Recently we have had a lot of questions about whether or not an athlete should wear a lifting belt. Lifting belts are commonplace in powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and strongman and more recently in CrossFit. As a result of this, the ‘average’ CrossFitter seems to be questioning whether or not a belt is required.
Lifting belts may be misunderstood. A common misconception is that using a belt allows you to be “lazy” during the brace period of a lift. Wrong! A belt when used correctly provides a more stable lifting position when the abdominals are engaged. A belt also assists with preventing the lumbar from rounding during exercises such as deadlifts as well as helping to prevent hyper-extension of the spine when lifting weights overhead.
The 2016 CrossFit Games saw a large number of athletes wearing supportive gear such as belts and wrist straps including our very own Team CrossFit Yas athletes. This means (in our opinion) the elite have adopted supportive gear or at least seem to be anyway. But…does this mean members who are simply training for a healthier life need one? It depends but we would say a large number of ‘normal’ athletes do not need to wear a lifting belt. If poor mobility is there reason you wear one we would advise to reduce the lifting and increase the mobility work.
A lifting belt will NOT fix poor technique and it will 100% NOT make you more flexible. If you are working out to stay healthy and fit we suggest not using a belt and simply focus of paying good attention to your mechanics. If you are an intermediate to advanced athlete it may be worth considering the possibility of using a weightlifting belt. Advanced athletes as you would expect should have slightly better and more consistent mechanics along with greater strength. These individuals usually push their physical boundaries often and the belt assists with providing tactile feedback. For these athletes
Not too sure…Ask one of your coaches.