Best Weightlifting Belt
Today we’re counting down our picks for the best weightlifting belt.
And for good reason.
Lifting heavy doesn’t come without risks.
In fact, it can be very dangerous if you perform the exercises with incorrect form or don’t take the necessary precautions.
A great safety measure you can take to prevent debilitating back injury is to wear a weightlifting belt as you lift heavy.
The weightlifting belt is intended to provide support for the back during lifts and protect from hyperextension when lifting weight overhead.
👑 Our Pick for Best Weightlifting Belt
⭐ Our Other Top Weightlifting Belt Picks
- Best of the Best: Dark Iron Fitness Belt
- Runner Up: Inzer Advance Designs Belt
- Best on a Budget: RitFit Belt
Best Weightlifting Belt Reviews
Dark Iron Fitness Belt (⭐ Best of the Best)
In our view, the best weightlifting belt is the Dark Iron fitness belt, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise given the products status as a number 1 bestseller on Amazon in the category of weight lifting belts.
A heavy-duty cowhide leather belt which is surprisingly comfortable and very supportive, the Dark Iron Fitness belt stands out for its quality construction and convenient design. The leather of this belt is both flexible and sturdy. At 4mm thick and 4 inches wide, using genuine buffalo hide, this leather is as robust as it gets. Unlike many other belts, this one is easy to wrap around your waist, and won’t be susceptible to scratching or general wear and tear. The other advantage of the premium quality genuine buffalo hide leather is that it is soft enough not to dig into your sides and hips, which is a common problem with less forgiving weightlifting belts.
If you’re looking for a specific idea of what you can lift with this belt, past customers have boasted deadlift and squats of 600lbs and over while using it. This makes it a great tool to have in your lifting arsenal whether you’re just training at the gym or starting to compete in powerlifting or bodybuilding competitions. The belt has been approved by both the IPF and the USAPL, which should give you peace of mind if you have any aspirations of competing and using this belt.
Dark Iron Fitness claims that you can expect to see an increase of 10% on the amount of weight you can already lift by using its weightlifting belt. This will come as a direct result of the excellent protection provided by the belt, which should keep your back steady and supported throughout any lift.
In terms of comfort, as already alluded to, the genuine buffalo hide leather feels soft and supportive. The double prong locking system is practical, and there are multiple holes so you can find the fit that feels best for you.
- Made with genuine buffalo hide leather
- Available in 5 sizes
- Suitable for lifts of 500-600lbs and more
- Double prong locking system
- 4mm thick, 4 inches wide
Inzer Advance Designs Belt (🥈 Runner Up)
Our runner up pick for the best weightlifting belt is the Inzer Advance Designs belt which is an excellent option for powerlifting specifically.
If you are focussing your training on heavy squats and deadlifts, which are the primary exercises in the discipline of powerlifting, then this belt is well worth the money. It’s also suitable for the clean and jerk exercises and the press. For powerlifters and amateur lifters alike, the Inzer Advance Designs belt provides just the support necessary to promote bigger lifts and better personal bests.
This belt has a clean look to it, which is due largely in part to the genuine leather used in its construction, which is finished off with suede. The leather is 10mm thick, which provides a durable exterior for the belt to protect it from general wear and tear. As with any high quality leather, this material will conform to your body for the most comfortable fit even when worn for extended periods of time. The leather is complemented with four rows of lock-stitched, corrosive-resistant, high-density nylon. This makes for a very solid design, for optimal back support. It features a straightforward buckle closure with a lever locking system, which makes putting it on and removing it effortless.
- Available in black and blue
- Available in 6 sizes
- Guaranteed forever
- 10mm thick
- Made from genuine leather, suede
- High-density nylon stitching
- Lever locking buckle closure
RitFit Belt (💰 Best on a Budget)
It can sometimes feel like investing in your health and fitness is neverending. Whether it’s buying protein supplements, gym memberships, or entering competitions – a healthy lifestyle of lifting doesn’t come cheap. So if you’re looking for a budget-friendly weightlifting belt to take your lifting to new heights, then consider this option from RitFit.
