Weightlifting Belt; Too Wear or Not to Wear…
Monday we had Deadlifts. You may have noticed that day (or even on other days) that some gym buddies were wearing a weightlifting belt.
If you’ve ever wondered if a weightlifting belt is for you I like to give you my take on it, some benefits and how to use it.
Personally, I’m a BIG fan of using weightlifting belts. Even though I’ve used a belt just a handful of times in my ‘extensive’ lifting career;-) My objective for using them would be for powerlifts and if I going for a HEAVY lift or PR! You really won’t see me using them in a conditioning workout.
Most people think that weightlifting belts act like a brace to support your torso so your core muscles don’t have to, which is a false claim. Lifting belts can actually help you increase the use of the abs and lower-back muscles.
USE TO STABILIZE AND REDUCE STRESS ON THE SPINE
To stabilize apply pressure inside the abdominal cavity by pushing on the spine to support it from the inside, then feel the core muscles in the abdominal wall and lower back push on the spine from the outside. This inside and outside pressure acts to stabilize the spine and reduce the stress it receives when lifting heavy weights. This is how lifting belts can help to protect against back injuries during lifting. It’s not due to the belt supplying the support, it’s due to the way that the body reacts to the belt that supplies the spinal support.
USE TO CREATE BETTER BODY BIOMECHANICS
Wearing a lifting belt reduces the amount of spinal flexion (forward bend at the spine), spinal extension (bending back of the spine), but increases the amount of flexion at the hips and knees. In other words, a belt forces you to lift more with your legs than your back, which is precisely the biomechanical position you want to use when lifting something from the ground.
HOW TO USE AND UNLOCK BETTER PERFORMANCE
To get maximum benefit, you have to use a lifting belt properly.
- First, make sure your belt fits well. It should be quite tight, but not so tight that you can barely breathe or move. Your belt shouldn’t be extremely uncomfortable. You want to be able to press your core against the belt to increase abdominal pressure and stability.
- Once you have the belt on, you must breathe properly with it during exercise. To do this on a squat, stand with a loaded bar on your back and, just before you descend into the squat, take a deep breath and hold it while pushing your abs against the belt. Hold your breath until you reach rock bottom. Then, attempt to forcefully exhale as you drive up out of the squat. This is known as the Valsalva maneuver.
- Again, the belt is a tool for you to use not just relax and the belt supports you. This is not for beginners. If you are interested in the best way to use it talk to your coach, we can HELP!
The O-Board Says…
A. 10 min E2MOM:
1 Power Clean
1 Hang Clean
B. 10 min AMRAP:
10 Box Jumps
Post by Chris; follow me on snapchat; mr_cpm