You’ve seen many people walking around with these in the gym: a unique workout accessory that is commonly worn by those who are using the squat rack or doing walking lunges, among other leg-focused movements. This tool is called a weight lifting belt. But, what’s the deal with wearing something around your waist if you’re working your lower body? The main purpose is for spinal stability. But, there is a more detailed explanation of how weight lifting belts really work and the way to get the most use out of them. Check it out below – along with a list of the best weight lifting belts out there!
What is a Weight Lifting Belt?
A weight lifting belt is a tool that wraps around your waist and abdominal area. You adjust it like you would a regular belt, except it is much wider, often made with padding for extra support. The right fit is nice and snug, but not too tight that it limits your movements.
Note that some people are not meant to wear a belt. The main purpose of using this tool is to build your strength when squatting or deadlifting and maximizing the motions involved.
This is done by raising the amount of intra-abdominal pressure, which signals to muscles in the body that the spine needs a bit more support, making them contract tighter. It activates muscles you can’t target on your own. If you find a belt actually prevents you from getting as low as possible in these exercises, it is probably not for you.
More so, you should work on getting the perfect form before wearing a weight lifting belt. Even the best weight lifting belts won’t fix bad form, and they work most effectively when you’re putting in the right work, too. In a sense, they are a safety measure, increasing lifting support and stabilizing your spine.
The only difference between a men’s and women’s weight lifting belt is typically size, which many work for both anyway.
The Benefits of Wearing a Weight Lifting Belt
Speaking of a belt’s most effective results, here are all the benefits you can expect from wearing one:
- Reduction of stress on the spine
- Better body biomechanics
- Better performance in the long-run – even without the belt
- Injury prevention
These benefits are easily attainable when you find the right belt for you. You can check more of these features out in our best weight lifting belt review section.
5 Best Weight Lifting Belts of 2019
There are a few differences between each belt that can create a major difference in how your workouts progress. Some belts will be wider than others, while some come with buckles and others use straps to cinch around your waist.
The following are some highlights of the best weight lifting belts and best weight lifting belt brands. Go through each one carefully in order to make the most informed buying decision when you’re ready to take your workouts to the next level.
Dark Iron cuts no corners when making their belt. This product is made of premium, reinforced leather to ensure you have a long-lasting tool to support you during many future workouts.
The buckle is ingeniously meant to fasten on the outer edges of the belt, which means the middle section is snug. It won’t move up or down as you perform your movements, and the fit is just right – no digging into the sides or hips at all.
More so, this is all achieved at a weight of fewer than two pounds!
You will barely even feel the belt on your back as you walk around and set up your rack. However, you will definitely notice the benefits at work when you start squatting with this option. It is made for both men and women.
The Fire Team Fit belt is the complete opposite of the Dark Iron model, but still a great choice.
Instead of leather, this is a fabric belt that is structured to the shape of a person’s lower back and belt. The Fire Team design is widest along the back for optimal spine support, and thin around the hips and stomach for comfortable wear.
The belt uses velcro straps to be put on. This is not like a belt you guide through pant loops – it’s one that is placed on the body similar to how you wrap a towel around you. A person grabs either end of the belt and places the middle on the back, then joins both ends in the front part of the body and slides the strap in place.
The velcro allows each person who uses this belt to find the perfect fit. Rather than relying on one belt buckle versus trying to push to the next, the velcro adjusts to get the best grip on the body. All of this is made possible by industrial quality stitching and double padded support. This belt may not be leather, but it still has plenty of power to guide you in all your movements.
It comes in many color options for men and women to get a belt that goes with their ideal gym look.It’s definitely one of the best weight lifting belt for women.
The Rit Fit belt is another fabric model that is packed with power. It goes on the body in a similar way to the Fire Team model, but there are definitely some differences worth mentioning.For starters, this belt is made of waterproof foam. The foam sits on the body gently, providing ultimate comfort when worn over a t-shirt or directly against the skin.
There is one large velcro strap that goes all the way around the belt, bordered by thick stitched edges. It is six inches wide and held secure with one large buckle. It’s in a lower price range, and is a great choice for men and women. It’s also one of the best weight lifting belts for crossfit and similar training.
If you’re interested in another leather option rather than fabric, check out the Stoic Weight Lifting Belt. Many serious, competitive lifters recognize this as one of the best weight lifting belts around, and for good reason. The new model has been redesigned to remove suede from the interior and only leave an outer layer for aesthetic effects. The result? A grip on the body that fits just as it should.
The fit is made possible with thick, high-quality leather that wraps all the way around. It’s held in place by nylon stitching and fits on the body with a wide, single-prong buckle. Best of all? Stoic offers a five-star experience guarantee.
For those who like having suede both on the exterior side for looks and the interior side for grip against sweat, the Iron Bull Strength is one of the best weight lifting belts to get.
It’s the same width all the way around and held in place by a double-prong buckle as well as a strap. This option is lightweight and all about high-power. It fits the body very well to make your performance the best it can be at a moderate cost, and in so many beautiful colors!