Back pain can be a common problem amongst people who do a lot of weight training. In many cases though, it can be prevented before it occurs, and one way to do this is by wearing a weightlifting belt.
Back Pain in Bodybuilders
Almost everyone will suffer back pain at some point during their life. Bodybuilders may suffer it more frequently though, because they are continually putting their backs under more strain on a more regular basis. A weight lifting belt can help to prevent this, although probably not in the way that you think.
Two Types Of Belt
There are two types of belt that bodybuilders may use when weight training. The first, is a belt designed for use as a brace. Typically, this acts as a back support when lifting heavy weights, and is often worn after a person has become injured.
The second type, is a powerlifting belt. This type of belt helps to increase the intra-abdominal pressure when it is used correctly, thus leading to greater spine stability. This helps to prevent the lower back from being injured when lifting heavy weights during exercises such as squats and deadlifts. In this article we will concentrate on powerlifting belts.
How Does A Powerlifting Belt Work
A powerlifting belt can help prevent back pain when weight training by helping to stabilize the spine. It does this not by supporting the spine as a brace, but by allowing for a greater increase in intra-abdominal pressure when a person pushes their abs against it. There is a technique for this, and it is known as the Valsalva Maneuver.
The Valsalva Maneuver is a powerlifting technique which is somewhat counter to the typical way you would breathe when working out. Instead of exhaling air during the eccentric part of the exercise, you should instead exhale with a closed glottis. At the same time, you should press the abs against the weight lifting belt. This has the effect of increasing the intra-abdominal pressure and stabilizing the spine.
Will Any Belt Work?
No, you can’t just wear any belt when weight training and expect it to work! They have to be designed and made in a way which will offer the abs something secure to press against. Typically, a weight lifting belt will be about 10cms or 4 inches wide all around. (Some people wear a tapered belt as they find this more useful when both squatting and deadlifting). The best material for a weight lifting belt to be made out of, is leather. This is hard wearing, and will last a lifetime.
Find Out More About Weight Lifting Belts For Weight Training
If you would like to find out more about weight lifting belts for weight training, we have put together a useful guide. It compares the various types of belts there are on the market, and gives you all the information you need to make an informed purchase. To find out more about our weight lifting belt review, take a look here.