Weight belts or lifting belts are essential equipment in most gyms and training centers. In most places, the institutions themselves provide this necessary equipment for professional coaches and athletes. Due to its increasing popularity, lifting belts are used by most trainees and lifters of all levels.
Weightlifting belts are used by athletes from the gym to weightlifting competitions and even the Olympics. These belts provide circulatory stability and support to the spine and core muscles when lifting heavy weights. They help lift heavy objects that would otherwise be impossible.
What is a weightlifting belt?
A weightlifting belt is a wrap that is worn around the waist when lifting weights. Different belts are made of different materials, depending on their type, purpose and usage.
Weightlifting belts are usually made of thick leather, or nylon belts are also available. Belts are more commonly used because they are durable and durable. Weightlifting belts are usually kept between about four inches and six inches thick. They end with a metal buckle that secures them when worn around the waist.
What is the purpose of a weightlifting belt?
When reading about weightlifting belts, the first question that comes to mind is what does a weightlifting belt do? So let's share what is the purpose of a weightlifting belt?
As a common practice, most people use lifting belts to lift extra weight that they cannot lift without wearing a belt because the belt provides extra support for the body.
Weightlifting belts serve two important purposes:
It reduces the level of stress placed on the lower back when lifting weights. This pressure decreases as the belt compresses the abdominal cavity, creating intra-abdominal pressure (IAB). This pressure provides additional support in front of the bones in the lower back, which allows the erector spinae to exert less force when performing lifts.
It also inhibits the chance of hyperextension when doing overhead lifts. Hyperextension is an abnormality in which a joint moves away from its normal position, resulting in an increased or decreased angle than normal.
Weightlifting belts are designed to protect yourself from injury or injury.
How does a weightlifting belt work?
Before understanding how a weightlifting belt works, it's first necessary to understand how your body moves when you squat, deadlift, or press weight. Under normal conditions, the core, also known as the torso, is sponge-like and very flexible.
This feature makes it easier to bend sideways, forward and backward, and to twist more easily. But this flexibility makes it difficult to squat because you don't want a spongy core that collapses earlier. Instead, everyone is looking for a core that is stiff and rigid enough.
To get a hard core, supporting it is an essential requirement. This usually happens when you lift or push something substantial. Think of pushing a parked car, because you have to take a deep breath and hold it while keeping your core muscles tense, which is how you support your core.
Taking a deep breath and holding it while keeping your torso tight will cause the pressure inside your core to rise rapidly. This practice eventually transforms your spongy center into a rigid structure. Tightening of this muscle allows the lifter to lift or push more weight without causing any damage to the spine.
One thing you have to be aware of is that a weightlifting belt by itself does not secure your back. It's not some kind of exoskeleton, just wear it to strengthen your back. It just gives your torso a contraceptive cue, allowing you to contract and tighten your core muscles to hold them firmly in place when you lift a heavy weight.
Weightlifting belts promote the core muscles to an extra degree by pushing backwards and indirectly anchor the torso by keeping the core muscles hard and rigid enough.
Related Reading: How and Why to Wear a Weightlifting Belt
How to use a weightlifting belt?
1. Always choose the right weightlifting belt
Always keep one thing in mind, you only need to use a weightlifting belt when doing heavy lifting exercises. When you put on a weightlifting belt, it allows you to lift heavier weights and also improves your ability to practice deadlifts, cleans, snatch and squats.
If you are doing any other exercises without weights, you don't need a weight belt. In addition to this, weight belts can also be used for heavy standing overhead presses to increase the stability of the spine and reduce the stress placed on it.
Weightlifting belts and harnesses are both completely different from each other.
2. Choose a weight belt with an even width
Choose a weightlifting belt of the same width. When shopping for a weightlifting belt, keep one thing in mind, it must be the same width across the belt. You must have seen belts that are narrower in the front and wider in the back, which can result in uneven support when lifting weights.
This unbalance in width provides the user with unbalanced support, which leads to his stability error. Always choose a belt with a standard width of about 3-4 inches across the entire belt. Also, this belt size is the most appropriate and highly regarded as it gives the user extra comfort.
Also, keep in mind that the thickness of the belt is important. The thicker the belt, the more comfortable it is. This is because the thick belt provides additional padding to the athlete's core and increases the level of obstacles that need to be pushed.
