A bit of an age old discussion here: should you be using a weight lifting belt and at what point?
Well here is some of our personal insight as to what we think.
BENEFITS of a belt:
✔ Encourages hip hinge, meaning more glute and hamstring recruitment
✔ Allows you to increase intra abdominal pressure (a.ka. ability to brace your spinal/core stabilizers)
✔ Improves overall confidence for bigger or heavier compound lifts.
DISADVANTAGES of a belt:
✖ Can sometimes give too much confidence and a false sense of security (thus forgetting to brace the core entirely)
✖ If not weaned on and off the belt, lifters can develop a dependence on it
✖ Less of a disadvantage, rather more advice: it's not a fashion accessory! You don’t need to be wearing a belt if you are doing bicep curls!
SO SHOULD YOU OR SHOULDN’T YOU USE ONE?
Well, this overall just really depends on your goal. If you are intending on breaking those 1RMs in your deadlifts or squats and have mastered the technique of bracing and form, then yes- a belt may be more appropriate. Though if you are looking to pump out reps after reps, we recommend to not sacrifice form and learning the correct bracing techniques required to allow these lifts to move as optimally and safety as possible irrespective of a belt.
If you need help, reach out to our caring and friendly team at our Chatswood or North Sydney Physiotherapy Clinic. You’ll be glad you did!