If you’re new to heavy lifting, and you’re curious how a weightlifting belt can help you maximise your squat, deadlift, or any other foundational exercises, then the RitFit belt is well worth a go. Available at a very reasonable price and with several color options, this belt is an easy investment to help you reach your strength and lifting goals. The 6 inch wide waterproof foam core ensures a comfortable fit, while the hook and loop closure provides plenty of scope for adjustment.
This is a simple belt which is designed to optimise the biomechanics of the body in order to facilitate heavier lifts. It does so by providing support for your back and abdominal muscles, so that you are much less at risk of hyperextending your back. It can be seen as a safety measure for pushing your body to new heights.
There’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a full manufacturer warranty with this budget-friendly belt too, which makes it a safe investment.
- 6 inch wide waterproof foam core
- Available in 5 sizes
- Available in various colors and patterns
- Manufacturer warranty
Picking the right weightlifting belt for you will come down to various factors.
Not only do you need to ensure you have a belt which is designed for the types of lift or training you do most often, but you also need to be comfortable with the closure system and durability of it.
Budget will also play a significant role in the decision-making process of course, as will the overall design quality of the weightlifting belt.
Before we dive into the specifics, we’re going to take a step back and consider the main reasons for investing in a weightlifting belt in the first place.
Why Use a Weightlifting Belt?
Weightlifting belts are excellent lifting aids used by competitive bodybuilders and powerlifters alike.
Yet even though this is the case, it seems the belts have a bad reputation outside of these disciplines.
It’s commonly thought that using a weightlifting belt is somehow cheating, or that wearing one will inevitably lead to injury.
Whereas the reality is completely different than what a lot of people would have you believe.
There are 2 compelling reasons to wear a weightlifting belt, which are as follows.
Protecting the Lower Back
One of the biggest fears most people have when attempting heavy lifts is that the lower back will be compromised.
This is mainly because the heavier the weight, the easier it is to ‘cheat’ during the exercise and perform it with incorrect form.
This can then unstabilised the muscles and put an excessive amount of pressure on the lower back during the lift, which can be very dangerous.
Unless your form is impeccable, it can be very challenging to lift increasingly heavy weights without some kind of lower back support.
This is especially true for aspiring bodybuilders or powerlifters who rely on their ability to outlift the competition.
The best way to get the support your lower back needs is by wearing a weightlifting belt.
It works by compressing your abdominal muscles in a way which takes pressure off the lower back and reduces stress.
But even without this extra support, a belt can prove useful for protecting the lower back.
It can encourage the wearer to lift with perfect form since feeling it around the waist can act as a constant reminder of what you’re doing with your abdominal muscles and lower back.
So while a weightlifting belt isn’t necessary, if you’re at all worried about performing heavy lifts with perfect form, then wearing one as you train can be a real gamechanger.
Reducing Risk of Hyperextension
It isn’t just lower back support you can expect from wearing a weightlifting belt though – it can also lower the risk of hyperextension in the back while performing overhead lifts.
It does so by creating a solid structure or wall around your trunk, which can limit the flexibility of the sprint and prevent any potentially harmful twisting you might do while lifting.
What are the Risks?
While there are undoubtedly several compelling reasons to use a weightlifting belt, it would be remiss of us not to bring up the associated risks too.
False Sense of Security
Perhaps the reason why so many people think that wearing a weightlifting belt leads to injury is that you can feel a great sense of security wearing one.
This sounds like it could only be a good thing, and it does help give you the confidence to take on heavy lifts, but there’s a downside to this sense of security.
If you feel like your back is sufficiently protected, it can make you feel like you can just lift any weight without any problems, which just isn’t true.
A weightlifting belt can help you improve your lifts and the maximum weight you can handle, yes, but it shouldn’t be seen as an excuse to go extra heavy if it isn’t safe to do so.
Say you have a deadlift of 200lbs, and you invest in a weightlifting belt. Realistically, after you get comfortable using the belt, you can expect around a 10% increase on your current personal best.
This should take you up to roughly 220lbs if you’re lucky.
