What are Weight Lifting Belts?

Malcolm Tatum

Weight lifting belts are devices that are worn around the midriff area while working out or attempting to lift heavy objects. In addition to being worn by weight lifters, a weight lifting belt may be employed by professional movers, warehouse employees who move stock from one place to another, and just about anyone who wishes to help minimize stress on the lower back.

Belts relieve pressure that comes from steady lifting of heavy weights.
Belts relieve pressure that comes from steady lifting of heavy weights.

There are essentially two main functions associated with weight lifting belts. First, the weight belts are designed to relieve some of the pressure that is exerted on the muscles and spinal column along the lower back when lifting heavy objects. This is accomplished because the weight belt helps to move the muscles in the abdominal cavity a little closer together. Doing so helps to provide extra support that makes it much harder to overtax and possible strain muscles or discs in the lower back.

At the same time, weight lifting belts also helps to limit the movement of the back in relation to the rib cage. By limiting the degree of movement, weight lifting belts make it more difficult to turn in ways that could result in an undue amount of stress on the muscles of the back and sides, as well as strain on the muscles of the upper chest area. While many people associate the use of weight lifting belts with protecting the back, the truth is the devices can provide protection for the musculature of the entire upper torso.

In design, weight lifting belts are composed of high quality fiber blend shells that encase ample padding. The belts may be secured with the use of Velcro or with standard belt loops and straps. Prices for weight lifting belts range from the relatively inexpensive models that are ideal for casual use to very expensive types that are often used by persons who engage in lifting weights as part of a body building program. Sporting goods stores are ideal sources for several different types of weight lifting belts, as are some hardware stores.

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