A common misconception among casual lifters is that just wearing a belt gives your core the additional support it needs. What they don’t realise it, wearing it correctly is what provides this extra support.
The number one mistake made by people wearing lifting belts is positioning. It needs to be worn in the correct position and tightened accordingly. If you’re guilty of this you might find yourself moving your belt further down your midsection as it’s more comfortable to wear.
This is more common than you’d expect, it’s not unusual to see people wearing it as low as their hips! Remember, it’s there to support you not to act as a fashion accessory. The ideal position for your belt is around your abdominals and around your lower back.
How to Wear a Weight Lifting Belt Correctly
To wear a belt correctly you need to breathe out into the belt. As you breathe out you should squeeze your abdominals and feel it pushing against the front of the belt. This tight squeeze against the front of the belt gives you the extra support you need for those difficult reps. Make sure you perform this routine for every single rep you do.
The additional support combined with good form will help you prosper when it comes to maximizing your lifts.
As we said earlier, it’s common for people who wear weightlifting belts to get tempted into wearing them lower down as they find it more comfortable. Make sure that the front of your belt is tight against your abdominals and the back of the belt is wrapped around your lower back.
It’s important to understand that if worn too loosely a lifting belt isn’t much use at all. For those people that know this, it’s common they often wear it too tightly. This can prevent breathing and have a negative impact on your lifts.
As a general rule of thumb, you should not be able to fit your hand down the gap between the front of the belt and your abdominals.
When you do tense you should feel your abs pressing against the front of the best providing you with that tight extra stability needed when performing your lifts.
Don’t Always Wear a Belt
So you may have found your new weightlifting belt and be really keen to wear it. As we previously mentioned it’s not a fashion accessory. Make sure you’re only wearing it when necessary for example during big lifts such as squats, rows and deadlifts. As opposed to isolated exercises such as dumbell curls.
Finding the Right Weightlifting Belt
It’s also important to ensure you get a good quality weightlifting belt. Don’t skimp out on something that supports your core during heavy lifts, it’s not a good idea.
A good weightlifting belt should have plenty of holes to ensure you can tighten it correctly. It should also be around 3-4 inches in width. Anything less will not provide much support at all. We’ve wrote a guide to help you find the best weight lifting belts, which you can read here this should save you some time when looking for a good quality belt.
Remember, wearing a weightlifting belt will only benefit you if you do so correctly. You need to inhale and push out against the pressure of the belt. You should feel the squeeze of your abs against the belt making it tighter.
It’s worth noting that just because you’re wearing a belt, form cant go out the window. Even while wearing a belt, If you decide to sacrifice your form for heavier weight you’ll end up getting hurt. You’re not invincible whilst wearing a belt.
For more information on wearing a weightlifting belt, checkout this great post from Bodybuilding.com