Lifting belt is misunderstood. Most people think that a lifting belt automatically protects your back, but there are other factors that come into play. Some people think that a lifting belt is dangerous, while others think that it is cheating to wear a belt. And finally, some believe that wearing a sling belt will only keep you weak.g. Here's the truth: all of these claims are false. In today's post, we will show you why and how to use a lifting belt to build a bulletproof back and put extra kilos on your bar. Whether you are a CrossFit athlete, bodybuilder, weightlifter, strongman or Olympic weightlifter, it is really important to know how to use a weightlifting belt properly. What is the purpose of a lifting belt? Abdominal pressure is what it comes down to. Abdominal pressure simply means pressure or tension in the abdomen (also known as your core or midsection). Knowing how to create abdominal pressure on command is important for anyone who wants to pick up a barbell and lift because it is a crucial element for lifting heavy weights without aggravating your back. Proper use of abdominal pressure will not only spare your lower part, it will actually make it stronger and tougher. Whether you are a serious lifter who lives and breathes strength training, or just someone who wants to look good with the jersey off, it is important to learn how to create abdominal pressure for a successful and painless lifting career. How abdominal pressure works? First, the core job of the core is to be rigid so that it can transmit power. For example, you can see that this concept is applied in all sports or activities. A boxer's core transmits the power generated from the hips to the fist. The core of a baseball player transmits power from the hips to the bat. The core of a powerlifter transmits power from the hips and legs to the bar. When it comes to squatting, it does not matter how strong your hips and legs are if your spine collapses into a large ball of failure under the weight of the bar. This is why you can move more weight on a leg press more than you can if you are squatting. The reason is again that your core strength is not a limiting factor in the leg press as in squats. Simply put, when sitting on a squat or deadlift, that bar wants to round your back because that's how gravity works. The better you can withstand gravity and keep your back straight, the more weight you can lift and the happier your back will be. How to resist gravity and hold your posture Hold your core tight with abdominal pressure to maintain a good posture throughout the lift despite the bar's efforts to do otherwise. Follow the logic below to get it stuck in your head while exercising: More abdominal pressure = more spinal stiffness = ability to lift heavier weights = more gains. How to create more abdominal pressure? Proper use of a lifting belt. A lifting belt works like this: when you inflate a balloon, there is pressure inside the balloon. Fill it too full with air and you create too much pressure. The balloon pops up. Now imagine tying a belt around the balloon. The balloon will appear with less air inside. This is because the air has something solid to push off. Consequently, there is more pressure. This is how a lifting belt allows you to create more pressure by giving the air you breathe in something to push off. Now, creating abdominal pressure is a technique in itself. But I'll go into that in a minute. At the moment, the point is that when used correctly, a lifting belt can create more abdominal pressure. This creates more tension and stiffness so that you become stronger and build more muscle. How else can you create abdominal pressure? The best way to create this pressure is through a technique called bracing, or Valsalva maneuver. With or without a lifting belt, you must learn to strengthen. If you do not strengthen, a belt does nothing but give you a false sense of security. The point of a lifting belt is simply to make bracing more effective. So star yourself (full pun intended) because we will finally show you how to strengthen effectively. Again, this technique should be used when lifting a heavy barbell with or without a lifting belt. Make sure you are standing. Place both hands on the chest. Breathe in through the nose. Clean your lips and exhale through your mouth as if you are blowing out a candle and emptying your lungs completely. Pay attention to how your ribs sink and empty. When you have no more air left to breathe out, note your rib position. Hold your rib position as you take another breath through your nose. Remember to inhale the abdomen, the obliques and the lower back. You should get a good 360-degree expansion in your midsection. Your abs, oblique and lumbar spine should expand in unison. You should feel a really weird pressure in your midsection. Ta-da! Abdominal pressure performance unlocked. Memorize this feeling so that you can replicate it when you lift. Sharp and fast exhalation to put your ribs in place. Own this rib position during the following steps. Nasal breathes into your core to create pressure. Keep that pressure throughout the lift. Now that does not mean you should hold your breath the whole set. You need to breathe or you will faint. Not perfect. You must breathe superficially or you will lose your hard-earned relaxation. Learning to do shallow breathing without losing your braces requires a little practice. You probably will not get it right away. This