Lifting weights without proper safety equipment can raise the risk of injuries significantly. The most crucial piece of safety equipment is a weightlifting belt. Lifting weights without it can lead to back injuries and they can be devastating.
We are going to provide you with a complete guide on how to buy a properly sized weightlifting belt and how you can use it the most efficient way. Let’s begin with why you should wear a weightlifting belt:
Benefits of Weightlifting Belt
When you lift heavy weights, like during squats, you need to control your breathing. Lots of pressure will be placed on your back and core muscles.
You also need to brace your muscles while you breathe. Bracing will not only strengthen the muscles but also give them stability in the long run.
The belt will act as a support for your muscles and keep you from bending because of the weight. There is plenty of research available that shows that lifters who use belts are able to lift heavier weights and perform more reps.
The belt should fit over your expanded stomach because you will be breathing deeply while you exercise. It will also act as an extra brace when you lift.
Size of Weightlifting Belt
Sizing is the most important part of buying a weightlifting belt. The wrong size of the belt is just as bad as not having one. So take notes and read the steps below. You will require a measuring tape for this;
Step 1 – Measure your Waist
- You need to measure your waist but not like you measure the waist for a pair of pants.
- The tape should go around your abdomen, just over your navel.
- Don’t hold your stomach in. This will give you an incorrect size.
- Breathe normally when you are measuring.
- Avoid holding the measuring tape too tightly.
- Make sure that you are wearing your workout kit when measuring.
- The belt will go over the clothes so this will give you an accurate reading.
Step 2 – Width of the Belt
- The width of the belt depends on your height.
- The width is normally 4 inches and 6 inches.
- 4-inch width is suitable for shorter individuals.
- 6-inch width is suitable for taller individuals.
Step 3 – The Material
- You have the option between leather and Lycra.
- Leather provides better support.
- Lycra has some give in it.
Step 4 – Choosing the Belt
- Select the weight lifting belt you want online.
- When you have the belt put it on and make sure that it is not digging into your ribs in any way.
- Do consult the size chart below before order placement.
Weight Lifting Belt Size Chart
Using the Weightlifting Belt
The weightlifting belt will only be able to provide you with stability and support you require if you use it correctly. When you are wearing the belt properly, it will wrap around the back helping your core muscles.
- Wear the belt on your waist around your navel.
- Breathe in properly and expand your stomach into the belt.
- You shouldn’t suck in your stomach and tighten the belt. That would decrease its effectiveness.
- Ensure that the belt is properly secure before lifting the weights.
When to wear the Weightlifting Belt
Weightlifting belts should be used whenever you are lifting heavier weights. For example, if you are performing barbell squats, the belt will keep your back stable during the up and down movement.
There are instances when wearing a weight lifting belts is not appropriate. When you are lifting normal weights a belt is not required. If you wear the belt at all times, then you run the risk of your body getting used to the support. It will become a crutch.
Lifters want to strengthen their core muscles but giving it a crutch only weakens it. So whenever you are lifting lighter weights you should avoid wearing the belt. Because without the belt your back and core muscles will gain more stability.
That is all the information you need regarding a weight lifting belt. Use it to get yourself a quality belt that fits you correctly. You can also consult the details above to make sure that you are using the belt effectively and at what times.
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