Using a belt... or not?

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GW4321
GW4321 Posts: 523 Member
edited March 2019 in Fitness and Exercise
When I started lifting over a year ago, it felt like my lower back was really weak. So I immediately bought a belt to give me more confidence during squats and deadlifts. I've used it since then, but my back still feels weak.

In a recent video, Eddie Hall mentioned that he didn't wear a belt in training to force his core to become stronger. I'm definitely not in the same universe as Eddie Hall in terms of strength, but it made me wonder if I would be better off not wearing a belt so much to help promote lower back and core stability. Just wondering what others think of this?

Replies

  • HollyPFlax
    HollyPFlax Posts: 79 Member
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    My fiancé is a power lifter and I joined his routine about 6 months ago, so I am not as educated on this as many people here are. He wears a belt and bought me one once I started increasing my weight. Some people never wear them, but I personally like having something to brace against. It makes me feel more secure. We work out our cores with other exercises, so it's not like they're allowed to be weak or anything. That being said, I guess the main reason I wear the belt is injury prevention. Will my wimpy beginner's weight injure my spine? No idea, but I'd rather wear a belt and use proper form every time. Just in case.
  • GW4321
    GW4321 Posts: 523 Member
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    HollyPFlax wrote: »
    My fiancé is a power lifter and I joined his routine about 6 months ago, so I am not as educated on this as many people here are. He wears a belt and bought me one once I started increasing my weight. Some people never wear them, but I personally like having something to brace against. It makes me feel more secure. We work out our cores with other exercises, so it's not like they're allowed to be weak or anything. That being said, I guess the main reason I wear the belt is injury prevention. Will my wimpy beginner's weight injure my spine? No idea, but I'd rather wear a belt and use proper form every time. Just in case.

    Thanks for the reply. The increased chance of injury is definitely something to consider. I thought about trying lighter weights at first if I go with no belt.
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,208 Member
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    GW4321 wrote: »
    When I started lifting over a year ago, it felt like my lower back was really weak. So I immediately bought a belt to give me more confidence during squats and deadlifts. I've used it since then, but my back still feels weak.

    Since it hasn't helped, i wouldn't wear it, and instead start looking for the cause of your back issues (it might not be your back). A sports physical therapist would be my first choice for an assessment. Or at least get your form checked by a good personal trainer or competitive powerlifter. You can also upload form check videos here for the trainers to check. :+1:
  • Walter__
    Walter__ Posts: 518 Member
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    Cherimoose wrote: »
    GW4321 wrote: »
    When I started lifting over a year ago, it felt like my lower back was really weak. So I immediately bought a belt to give me more confidence during squats and deadlifts. I've used it since then, but my back still feels weak.

    Since it hasn't helped, i wouldn't wear it, and instead start looking for the cause of your back issues (it might not be your back). A sports physical therapist would be my first choice for an assessment. Or at least get your form checked by a good personal trainer or competitive powerlifter. You can also upload form check videos here for the trainers to check. :+1:

    This is good advice. Cheri is right.

    It might not necessarily be a back issue. It could be that your form is off, you're not bracing properly, or probably both.

  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,619 Member
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    I feel that training without a belt has helped me to strengthen my core and back. I only use the belt for my heavier squats and deadlifts. Maybe lower the weight slightly and practice without for a while.
  • GW4321
    GW4321 Posts: 523 Member
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    Thanks for all of the responses. You all have given me a lot to think about and I appreciate the advise.

    It's entirely possible that other weaknesses could be contributing to my back issue. I've had a few significant injuries in the past (not related to lifting), so maybe there's some kind of imbalance. I'm not sure if there's really anything I can do to fix that though.

    I think I'll mix in a few no belt days to see if that helps.

  • watts6151
    watts6151 Posts: 905 Member
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  • firef1y72
    firef1y72 Posts: 1,579 Member
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    I feel that training without a belt has helped me to strengthen my core and back. I only use the belt for my heavier squats and deadlifts. Maybe lower the weight slightly and practice without for a while.

    I'm not squatting or deadlifting heavy atm, but when I do I only use a belt when I'm going for my top set close to my 1rpm. And only in squats and deadlifts.
  • kcfit19
    kcfit19 Posts: 6 Member
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    Something to be aware of with a belt is that it will not keep you from getting injured, and it is not going to make you stronger on it's own. It is a helpful tool when lifting because it gives you something to brace against, but you still have to be mindful and make sure you're bracing. I personally don't use a belt until I'm starting to lift around 80% of my max or higher.
  • fishgutzy
    fishgutzy Posts: 2,807 Member
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    I have never worn a belt for lifting.
    But my core is well conditioned from the amount of swimming I do.
    Part of my weight routine is a core focused day too.
    For any exercise, core strength is important.
  • From9five
    From9five Posts: 60 Member
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    I go beltless for (mostly) all of my warmup sets and use it for all of my working sets...my thought process with this is: as i get stronger, my warmup sets get heavier, so i do progessivly overload when going beltless. Idk if that makes sense but, you know. Its all preference. Remaining injury free is always the main goal.