When Should You Use a Lifting Belt : Get Tips for Safe Weightlifting

when to wear weight lifting belt

A weightlifting belt is a belt made of sturdy material, typically leather or nylon, which is worn around the waist during weightlifting exercises. It is designed to provide support and stability to the lower back and core muscles while lifting heavy weights.

Is was acknowledged in paper published by Shirley S. M. Fong, Department of Health and Physical Education, Education University of Hong Kong, that a weight belt can stabilize the spine, reduce the compression of the spine and lower the probability of spinal injuries.

When should you use a lifting belt? You should wear a lifting belt when it comes to heavy weightlifting. The belt can help you stay safe and increase your performance. Put one on when doing squats, deadlifts, military press, Olympic lifts, or any other big compound barbell lift.

What Exercises Require a Weightlifting Belt?

1) Back Squat: The back squat is a compound, full-body exercise that targets the major muscle groups of the lower body, including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Journal states that a weight belt can support the truck by increasing the IAP which is the intra-abdominal pressure.

2) Deadlift: A deadlift is an integral part of any strength training routine as it helps build core and posterior chain strength, with benefits such as better posture, improved balance, and increased power. To do this move correctly, you’ll need to use a barbell in order to lift the weight off the floor.

3) Clean & Jerk: The clean & jerk is a two-part weightlifting technique that requires great speed, skill, and precision. It involves quickly pulling the bar from the ground up to your shoulders before explosively pushing it overhead. Using a barbell for this exercise will help ensure proper form and increase efficiency.

4) Overhead Standing Press: An overhead standing press is an important exercise for developing shoulder stability and strength. It’s performed by pressing a barbell over your head until your arms are fully extended. Since this exercise requires more weight than other movements, using a weighted barbell is essential.

5) Barbell Rows: Barbell rows are a great way to strengthen your upper body and improve your posture. This exercise involves bending at the waist and gripping a barbell with both hands before rowing it towards your midsection. Weightlifting belts provide stability when performing barbell rows.

6) Front Squat: The front squat is a challenging yet rewarding exercise for strengthening your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. By placing the barbell across the front of your shoulders instead of your upper back like in the traditional back squat, it requires greater stabilization of the spine and overall trunk.

At What Weight for Squats Should You Wear a Lifting Belt?

You should start to wear a lifting belt for squats when you have a weight that 60 percent of your 1 repetition maximum (1rm). If you can squat once 200 lbs, then start to use your belt with a weight for squats of 120 lbs.

I recommend that you check out the PU Leather weight belt that we offer here at MalePicks.com. 

Even though you may need to wear a belt for certain squats, there are other exercises that involve the back that do not require the use of a weight belt, such as hip thrusts.

Should You Wear a Belt for Hip Thrusts?

The hip thrust exercise is a lower body strength exercise that primarily targets the glutes (buttocks) and also works the hamstrings and quadriceps.

You should not wear a belt for hip thrusts because you will rely too heavily on external support for your core muscles. You need proper form for hip thrusts. You need to master the proper form for hip thrusts and a weight belt will prevent you from doing so.

How long does it take to break in a weight lifting when using it regularly? 

It could take 3 months to break in a weight lifting belt that has a thickness of .05 inches (13 mm).  For a weight belt of .039 inches (10 mm), it takes 4-6 weeks to break it in.