Let’s face it: there has been a lot of controversy when it comes to the use of weightlifting belts. People claim that the use of these belts can reduce core strength and are often used as a crutch. False, studies show that using a weight lifting belt can actually increase core development. Here are three reasons why wearing a weightlifting belt can benefit you!
The most important reason in wearing a weightlifting belt is for increased stability. The belt increases intra-abdominal pressure (pressure in your abdomen), which creates a solid core that stabilizes the spine. This pressure is increased when using Valsalva Maneuver (taking a deep inhale, holding your breath and pushing out your stomach muscles before a lift). The belt creates a tight force when the stomach muscles are pushed out, increasing the solidity of your entire core.
There are several reasons as to why a lifting belt can increase safety:
- Because the midsection is more stabilized, this prevents the spine from collapsing when performing heavy lifts.
- When doing back squats, the belt decreases the amount of strain on the lower back, which can prevent injuries.
- The belt causes restriction of lumbar range of motion, which also prevents additional strain during any overhead lifts.
- Wearing a belt may encourage more of a squat-lift technique versus a back-lift technique, which results in better form!
The fact that wearing a belt constructs a tighter core than you would normally have, it creates a better possibility in lifting heavier weights! For squatting, the belt will help with proper form in using your hamstrings and quadriceps instead of your lower back. Also, one of the most important reasons is mental confidence! Having that belt around your waist creates a sense of safety and stability, making you mentally prepared to kill that lifting sesh!
Several people use or do not use a weightlifting belt based purely off preference. Now that you know some of the key benefits, you can decide if you want to use one yourself!