That’s a reasonable increase in weight, and should in all likelihood be safe to lift with the new belt. However, this doesn’t mean you should be aiming to hit 250lbs or another weight which is dramatically higher than what you’re currently lifting.
Another risk commonly associated with weightlifting belts is muscle dependence.
If you wear a weightlifting belt every time you work out, then inevitably your abdominal muscles are going to have less to do.
This reduced activation of the core can lead to weaker muscles over time, so it’s worth counteracting this where possible.
Either use the weightlifting belt sparingly, or make sure to work out your abdominal muscles as much as possible in order to maintain good core strength.
Core strength and abdominal muscles are essential for stabilising the spine when not wearing a belt, which is important for daily life and also for competing in bodybuilding competitions.
Type of Training
The type of training you do will to a large degree determine which type of belt is best for you.
There are 2 main types of training associated with using a weightlifting belt, and they are powerlifting and bodybuilding.
Each pursuit requires different things from a belt, so let’s dive into both disciplines and what to look for in a belt.
For bodybuilding, the main considerations should be easy fastening and sufficient support.
If you’re planning on cranking out a high volume of sets and reps in the gym, then it’s well worth your time to look for a belt that’s comfortable to wear.
Our top pick, from Dark Iron Fitness, is a great example of a quality belt that is also soft and supple so this fits the bill perfectly.
Likewise, you want it to be easy to put on and to adjust, since you don’t want to spend much time on it when you get to the gym.
For powerlifting, it’s best to find a belt which has the same width all the way around since this is what best protects the back from the hyperextension associated with overhead lifts.
A great example of a belt fit for powerlifting is the reliable Inzer Advance Designs belt.
The design of a belt will tell you everything you need to know about its quality and effectiveness.
In order to evaluate a belt’s design, you should consider the material it is made from as well as the locking mechanism it uses.
These factors will influence how convenient the belt is to use, and how durable it will be.
Without a doubt, the best material for a weightlifting belt is authentic, high quality leather.
Genuine leather has all the qualities necessary to make an incredibly sturdy and long-lasting belt.
Plus, if it’s the real deal, then it will feel very comfortable around your waist and will even conform to your body shape for a greater fit.
While this may mean that the belt is a little stiff at first, after time it will feel natural to have it on.
As for measurements, it’s best to aim for somewhere in the region of 10mm for thickness, as this will increase the longevity of the belt.
If you want a belt that’s easy to use and doesn’t take up more of your time than necessary, it’s worth thinking about the locking mechanism.
There are 3 main types of locking mechanisms: a lever system, a single-pronged buckle, and a double-pronged buckle.
Generally-speaking the mechanism that provides the quickest removal is the lever system, however this comes at the cost of rapid adjustments while wearing it.
Both single-pronged and double-pronged buckles are popular choices, though for the most straightforward use we would recommend the single-pronged variation.
Largely it’s a matter of preference as to which you choose, but it’s a factor which shouldn’t be ignored.
Frequently Asked Questions About Weightlifting Belts
Are weightlifting belts good?
Yes, there are certainly benefits associated with using a weightlifting belt for weight training.
Whether you’re competing on stage in powerlifting competitions or simply trying to lift a personal best at the gym, then it might be worth investing in a belt.
A weightlifting belt will take some of the pressure off your lower back while lifting, and can also protect the back from hyperextension during the lifting phase of the movement.
How do I choose a weightlifting belt?
The type of weightlifting belt that’s best for you will depend on various factors.
Firstly, you’ll need to think about what activities you’ll be doing most often – perhaps it’s bodybuilding or maybe powerlifting.
Different belts will be better suited to different purposes, so it’s important to consider this before you part with your hard-earned cash.
Is using a lifting belt cheating?
Using a lifting belt is simply an aid for lifting heavy, and can be an effective tool to prevent pain and discomfort while doing so.
The fact that many competitors choose to wear lifting belts in competitions should provide a clear answer to this question too.
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
If you’ve been lifting heavy and you feel like you need extra back support to establish a new personal best, then consider investing in a weightlifting belt.
Not only will it protect your back from hyperextension, but it will also provide the support you need to push yourself harder than you felt comfortable doing without one.