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When You Should Be Wearing Weightlifting Belts

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By Edited Jun 11, 2015 0 2

Weight lifting belts are common around most gyms. Some people wear them all the time, some people wear them, but only on certain days. But when should you really be wearing one? And should you be wearing one at all? Here is a short, quick guide on when to wear a weightlifting belt and when not to.

Wearing a weightlifting belt is more urgent if you have recently sustained a back injury. They can work well in cases where you've tweaked your back a little bit and want some extra support while you're lifting with other body parts. However, if you've sustained a serious injury to your back, never attempt to start a lifting program without first consulting your doctor. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you are able to actually sustain a lifting regimen, which belts you should be looking at and how to wear them. If you don't consult your doctor you could be lining yourself up for a much more serious injury by putting pressure on your already weak and injured back.

Other than if you have a back injury, the other time you should think about wearing a weight lifting belt is when you are doing a heavy lifting day or lifting big weights for a few reps. Wearing a belt for these times will do several different things. First it will make sure that you have your back supported and you maintain proper form while you're lifting a heavy weight. Many times, some lifting will lapse into bad form when they are attempting a heavy weight, which could cause an injury if the weight is heavy enough. This can be avoided by wearing a lifting belt.

The other thing that wearing weightlifting belts on heavy days will do is give you more confidence. Having your back supported can get rid of some lingering fears you might have about injuring yourself or not being able to complete the lift. While this may not make you physically stronger, it will give you a huge psychological edge that could mean the difference between a successful lift and a failed one.

These are all great times to consider wearing a belt for weight lifting. However, what you shouldn't be doing is wearing a weight lifting belt all the time. This can result in not growing the core muscle that you need for functional strength, lead to higher blood pressure, and even cause an injury because your body isn't in balance!

Weightlifting belts are extremely useful to have when you're lifting, but only if you use them correctly and at the right time. They are never a substitute for good form and aren't for use at all time, but when you do use them they can mean the difference between some successful lifts and failed ones.

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Comments

Jun 29, 2010 10:37pm
HankSweeney
You should really never use a weightlifting belt, and not because they are not useful, but because you never have to lift a weight again. All you need is Mark Lauren's book, You Are Your Own Gym. The book has taught me to do bodyweight exercises rather than lift weights, as they are safer and even more effective. The best thing about bodyweight exercises is that you can do them right in your own house, without the fees from gym memberships, and without that "gymbarrassment" that everyone gets. You can find You Are Your Own Gym at http://marklauren.com. It's working for me.
Jul 26, 2010 12:23pm
HealthFitnessTips
I like your emphasis of using weight belts to keep recent injuries safe, and also as a precaution for heavy lifts. I like to avoid weightlifting belts because they keep you from engaging your core as much while lifting, but they are essential for re-entering the weightlifting realm after injury. Good article!
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