An essential piece of equipment in gyms and fitness centres, weightlifting belts continue to rise in popularity within Cross Fit circles – protecting the spine from injury.
Wearing a weightlifting belt has its advantages and disadvantages and it’s extremely important to understand how it works if you are to make full use of the benefits.
- Prevents the spine from breaking
Since a weightlifting belt is wrapped firmly around the lower back, it helps to prevent the spine from collapsing as you perform heavy lifting exercises
- Gives assistance to the lower back
Weightlifting belts make lifting great loads much easier to handle
- Increases intra-abdominal pressure
With the aid of a weightlifting belt, your stomach has something to push against
- Too narrow and rigid
The belt can be too narrow and rigid to provide adequate spinal support during normal weight training sessions
- Necessary for certain types of exercises
Weightlifting belts are only applicable for powerlifting activities and deadlifts – they are not ideal for common weightlifting exercises
- Can weaken the muscles
If the lower back continues to rely on the weight belt during a lift, it will be less able to handle loads once the belt is taken off
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