You may have seen a lot of people in the gym wearing a weightlifting belt. There is a right and a wrong way to wear these belts. Typically, a weightlifting belt is worn to protect your back from any injuries you could receive from weight training.
If you lift heavy weights, then you will have most likely worn a weightlifting belt at some point. In this article, we will go through all the important information you need to know, so you can learn how to wear a weightlifting belt correctly.
Who Wears Weightlifting Belts?
There are various different weight lifting belts and thicknesses. However, different people require different belts, depending on their purposes for the belt. You will notice that the following people will be commonly seen wearing a weightlifting belt.
You will see lots of people in the gym wearing a weightlifting belt. However, it is very common for Strongmen and Strongwomen athletes to be seen wearing a weightlifting belt. They may wear various different belts, depending on the events that they are performing in.
Strongmen and women are typically very strong and perform many lifts like overhead lifts and deadlifts.
Other people that you will see wearing a weightlifting belt includes:
- Olympic Weightlifters
Wearing A Weightlifting Belt
A weightlifting belt isn't like a normal belt that you normally wear every day. With this belt, you secure it around your waist and learn how to use it. It can take a bit of practice to use a weightlifting belt correctly.
Below, we have created a step-by-step guide on how to use any weightlifting belt correctly.
- Place your weightlifting belt around your waist. The belt should be sitting just above your hip bones. This is so you can have full contact across your back, sides, and the front of your torso. If you feel as if your belt is pinching you in some areas, or a bit restrictive, then your belt is most likely not in the correct position.
- Inhale slightly and tighten your belt. You want your belt to feel tight, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. You need to make sure that you leave enough space for your stomach to be able to expand. Thus, you can then create tension once you begin to brace.
You should be able to place your index finger down the back of your belt. This is how you can know if the belt is tight enough or too tight. If you have placed more than an index finger at the back of your belt, then the belt may be either too loose or placed in the wrong place.
- Expand into your belt, by breathing. The purpose of a weighted belt is to make your back more stable while handling these weights. You need to have a strong core, to help protect your back. You can do this by bracing and tightening your core muscles.
To brace, all you have to do is take a deep breath into your stomach, while also flexing your lower back and abs. You should then try to hold this position for the whole duration of your lift. A weightlifting belt helps improve your performance, for those of you who know how to brace properly.
Bracing While Wearing A Weightlifting Belt
Weightlifting in general requires you to have a proper bracing technique. Otherwise, you are going to struggle to lift weights correctly. Without any proper breathing and bracing techniques, a weightlifting belt won’t be as effective as you may have hoped.
Below, we have put together a couple of tips to help you brace properly. These techniques can be used with or without a weightlifting belt. However, it is important to note that if you are wearing a weightlifting belt, then these tips will help improve your bracing.
Which therefore means you will be much more prepared for lifting heavier weights successfully.
- Try to imagine that someone is attempting to punch you in the stomach. When someone does try to punch you in the stomach, you will naturally flex every muscle in your stomach. This is what you want to achieve when you are wearing the weightlifting belt and about to lift those heavy weights.
- You should also try to flex your oblique muscles. As you are breathing, you want to imagine you are puffing these muscles out. They are a key element in helping you keep your stability and maintaining the correct pelvic alignment.
- Breathing is very critical when it comes to lifting weights. You want to breathe into your core and breathe into the abdomen.
Why Should You Wear A Weightlifting Belt
Wearing a weightlifting belt has many benefits. However, these benefits are only effective, as long as you use the proper bracing techniques.
- The main benefit that a weightlifting belt can provide you with is the right techniques for effective lifting. This belt will give you an immediate response to tell you if you are bracing correctly or not. If you have been lifting without a belt, then you can always tell if you are performing the bracing correctly. Therefore, this belt will tell you immediately if you are bracing correctly or not.
- A weightlifting belt helps offer support to your spine while you are lifting weights. The belt offers you tension in the torso and rigidity, which then gives your spine maximum support. However, if you have poor bracing techniques, then the belt can’t protect your spine as well.
- The weightlifting belt is really useful when it comes to overhead lifts. When it comes to overhead lifts, many people struggle to have a neutral spine, which then leads to arching of the lower back. Unfortunately, this arching could then lead to injuries.
Hence, wearing a weightlifting belt during overhead lifts can help you maintain that neutral spine. This means fewer chances of your lower back arching and a smoother and safer lift.
Even though a weightlifting belt provides you with many benefits, you don’t want to rely upon it. A weightlifting belt helps create a more neutral spine and showcases if you are performing the correct bracing techniques.
The belt helps you perform better, but can also highlight where you are going wrong. A lot of athletes will be seen wearing a weightlifting belt. Although, they have taken the time beforehand to master the correct bracing techniques to receive the full benefit of the belt.