Weightlifting belts are fairly common in the fitness world. They are used to prevent injury, increase performance, and protect one's back. It is not absolutely necessary to wear a weightlifting belt, unless you are a competitive weightlifter. It is a personal choice, and many people use it as a safety gear in gyms and fitness clubs. There are few things which one should keep in mind while selecting a weightlifting belt. In the following paragraphs, you will find some important points that can help you in choosing the right weightlifting belt for better safety and performance.
TipA beginner can use a weightlifting belt when lifting over 85% of his 1RM (repetition maximum), and the person with little more experience can use it at or above 90% of his 1RM.
A weightlifting belt can provide multiple benefits if chosen correctly. Following are few tips one should keep in mind while buying a weightlifting belt.
This is one of the most important things to consider. Basically, weightlifting belts come in two types of materials―leather and nylon. Leather belts provide more support to your spine, but are rougher on your skin, whereas nylon provides flexibility, but is not better than leather is terms of providing support. Nylon belts might slacken when you exert high pressure while lifting weights; however, nylon belts are softer than leather belts. So, decide the material according to your requirement and comfort.
Choosing the correct width will provide better support. The inside of the belt is considered for the calculation of the width. It depends on the height of the person wearing the belt. The taller the person, the wider belt he/she will require. Generally, this width falls between to 4 to 6 inches.
Some belts have fixed buckles with a hook and pin which offer good support, but are difficult to put on and take off. Whereas, others have a quick release lever that makes them easier to take off.
You have to find a belt which fits you properly. Do not choose a wider belt, assuming it would provide better support, as it may cause discomfort.
It is very important that you speak to your trainer or doctor before buying a weightlifting belt. If you have any previous injuries, discuss it with them, and they will surely suggest or guide you to choose the best-suited belt for yourself.
Not only choosing, but even wearing the belt correctly matters. You have to pay attention to your technique of lifting weights, as this will automatically reduce the risk of injury. Maintaining correct back posture is essential for lifting weights. Keep your spine stable and in a neutral position. Ask for guidance from your trainer regarding lifting weights, and stay injury-free.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before buying any fitness equipment, in order to reduce the risk of injury.