How to wear Weight Lifting Belt: Hated and loved in equal parts, Weight Lifting belt. Why? Because humans are very extreme, but neither extreme, in this case, makes sense.
In this post we will address how to wear weight lifting belt, also called a gym Weight Lifting belt by some people or simply, a gym belt.
We’ll talk about belt types and material, when it should and shouldn’t be worn, why, placement, pros and cons, how to get the most out of it, and more. All in a short and concise way, so… Let’s go!
What is the Lumber Belt (Weight Lifting Belt)?
It is a kind of “abdominal girdle” which is usually used in the gym, although there is also its therapeutic version, and it usually costs between 40 and 100 euros.
Regarding material: They are usually made of leather, in some cases neoprene is used as the main material.
How to wear Weight Lifting Belt
Now for some people, they’ll wear it a little bit higher. Some people wear it a little bit lower. Basically, you want it for most people to be in a comfortable position, you’re going to cinch it tight but not too tight because again you want to be able to breathe and expand into it. So for right here, I’m going to get it on that level right there. What I’m going to do tight on my navel or close to the hip belt.
some people they do this, and they just push their stomach out that’s not correct, we’re breathing in expanding 360 degrees into the bowels, no matter if it’s a deadlift, a clean, or a squat you’re going to take that, ever you can see the lifters taking a step back, he’s going to take a big breath and brace into the belt in then go on with his squat in the heavier lifting the more intense you want to be about this obviously if you’re doing a 10 rep max, it’s not going to be as intense as if you are doing a one rep max.
But the proper breathing sequence of into your stomach extending into develop bracing, using it as just another layer of muscle to increase your intra abdominal cavity pressure is mechanics that you want to use research has shown that those who wear a weightlifting belt properly, will actually have more the tendency to lift heavier weight and have more explosive power, not only in a one rep lift, but also over the course of multiple reps.
so if you’re doing an eight rep max, if you’re wearing a belt properly you’ll have more explosive power and trunk stiffness over the full round of eight reps, than without.
So if we’re talking performance for a strength athlete, a belt can be very helpful if you’re serious about lifting heavy weight.
See this: How to Perform a Side Lunge
How Much to Tighten the Lumbar Belt
Here many people make the mistake of tightening it all the way and almost suffocating . What happen? That when you squeeze so much, you feel much more compact at first, but when you want to fill your abdomen with air and take diaphragmatic air and use the belt for what it does (to help us at the level of perception) the diaphragm does not have space to lower, we cannot take a full inspiration, because the diaphragm is stuck, we are tightening too much.
As a result, it is useless for practically nothing, and it can even make you worse than better, since it will even be difficult to breathe regularly and you can tire much faster on a cardiovascular level.
It’s also not about putting it too baggy to the point that you can easily move up and down all the time. But we must look for more or less a width, that when we breathe in the air, we feel that it presses against the belt. Approximately a couple of fingers should fit when you are in a relaxed position and when you do the filling you are practically compacted and not a finger fits between the belt and your core.
Does Weight Lifting Belt Help You Lift more Weight?
The answer is quite simple, yes but in a straightforward way. Thanks to the Weight Lifting belt, you are more likely to be able to do quality diaphragmatic breathing, you will also feel more secure on a psychological level and it can even correct your lower back a bit (although that is not the main objective of this one!).
Some people may notice the “help” much more than other people. Normally, the person who will notice the most difference is the one who has a hard time creating that compact girdle without the use of a belt, on the other hand, whoever already has that well-established capacity (it would be ideal) will not notice a great difference.
Does the Weight Lifting Belt Protect you from Injury?
It does not protect you as such . What protects you from injury when exercising is using correct technique. Do not do a lot of hump (do not bend your back excessively), do not jerk, concentrate on the movement itself, do not move more than you really can at that moment, etc. Yes, it is true, there are many people who tolerate a certain “lumbar hump” but for the vast majority the risk-benefit inclination tips the balance to “risk”.
You have to perform the movements, especially the large ones and with a lot of weight, being compact. Compact the entire abdominal wall well so that we are all one when climbing, noticing that the belt is tightening does not mean that your back is in position. The “being compact” must be formed internally, activating the musculature and preparing it to perform an intense movement.
If you use a Weight Lifting Belt and don’t pay attention to breathing, technique, or anything, and you do the same with a belt or without a belt, the risk of injury if things are done wrong will be the same.
Who Should Wear the Weight Lifting Belt in the Gym?
The lumbar center MUST, as such, not be used by anyone . But it may be advisable to use it on any type of person, in certain movements and on certain occasions.
powerlifters tend to use more Weight Lifting Belt because they are allowed to use the belt in competition, so, work specifically with the weight lifting belt Weight Liftingif it can give them an extra kilo to lift more in competition, especially when they approach the competition.
