Weight Training

Is A Weight Lifting Belt Essential For A Weight Lifting Program?

If you are looking at getting the most from your weight lifting program, you seriously need to consider buying a weight training belt. This essential piece of gear is going to help you lift more, and get bigger whilst preventing injury. Read this article to find out more.

Differences Of Opinion

It has to be said, that there are many different opinions when it comes to using belts in a weight lifting program. Some people believe that it is only people with bad backs that use them. Others believe that if you use them, you weaken your back and your core muscles. The few that know what they are talking about though, will happily tell you that a weight lifting belt is an essential piece of gym gear when it comes to certain exercises. Here’s why.

What Does A Weight Lifting Belt Do?

A weight lifting belt helps to keep the back stabilized, but it does so not by bracing it from the outside. In fact, it is not the back of the belt which helps your back at all. It is the front.

Say what? I hear you shout? It’s true. A weight lifting belt helps to stabilize the back, by giving your abs something to press against when performing heavy lifts. Combining this with a specific weightlifting breathing technique called the the Valsalva Maneuver then increases the intra-abdominal pressure. It is this action which then stabilizes the spine. Some studies have showed that the increase in stabilization measures between 25 % and 40%. This means that not only are you far less likely to get injured, but that you can lift more weight as well.

Can I Use A Belt For All Exercises In A Weight Lifting Program

Please don’t. Please. Unless you are Mr. T and simply like wearing your belt as a fashion accessory, it should only be worn for specific exercises. Normally, these are squats and deadlifts. From time to time, we have seen people performing arm curls and even crunches with a weight belt on. If you see anyone do this, it’s an instant sign the person hasn’t got a clue!

Is It Worth The Money?

This is an interesting question posed by some people who may be put off by paying $100 for a piece of equipment they are unsure about. Firstly, let’s answer this by saying that if you buy a high quality leather weight lifting belt, you will most likely need only one for the rest of your life! They really do last that long, and you can find our selection of the best of the best in our lifting belt review here.

Secondly, they offer great value for money in two important aspects. Firstly, you will greatly lessen the risk of being injured if you wear one and exercise correctly. Secondly, you will get bigger if you wear one as you can lift more, than if you don’t. We will let you do the math for yourself!

If you would like to find out more about weight lifting belts and how to use them with your weight lifting program, check out our comprehensive guide here.