Best Weight Belts for Lifting
Let’s review really quickly what your weight belt is supposed to do.
A properly fitted and well-designed weight belt will support your midsection by increasing the pressure in the abdominal cavity. Note that this is different from supporting your back. A weight belt is not generally designed or intended to prevent back injury. It will only support the existing strength of the muscles in your mid-section. In fact, you’ll find a well-fitted belt actually makes your abdominal muscles work harder.
This is why you want to avoid weight belts that are thin or which taper in the front. The front is where you need the support, not the back.
This belt is available in a one or two prong style. The 10 mm is generally considered to be more comfortable. The belt is one solid piece of leather, and each unit is made to order. The rivets are famously known as being the same ones used in the Space Shuttle program, so they’re strong and reliable. The buckle is similar to a traditional leather belt. Because the belts are made to order, you may have to wait 2 to 3 weeks for the belt to arrive.
The Inzer Lever belt has all the great quality and color selection as their Buckle Belt, but the lever function itself is unique. Many lifters who try the lever style wonder how they ever lifted without it. The lever allows you to tighten the belt in gradual increments rather than jumping from one prong hole to another, which can often be a significant size difference that leaves one setting too tight and one too lose. The lever also features a quick release, making it easy to relieve the pressure immediately after lifting. Once you set the lever in place on the leather strap, there’s no further adjustment needed. Again, Inzer makes these belts to order, so keep the wait time in mind if you order through them.
They’re not kidding when they say everything is bigger in Texas. The Brahma 13mm belt is 4 inches tall and comes in both single and double prong varieties. The entire belt comes with a lifetime-warranty, so this one is built to last. As long as you take care of the leather with the conditioner the belt comes with, you’ll have this belt forever. If you’re not a fan of embossed leather, Texas Belts offers a stunning variety of colors and styles through the Titan Support website.
Some lifters prefer nylon belts for their flexibility and comfort. Nylon belts can also generally be cinched tighter than leather buckle belts. Because the tops roll down with your body, they’re also great for crunches and other non-lifting core work. If your waist is on the smaller side, nylon belts also offer a second loop for extra material. On a leather belt, the excess material can be get in the way, and the stiffness of the excess leather material can make it uncomfortable to move around.
The Harbinger is one of the top rated nylon belts for its comfort. It is 5” wide and contains a foam core. The idea of a foam core belt is to retain some of the body heat to keep the muscles loose and warm. The foam core belt uses a Velcro closure, which some lifters love and others avoid. This is mostly a matter of personal preference when it comes to the varying closures out there. Harbinger also makes two prong leather belts, but most of the models are not even in width all the way around.
Some Final Considerations
Most weight belt buying considerations are a matter of personal preference. Every lifter who uses a belt will have at least one good reason they chose their particular material, thickness, closure, etc. You may find you have to try a few different belts to find the right one for you and your workout regimen.
Prong, lever and Velcro closures provide another set of options. The prong closures are very strong and easily adjustable. Lever closures are easy to take off, but to adjust the size you usually have to unscrew and slide down the metal connector housing. If you find yourself changing the pressure of your belt for different lifts, you might want to skip the lever closure. Velcro is easy on/easy off and easily adjustable, but some lifters have had bad experiences with Velcro blowing out.
When it comes to the thickness of the belt, you’re generally looking at either 10mm or 13mm. Most people are more comfortable with a 10mm. The 13mm provides incredible support for heavy powerlifters, and it is the thickest belt approved by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF).
Remember! Don’t rely on a weight belt to prevent injury. If you’re concerned about your back, do more core strength training. Also, it never hurts to consult a sports medicine specialist or medical doctor to make sure you lift in a safe way to avoid injuring your back.
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