Since, if you are going to competed using it, training like this will be the most specific and realistic way to train.
In the opposite case , a performance athlete: Soccer, Kate, ski… He needs to know how to activate his core without the need for something external. Therefore, they are not at all interested in becoming the least dependent on a material such as the belt, since they will not be able to use it in competition.
Muscles Gain and Hypertrophy
In the middle , if you are a person who likes to increase muscle mass, lose fat, train for health and so on. The weight lifting
Weight Lifting Belt can be useful for you on some occasions as long as you do not abuse it. That is, as long as you do not use it in all exercises or even to walk around the gym, etc. What does each one see, that they do not take it off.
As a recommendation , use it in movements that require great global stability and, usually it does not pay much to use it in very high repetitions either. It is usually more “profitable” to use it in low repetition ranges and or series close to failure, hard series.
For Strength Training
There are people who get used to that “comfort” too quickly and go with heavy lifting with whom you have to use it more, everything will depend and it is about getting to know each other. Personally, I currently use it in squats and sumo deadlifts.
But I take into account not getting used to it and not depending on it and knowing that, after all, what I said before: It is not putting on your belt and forgetting everything, on the contrary, you use it to give you a bonus. Because if you forget everything just to use it, better not to use it.
When to use the Weight Lifting Belt?
It is not recommended to use it in all exercises, too many people use it for “nonsense”. It is not necessary to use it for walking, or for pulls, or for biceps or triceps, machines, etc.
It is not that the core stops working if you wear a belt, but it is somewhat “unnatural” to wear a belt for absolutely everything. At the end of the day it is meaningless and does not work, it does not work for many things, if you are doing normal breathing as happens in many typical gym exercises, which do not require great stability, the belt will make you clumsy.
4 Major Mistakes When Workout With a Weight Lifting Belt:
1- Not knowing What it is Used For or How to Use It
We can take advantage of this point to emphasize what is the main function of using the belt, which is to increase intra-abdominal pressure, which in turn is capable of protecting and strengthening the spine.
To better understand this example, we can use a soda can as a reference. As long as the can is full of the liquid and its gases, it will be impossible to step on it and break it by putting your body weight on it (This occurs thanks to the pressure generated by the gases inside the can). On the other hand, if we take a soda can without any liquid inside, we can easily step on it. This would be the easiest way to understand the importance and main function of the belt to avoid injuries .
On the other hand, we must know very well how to put on the belt to lift weights . The most effective way to do this is by using the Valsalva maneuver, which consists of taking a large breath of air from the abdomen and trying to exhale with the throat closed. This will push your abdomen towards the belt causing the pressure in your abdomen to increase.
2- Use it at the Wrong Time
When you feel like work is getting too hard, it’s time to buckle up. By this we do not mean that you start using it from the warm-up, although it would be good to learn to control your breathing very well against the belt.
You should take your time to work without a belt, as well as to train using it. As a recommendation, when you know that you are going to do a hard workout that involves a lot of core activation, use your belt from the start to avoid injuries and put your breathing into practice.
3- Fit it Wrong
Knowing clearly which is the main function of the use of the belt, we can talk about what would be the indicated pressure to which you should adjust your belt without affecting the purpose of its use.
Since its main function is to increase your intra-abdominal pressure , you should adjust it to a point less than “as tight as possible” so that you can bring your abdomen against the belt and exert more pressure.
If you tighten the belt excessively you will be obtaining an effect contrary to its main function, since having your abdomen very tight you will not be able to take in as much air as possible therefore the pressure will be very weak. On the other hand, if you have the belt too loosely adjusted (to the point where your abdomen does not go against the belt) you will not have the opportunity to increase the air pressure.
4- Misplacing it
For this error the answer is simpler than you expect. Weight Lifting belt should fulfill its function as long as it does not alter the way you perform the movement.
If it bothers you or hits your hips in a movement that involves flexing your hips, you need to raise the location of your belt a little. On the other hand, if the belt is colliding with your ribs, what you should do is lower it until it is at a right point, where neither the hips nor the ribs bother you, and you can use it in a comfortable way while maintaining pressure against it.
Belt use goes beyond just being well equipped for training or having a tight core. It can be incredible that just by learning to control a maneuver like the waltz you can keep your spine safe.
If you have Weight Lifting felt identified with any of these errors, we invite you to put these tips into practice when using your belt, since if you want to be strong, the health of your body must play in your favor. Once you get used to using the belt at the right time, you will feel much more comfortable and prepared to gain weight without being afraid of any injury, all you have to do is use it in the correct way and you will realize how every time you get stronger.