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Weightlifting belts help improve performance and reduce the risk of injury by stabilizing your trunk and supporting your spine.
A well-designed weightlifting belt cuts down on spinal load and aids proper alignment, enabling you to lift more weight.
If your work requires heavy lifting, a weightlifting belt can also help protect you against injury on the job.
Weightlifting belts come in multiple designs and materials. For this list of the best belts, we looked at various features, such as fit, cost, construction, and manufacturer’s guarantees. We also took consumer reviews and endorsements into account.
Fire Team Fit
The amount of stability and support you get from your weightlifting belt is largely determined by fit.
To accommodate all body types, the Fire Team Fit weightlifting belt doesn’t have a predetermined set of holes. Instead, it features a Velcro hook-and-loop system so you can adjust the belt’s fit exactly to the circumference of your midsection.
It has a contoured design with a height of 6 inches in the back to between 3.5 and 4.5 inches on the front and sides.
It’s made from a blend of nylon, cotton, and polyester, with a neoprene filling.
- This belt supplies a great fit for both men and women of practically any build or size.
- It has a lifetime guarantee and is manufactured by a veteran-owned company.
- Each purchase provides a $1 contribution to a nonprofit that provides support to U.S. combat veterans.
Reviews for the Fire Team Fit weightlifting belt are overwhelmingly positive, but some people have reported it can dig into the skin during squats.
Rogue USA nylon lifting belt
Rogue’s nylon lifting belt was recently redesigned with input from American professional CrossFit athlete Mat Fraser, who won the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 CrossFit Games.
The back panel is 5 inches high and tapers down to about 4 inches in front. The webbing support strap measures 3 inches across.
- Users like that this belt allows them to add their own Velcro patches.
- It’s made from nylon, has a 0.25-inch thick foam frame, and is super comfortable to wear.
- It also features an antimicrobial interior.
It’s important to use the fit guide provided by Rogue when you’re purchasing one to ensure an exact fit. Some users have mentioned that they needed to downgrade one size.
Inzer Forever Lever Belt 13 mm
The Inzer Forever Lever Belt is made from one solid piece of leather with a suede finish rather than layers glued together. This ensures longer life, plus durability.
This style of belt also comes in a 10 millimeter (mm) height.
A patented lever lets you loosen or tighten your belt quickly. This belt is guaranteed to last forever, according to the manufacturer.
It conforms to your body shape over time, but users say there’s a bit of a breaking-in period.
Element 26 self-locking weightlifting belt
Element 26’s self-locking weightlifting belt is 100 percent nylon. It features a self-locking, quick-release buckle. It’s meant for fast transitions.
Users say it’s great for medium and heavy lifting.
It’s fully approved for use during USA Weightlifting and CrossFit competitions, and has a lifetime guarantee.
Iron Company Schiek model 2000
If you’re small-framed and looking for a lightweight, narrow belt that’s high on special features and low on bulk, the Schiek model 2000 belt might be for you.
It’s 4 inches wide in the back and made from polyester with polypropylene webbing for strength. The contoured cone shape is designed to fit a female frame around the hips, ribs, and lower back.
The dual closure has one-way Velcro plus a stainless steel slide-bar buckle for secureness.
According to the company, women can use this belt to ease postpartum back pain.
Users say it’s great for squats but not always easy to quickly get on and off.
If you’re new to weightlifting, check out what three weightlifting women have to say about the sport.
- Try them on. It’s a good idea to try on several different types of belts before you buy. Look for a belt that makes you feel secure and is comfortable on your frame.
- Leather takes time. Keep in mind that if you opt for a leather weightlifting belt, you’ll have to break it in. You may experience some chafing and bruising during this time. If you like the feeling of durability that leather provides, this stretch of time may be worth it to you.
- Is the belt competition approved? Not all weightlifting belts are approved for competitive weightlifting tournaments or championships. If you plan on competing, double-check the belt requirements on each event’s website before you buy.
- Take measurements. The safest, most effective weightlifting belt is the one that fits you perfectly. Don’t go by your pants waist size. Instead, measure your midsection where the belt will sit while wearing clothes. Always go by the manufacturer’s size guide when purchasing a weightlifting belt.
Weightlifting belts provide a structure for your abs to push against while lifting, which helps stabilize the spine. They also stop spinal flexion.
For this reason, don’t make the mistake of wearing them during exercises such as situps, planks, or lat pulldowns.
Your belt must be correctly positioned and tightened. Don’t wear your belt under your stomach, even if it’s most comfortable there. Make sure it’s snug but not so tight that you can’t easily contract your abdominal wall.
To position your belt effectively
- Take a deep breath and hold it in.
- Brace your abdominal wall.
- Position the belt firmly against your abdominal wall and pull it in slightly.
- Fasten your belt.
- Breathe out.
- Readjust if you can’t breathe comfortably.
Care and cleaning
If you have a leather belt, use a leather cleaner or oil soap to clean it when needed.
Most vegan belts can be handwashed in warm water with any laundry detergent. You can also spot-clean them.
Weightlifting belts don’t take the place of training. If you’re new to the sport, working with a coach or seasoned weightlifter can help you get a handle on the basics, plus avoid injury.
Some lifters recommend using the Valsalva maneuver breathing technique while weightlifting with a belt.
Talk to your trainer about the types of techniques that will best support your practice.
You may not need to wear a belt for every lift. Many weightlifters recommend not using a belt with loads you can readily support.
Some weightlifters feel that relying too much on weightlifting belts can weaken your core. If this is a concern, try using your belt only when acclimating to lifting larger loads.
Weightlifting belts are designed to safeguard your spine and support better performance. There are many great weightlifting belts out there made from both leather and vegan materials. No matter what belt you buy, make sure it fits you correctly.