How to Wear a Lifting Belt Properly
When lifting big weights, a lifting belt could be the difference between a failed or successful lift.
With heavy lifts, you should consider using a weightlifting belt to help you gain that extra 5%.
Perhaps you have tried a lifting belt before but never felt it added much to your lifts. Or maybe you have never tried a lifting belt, but your coach has recommended that you try using a lifting belt for your big lifts.
If this sounds like you, you have come to the right place!
This article will discuss how to wear a lifting belt properly and ensure you get the best possible results.
Using Your Lifting Belt Properly
One common misconception about weight lifting belts is that they are used to support your back, which is not their main focus.
While they certainly help with back support, lifting belts primarily help you improve intra-abdominal pressure, which increases the power of your brace and supports and strengthens your spine during a big lift.
To use your lifting belt properly, you must take a large breath of air through your belly rather than from your chest. This process pushes your belly into the lifting belt, increasing the pressure created in your midsection.
When You Should Wear a Lifting Belt
While some people are tempted to wear their lifting belt for every single lift, you should only use it when you get to heavy weights. That means any weightlifting 80% or more of your one rep max.
If you are new to using a weightlifting belt, you might want to wear it slightly more often. Breathing out against a belt is a skill you will need to spend time mastering, and as with anything in Crossfit, the more practice, the better.
How Tight Should Your Belt Be
As already mentioned, a good lifting belt will help increase the intra-abdominal pressure you exert, which helps stabilize your midsection and prevent your back from rounding during a heavy squat, deadlift, or an Olympic lift.
You must contract your abdominal muscle against the belt to build pressure like this. That means ensuring your belt is not too loose so that no pressure is generated and not too tight so that you cannot contract your abs.
For the best tips and tricks on tightening your belt, check out our How-To Video.
How to Position Your Lifting Belt
While many people think that where you position your belt is a simple task and one that doesn't need much discussion, it can make a significant difference in whether a lift is successful.
As you may already be aware, you do not wear a lifting belt the same way you would wear an everyday belt.
For starters, the bottom of your best must not dig into your hips while they are flexed. Secondly, the top of your belt shouldn't be pushing against your ribs. The belt should be in a position that feels comfortable while also letting you generate the required pressure.
Ultimately, the belt needs to be in a position that feels comfortable, so it doesn't distract you from lifting heavy weights.
When to Use Your Lifting Belt
Regarding which movements you should use your lifting belt for, you should only need it for big compound lifts, such as deadlifts, strict presses, or squats. Alongside compound lifts, they are also excellent for Olympic lifts and strongman exercises like farmers' walks.
All these movements aim to improve strength, and a lifting belt will help you achieve that objective.
What Belt Should You Buy?
When choosing the right lifting belt, you want to invest in quality. At just $20.99, our 4-inch wide, completion-approved, premium nylon belt uses a double feed system that quickly locks the belt and ensures it won't pop out of place while you lift.
Select your favorite color and start working towards new PRs in the gym!