Powerlifting belt: to lift you need support

In sports, not enough attention is paid to details. In fact, most sports disciplines have accessories and clothing that can make a difference, and knowing about them is important.

Even in the simple lifting of the maximum possible weight in deadlifts, flat bench and back squat which powerlifting is, many variables can affect the athlete’s performance. Fundamental is to have quality accessories that can help you in the lifts, one of which is definitely the Powerlifitng belt.

Inside the powerlifting world: two ways to go

Once we enter the world of powerlifting, a distinction must be made within the discipline. There are, in fact, two variants: classic and equipped.

In the first case we are dealing with the practice of powerlifting in its purest version, in that athletes are not allowed to wear performance-enhancing accessories. The only tools allowed are belt, knee pads and cuffs, which is the bare minimum to support joints under stress.

In the case of powerlifting, athletes can wear equipment with the dual benefit of preserving health by protecting joints and that of facilitating the lifting of more weight. We usually talk about elastic knee bands, squat or deadlift bodices, and bench press shirts. In this case, the weight lifted is not entirely at the expense of muscle strength because the materials that make them up have a stiffness that opposes the movement of the barbell load, so that more lifting is possible.

powerlifting belt
Multi-time powerlifting champion: Elisa Vinante

In the case of the first variant, it is very important to analyze even the simple accessories because, if well known, they can make all the difference. As in the case of basic clothing, such as shoes, even small items of clothing are useful to the success of the physical activity sought.

Why and when to use powerlifting belt

Once the athlete’s body weight exceeds 75-80 percent on the barbell, the powerlifting belt plays a key role. It is, in fact, capable of Reduce the load pressure on the lumbar area: People do not often realize that once they reach a certain amount of pounds to be lifted, their joints and muscles can no longer support the pressure they are under and may, in the long run, give in to the strain.

That said, however, one must be aware that wearing the belt will not guarantee complete protection of the back: more precisely, such protection will not be guaranteed by the mere choice to wear it. In fact, its operation will bring the desired result if you are aware of how and what to do while using it.

The purpose of the powerlifting belt is to increase intra-abdominal pressure: when performing a heavy lift typically we perform a firm inhalation and then go to compress the air in the abdominal area thus going to create a stable area of our body. Therefore, the belt will only be able to protect the back if proper breathing under the load is accomplished.

Choosing the appropriate belt and knowing the right techniques to apply during the sport can really result in improvements during exercise. The benefits of this accessory are multiple.

Benefits derived from powerlifting belts

One of these is injury protection: belts should be fastened so that they stay snug against the body, so that intra-abdominal pressure is created between the lumbar area and the core. This pressure helps stabilize the spine by decreasing the pressure exerted by weights on it.

A second advantage is being able to load more pounds, as this pressure that is created allows for more explosiveness in the thrusts. One of the results is precisely to strengthen the core, and by maintaining a correct back position, it will help develop greater pushing power.

powerlifting belt in use

Last advantage will be to be able to push loads faster. Especially in the descending phase of exercises such as the squat, the intra-abdominal pressure that has been created will result in a “rebound” effect that goes to harness the enormous strength to give explosiveness to the movements, so that it can be used in the moment of ascent.

Characteristics that a belt must have

The usefulness of a powerlifting belt definitely lies in the way it is used, but you cannot even expect to get the expected results if you lack the necessary features. Among the most important and indispensable are:

  • Have a constant width along the entire length. One of the mistakes some athletes make is to choose belts that are narrower at the front, which is inefficient for the desired purpose because a large support surface is precisely needed at the front just where stability is to be created through intra-abdominal pressure. The average width is around 10 cm.
  • Be quite stiff and thick. In fact, a soft or thin belt will not return the same feeling as a more structured one. Recommended average thickness of 10 mm that can be as much as 13 mm in the stiffest.
  • Being the right size. This may seem like a given, but it is important that the belt be the athlete’s size because one that is too wide or too tight will be uncomfortable and create an impediment in the proper performance of the exercise.
  • Having a secure closure. There are belts with different methods of fastening, and the most recommended are those with a buckle or lever fastener, while those with a hook-and-loop fastener are not recommended.
detail of the belt from behind

Once these requirements are found any belt will do, so we can base it on price and usually on the athlete’s experience. In fact, an average cost of this product is between 40 and 60 euros, but there are, as of everything, versions of all prices.



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