Should you wear a weightlifting belt?

Like a lot of things in the industry, there is a lot of mis informed, bias, ill advised and confusing information surrounding weightlifting belts. This short blog tries to cut out the c**p when it comes to whether or not a weightlifting belt may be useful for you. 

Weightlifting belt comes with bold claims such as “improving powerlifting movements” or “enabling you to lift heavier on compound movements”. These claims directly do not hold much weight (see what we did there), however they may have other benefits which may indirectly help your progress on movements such as squats and deadlifts. They’re also negative claims such as “reducing strength of lower back and core muscles”. There has been no evidence to support such claims. 

A review of the literature by Renfro and Edden for the Strength and conditioning journal concluded that:

“Sport science evidence suggests that lifting belts may be beneficial in reducing spinal compression, stabilizing the spine, increasing motor unit recruitment in prime movers, and increasing exercise velocity.”

In summary, a weightlifting belt will do nothing to hamper, or disrupt your progress in the gym, nor will it have any negative impact on the crossover these movements may have in improving athletic performance. There could however be some solid evidence-based benefits that should be a serious consideration to deciding whether a belt may be a worthwhile addition to your training arsenal. In particular, the squat and deadlift movement may be those that benefit the most.  Ultimately, the use of the belt may come down to the specificity of your training and in particular what is the main goal of your training.  If you are in a periodised block in which your aim is to improve strength or muscle hypertrophy then the belt may be of particular benefit.

Should you like the idea of trying a weightlifting belt then check out the products we have available here:

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