3. When should a weightlifting belt be used?
Weightlifting belts must only be worn when attempting to lift near their maximum weight. If you are doing more than three repetitions, you must wear a belt. Remember one thing, seat belts are only necessary when doing heavy loads that put pressure on the spine.
Also, try to avoid using a belt in case you have to lift less than 90% of your rep maximum. But before you start using a weightlifting belt, you must really understand the proper procedure for performing the sport. And even without a belt, you're already good at stabilizing your back. Then gradually, you can jump into using the belt to improve your performance.
Weightlifting belts should only be used when practicing heavy compound powerlifting when support is actually required. You may not get any improved results if you use a weightlifting belt in isolation exercises, such as bicep curls.
4. Where to tie the belt?
Wrap the belt around your waist, but make sure it's above your belly button. This is because the belt must sit above the abdominal wall muscles.
Never put the belt under your stomach, as it won't do you any good. Or even if you feel more comfortable that way. Also, the position of the belt may vary depending on the type of lift you're doing.
5. How tight should the belt be?
Tighten the belt, but don't interfere with breathing. To do this, take a deep breath and keep your abs flexed as you wear the belt. Now start tightening it until you feel your abs pushing against your waistband. This way, you'll be able to get the most out of your weightlifting routine.
Don't dress so tightly that you may choke or make you uncomfortable. However, with regular use of the seat belt, you will learn the proper level of tightness that must be maintained.
You can loosen the belt if you feel too tight during your workout. It should only be tight enough to be comfortable and give you extra anchorage.
Take a deep breath and hold your breath before starting the repetition, then expel the air as you push the supporting abs.
6. When to remove the belt?
After finishing heavy lifting, remove the belt even if you have to do smaller exercises later. Wearing a weight belt for too long can affect abdominal development, so try not to rely on the belt to stabilize your body.
When should a weightlifting belt be used?
If he knows how to lift weights without a belt, he should only use a weightlifting belt. To get real benefits from a weightlifting belt, you must know the correct way and when to lift weights, and if you are already a weightlifting professional.
You should only use a weightlifting belt if you do high-intensity exercise. A belt is not required for light exercise or even using light weights. If you're going to lift weights or perform, you should only be using a squat.
Before switching to a weightlifting belt, you must consult with your trainer and doctor to ensure that you are eligible to wear a weightlifting belt. If you are the victim of any serious medical problem like a hernia, high blood pressure, etc., then you should never use a weightlifting belt.
Should Beginners Use Suspenders?
According to many experts, weightlifting belts are not recommended for beginners, and there are many reasons behind this statement. The main reason is that a weightlifting belt only works if you already know the proper way to lift weights without relying on a belt. This is because the belt won't do you any good if you don't practice it the right way.
Another reason why this belt is not recommended for beginners is the impact weight lifting belts can have on the user's movement system. So a beginner should not use any such belts as their use will affect his studies and may not be able to perform well in his career.
Buy Weightlifting Belts
Buying a weightlifting belt can be a daunting task. This is so because you have to search the entire market and find out which is better for you and which is not. You are looking for products that are comfortable, long lasting and efficient to use.
When it comes to choosing a belt, people get excited and worried. Always remember but you must also remember that the type of exercise you will be using the belt for limits your desires. And you can only choose a belt according to the requirements of the situation.
A thick belt doesn't necessarily mean a better choice
The average width of the most widely used belts is between 10mm and 13mm. A thicker belt means better support and immobilization of your spine. But that's not always a good point. Before choosing the right belt, you must keep your comfort and ease in mind. The thickness should be gradually increased as the exercise progresses.
a belt made from a material suitable for the way you lift weights
Weightlifting belts are made from a variety of materials such as leather, Velcro or suede. But the belt you should choose depends entirely on what you're using the belt for. Weightlifting belts are best made of leather, as these belts last longer and are stronger.
Speaking of the suede belt, it's softer and more comfortable to wear. Plus, combine the two materials together to create a belt that's both functional and comfortable. For Olympic weightlifting, choose a Velcro belt as it is the best fit.
Choose a comfortable belt
It is wisest to measure your waist at the navel first and then choose the right size belt. Make sure you take proper measurements, as wrong readings can get you in trouble while lifting weights.