The Best Powerlifting Belts
With so many different weight belts available on the market, it can be difficult to make a decision on which is best suited for you. Here are PowerLiftingBelts.org, we have made it our goal to make your choice easier. We independently review weight belts from professional powerlifing right through to ones for general gym use.
We take in to account, build quality, comfort, performance and sizing to ensure that our readers pick the right belt for them. We have also recently selected our top belts for dips.
Our Top Belts
This belt just about has the best build quality you will find in any belt. It’s designed to last even under the most extreme pressure. This combined with the convenience of the lever mechanism to squeeze every little bit of tightness that the belt has to offer and you have a near perfect combination. It is extremely durable and due to the thickness of the belt, it does take some time to wear in. But even when new, this belt outperforms most even when they are worn in.
This is slightly different from the standard gym belt due to its comfortable feel and appearance. But it is still a very sturdy belt providing as much if not more than belts at a similar level. The lever version provides good tightness and it is perfect for deadlifts due to the comfort that it offers. This is an excellent value for money weight belt.
Available in a number of colours, this is a good semi-professional belt which is great for it’s price. While sitting somewhere between the budget belts and top-end belts, it withstood our 400lb squat testing.
This belt provides a reasonable level of comfort due to its cushioning making it a good choice for intermediate and beginner lifers. It will take some abuse from the amateur lifter in the gym.
Available in a number of colours, this is a good semi-professional belt which is great for it’s price. While sitting somewhere between the budget belts and top-end belts, it withstood our 400lb sqaut testing.
Do you need a powerlifting belt?
The intra-muscular or intra-abdominal pressure of the body is significantly increased when a belt is worn and the Valsalva manoeuvre is performed. This pressure stabilises the body especially in the abdomen creating a safer environment for the spine to function and improving the body’s ability to lift heavier weights.
Powerlifters worldwide use belts to add extra support to their heavy lifts allowing more weight to be moved. Belts for powerlifting are designed to be stiff and heavy duty. They are usually the same width around the entire area of the accessory. With more surface area for the abs to pressed against the belt and a buckle allowing extreme tightness a great amount of pressure can be created. And more pressure means greater stability and more weight can be lifted.
The velcro variety of belt are very different to the standard powerlifting belt for heavy weight use. They are often made of synthetic materials and have a limit to how much force can be applied to the belt as they are only held on with velcro. Because of this, the amount of pressure that velcro belt can create is much less. While they may add some injury prevention, they don’t add many performance gains like a heavy leather belt.
Bodybuilding belts tend to be thicker at the back and thinner at the front. While they might look similar to a proper powerlifting belt, they generally are not as strong but hey provide better performance than a velcro belt.
Getting the most out of a belt
To get the maximum benefits from a belt, you should use it in the correct way. Firstly, it must be worn correctly. People often position their belt at the top of their iliac crest. The angle in which it is worn is down to personal preference. Some squat with the the belt angled up above the belly button, straight or down below the belly button. It’s best to experiment with these different types to find which is best for you.
It should be tight but not to the point where you can hardly breathe or move. You should not feel overly uncomfortable. But you should be able to feel the belt so that you can press firmly against it with your core to increase abdominal pressure and thus stability.
It should be at the tightest position where you can still take a full breath in. If you cannot do this of you need to lift your shoulders to do this, then it is too tight. Lifters often go one notch looser for their deadlifts as a better starting position can be achieved with this.
After the belt is put on correctly, performing the correct breathing technique is key. For example, when performing squats you stand with the bar on the your back. Immediately before descending into the squat you should take a deep breathe. You should hold this whilst at the same time pushing your abdominals against the belt. Now hold this while performing the exercise. You should feel much more stability through the core of your body all the way down to the bottom of the squat. When it come to come up the starting position, you should attempt to push against your already closed away (glottis) just as some people do then they are trying to move something heavy. Use this enhanced stability to drive your body up to complete the squat.
Picking The Right Weightlifting Belt Choosing the right weightlifting belt can seem like a huge task. Do you go for real leather or a vegan belt. Neoprene or velcro? Then there's the fastening type to decide on. Single prong or double prong or even lever. Then there's also the thickness. 10mm, 13mm or a different thickness and then what about [...]
What Is The Purpose Of A Weight Belt? We've all probably seen powerlifters on TV, on YouTube or even in the gym wearing a belt. Sometimes doing completely inappropriate in exercises whilst wearing one, like sit-ups, for example. Many people believe that weight belts are used to support the back and help to reduce the chance of injury. This is quite true, but a better understanding [...]