Lifting belts have been around for years. These accessories are very popular among weightlifters and bodybuilders. Also known as weight belts, they support the back and help prevent injury during heavy lifts. When used properly, belts can improve your posture and increase performance. They also increase abdominal pressure, which allows you to lift heavier. However, not everyone knows how and when to wear lifting belts. Some guys use them while doing sit-ups and push-ups, which is completely wrong. Wearing a lifting belt the wrong way can do more harm than good.
Pros and Cons of Wearing a Lifting Belt
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding weight belts. Some claim that these accessories mask a weak core and inhibit motor learning in the abdominal muscles. Others say that lifting belts should never be used when performing exercises that have you sitting or lying down. Belts can either increase or reduce the loads on the spine based on how they are used.
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Most bodybuilders wear lifting belts to protect their lower back when doing squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and other heavy-load exercises. Some use these accessories as performance enhancers rather than protection. Researchers have found that wearing a belt can actually cause more frequent and more severe injuries, especially in those who use improper form or have a weak core. On the other hand, a weight belt can be a reminder to keep your spine in the correct position when lifting heavy weights.