As powerlifters and strength athletes, we understand the importance of utilising a powerlifting belt for those heavy lifts. But selecting the correct one for powerlifting is very important. There are various types of weight lifting belts around, but independent of brand, there are a few things to consider when looking for a belt. They should be:
- Manufactured from high quality leather
- It should be as thick as is comfortable
- Should the same with all the way around the belt
For those who don’t know, a weightlifting belt is used to help to generate intra-abdominal pressure and it is not solely used to support the back. A good belt will support the spine by making it more stable under those extremely heavy loads. This is due to the intra-abdominal pressure generated by the belt. This ability helps assists the wearer in lifting or squatting more weight, because their spine achieves a greater level of stability.
Belts that have a different width around, such as those that are wider at the back than in the front, are not optimal for high level strength athletes. These types of belts do not have as much of a surface area on the front to press against the abs.
Selecting the correct belt is very important for serious lifters. It’s important to check reviews of the best powerlifting belts. Powerliftingbelts.org is a site that we recommend visiting during your search for the correct belt.
Powerlifting Belt Width and Thickness
As previously mentioned, a very good belt will have the same with all the way around. A 10cm width is good for most lifters so it can be placed comfortably between the hipbone and of ribs. 10cm is also the limit for most powerlifting competitions. So while having a good surface area to push the abs against, it should also be rigid and firm to assist with this generation of intra-abdominal pressure.
A belt should also have a level of stiffness to the point where you can put it on and it stays place during a lift. The most rigid belts (which are used by many competitive powerlifters) are 30mm in thickness. Again, this is the maximum thickness allowed to be worn for powerlifting competitions.
Another factor which affects the performance of a belt is the buckle or mechanism. Many people do not like double prong belts because they can require additional effort to put it on and take off i.e. getting the second prong to fit properly. This is why many prefer single prong belts.
More expensive belts may have a lever mechanism. These are a great way to get a belt on and take them off quickly. They also allow you to get a high level of tightness very easily so they are often preferred over prong belts. However, the downside of a lever belt is that the adjustment is not as simple as with a prong. Usually, the lever mechanism must be removed and adjusted and then refitted to the belt. This means that sharing the belt with other lifters or adjusting it for different lifts in the gym is quite difficult.
For many professional powerlifters, the inzer belt is the go-to belt of choice.