Tools and Resources

Weightlifting belt: Do I need one?

If I lift free weights, do I need to wear a weightlifting belt?

For most people, wearing a weightlifting belt does little to improve performance or protect the spine especially during exercises that don't stress the back or place only minimal stress on the back.

You might consider wearing a weightlifting belt if you're doing power lifting or dead lifts. A weightlifting belt can be a reminder to keep your spine in the correct position during heavy lifting.

When you're lifting free weights, safety precautions are a must:

  • Learn proper form and technique. The better your form, the better your results and the less likely you are to hurt yourself.
  • Spare your back. When you're lifting weights, keep your spine in a stable, neutral position. When you're picking up weights or putting them down, lift with your legs not your back.
  • Ask for help. If you're lifting heavy weights, ask a training partner to spot you.
Updated: 8/11/2012

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