextension during overhead lifts and lowers stress on the lower back while the user is lifting in an upright position.
By squeezing the contents of the belly cavity, a belt relieves low back discomfort. The intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) rises, providing extra support in front of the lower back’s bones.
Wearing a belt also makes the lifter more conscious of their back’s position. The physical touch of a belt against the skin causes the lifter to think about their back position and which muscles they need to activate in order to maintain excellent posture. The belt does not need to be worn too tight in this scenario to have an effect. Even if IAP and muscle activity are unaltered, some lifters report feeling more safe and confident when wearing a belt.
By generating a hard wall around the lower torso and connecting the rib cage to the hip, the belt inhibits back hyperextension. This prohibits not just back movement, but also sideward bending and twisting.
Beginner lifters might also benefit from a belt to assist them learn how to effectively squeeze their ab muscles. Beginners should still train with a coach, particularly if they don’t know how to balance their bodies without using a belt. A belt also won’t compensate for the core training, stabilization, and technical abilities required to properly perform weightlifting exercises.
Weight Belt Types
There are many different styles of weightlifting belts on the market. Powerlifting belts and bodybuilding/traditional belts are two of the most frequent types. Velcro belts are easier to put on and take off than leather belts, and bigger belts can provide additional spine support during weightlifting workouts.
For preventing back hyperextension and twisting, a powerlifting-style belt with the same width all the way around is perfect. A traditional belt, on the other hand, can be worn in the customary way, with the wide part of the belt at the rear.
How to Wear a Weight Belt
To get the most out of a weight belt, it must be worn snugly. This is strenuous on the body and should not be done for extended periods of time. Weightlifting on its own has been found to raise blood pressure, and wearing a tight belt while exercising can raise it much more. As a result, belts should only be worn in two circumstances:
- When doing maximal or submaximal lifts in exercises like the squat or deadlift, the lifter’s back supports the weight.
- When practicing workouts that can induce hyperextension of the back, such as the military press.
In between sets, loosen the belt to allow blood pressure to restore to normal.
Cardillo Weight Lifting Belts
Cardillo offers many styles of weight lifting belts. Choose your destination below. Don’t know which one is for you? Get in touch with us, and we’d be happy to assist!