What is a weightlifting belt for women? What does it do? Should I wear one?
These are all important questions we aim to answer in this overview (hint: Wonderwoman always wore a cool belt, and we know it wasn’t just for style!).
We are pumped (joke intended) to be writing about the benefits of weight lifting gym belts for women, and why it’s so important that you choose the right type of belt to maximize your workout and prevent injuries.
What Is A Gym Belt?
A gym belt is worn around the waist and compresses your abdominal area in order to provide more support to the bones of your lower back.
For those of you who are weight lifting beginners, it’s kind of like leggings for your waist. But, instead of applying pressure to make your legs look slimmer and more toned, gym belts apply pressure to make sure your bones and muscles are supported during weight lifting activities.
They are best used during maximal and submaximal lifting, or when performing lifting that may lead to hyperextension (like, say, the overhead press). It’s not necessary to wear these for weight lifting activities during which you are lying down.
The spinal erector muscles are the muscles that are normally responsible for providing intra-abdominal pressure and support to this area. These muscles are nature’s way of protecting your bones and muscles from injuries as you go about your day. An injury to one of these muscles may lead to back spasms and a lot of pain.
However, during weight lifting activities, especially those in which your body is bent over or squatting, the spinal erector muscles are less effective at providing support. That’s where the weight lifting belt comes in.
The weight lifting belt prevents hyperextension by creating strong support around the bottom torso area and by lifting the rib cage area and the hip on each side. This pressure helps ensure that everything is in the right place and that there are no dangerous movements, like twisting or sliding, that could potentially lead to an injury.
The weight lifting belt also encourages good posture, which is far more important than the belt itself. This is one reason why we recommend weight lifting belts for beginners. Although nothing can replace a good trainer, breathing techniques, and safe posture, a weight belt will be a huge help along the way to ensure that good lifting habits are formed.
Seriously – we understand how important and helpful gym belts are, but always make sure you are focused on strengthening your core, practicing good breathing techniques (the Valsalva Maneuver is the most common one you’ll see), and displaying good posture. Core strength, breathing exercises, and proper posture are the most important elements in weight lifting, so please don’t forget this in your quest to pump iron like never before.
Although the weight lifting belt itself won’t have you pumping like Popeye, it is definitely a worthwhile investment if you are interested in achieving peak performance. Plus, they can actually look very stylish and accentuate your waist – if you choose the right type.
The weight-lifting belt is generally worn pretty tight around the torso to maximize effectiveness, which can make your waist look great, but has some limitations. Experts recommend loosening up the belt in between weight lifting exercises, as weight lifting and the pressure of the belt combined can raise blood pressure.
This is an area where leather belts have an advantage over velcro belts, as they can be easily loosened and tightened and are more sturdy than velcro.
Why Should I Wear A Gym Belt?
The strongest woman in the world wears one, but should you, too?
If you are an experienced weight lifter, then the answer is a definite yes. Even if your core is made of steel and you are lifting 210-lb kegs over your head like Ms. Jessica Fithen, wearing a weight-lifting belt will help you maximize your capabilities and leave competitors quaking in the shadow of your greatness.
Weight-lifting belts are, by definition, especially useful for those incredibly strong women who have a goal of lifting a very heavy load in a one rep max. Research has shown that wearing a weight lifting belt can increase your performance by up to 15 percent!
Of course, maximizing your performance is not the only concern addressed by a weightlifting belt. By preventing hyperextension, pulling back muscles, and possible back damage, weightlifting belts are valuable because they are a great asset in preventing injuries.
Unfortunately, most of us women are not seasoned competitors and/or professional lifters. But as we touched upon previously, these belts can actually be perfect for beginners as well. Why? Well, for one, wearing a weightlifting belt causes the user to be more aware of their posture. When wearing a belt and lifting a heavy object, the wearer is more likely to be able to notice the shifting of their bones as the belt acts as a reminder, rubbing up against the skin as the body moves. This causes a greater awareness of which muscles need to be utilized in order to ensure good posture.
Of course, wearing a weightlifting belt has the benefits of making you look pretty cool, too. It’s hard not to feel like a confident bodybuilder when you are wearing the costume of one, and nothing says “expert” more than having the correct gear.
After all, confidence is key in ensuring peak physical performance, and many athletes claim that anything that helps enhance your confidence is well worth the price.
What Is The Best Gym Belt I Can Buy?
First of all – how do we define the “best weightlifting belt” for women?
In our definition, the best gym belt for women is one that is:
- good value for your money, and of course
- stylish. And we think we have found one that is all that and more!
Let us introduce you to the Impression Gym Belt.
The Impression Gym Belt provides full lower back support while also offering a stylish design made from high-quality materials.
Like all other weight lifting belts, the Impression Gym Belt helps with weight lifting safety, especially with high weight loads. But this belt has many additional features as well.
The Impression belt is made out of high quality calf leather and a polished steel buckle.
Remember what we said about velcro vs leather gym belts?
Velcro is less sturdy and more difficult to loosen, whereas leather can be adjusted easily in between reps, which is important to stabilize blood pressure.
The steel buckle is durable, making it far less likely that your belt will pop off in the middle of a serious weight lifting session, which could be very dangerous.
The Damier-style checkers are a fashionable way to accentuate your waist, and the grey and black colors will match every gym outfit you own.
Incredibly, the Impression Gym Belt is actually unisex, which means you can share it with any of your gym buddies.
But would you want to? Despite what we were taught in Kindergarten, we don’t always recommend sharing – one of the main benefits of having your own best gym belt is that you don’t have to borrow the dirty, sweaty public use ones at your local gym. For those of us who hold health and fitness in high regard, it would be a shame to catch a virus or disease from an unclean gym belt.
The leather in the Impression Belt is surprisingly lightweight, meaning that it looks less bulky and is more portable and comfortable.
Whether you are a beginner weight lifter or just recently received the title as the world’s strongest woman, we definitely recommend checking out this gym belt to enhance your performance, keep you safe, and to make you look good and feel confident!
At $79, it is a low price to pay for peace of mind knowing that you are safe from injuries and more likely to hit your health goals and progress with your training.
Although it’s not the Golden Girdle of Gaea, we guarantee it will help you bring out your inner Wonder Woman, both physically and mentally.