So you walked into your gym as usual and were getting ready for your regular warmups when you noticed something different – a weight trainer wearing a thick belt around his waist. You wonder what it is and how such an accessory can contribute towards making their workout more effective. The belt you are wondering about is known as a weightlifting belt, and it is a popular accessory used by lifters to support their abs and prevent injuries during a workout. Wish to know more? This article is here to answer all your questions:

Weightlifting belts are a staple in most gyms and fitness centers. Usually made of thick leather, these belts are 4-6 inches wide and have a metal buckle that is used to secure it in place. These belts should not be confused with the corset style back belts as they serve a very different purpose and cannot be used interchangeably. The job of a weightlifting belt is to increase intra-abdominal pressure during heavy and strenuous lifting. Added pressure creates a rigid core that is necessary to channelize maximum power towards your muscles in order to get the best lifting performance. The pressure also helps to stabilize the lifter’s spine and keeps it from collapsing under the heavy weight that the athlete is bearing on their body during a lift. The belt also gives your stomach something to push against, thereby increasing abdominal pressure and making the lift safer and more comfortable.

Many athletes believe that intra-abdominal pressure can also be created using the Valsalva maneuver – holding your breath and pushing out using stomach muscles – but the efficacy of a weightlifting belt is much higher and more reliable than this method. It is recommended that this belt should be used when you are lifting over 80 percent max or during unsupported overhead lifts, heavy squatting and deadlifts.

Hope the above information has been able to resolve your queries about weightlifting belts.