The lifting belt. some never use it, others only during certain exercises. And then you have the real hardcore fans, you never see them without it. Do they sleep with it? Never really thought about it.
Maybe you use it, but in the gym you've seen it anyway! Its usefulness, do you know? Physio Vital and Bjorge Janssen (strength coach and powerlifter from Tilburg) explains it for you! In this new blog we list the facts and myths of using a lifting belt for you and you will know if this belt will change your status to gymhero or if it will remain gymbro after all.
Research has shown that 27% of strength athletes use a belt, with the reason for injury prevention in more than 90% of cases. So from this we can conclude that as an athlete we assume that the belt gives such support that reduces the strain on the back. Great statement, right?
I mean, the belt is tight so you can't move! Nothing could be further from the truth... Or rather, several studies have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to assume that back strain is reduced by using a belt. So it is fair to say that it is all but proven that we can expect a positive effect in this.
So does using a lifting belt help reduce the risk of injury? A true relationship between using a lifting belt and reducing injuries has never been demonstrated. There seems to be a small benefit to using a lifting belt in some studies. However, the evidence for this is of such little added value that we should not conclude that a belt is helpful. Furthermore, we see that there is no difference in back muscle fatigue between people who do and do not use a lifting belt.
A commonly made statement is that using a lifting belt increases interabdominal pressure, allowing more force to be delivered. This is also true. But do you know why? Bjorge explains. Research has shown that using a lifting belt on an 8RM squat causes a 25-40% increase in interabdominal pressure. This is because the lifting belt actually gives you something to put pressure against. Increasing interabdominal pressure, in turn, increases spinal stability and reduces pressure on the spine during a squat, for example. Increasing pressure is something we may be more familiar with in the gym under the term "bracing.
Okay, top. We increase the pressure, and elevator better! On the other hand, the belt also reduces our range of motion and thus protects us better, right? There is research showing that using a lifting belt reduces the maximum flexion (flexion) and extension (extension) ability of the low back. The same is true for lateral flexion (lateroflexion). In addition, it has been found that using a lifting belt can cause you to lift more from the legs when moving heavy weights and that there was increased control by reducing movement speed.
In addition, it supports in performance, but we cannot say that it has really demonstrated added value in injury prevention or reducing back strain.
In summary, we can conclude that a lifting belt adds value in increasing interabdominal pressure, allowing you to perform your sets more easily. So does using a lifting belt outweigh not using it? That depends entirely on your situation. If you are doing heavy deadlifts and/or squats, for example, then it could certainly add value.
Here we are talking about really heavy lifting (1-8RM). If you prefer to train from the point of view that your body should be able to handle a certain load. There is nothing wrong with that. Are you that person who wears a lifting belt during abdominal exercises or a lat pulldown and now not convinced to do otherwise? Then you may just be beyond saving....
Want to know more about using a lifting belt, interabdominal pressure (bracing) or training? Feel free to contact Bjorge via email or via Instagram;
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