Ask the Experts: Should I Wear a Weightlifting Belt?

Find out if wearing a weight belt during heavy sets is a good idea when training as an athlete.

Suh Squat

Q: Should I wear a weightlifting belt when performing Squats or Deadlifts?

A: Wearing a weightlifting belt is not a good option for athletes. Weightlifting belts provide additional support for the trunk when lifting heavy weight, which is why they are popular with bodybuilders. You might be able to add a few pounds to your Squat or Deadlift, but your core muscles won't have to work as hard to keep your trunk strong and stable. Over time, this will limit your core strength and stability, which can impair exercise form, sabotage performance and put you at risk for injury.

Focus on performing these exercises with a weight that allows perfect form, and fully engage your core for support. If you chose to wear a belt, do so only when lifting 90 to 95 percent of your max, or when testing out.

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