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  • Melissa Johnson

Weightlifting Belts, Yay or Nay

Yes and No. I often see this question asked on forums by relatively inexperienced lifters. The answer is not clear cut black and white... more grey. So a lifting belt gives you something to brace against when lifting heavy weights close to your one rep max. Folk often say that it can add 10kg to their lift. They do have their use. Do I have one, yes, do I use it... about 3 times a year. Would I recommend it to someone to use on a regular basis. No. Unless you have a specific back injury and you need the additional support, you don't need one. When your lifting beltless, you're engaging so many more muscles. You're bracing and strengthening your core to stabilise. Most folk I see asking this question are wanting to use it for sets of 10 reps. In that case, your better off beltless. Another reason not to use one is to keep pressure off your pelvic floor. Your stomach cavity is a pressurised system. If you wrap a belt around the middle, take a deep breath in, hold it and hoist a heavy load, the pressure gets directed through your pelvic floor. Over a long period of time, this will weaken it those muscles.... and then you pee yourself. So Weightlifting belts have a place and use, but not on a day to day basis...

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