This week, we’ll be talking about lifting belts, and whether or not they provide the protection many people claim. How important is it really, and what is it’s real purpose? Some people may be surprised to find out, it may not be exactly what you think. Many believe it provides protection against injury, but is that really the case? Hopefully, we’ll be able to clear up what the purpose of a belt is, and if you’re looking to buy one, which would be the best purchase for you.
First of all, a belt’s main function, before protection, is actually to enhance performance. Another misconception is thinking it’s there to support your back. Actually, it is more importantly supporting your abdominal core. This allows it to stabilize your entire midsection and allow you to lift more weight, with what feels like, better support. This is why, contrary to popular belief, a belt really doesn’t serve the purpose of protection very well. People assume it will completely cut down the risk of injury to none, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
As important as it is without the belt, form is key if you want to use it properly. If you have bad form to begin with, and buy a belt, it’ll actually be worse for you in the long run. It will give you the confidence to lift more weight, it may actually help lift the weight, and the risk of injury may feel lower, but if you get injured, it will be more severe. Basically, if you’re lifting without the belt with bad form and get hurt, it will be much less serious than if you do it with the belt. Also, it masks the small tweaks you may have felt before, but eventually they will catch up with you.
Belts are great for performance. They will benefit you most for exercises like deadlifts, and squats. One great thing they do is help make sure your waist stays small, so your back will look even wider than it is. It’ll ensure you keep that cobra look, and you’ll look like an all around bigger and more ripped guy!
What you should do before purchasing the belt at all, or worrying about what kind is right for you, is make sure you can lift with perfect form. This will be a huge help to how much you can lift already. The truth is, the belt isn’t necessary to lift more weight. It does help, but with time your midsection will get stronger and stronger, so it could handle more weight by itself. If you think you’re ready to go out shopping for the belt, and have your form down, it is important to buy the proper belt.
The best kind of belts are the ones that support your abs as much as your back. A lot of them are much wider in the back than the front, and this isn’t good. Like we said, it provides the support to the abdominals, not the back. This means you should look for one the same width all the way around. Then you can be sure to receive the proper support all over your core. Also, you should look for leather belts as they are the best quality, and will last you the longest.