Athletes often use a weight belt when lifting hoping it will provide them some measure of protection to their back. It absolutely can if worn correctly. However, most people don’t seem to realize that just putting a weight belt on really tightly does very little to help protect the back! So what’s the right way?
The most important function of a lifting belt is to help you increase the amount of intra-abdominal pressure which will help strengthen and support your spine. Huh? Ok, simply speaking, if you’ll do it correctly, you’ll notice a huge difference.
How to use a weight belt correctly in 4 steps.
1. Make sure the belt is slightly above your hip bone and not pressing into your rib cage.
2. Put it on almost as tightly as you can. Several techniques can be used to get it super tight but just get it tight. It’ll work.
3. HERE’S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART – Take a deep belly breath (don’t let the shoulders rise) and then press your belly into the belt forcefully… try to make yourself as fat as possible. At this point you should really feel the belt cinch up around your core stabilizing the spine!
4. Maintain this tension throughout the lift!
These are pretty simple tips but they will reap big rewards the next time you are lifting heavy weight!