Is it worth buying a proper belt with a buckle?

Question:

I’d like to get your thoughts on weightlifting belts. I sometimes get a twinge in my lower right abdomen when deadlifting heavy. Had a cheap Velcro belt that fixed this, however as I lift heavier it just tears open now. Is it worth buying a proper belt with a buckle? Or do I simply not deadlift heave to avoid the twinge?

– Dale

 

Answer

First and foremost, be careful not to self-diagnose. What you may interpret as a twinge could be something a bit more serious, or something as simple as a hydration or mineral deficiency. It’s important to get that checked out, because if it is something a bit more serious like an ab tear – you risk making it into a bigger ab tear. These are among the most painful injuries in sports, and you can forget about training for awhile if that’s the case.

Second, get yourself a real (suggest lever) belt, with a uniform thickness front to back. The belt isn’t so much for your back as it is for your abs to push against, which should tell you something about how well designed the tapered belts are, that are skinnier in front.

Finally, unless you’re competing I’d forgo a belt altogether. That’s a controversial recommendation, but hear me out. The belt will pick up the slack in the muscle groups that it covers, robbing you of naturally developing strength in those areas. You’d be much better served to push up your ab work, hyper-extensions, landmine 180’s and especially reverse hyper-extensions if you have one. Important to point out that ab and lower back work needs to be positioned LAST in any workout. Because to pre-fatigue those prior to a major lift like the squat or deadlift is just asking for trouble and lots of it. Give that a go Dale, I hope you’ll agree – it’s a much better approach to the problem.

Coach Rob Regish

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