• Login

Do Lifting Belts Make You Stronger? Common Lifting Myths Debunked

man putting on lifting belt

In the realm of fitness, lifting belts have become a staple accessory, sparking numerous debates about their effectiveness. Are they game-changers in building strength, or is it another fitness myth? Let's dive into lifting belts and debunk some common myths.

How Do Lifting Belts Work?

Weightlifting belts function by offering support to the lower back and core during weightlifting activities. Lifting belts work by stabilizing the core muscles, particularly those around the abdomen and lower back. When a lifter wears a belt and takes a deep breath, the belt provides a brace around the abdominal area, increasing intra-abdominal pressure. This pressure helps maintain a neutral spine position, preventing excessive arching of the lower back during heavy lifts. By doing so, lifting belts helps distribute the load more evenly across the spine, reducing stress on the lower back and lowering the risk of injury, especially when handling substantial weights.

Moreover, lifting belts enhances body awareness by reminding lifters to engage their core muscles properly. This additional awareness can be particularly valuable for individuals prone to rounding their lower back during lifts. Beyond the physiological benefits, some lifters also experience a psychological boost fromwearing a lifting belt. The knowledge that they have extra support can instill confidence, aiding them in tackling challenging lifts. However, it's crucial to emphasize that lifting belts should complement proper lifting techniques rather than replace them. They are recommended primarily for heavy, compound lifts, and users should exercise caution and seek professional advice before incorporating them into their routine, especially if they have existing health concerns.

Do Lifting Belts Make You Stronger?

Lifting belts themselves don't directly make you stronger; instead, they function as a tool to help enhance your performance during certain strength-training exercises. Lifting belts contribute to perceived strength by providing support and stability to the core and lower back. By creating intra-abdominal pressure and stabilizing the spine, lifting belts allows you to lift heavier weights more comfortably and reduce the risk of injury. This, in turn, can potentially lead to increased strength gains over time.

It's important to note that while lifting belts can assist in lifting heavier loads, they don't replace the need for proper technique, consistent training, and progressive overload. Using a lifting belt doesn't automatically translate to long-term strength improvements; it's a supportive aid that can be beneficial when employed appropriately in combination with a well-rounded strength training program. Additionally, reliance on a lifting belt for every workout may hinder the development of core strength if not used judiciously. Ultimately, the effectiveness of lifting belts in making you stronger depends on how they are integrated into your overall training regimen and whether you prioritize proper form and technique alongside their use.

Related:10mm vs. 13mm Belt

How Much More Can You Lift With a Lifting Belt?

Estimating the exact boost a lifting belt can provide is a bit tricky, but it seems to amp up performance by roughly 10 to 15 percent in certain compound exercises. The impact hinges on how well you handle the belt and the specific exercise you're tackling. Let's say you usually deadlift a max of 300 lbs without a belt – throw one on, and you might find yourself hoisting around 330 to 345 lbs.

Lifting belts aren't just about hefting more weight; they're like a Swiss Army knife for workouts. Whether you're aiming for more reps with the same load, making the same weight feel lighter, or cranking up the lifting speed, a belt can be your go-to ally.

Research zeroes in on barbell squats, examining things like muscle activity, intra-abdominal pressure, and how fast you're pumping those reps. Notably, the sweet spot for belt benefits seems to be around 90 percent of your one-rep max – the closer you get to your max capacity, the more the belt seems to step up and lend a helping hand. So, if you're eyeing an all-rounded strength boost, strapping on that lifting belt might just be the trick for reaching new heights in your workouts.

Related:Best Lifting Belts

When Does a Lifting Belt Work?

Lifting belts prove most effective during intense compound exercises, such as squats and deadlifts, where the lower back is extensively involved. Their key role lies in furnishing supplementary support to the core and lower back, thereby enhancing force transmission and overall stability. Additionally, lifting belts contribute to the generation of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), a mechanism crucial for spinal stabilization. This heightened pressure, particularly beneficial during heavy lifts, offers extra reinforcement to the lower back and core muscles. Individuals grappling with a weakened lower back, a history of back injuries, or those in the process of rehabilitation can benefit from lifting belts as they provide an added layer of support during lifting, reducing the risk of exacerbating existing injuries. Moreover, in the competitive realm of powerlifting, where athletes strive for maximal lifts, lifting belts are a common fixture, strategically employed to optimize stability and support during these challenging endeavors.

Related:Is Using a Lifting Belt Cheating? 

When Does a Lifting Belt Not Work?

While lifting belts is advantageous in many situations, there are instances where their use may not be warranted. It's essential to recognize when there are better choices than relying on a lifting belt for your workout.

In scenarios involving light to moderate lifts or during workouts with moderate intensity, the use of a lifting belt may be deemed unnecessary. Relying on a belt for every lift in such situations can impede the natural development of core strength and stability. Thepurpose of a lifting belt is to help you maintain proper form during heavier lifts that are close to your 1RM.

Proper application is crucial, as an improperly worn or excessively tight lifting belt has the potential to constrain natural movement and breathing, potentially leading to additional complications. Learning the correct usage of a lifting belt becomes paramount to avoid adverse effects. For exercises that don't heavily engage the lower back or necessitate significant core stabilization, like bicep curls or lateral raises, a lifting belt generally proves unnecessary. It's imperative to recognize that a lifting belt should not serve as a substitute for maintaining proper form during exercises; emphasis must be placed on cultivating good technique and form before considering additional support from a belt. Furthermore, individual preferences and comfort levels play a pivotal role in the decision-making process regarding the incorporation of a lifting belt into one's lifting routine, as some lifters may opt not to use one based on personal preferences.

Other Common Lifting Myths Debunked

Now that we’ve dismantled the myth around lifting belts and strength, let’s take a look at some other common lifting myths, whether you’re doing powerlifting or bodybuilding. 

Cardio is the Only Way to Lose Weight

While cardiovascular exercise is beneficial for weight management, it's not the sole solution. Resistance training and building lean muscle mass contribute to a higher resting metabolic rate, aiding in weight loss. A combination of both cardiovascular and resistance training, along with a balanced diet, is generally more effective for overall fitness and weight management.

You Can Out-Exercise Poor Diet

Nutrition plays a crucial role in achieving fitness goals. No amount of exercise can fully compensate for a consistently poor diet. Balancing both regular physical activity and a healthy diet is essential for achieving and maintaining optimal health and fitness.

Longer Workouts are Better

The effectiveness of a workout is not solely determined by its duration. Shorter, high-intensity workouts can be just as effective or even more so than long, steady-state sessions. Efficient and focused training, considering factors like intensity and consistency, is often more beneficial than simply extending workout durations.

Do You Need a Lifting Belt?

Do you need a lifting belt? To answer this question, you need to consider what you’re using the lifting belt for. If you need a lifting belt for compound exercises, rehabilitation, or practicing proper form, then you have good reason to buy a lifting belt.

If you’re using the lifting belt for other instances, then we’d recommend looking into optimizing your form and technique before using the equipment. This will help you get the most out of your lifting schedule and help you achieve your fitness goals quickly.


Available M-F, 8:00am to 5:00pm (EST)
(561) 220-1901 | Live Chat

Free Shipping On Orders $99+

Unlock the benefit of FREE domestic shipping on all purchases over $99!


Shop with confidence and benefit from easy, hassle-free returns!


Shop with confidence, knowing that your experience is protected with top-notch security measures.