Weight belts have pros and cons. How safe are these accessories? Can they really help you prevent injuries and improve your form? Here are some of their key benefits:
- Increase your strength
- Protect your back
- Improve physical performance
- Keep your spine in the correct position
- Allow for heavier lifts
- Stabilize your entire midsection
- Increase intra-abdominal pressure
- Reduce muscular fatigue
- Reduce compressive loading of the lumbar spine
- Prevent back hyperextension during overhead lifts
- Remind you to lift properly
What about the cons of wearing lifting belts? Studies indicate that weight belts may increase blood pressure and heart rate. These accessories should not be used mainly for preventing injuries, but to increase the efficiency of your core muscles. The belt allows you to lift heavier weights by stabilizing your torso and increasing intra-abdominal pressure.
Things to Consider When Using a Weight Belt
In general, it’s recommended to learn proper form and technique before you start using a belt. Always keep your spine in a neutral position. When doing squats and deadlifts, wear a belt that is wide all the way around. You will also need a belt to perform weighted chin-ups, pull-ups, and dips. However, keep in mind that weight belts give a false sense of security. If you don’t lift correctly, you’ll end up with an injury.
Wearing a lifting belt all the time is wrong. This can actually make you weaker and increase your risk of injuries. Overuse of the belts leads to core weakness. Don’t forget that weight belts come in a wide range of sizes, styles, and shapes. Make sure you choose one that offers proper support and fits you perfectly.