We went online to curate all the 14 most common questions about weightlifting belts — often asked by newbies to weightlifting.
After which, we consulted with weightlifting experts in five local gyms to get them answered.
If you landed on this page just to find the answer to your question, use the Table of Content below to jump straight to your answer. Otherwise, continue reading to learn more about weight lifting belts.
Table of Content
1 What do weight lifting belts do?
Apparently, weight lifting belts are a valuable piece to have in the gym especially if you are a powerlifter. These belts are designed to help increase core stability and development when lifting. Some people believe that weight lifting belts play the role of a brace that provide support to your torso, however, that is not the main benefits they provide.
They primarily help increase lower-back and abs stabilized (easing stress on the back) and help with the reduction of post-out training.
That is not all, they also help take away the “compressed forces” acting on your spine, hence making it more stable.
2 What are weight lifting belts used for in lifting?
According to research, when boxes are lifted, there is a tendency for spinal flexion, spinal extension, and the lateral flexion of the spine to occur. Research also has it that when weightlifting belts are worn, forward movements, backwards movements, and sideways movements at the spine can be prevented.
3 What sizes do weight lifting belts measure
All things being equal, weight lifting belts measure between 22 inches and 56 inches. Usually, they follow a standard. The standard is;
- 22 inches to 31 inches for (X-small)
- 27 inches to 36 inches for (Small)
- 31 inches to 40 inches for (Medium)
- 35 inches to 44 inches for (Large)
- 39 inches to 48 inches for (X-Large)
- 43 inches to 52 inches for (XX- Large)
- 47 inches to 56 inches for (XXX- Large)
4 When to use weight lifting belts
There is a divided opinion about whether or not you should use weightlifting belt when you lift heavy weights or do core intensive exercises such as Squats and Deadlifts. According to weightlifters, you should use a weightlifting belts in the following situations:
- Use weightlifting belts during compound exercises i.e. Deadlifts, Squats
- Use a weight lifting belts when you have pre-existing lower back injury (so it doesn’t get worse)
- When you are lifting weights over 250 lbs
- When you are lifting weights 80% + of your one rep max
NOTES: It is not ideal to use the weightlifting belt as a fashion statement or if you are not lifting heavy weights. Because, it will make your abdominal core weak overtime – which may result to lower back injuries.
5 How do weight lifting belts work?
The chief primary aim of weight lifting belts is to provide extra support for your abs by increasing your inta-abdominal pressure when you lift heavy weights. They do this by playing the role of another abs set — thus, preparing the body for the pressure of lifting heavy weights.
As we prepare to lift weights that are heavy, we breathe in and hold our breath to create a pressure that provides support for the spine. Subsequently, when you lift a weight wearing a weightlifting belt, the moment you take in a deep breathe, the belt pushes against the pressure created, thereby, strengthening your spine.
6 Why are weight lifting belts good?
Weight lifting belts are designed to help you lift heavy weights at the gym. They are highly recommended, especially for people that do powerlifting or strength training exercise that involves compound movements — as they help to increase performance while working out at the gym. This includes speed of weight lifting and the amount of weight that can be lifted.
7 What are the types of weightlifting belts?
Aside from the various brand names available today for weightlifting belts. There are also different purposes for these belts. The following are three main type of weightlifting belts:
As the name suggest, this belt is used for powerlifting. And it is apparently the most popular type of weightlifting belts. They come in single, double prongs or lever. Their thickness is mostly 4 inches.
This belt is mostly used for CrossFit and bodybuilding training (Olympic style training). Their thickness ranges from 4-6 inches
Like the name suggest, they are used for benching training and are commonly used by athletes with small stature. Belt thickness ranges from 2 – 3 inches thick.
8 Why weight lifting belts taper?
Tampered-weightlifting belts are essentially to provide weight lifters with some level of comfort while they lift heavy weights. Weightlifting belts might be very helpful to weightlifters. However, they can be uncomfortable (especially around the ribs) during weight lifting. Hence, the whole purpose of a taper (the curve) on weightlifting belts.
9 How to size women’s weight lifting belts
The same weightlifting belt sizing guide for men can be used for women. Just as we explained in question 3, belt sizes ranges from XS- XXL. If you don’t know your weightlifting belt size, follow the process below in other to determine yours.
First, get your waist measured. Bear in mind, it is not the same as you would measure your waist for a pair of jeans. You need to place the tape around your abdomen, right on the navel area. Avoid tucking your stomach in as it may interfere with the measurement.
Breathe normally as you take the measurement. It is recommended to take the measurement while wearing your normal workout clothes, this is just to ensure that you achieve an accurate size and that the tape is not so tight.
10 How to wear Velcro weight lifting belts
Velcro weight lifting belts are worn just like any other type of weight lifting belts. Although Velcro belts can be worn alone, they are sometimes worn under leather belts by some weightlifters. They are typically worn this way because they provide a level of relief (discomfort ) often caused by leather belts.
11 Where to buy weight lifting belts
If you have a phone that is connected to the internet. Look up the word “weightlifting belt” on Google or any other search engine. The first result you will see for that search term is “Carousel Images of weightlifting belts on Amazon”. However, before clicking through to purchase, read this article on 10 Weightlifting Belt Brands To Supercharge Your Workout.
The next obvious thing to do is click through to the merchant store once you have decided to buy. You might want to compare prices, models before you finally hit the buy button.
If you are not comfortable buying online, you can look up the phrase “weightlifting belt store near me” to see if there are available physical stores in your area that sell weightlifting belts.
12 Why do weight lifting belts cost so much?
Not all weightlifting belt are expensive. Some weightlifting belt cost around $15 on Amazon — cheaper than some weight;lifting glove , Except you are looking to purchase a high quality weightlifting belt, you should be fine with a $20 belt.
The fact of the matter is, belts that are made from genuine leather are expensive compared to belts that are made of nylon or synthetic leather. Because genuine leather belts are durable and long lasting.
13 Weight lifting belts how should they fit?
If you don’t wear your belt properly, it may result to injuries. For example, you may not be able to breathe properly, move comfortably or might end up tearing a muscle. Ideally, the belt should fit properly on your body. If you feel it’s too tight, loosen up a little, if you feel it’s to loose, tighten up a bit, experiment until you achieve the best fit. See the video under Question 4 above for more details
14 How to make weight lifting belts
Follow the steps below in other to make your own weightlifting belts (for thin belt only).
- Source for top quality material (Nylon or leather).
- Once you have your material, you should determine the desired shape (taper or straight) of the weightlifting belt
- Sketch out the shape on the material
- Next, use a scissors and cut out the pattern
- Depending on how thick you want your belt to be, you may cut out another pattern (similar to the first)
- Next, get a glue and glue the first and second material together
- Use a stitching machine to stitch up the two pieces together.
- If you making a prong belt, make hole through the material until you get the desired number of holes.
- If you are using lever, screw the lever onto the leather material
That is not all. To ensure that the glue sticks properly, make sure that inside the belt strip is scuffed.
We have come to the end of the 14 most common questions about weightlifting belts article. I hope we did justice to the answers. If you think we did well, please leave a comment below or rate the article. You may also leave a comment if you have any question about weightlifting belt. We will endeavor to answer every question asked by you.