What are Weightlifting Belts?
Weightlifting belts are external support systems (belts) that are used to provide a kind of protection against back injuries that may occur as a result of resistance/strength training.
Aimed at supporting the lower back, weightlifting belts apply pressure to the back. This allows for larger weight loads during squats and deadlifts.
The belt, aside from applying pressure, reinforces correct posture and technique when lifting weight and performing movements of the body.
With that in mind, here’s our list of best weightlifting belts for Crossfit in 2019 that are currently on the market.
The Best Weightlifting Belts
How Does a Weightlifting Belt Work?
The belt applies pressure specifically to the abdomen, reinforcing your abdominal muscles. At the same time, the belt trains you to use full, deep breaths to lift weight while applying the intra-abdominal pressure.
Are Weightlifting Belts Necessary?
While weightlifting belts are not exactly necessary, they can be helpful and beneficial to weightlifters. The weightlifting belts improve abdominal and core strength while offering stability and balance to the spine as you lift.
However, like wrist wraps, weightlifting belts are not needed in every situation were weights are being lifted.
As a general rule, weightlifting belts are not needed for efforts that are less than 75 percent of one-rep max. Therefore, weightlifting belts are for those more extreme and heavier lifts in your regime.
Are Weightlifting Belts Good for You?
Weightlifting belts can be beneficial to your workout and your body, but like any piece of equipment, they should be used carefully, thoughtfully, and properly.
Weightlifting belts can help weightlifters maintain proper form and technique during lifts. However, this does not mean that a weightlifting belt is a substitute for learning the proper forms when lifting.
Additionally, having a weightlifting belt does not mean that you can immediately and suddenly lift more weight that you are accustomed to.
Weightlifting belts may also be detrimental to new weightlifters. Young and new weightlifters should learn the proper weightlifting techniques and methods of breathing before putting on weightlifting belts.
New lifters should train their core first and become accustomed to using their abdominal muscles first before adding a weightlifting belt.
When used properly, weightlifting belts can help increase and perform maximal lifts. By pushing against your abdomen, a weightlifting belt also stabilizes and provides extra cushion and support to the spine.
When Do you Use Weightlifting Belts?
Weightlifting belts can be used in a variety of situations, but there are also instances when they should not be worn.
For those who know how to lift weights properly, a weightlifting belt is good to increase weight loads or perform squats and deadlifts near your max weight.
If you constantly do squats or deadlifts, especially in CrossFit, then a weightlifting belt could be beneficial to you.
On the other hand, not everyone should be wearing weightlifting either for health reasons or simply because it is not needed. First, those who cannot lift in proper form should not be using weightlifting belts.
These individuals need to learn this basic skill first. This includes those who cannot stabilize their core or spine when lifting.
Weightlifting belts are also not needed for those who do not do deadlifts, squats, or overhead presses too often.
How Do You Use Weight Lifting Belts?
Belts wrap around the abdomen to apply pressure to the muscles. As you breathe inward, pressure increases and the abs flex. The spine begins to experience pressure, and the combination of pressure balances the body and allows it to lift more without being crushed.
The abs should always be pushing against the belt. This force is what makes the belt a useful tool.
How Do You Put on Weightlifting Belts?
As you put on the belt, take a breath and hold it. Then place the belt just above the tops of your hip bones. The front of the belt should cover the belly button and press against the abdomen.
The belt should not be corseted so tightly that you cannot breathe. You need to leave room for breath. The belt should only slightly restrict your abdominal positions.
What Size Should Weightlifting Belts You Get for CrossFit?
The length and width of your belt depends on the size of your body. Regarding length, you will need to measure the size (circumference) of your waist.
Be sure to measure in a relaxed state, meaning you are not holding your breath or holding your stomach inwards. Be precise and honest about the measurement. This honestly is crucial to finding a correct belt.
The width is also dependent on the size of your bodies. The width of weightlifting belts can range from 2 inches to just over 4 inches. The belt should rest in a spot between the ribs and the hip bone.
For many individuals, the 4-inch belts are usually the best fitting.
How Do You Wash Your Weightlifting Belt?
Most weightlifting belts are made of leather, so you need to be careful of how you clean your belt. There are different cleaners on the market specifically designed to clean leather weightlifting belts.
Leather needs to be handled carefully because leather holds natural oils within the material that keeps the leather soft, supple, and smooth. If you strip the leather of its oils, then it will quickly dry out, crack, and deteriorate.
Nylon belts and other man-made materials can usually be wiped with soap and water. Some belts can be washed in a washing machine, but these are marked as machine-safe.
Most belts will include care instructions that will direct you on how to clean and handle the material.
What are the Different Types of Weightlifting Belts?
Weightlifting belts come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. However, there are only two primary kinds of weightlifting belts—powerlifting belts and weightlifting belts.
Weightlifting belts are usually 4 inches in width at the back where the spine sits, but the belt can taper and become smaller in width as it wraps towards the front of the body. Powerlifting belts, on the hand, are usually 4 inches wide around the entire belt.
Either belt can have additional padding at the back where the spine sits. Either belt can also have a metal belt closure or Velcro closure.
What are the Best Belts for Weightlifting, Squats, and Deadlifts?
For those looking for a belt that offers versatility, such as those who move a lot during CrossFit, a tapered weightlifting belt would be ideal.
The tapered belt allows for more movement. That means you can be supported in your lifting while being free to move around and perform other types of exercise or resistance training.
Finding Your Weightlifting Belt
When you are looking for a weightlifting belt, it is imperative that you know your own body. This means you need first to know your measurements. Then you should consider if you are ready for a weightlifting build and why you want one.
If you cannot lift weights properly with a stable and balanced core, then you should practice this skill first before obtaining a weightlifting belt. However, if you are ready for a belt, then think about the kind of activity you will be doing as well as your budget.
If you are looking for a belt that can help you throughout a versatile and quick fitness routine, then the ProFitness Leather Workout Belt may be an option to consider.
While it is a little more expensive than other options on the market, it will suit the majority of your workout needs. Additionally, it is known for its durability and stability.
Material & Upkeep
Another factor to consider is the upkeep of the weightlifting belts. Leather belts are strong belts that offer considerable support; however, they require more upkeep then nylon or other man-made materials.
The leather is a piece of skin and therefore needs to retain its natural oils and moisture.
If you do not want to spend time taking considerable care of your equipment, then a man-made fabric that can be washed is a better option for you.
Most man-made fabrics can be quickly handwashed, and some can be thrown into the washer.
It is also crucial to think about what you will be using this belt for.
What kind of activity will you be doing? If you are only doing powerlifting or heavier lifting, then you may want a wider belt with the single width across it. These are stiffer and are usually designed specifically for heavier lifting.
These belts cannot be changed quickly, so they are not meant for CrossFit.
On the other hand, some belts are useful for CrossFit athletes. All belts will be wider at the back since they are offering the most support there. However, tapered weightlifting belts are targeted more to CrossFit athletes.
Tapered belts offer more mobility in the front of the body, and some offer more flexibility at the sides.
This flexibility allows a wider range of movement, so you can do different activities while still wearing the weightlifting belt. These tapered belts are better suited to CrossFit athletes who are moving around the gym and doing a variety of activities.
Research Yourself and Your Options
A weightlifting belt should not be considered lightly since it is designed to make your workout safer. Therefore, take your safety seriously. Choose a belt that fits your body and your activity.
Always remember that the goal is to reach your fitness objectives in a way that is both safe and effective.