Using a Belt

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Using a belt in weightlifting at times sounds like it should be a given. However, these days we see a lot of people foregoing the whole belt and beginning to lift without one.

Perhaps this is due to the plethora of “raw” lifts that we see on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets. More and more such lifts have been shown off on these social media platforms, and now many people believe that this is the test of true fitness.

To do a lift, without a belt, means the lift is really being performed. There is no aid involved.

The problem with such thinking is that at an elite level, perhaps there is some relevance to saying things like this lift was done “raw” or without a belt. But that’s for the professional lifter, not the amateur who is looking to get in shape and fit for life.

When such thinking comes into the mind of your everyday client, there can certainly be some problems lying around the corner.

A lifting belt is for safety. It’s not an issue of cheating on a lift or something like that. A lot of times it will be used to keep the back straight and prevent it from bowing under heavy weight. This is extremely important for clients who are amateur lifters and not really required to show anyone whether they did a lift beltless or not.

What they can show, once the lift is done, is that they are still able to walk upright. Remember, lifting can put a burden on the lower back, and if you are not too careful, a client can throw their back out and be seriously injured.

So instruct them on the proper use of a belt as well as its placement.

A client may very well put that belt on, but if they do not cinch it tight nor place it in the proper place on their lower back, it will be for nothing.

The belt should sit right above the hips and cinch tight across that lower back. It should be pulled tight and the client should in fact suck their stomach in a bit and prepare for a very tight experience. This is not the type of belt that you wear to hold up your pants. This is the type of belt you wear to keep everything nice and tight during that lift.

Now, for your client to use the belt properly, teach them to actually push against the belt during the lift. This pushing will actually help to generate power for their lift as a whole.

Using a belt ought to be a part of your gym programming to keep your clients safe. They of course do not have to use it for each and every single lift, but rather ought to when the going gets tough and when those weights are building up.

Keep them safe and you keep them coming back for more.

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