Strength is something that is built, it just doesn’t come that easily. Especially when the strength in athletes, in particular, is gained by weightlifting belts to boost their performance. Lifting belts have also been demonstrated to reduce the amount of time it takes to finish a rep. We can suppose that lifting belts assist to gain little more power because bar speed and percentage of one-repetition maximum are closely related. Lifting belts have been increasingly popular since then, and you can now find one in almost every gym. Don’t forget to do your research and choose the best belts for weightlifting.
When should you go for it?
First and foremost, you must ask yourself, “What am I hoping to gain from this?” You may not need a belt if your main goal in the gym isn’t to maximize your strength on a few specific motions, but rather to train for muscular hypertrophy and overall athleticism.
Second, you must assess your experience and movement skill with the lifts for which you intend to utilize a belt.If you’re still learning how to squat, bench, and deadlift without a belt, it’s best to focus on technique first, then create a solid strength foundation before adding a belt to the mix. When you do, choose the best weight lifting belt and there you go champion!
It’s also worth noting that using a belt comes with a learning curve. While some lifters can get the benefits of a lifting belt after just one workout, most people will need at least a few weeks to gain the benefits of a lifting belt.
In a 1999 study, researchers discovered that people who were new to wearing a belt had no change in intra-abdominal pressure or force production.
How to properly use a weightlifting belt?
Although putting on the belt appears to be straightforward, there are a few things to consider:
- The positioning of the belt:
The most comfortable belt location for most people is directly above the belly button, atop the hip bone. This is especially true for people who have broader hips, mostly for girls.
To ensure a tight and secure fit throughout the action, place the belt right at the top of the hip bone. If you position the belt squarely over your hip bone, it may slip up to the more narrow portion of your stomach.
Depending on the workout, you may need to adjust the position and angle a little, but the most important factor is a comfortable and snug fit.
- Degree of tightness.
This is an important point since many people tighten their belts excessively, which causes more harm than benefit no matter even if you’ve got the best lifting belt. Your belt should be snug yet still allow you to take a full breath in your torso. If you can’t breathe deeply or have to raise your shoulders to do so, your belt is too tight. This way you will get yourself in trouble.
Starting with a looser belt and doing lighter sets where you focus on your breath and intra-abdominal pressure is a fantastic approach to establish the correct belt tightness.
Then, as you tighten the belt notch by notch, pay attention to if it starts to block your breathing. Most people want to tighten the belt as far as possible while still being able to take deep belly breaths when doing the squat. When doing the deadlift, it’s best to go one notch looser so the belt doesn’t get in the way of your starting posture.
It’s taking some getting accustomed to.
Now comes the exciting part. Lifting belts have a tendency to bruise us, especially around the top of the hip bone; it’s even more difficult when the belt is new and hasn’t been broken in.