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July 11, 2022 3 min read

Are you considering doing squats or dead lifts? Then you might want to consider wearing a weightlifting belt. The weightlifting belt helps your body to keep your spine in the correct spine position and helps you to maintain the abdominal pressure and furthermore to stailize your spine when you are doing heavy lifting.

You may have seen big lifters at your gym that are wearing a weightlifting belt. Maybe you already used one yourself. But how do they work? Lets look at how it helps you.


Confidence with a powerbelt

Having a tight lifting belt wrapped arround your give will increase your reassurance going into a large lift. Increasing your confidence can make the difference between pushing past a point of a failing a repetition. Mental confidence goes a very long way when you are lifting heavy.


Weightlifting belt effect at the core

To help you better understand how a weightlifting belt works you have to look at your core.

The rectus abdominis is a long muscular strap that extends from the ventral lower sternum to the pubis, it is the muscle that you use when you are squeezing your abs. We have a natural belt which are our obliques and transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominal muscle is a muscle layer of the anterior and lateral abdominal wall that is deep to the internal oblique muscle.

Those are the muscles that we want to think about when we are lifting weights and wearing a belt. Using the weightlifting belt properly will reinforce the bracing pattern and work with your core. The weightlifting belt should fit tightly between your rib cage and your hips.


Activating your core with a weight lifting belt

You should always use your lifting belt in the proper position. This will allow you to flex your rectus abdominis hard and presing outward into the belt through your obliques. The weightlifting belt could create an increase in the activation of the rectus abdominis muscles and the erector spinae.

If you are using a weight belt for big lifts this will not make your core weak, having a strong core comes from core training.

You should be aware that your core muscles will be contracting hard if you are lifting heavy weights.


Extra pressure with a core support belt

The weightlifting belt works by primarily increasing the pressure on the abdomen when you are lifting. That pressure transfers to and supports your spine, this is done through a big compound lift like a squat or a deadlift. That increases the intra abdominal pressure to a higher level then you could without using the weightlifting belt and only using your contracting core.

The more rigid your torso and spine are during a lift, the more it can increase your performance.


Power belt & strength gains 

Lifting belts increase the weight you are able to lift. Adding more weight on a squat or deadlift is beneficial when done properly. More weight lifted are more gains made in the gym or at home. If you have been lifting for a while now and never used a belt check out our weightlifting and dip belt combination.

How to use a weightlifting belt?

There are myths and misconceptions about weightlifting belts. One of them is that they weaken your core and lower back, others may say that it is a form of cheating, the strongman community disagrees with this. Many athletes including olympic athletes are pleased by the benefits of weightlifting belts. It is important to think about why you want to use a weightlifting belt, and it is important to understand how the lifting belts works.

The correct way to breathe using the weightlifting belt is done by bracing your body for the heavy lift, taking a deep breath and inhaling while going down on the lift and holding it in. This is known as the Valsava Manouvre.

Weightlifting belts will help you lift heavier and you should consider using them when doing big compound movements, it is also important to notice that the weightlifting belt will not fix bad form. The weightlifting belt will give you more support, as told by Mike Causer the head coach at the London Olympic Weightlifting Academy.

We recommend spending the majority of your training using your core as your primary bracing tool, and add a weight belt at higher percentages or in particularly high-volume phases if you think that your core will be a limiting factor.


Where to buy weightlifting belts

At Next Alpha we have developed a Powerbelt & Dip Belt Combination. Check it out via the link.

If you are interested in our other functional fitness equipment to expand your fitness product arsenal, check it out here!

Indah de Zwart
Indah de Zwart

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