The Best Weight Lifting Belt For Your Workouts
Wearing a weight lifting belt comes with some amazing benefits, but before we get to that, I think it is crucial to address the elephant in the room. You have probably noticed these belts hanging in the corner of your gym and at some point, it has got you thinking, what and for whom are these meant for?
To answer this question, weight lifting belts are used to help anyone looking to lift heavier loads, especially during squats and deadlifts. So, if you intend to lift average weight for progressive training and muscle gain or any other exercise that does not involve lifting such as cycling, wearing a belt is pretty much show off.
This is because your body can support small loads on its own. In fact, lifting small loads and progressing up to a point encourages core development and wearing a belt for this might be counterproductive.
On the other hand, for people intending to lift heavy loads, the mechanism being a lifting belt is that; by wearing a belt, you apply pressure on your spine hence your legs and core are automatically tuned and prepared to support heavy weights.
So, if you intend to lift heavy be it for competition purposes or for self-growth, this article is just for you. In it, I help you chose the right belt and give you instructions on how to wear one correctly. To top it all, I have compiled a list of best weight lifting belts you ought to consider.
Choosing The Right Weight Lifting Belt
There is more to consider when picking a weight lifting belt other than comfort and style. You want to select a belt that will support your back and abs and give your spine just enough pressure to support your lifting. So, if you wish to select the best belt for you, I suggest you pay attention to the advice below.
How Thick Is A Thick Belt?
It is easy to assume that a thick belt is usually the best option. While this statement is not entirely wrong, there is a limit to how thick your belt should be.
If you select one that is too thick, it ends up being stiff and might injure your spine in the long run. If you go for an overly thin belt, it will be as good as not wearing one since the support provided on your core is basically not enough.
So, how thick should your weightlifting belt be? Well, experts advise going for a belt with a thickness between 10 and 13 millimeters. This in most cases is just the right amount of thickness to provide the right core support while hitting heavy weights.
The Right Material Choice
Needless to say, the material used determines the stiffness, strength, durability and even the price of the belt. This, therefore, should be top of the list in terms of things you should be keen on while picking your belt.
The common materials use are leather, suede or Velcro. Leather belts usually rank high up in terms of durability and stiffness hence are considered the best for anyone looking to lift some serious weights. Just be ready to pay a little extra above the normal price rate. While going for a leather belt, beware of fake leather as they tend to wear out faster and easily.
Keep in mind that genuine leather does not leave fault lines once bent so if it tears or cracks when bent, it is probably not leather so ditch it. Suede is an okay alternative to leather as it comes with moderate stiffness and pricing.
If you are serious about using a weight lifting belt, I would suggest staying away from stretching belts as they literary add no value to your workout and will only lead you to injury.
How Do You Secure Or Fasten Your Belt?
Many people ignore the mode of securing the belt thinking it is part of the design or physical appeal. In the real sense, this feature ensures that your belt stays fastened and in place while lifting hence your focus will be on the weights rather than figuring out your belt or keeping it up.
In this case, you are faced with three choices, the single prong, double prong and the lever belt. This is where comfort comes to play. Select a belt that is easy for you to understand hence easy to fasten. So, while buying a lifting belt, actually putting it on is a crucial step you ought not to skip if you want to get your money’s worth.
How To Properly Use A Weight Lifting Belt
Even if you score the best weight lifting belt money can buy and you do not have the know-how on its correct usage, it is a waste! Putting on a weight lifting belt depends on the type of exercise you intend to embark on. However, in this guide, I will give you general guidelines for a weight lifting belt despite the exercise you do.
If this is your first time wearing a weightlifting belt, expect some discomfort but do not be discouraged as you will get over it fast. Part of using a weight lifting belt is getting familiar with breath control techniques to enable you to manipulate your spine throughout the process. Typically, this involves taking a large deep breath before lifting to prepare your body for the weight to come.
When it comes to actually putting on the belt, you want it to be comfortable on your body such that it is not too tight to restrict breathing or too loose to provide any core support. To achieve this, belt placement is a crucial part of this process. This means that, where you fasten your belt determines how heavy you can lift, so pay attention to this.
Contrary to popular belief, a weight lifting belt is worn low on your torso as opposed to high or on your belly. You want to ensure that it covers the small of your back and that it is firmly held by your hip joint while squatting.
A good way of ascertaining this is investing in a belt that is wider at the back and gets narrower at the front. This will ensure your core is well supported when lifting (your back especially).
If I could summarize this whole process in a few words, I would tell you to ensure you are maintaining great form while lifting. This means that depending on the exercise, your back should be in correct position.
For instance, in terms of squats, you should arch your back to prevent injury and for efficiency. Ensure your belt is fastened just right and you should always inhale before lifting, never exhale, especially forcefully.
In addition, you can use wrist wraps when it comes to lifting weights. These have the role of protecting your joints from the strain of the exercises.
