There is a lot more that you need to carry in your gym bag besides towels, a water bottle and clothes to change into. The accessories that you use when you are training can boost your performance and also keep you from getting injured when you are trying to push yourself harder.
For those who enjoy working out with heavy weights, additional support for the joints and the other body parts that are engaged in training are extremely important. This lets you increase the intensity steadily and also succeed with even the most challenging training routine that you have planned for yourself.
The most popular gym accessories are gloves and lifting straps. But, for those who are into powerlifting and heavy weight training a weight lifting belt is of utmost importance. Almost every gym provides a set of weight training belts that you can borrow when you are training. Now these belts come in various sizes ranging from 4 inches to 6 inches that you can choose from. You can choose based on your body type and even the amount of weight that you are planning to push with each training session.
Why use Weight Lifting Belts?
A waist belt for gym is one accessory that is very commonly used but is not very well understood by most people. You must know when this fitness belt should be used and why it is so beneficial. Knowing this will help you choose a belt that is best suited for your fitness goals.
Contrary to most belief, an exercise belt is not used to support the back. When you are lifting heavy weights, the muscles that work the most are your abdominal muscles. When you lift heavy weights, you will notice that a lot of pressure builds up in your abdominal area. This is called the intra-abdominal pressure. This is the body’s natural way of keeping your core stable and ensuring that you are able to push heavier weights. It also prevents the spine from being injured or collapsing under such heavy weight.
It is possible to create that pressure in the abdomen on your own by holding your breath, consciously using the muscles in the stomach to push and keeping the core engaged. The practice of pushing with the core muscles is called the Valsalva maneuver and is very commonly used by power-lifters.
Now, the role of the weight belt is to support the muscles in the stomach when this immense pressure is being created. It is almost like a wall or some stable object that your stomach muscles can push against in order to help you create more pressure in that region. Although, while there is support provided to the spine with this belt, it is not direct.
It is very important to understand that the lifting belt is a training tool. This is why you should only use it when it is absolutely necessary. For those who are suffering from health issues like high blood pressure, this training tool is not recommended. This is because the kind of pressure that is created in the abdomen with the use of this belt can actually cause serious damage to health in these individuals.
A weight lifting belt should also be used only after you have managed to master your abdominal control. Only when you are certain that you are able to create the pressure in the abdomen that is needed to lift weights will you be able to make actual use of these belts.
But above all, the posture of each exercise that you use the weight training belt for should be correct. If you are unable to execute the exercise correctly, it is not recommended that you lift heavy to begin with. Most people also believe that using this tool can correct posture. However that is a myth as this is only a supporting tool.
It is not necessary to use a belt all the time. Even with professionals, they only use these belts when they are about to lift “near maximum” weights. This is when they lift weights that are equal to or above 80% of their actual body weight. In other cases, you will notice that they seldom use the training belt. Instead, they rely entirely on the support that they get by controlling various muscles.
How to Choose a Weight Lifting Belt?
If you have reached a level in your training where you need to use a belt in order to perform better, the next thing you need to do is understand how to purchase your first belt. There are some features that you need to look for in the belt. Here are some tips that will ensure that you make the right choice with this training accessory:
- Understand the difference between powerlifting belts and weight lifting belts: This is certainly the first step towards buying the right belt for yourself. Each one has a different purpose. A powerlifting belt is used when the individual is using heavy weights for exercises like dead lifts and squats. On the other hand, a weight lifting belt is used for more dynamic exercises such as the snatch or a clean and press. This is why they are designed differently. A powerlifting belt has an even width throughout. It is usually about 4 inches wide all around. On the other hand, a weight lifting belt tends to be wider around the back and tapers towards the front.
- The material should suit your lifting style: There are several options available when it comes to the material that the belt is made from. This includes suede, leather and Velcro. The choice that you make is purely based on personal preference. A leather belt is sturdier and is often recommended for power lifters. A suede belt, on the other hand, might be more comfortable because it is soft and yet offers the support that you need. Some belts are made with special material that gives you great grip and is also rough and tough like leather. These belts use a combination of the benefits offered by different material to give you something that is all-round and more convenient for you to use. It is recommended that you use a softer material like suede for dynamic lifting such as snatch or clean and press.
