People wearing weightlifting belts is a common sight in the gym, if you are a new comer you might wonder “what are they used for” and think should you be using them or not. Well there is not a straight forward yes or no answer, as lifting belts are not for everybody and should only be used under certain circumstances. For some these belts can be beneficial for others they can do more harm than good.
If you ask the haters, they will tell you it’s a waste of money, it will make your back weak, its cheating etc. while people who use them will tell you a completely different story.
So what is the truth when it comes to wearing a lifting belt? Let’s find out!
When Wearing Belts Can Help?
- Increase Power
Most important reason or benefit of using lifting belt is that it helps weightlifters lift extremely heavy weights at the end of their workout to increase power. This is usually achieved through 1 rep max. It is recommended to wear a lifting belt just before that final rep and removed immediately after finishing it.
- Provide Core Stability
Another important reason why lifting belts are used is that it creates a point of pressure to help lifters in stability during lifts. This is achieved when the belt pushes against the stomach.
- Can Prevent Re-Injury
While belts won’t prevent injuries, they can help stop you from re-injury
When you have suffered a back injury in the recent past and your back needs some sort of support to prevent further injuries. The weightlifting belts can help you achieve this objective.
What is Bad about Them?
- False Sense of Confidence
One of the drawbacks or misconception about belts is that people begin to think they will help you increase squat by 200 lbs or add 10 more reps.
- Reinforces Bad Form
If you have developed back pain by lifting with bad form, wearing a belt is not a solution and it won’t help you relieve that pain. If anything, it can aggravate your pain.
- It Weakens Lower Back
If not used properly, or over reliance on lifting belt can in fact do more damage and weaken your lower back. So keep its usage as minimum as possible to help it grow.
So, when you are using a belt next time you visit your gym, keep these points in mind. And remember it’s all about personal preference, if you feel there is no need for such gym equipment, don’t use them.