Top Five Weight Lifting Belts
The Dark Iron fitness leather weight lifting belt is quite durable as it is crafted from real leather hence it can provide excellent support on your back while lifting. It is quite comfortable and comes at a very light weight of 1.5 pounds hence can be used by both men and women during workouts.
The buckle too is meant to accommodate any individual as it comes with a heavy duty material and extra adjustment holes. The compact nature of the Dark Iron fitness belts makes it easy to carry around without taking up much space in your gym bag.
With a height of four inches and a five millimeters thickness, you are ensured great support in your core, abs and back giving you the power to tackle any weight thrown your way.
- It comes with a lifetime guarantee of getting a new belt if yours ever fails.
- The belt is made from quality material helping it last.
- It is comfortable to put on and use during workouts thanks to its light weight.
- It is thick enough to provide excellent core support.
- The extra holes allow for accommodating many individuals.
- It does not come in different sizes.
Fire Team guys have come up with a weightlifting belt that is meant to help you get the best out of your workout without hurting yourself.
The Fire Team fit weight lifting belt is built with the user's style in mind such that it comes in four colors; Blue, Black, Pink, and Grey. This helps you in choosing a color that will match your workout attire perfectly both for male and female users.
Unlike most belts that you will require to adjust while changing the workout, the Fire team belt gives you a chance to do deadlifts, overhead squats, back squats, power cleans, and weight lift without ever taking it off.
The use of Velcro strap in the making of this belt allows for adjusting the belt to your liking and does not bruise or injure your back due to excessive stiffness.
- Easy to adjust according to your size.
- It offers great support for the back and abs.
- The Velcro material used is easy on your back and quite comfortable.
- It comes in multiple colors.
- At times the strap does not hold well after buckling.
- Leather belts are more preferred, especially in heavy lifting.
The Ader power lifting belt is an all leather belt, black in color and comes in seven sizes making it ideal for almost any lifter. The belt has a four-inch width and a suede lining to increase your comfort while working out.
You can easily operate the buckle since it comes with an easy to close system with double prongs that are quite straight forward in operating.
The holes on this belt are sufficient enough to ensure it stays on throughout the workout session. It has a sleek design and finish that is quite appealing such that it covers up for the fact that it comes in one color.
- It is quite durable and strong.
- The buckle system is simple and easy to use.
- The suede lining makes it comfortable to wear.
- The belt has double prongs making it hold on tightly during your workouts.
- The belts prong have a little bend to them making it hard to unhook them once you are done training.
- It comes in one color.
The Harbinger Weightlifting Belt is a belt that offers any serious weightlifter the much-needed core support helping you go the extra mile in your lifting. It features a wide five-inch form and a three-inch strap giving you adequate support to prevent abdominal and lower back injuries during lifting.
It is also quite lightweight and comes with a soft tricot lining making it comfortable to use for both men and women. Unlike the belts of its kind, the Harbinger comes with a steel roller buckle that makes it easy to fasten it as well as keep it on your body throughout the workout.
- The belt comes in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes.
- It is not too stiff offering comfort when used.
- The belt helps a lot of people with back problems but still need to work out.
- The buckle is easy to use and keeps the belt well fastened.
- Hardcore lifters may find this belt too malleable for use.
The RDX leather gym weight lifting belt is quite the heavy duty belt as it comes in a durable leather material. It supports your back when doing regular weight lifts or competing in tournaments as a profession.
The product is reinforced by four layers of genuine leather suede that are bound together giving the belt a resilient and strong form hence offering you better support as you lift. It comes with eight buckle holes that are enough to accommodate a majority of individuals who may come across this belt.
The buckle provided allows a strong grip ensuring the belt stays fastened as you work out while at the same time being quite easy to use.
With this belt, your comfort is also taken care of as you are provided a suede interior that is bound to go easy on your skin and body while using the belt.
- The reinforced leather in the belt makes it last a lifetime.
- The belt has a good grip hence preventing drooping of the belt.
- Suede on the inside makes it very comfortable.
- Long lasting due to the cow hide on the exterior.
- This belt might be too stiff to some users.
- Some users find the belt too bulky.
As with any other gym equipment, weight lifting belts too should be taken with utmost seriousness during purchase. While leather belts are usually the best option in most cases, other materials such as suede can be alternated with leather to give a less stiff belt hence more comfort.
The main point is to ensure that you test out your belt before fully committing to it. This will give you an actual feel of the belt hence help in deciding if it is for you or not.
That said, my personal favorite from the above list is the Dark Iron Fitness belt as it comes in genuine leather that is not only strong and durable but also great at providing efficient core support.
Finally, always remember that belts are used to enhance your lifting abilities; not to teach you how to lift. With that in mind, I would like to encourage all sorts of questions and comments from you. Otherwise, stay fit and healthy belt or not!