Intense training, if done incorrectly, can lead to serious injury. And some professional and amateur athletes use a variety of devices to avoid injury. One of them is a weightlifting belt. Is he really needed? And how to choose it?
What it is?
The weightlifting belt looks like a regular belt, but is more impressive in size. This device is actively used by bodybuilders, as well as ordinary people performing strength exercises with weights. It is believed that such belts have been used since ancient times, but there is no exact confirmation of this.
Why do you need a weightlifting belt?
What is a weightlifting belt for? The fact is that when performing strength exercises with weights, a huge load falls on the spine, and this may well lead to its injury. But the spinal column has natural support that muscles provide.
Behind it is supported and fixed by the muscles of the back, and in front – by the abdominal cavity, or rather by the pressure inside it. This pressure rises sharply with muscle contraction. But often, when lifting heavy objects (the same barbell), a person directs all his strength to the task and forgets about everything else.
As a result, the abdomen and with it the abdominal muscles relax, the pressure drops, and the spine is left without support from the front. So, the weightlifting belt is designed precisely to artificially create increased pressure inside the abdominal cavity and thereby maintain the spinal column in a normal position.
Who needs it and in what cases?
A weightlifting belt is a must for beginners looking for quick results. If you increase the weight of the weights too quickly, then the muscles and spine will not have time to get used to such loads, which can lead to injuries. And in this case, the belt will come to the rescue.
The weightlifting belt comes in handy when doing lifting exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and so on. It is these exercises that require full support of the spine and tension of the abdominal muscles.
Another case in which the use of a belt would be appropriate is in extreme weight training. A large mass is a huge load on the spine and therefore requires additional support. It is worth putting on a belt when you work with a mass that is approximately 85-90% of the maximum (that is, the one that you can lift).
It is worth paying attention to such a device for those who do not pay enough attention to working out the muscles of the press. If the abs are weak, then he simply will not cope with his tasks. If the muscles are well developed and can handle the load, then you will not need a belt.
How to wear it correctly?
How to use a weightlifting belt? It should be noted right away that wearing it constantly and wearing it throughout the entire workout is definitely not worth it, this will negatively affect the work of the muscles. First, they will stop working normally and may gradually atrophy with constant wearing of the belt.
In this case, if you abruptly give up the belt, you will certainly get a spinal injury. Second, the muscles in the girdle work differently. If without it they contract in order to draw in the stomach, then in the belt you, on the contrary, will strive to protrude the stomach. As a result, after giving up the adaptation, you will not be able to perform the weight exercises correctly.
Several rules for using the belt:
- Put on the belt before doing exercises that involve holding weights over your head and those that are performed with weights in a standing position.
- Be sure to remove your belt after exercise.
- When using such a device, pay special attention to additional study of the abdominal muscles.
- Do not perform more than 5-10 repetitions in the belt. You can do one set in the belt with the maximum weight, then take it off and reduce the weight.
- Once you are able to lift a lot and get used to it, begin to gradually drop the belt, reducing the number of repetitions performed in it.
Which belt should you choose?
How to choose a weightlifting belt? The most important points to pay attention to when buying:
- As for gender differences, there are no belts for women and men, they are all universal.
- Pay attention to the shape of the belt and its width. The belt, narrow in the front and wide in the back, will provide additional support to the lower back and will reliably protect against injury. In addition, it is very convenient to use when performing exercises that involve the implementation of forward bends. Such devices are widely used in bodybuilding. But a belt that has the same width along its entire length is usually more durable, massive and stronger. It should be placed in the lower abdomen, closer to the pelvis. Such a device is commonly used in powerlifting. But exercises with an incline in this belt are inconvenient to perform.
- Be sure to study the belt buckle when buying. There are several options: regular buckle, Velcro or carabiner. Velcro is the most unreliable option, which is suitable only for lifting the minimum weight. But such a fastener is quick and easy to unfasten and fasten. But over time, it will certainly fall into disrepair. The classic buckle is quite strong, but with significant weights, the holes can stretch, damage and tear. It will be better if these holes are provided with metal rivets. The most reliable, strong and durable option is a belt with a carabiner. It is quite easy to fasten and unfasten, it cannot unfasten on its own and will serve for a long time.
- The material from which the weightlifting belt is made is important. Today, in sports equipment stores, you can find belts made of leather, leatherette and various synthetic materials. The best option is leather. It is strong, but at the same time flexible and therefore stretches and adapts to changes in the volume of the abdomen. Synthetic materials, as a rule, are not flexible, although they are often durable.
- Pay attention to the sewing of the belt. More durable will be a multi-layer product, additionally reinforced with zigzag or curly stitching.
- It is important to determine your size. When buying in a store, it is better to try on. When purchasing a belt in an online store, carefully study the manufacturer’s dimensional grid. But remember that the volume of the abdomen can change, so choose models with the ability to change the position of the fastener.
- The price of a quality weightlifting belt cannot be too low. The cost usually varies from 1 to 3-5 thousand rubles.
Successful and safe training for you!