is normal. Just keep exercising. Okay, so now you know how to fasten without a lifting belt. But what about a lifting belt? It's exactly the same thing. The only difference is that you will feel significantly more pressure and excitement. Put on the lifting belt and follow the same steps as before: Hard and sharp breathing to set your ribs. Hold that rib position and inhale through your nose. As you inhale, you should feel your midsection push into each part of the belt. How tight should my lifting belt fit? This question is asked a lot and most people can not get the attitude right. You should be able to slide your open palm between the belt and you. A lifting belt should be quite tight, but not so tight that you can not breathe into your midsection completely. Especially for a lifting belt for a lever, it can be a little tricky to adjust the fit of a lever. Not too complicated, but as mentioned, there is a lever bracket that must be adjusted with screws and a screwdriver. However, the same procedure should be followed for the overall fit and tightness of the belt. When should I use my lifting belt? Put on the lifting belt when the weight starts to get heavy in the big barbell exercises. This means squats, deadlifts, military presses, Olympic lifts, etc. You want to put on the lifting belt during the two to three warm-up sets before your work sets - there is an example of this in the table below. Although you may not "need" the lifting belt for these sets. It is important sets to get acquainted with the lifting belt up to your work sets. Think of your warm-up sets that lead to your work sets as a skill exercise. Stay as intense on your warm-up / non-belt sets as you do on your work sets. This will build additional core strength and prepare you, mentally and physically, for your work sets. What type of lifting belt should I choose? The thicker and stiffer the belt, the harder it will be for you to hold it. So if you want to get the most kilos out of your belt, a thick leather belt is what you are looking for. We have two different leather belts, a Hook Belt, 10 mm and a Lever Belt, 13 mm. A liver belt is an incredible investment for those who want a more flexible material, but still a good amount of support. Why should I choose a liver belt? A lever belt, lifting belt offers a consistent width (10cm) all the way, which creates even coverage for effective lifting every time. The best thing about this type of belt is that its quick-locking buckle is easy to use and release. Should I choose a leather belt? If no top-down option is not your style and you are looking for solid support, it is extremely important to invest in a high quality leather lifting belt. A good quality leather belt has double seams and a strong buckle for use in weightlifting, weightlifting, bodybuilding and more. The main reason for investing in a leather belt is that you can lift heavier and your back will always feel better with a leather belt. Myths about lifting belts Before we end today's post, we want to dispel the myths about lifting belts that we introduced at the beginning of the post. We have specifically left this to the end of the post as it is easier to do so after already discussing how to use a lifting belt. 1) Wearing a lifting belt is "cheating". If you are not strong before putting on your belt, you will not magically fall into the rock the second you put on one. We've like a chicken / egg thing going on here. The lifting belt allows you to take advantage of the strength you already have, so that you can lift heavier weights. This in turn makes you even stronger without the lifting belt. Becoming strong without a seat belt makes you stronger with the belt. Getting stronger with the lifting belt makes you stronger without the lifting belt. The point is, the belt does not work for you. 2) Wearing a sling belt will keep you weak There is no point in discussing this. See the section above on how this myth is completely rubbish. 3) It is dangerous to use a lifting belt and it automatically protects your back Strangely enough, these two seemingly contradictory points are two sides of the same coin. It is dangerous if you wear it and think you are invincible. The lifting belt is not a protection against bad technology. We have seen on our own how coaches would throw a lifting belt at their customers when they complained that their backs hurt during deadlifts. The customer's ground lift stopped and the back pain got worse and worse the longer they followed this strategy. No surprises there. A lifting belt is a tool that has a technology in it. Wearing a lifting belt does not automatically protect your spine. If you do not know how to use it, the belt will not do any good. Learn how to fasten properly without the lifter belt and you will get much more use with the lifter belt. Final thoughts For anyone who is serious about making progress, a lifting belt is one of the most important tools in your toolbox. You will be amazed at how much a single piece of equipment can affect your results. It is definitely worth the time, effort and money to learn to use it properly. Whether you are a CrossFit athlete, bodybuilder, weightlifter or Olympic weightlifter, it is really important to know how to use a weightlifting belt properly. And now you know exactly how to get the most out of your sling belt. What are you waiting for There is no excuse for not taking advantage of the benefits of a lifting belt..