There hasn't been a huge amount of research into the results weightlifting belts have in the gym. That said, belts are said to help you lift with the correct form, helping you brace your core to generate more muscles as you lift.
Weightlifting belts vary from around $30 for a cheaper model, to up to $100 for a more premium leather belt. How heavy-duty you need the belt to be depends on how often you plan on using it, and you can pick up a decent one for less than $50. Just remember: you get what you pay for.
If none of these are for you, why not check out our other buying guides We've found the best gym bags for traveling to and from the gym, as well as the best adjustable dumbbells for weightlifting at home.
Weightlifting belts are basically built for the purpose of keeping your back stabilized as you perform deadlifts, overhead presses, and other advanced exercises. When it comes to such dynamic-yet-fundamental exercises as these, proper form is paramount, and the heavier you go with those weight plates, the higher the risk for potential injury and the best weightlifting belts help support your lower back.
To help you find the best weightlifting belt for you, we put some of the most popular options on the market to the test. We used the same circuit for each test (find out more in the \"how we tested\" section below) and looked at how comfortable the belt was, how flexible it was, and how easy it was to adjust. Read on to find out top picks.
Going for the gold Dark Iron Fitness belts have a 600-pound weight limit and generous 4-inch width; 4 millimeters of thickness keeps your core tight while providing just the right level of comfort and support. The company claims their belts could potentially add 10 percent of power to your lifts, eliminating potential back pain in the process. (As long as you put in the work, that is.)
As mentioned above, weightlifting belts can be an semi-extraneous gym accessory for the average gym member, depending on your fitness hustle. There are a variety of things to consider before buying a belt:
Be it buckle, lever, or Velcro, your locking mechanism of choice mostly comes down to personal preference, though some fasteners have a quicker release than others. Just make sure everything clicks, slides, or locks securely in place when you strap the belt on.
Powerlifting purists may prefer a traditional leather belt, but there are plenty of nylon-based options that get the job done just as well. Leather is stronger and tends to hold up longer over time (with proper upkeep), while nylon is far easier to break in right from the get-go.
Lever closure devices make putting on and taking off a belt a breeze. The downside is that adjusting the belt for tightness is a pain because you have to unscrew the lever from the belt, adjust, and then screw it back on again.
For the main barbell lifts, Matt recommends that you bring in the belt once you can squat your bodyweight, deadlift 1.5X your bodyweight, and shoulder press .75X your bodyweight. Before then, just go beltless.
To provide the appropriate feedback and comfort during the lift, wear your belt directly over your navel. You may need to adjust things based on the lift. For example, on deadlift, because you bend over, you may notice the top of your belt digging into your ribs. If that happens, lower the belt slightly.
The belt also features four layers of high density and corrosion-resistant nylon threads that are lock-stitched to the belt. These different layers give the belt the 10 mm thickness needed for the International Powerlifting Federation competition standards.
At 10mm thick, this Gymreapers lever belt is suitable for both beginners and advanced lifters (to a certain extent). However, Gymreapers also makes a 13mm belt for lifters who are looking for more support.
Rogue Ohio is an excellent lifting belt for female powerlifters. This belt is designed for athletes with smaller builds to provide them with a snug fit support without hard digging into the hips or rips of the user.
This belt is made of genuine leather of great quality. Not only that, but the inner layers of the lifting belt are also made of leather, which makes it remarkably durable while lifting 100s of pounds daily.
While powerlifting a ton of weight, you need your body to stay in top tension condition all the time. In other words, you need to keep your core tight to stabilize your body and avoid injuring yourself or even failing the rep.
On the other hand, leather belts are the golden standard for serious and competitive powerlifting. They carry all the benefits you might get from a lifting belt, such as excellent support and durability.
The width of the lifting belt determines the size of the supported area in the back (usually either 3 or 4 inches wide). Different types and lengths of bodies require different belt widths. However, the IPF limits the maximum width at any point of the lifting belt to 4-inches.
wrapping things up, a good powerlifting belt must be easy to break-in while staying super durable to support your back. For that reason, I pick Inzer Advance Designs Forever Lever Belt as my number one recommendation.
Since this method is natural, this high-quality leather feels much softer than regular hardened leather. As a result, the Rogue Ohio belt takes far less time to break-in and form around your body. With a thickness of 10mm, this process becomes even easier.
Moving on to the buckle, this lifting belt is equipped with a double-pronged buckle with a shiny zinc finish. I like that they used a roller over the buckle. This way, you can fully tighten the belt without peeling the leather.
Like my top pick, this lifting belt is allowed in all IPF competitions. The most prominent difference between the two lies in the buckle. This powerlifting belt is designed with a nickel-plated lever instead of the classic prong.
Although this is a matter of personal choice, I generally prefer lever buckles, especially in competitions. To tighten the Longhorn belt, all you have to do is hook its teeth and flip the lever. As you can see, this is much easier and faster than using a prong.
Furthermore, you can simply tighten it with your hand. Pronged belts, on the contrary, usually need a rack to pull them into the maximum tightness. Since you may not find a rack in every competition, a lever belt seems like the most competent option.
Instead, this belt is fully made from neoprene. This highly versatile material can be used to make things as soft as gloves and as firm as hoses. As a result, this belt can be firm enough to be used in powerlifting or for heavy weight lifting yet soft enough for other activities like CrossFit.
On the inside, this belt is lined with a plush tricot lining. This adds a lot to the overall comfortable feel. It also prevents sweat from excessively building up, which decreases the likelihood of bad odors.
On a kind note, Fire Team Fit dedicates $1 from every sold belt to a non-profit organization supporting American combat veterans. I prefer supporting businesses that focus on their social responsibilities.
The problem happens when you fully depend on the belt and ignore bracing with your muscle. As you might imagine, the belt will successfully do the job, leaving your muscles to relax. This gets especially harmful when athletes start to wear their belts for the whole day.
Personally, I like a lifting belt that feels firm enough to brace my muscles against. But some of my friends, especially females, prefer the opposite. They like the inherent freedom of flexible nylon belts.
The most notable difference between powerlifting and weightlifting belts is the design. Powerlifting belts have the same width throughout their length. Weightlifting belts, on the other hand, start with a wider back and end with a thinner front.
When you wear a lifting belt, your intra-abdominal pressure increases, which supports your spine from inside. Moreover, it increases the activity of your muscles, which braces your back from outside. So, all in all, a lifting belt is used to decrease the likelihood of back injuries and allows you to lift more weight. 59ce067264