- Make sure you test the belt out: Do your research before you buy your belt. However, do not go only by the brand or the popularity of the belt. The fit of the belt is what you need to know and you also need to test it out for comfort. Even if you are placing an order online, there are a few tips that will help you decide the fit of the belt. First measure the size of the belt that you may require. For this, use a measuring tape to measure your waist at the naval. The tape must be level around the torso as well. Ensure that the tape measure fits securely around the waist. It must not be too tight or loose. The next factor is the width of the belt. The 4 inch belt is what suits most people. However, you have the 2.5inches and 3 inch option as well. It must sit securely between the hip bone and the rib cage. Measure this distance before you place an order. After you have received or purchased the belt, try it on by letting it go around the belly button and not the hips. This will prevent the belt from pinching you when you are trying to lift a large weight. It is also a good idea to choose a belt that tapers in the front a little in order to avoid any pinching or pain when you are training.
- Check how the belt is secured: You have the option of a belt that is secured with a lever, single prong or double prongs. A single prong belt is like any other belt and comes with one buckle which makes it easy to use. You can also get a double prong belt where you have an added buckle to help tighten or loosen the belt. Lastly, the lever style belt is the easiest one to use which just allows you to set the tightness and click your belt in place. You can choose from belts that are secured with a Velcro or a traditional buckle depending upon what is more comfortable for you to use. Make sure that the buckle is not too large to avoid it from pinching into your skin or reducing the range of movement when you are performing more dynamic exercises such as the clean and press.
Top Weight Lifting Belts
There are some brands that make the best and most comfortable fitness belts as mentioned below:
#1.KOBO Back Support Weight Lifting Gym Belt
- This belt is suited for both power lifting as well as body building.
- It is designed to give you optimum back support when you are training.
- The soft suede lining used in the Kobo Back Support Weight Lifting Gym Belt aligns against the skin comfortably while the added lumbar padding helps you keep your posture.
- The belt is 4 inches wide and is 6mm thick and is made with thick leather.
- The belt is easy to adjust and use and comes in three sizes, namely small, medium and large.
#2.KOBO Foam Padded Weight Lifting Belt
- This lifting belt comes with a foam padded back support that gives you perfect lumbar support in order to keep your posture right whenever you are training.
- The Kobo Foam Padded Weight Lifting Belt has a 4 inch back support that fits perfectly between the rib cage and the hip bones.
- It comes with a single loop and Velcro support strap that is very easy to attach and adjust as well.
- The standard suede lining that is seen in most Kobo products is available with this belt as well. It provides great comfort and fits comfortably against the skin to help you lift better.
- The leather construction makes it long lasting and durable.
#3.MuscleBlaze Weightlifting Leather Belt
- This ergonomically designed belt is perfect for professional weight lifters as well as other active athletes at the gym.
- The belt comes with a stylish design that has a black body and contrast thread details. The MuscleBlaze logo adds to the sleek appearance of the belt.
- The belt is designed to improve biomechanics and posture to help you lift better and build stronger muscles.
- The construction material used is high quality leather that fits comfortably and also lasts longer.
- You have two size options with this belt.
#4.Schiek Workout Belt 6 Inch
- The Scheik Workout Belt 6 inch comes with a downward angle that fits the natural shape of your back perfectly.
- It comes with a rib and hip contour for extra support and comfort.
- The one way Velcro is perfect to give you the exact fit each time you use it.
- There is a dual closure system which comes with a stainless steel slide bar buckle that gives you maximum support.
- It can be washed by hand and comes with a two year warranty as well.
#5.Schiek Leather Padded Contour Belt
- This is one of the most popular belts offered by this brand and it comes in two great colors, namely dark and light tan.
- It is a standard 6 inches in the back and 4 ¾ inches in the front to give you maximum support.
- The copper rivets are long lasting and ensure that the belt is secured in place at all times.
- It comes with a padded lumbar insert as well for maximum support and comfort.
Where to Buy
You have a range of options for gym equipment and accessories available on HealthKart. All the best brands of weight lifting belts are available for you to choose from at the most affordable prices. Make the most of the special discounts and offers on HealthKart for guaranteed low gym belt price. What is more, you can try the belt on after purchasing it. In case it does not fit you well, you also have a 14 day return policy that allows you to exchange it or get a complete refund on your purchase.