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Ask The Trainer:"What are weightlifting belts for?"

Ask The Trainer:"What are weightlifting belts for?"

Christian Agudelo, Earvin Bahena, Spencer O'Neil

Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT

Lifting belts can increase intra-abdominal pressure. This intra-abdominal pressure is good in that it increases spine and core stability. Weight belts can help performance on big lifts involving the lower back. If a lifter is squatting heavy a belt may be able to increase performance on those lifts. You can't lift heavy weight without having proper form and technique.  Belts don't magically undo bad form. It's always a good idea to refine your lifting technique with heavier weights before you wear a belt. If you don’t squat, deadlift, or do much overhead pressing then you won’t need a weightlifting belt.

Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS

The idea behind using a weightlifting belt is to increase intra-abdominal pressure as you lift. This is important because the pressure inside the abdominal cavity helps stabilize the spine and reduces stress from heavy lifts. You reduce the forward bend and back bend of the spine which enables you to use your legs more as you lift. While these belts can have some impact on your lift, they should not be an everyday tool. FORM is extremely important while doing any sort of weight lifting, especially anything relatively heavy. Wearing this belt will not undo bad form or cause you to lift heavy, all that is built and formed from good form and constant weight progression. 


Spencer O'Neil, NASM- CPT

Weightlifting belts can be a useful tool when used properly.Using a belt to help push through plateaus can be occasionally useful from time to time for certain clients. They are great for helping us keep proper posture while doing movements that can compromise our spine. However wearing a weight belt will not keep your spine safe if your form is off. We encourage clients to train without one as much as possible to develop more stability naturally.