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 too? Never really thought about it...
Maybe you use it, but in the gym you've seen it anyway! The point, do you know? Physio Vital and Bjorge Janssen (strength coach and powerlifter from Tilburg) will explain it to you! In this new blog we will tell you the facts and the myths about using a lifting belt and you will know whether this belt will change your status to gymhero or gymbro.
Research has shown that 27% of avid strength athletes use a belt with in more than 90% of the cases as reason to prevent injuries. From this we can conclude that we, as athletes, assume that the belt gives such support that the strain on the back is reduced. Great statement, right?
I mean, the belt is tight so you can't move! Nothing is further from the truth... Well, several studies have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to assume that the load on the back is reduced by using a belt. So we can say that it is anything but proven that we can expect a positive effect here.
So does using a lifting belt help reduce the risk of injury? A true relationship between lifting belt use and injury reduction has never been demonstrated. In some studies there seems to be a small benefit to using a lifting belt. However, the evidence is of such little added value that we cannot conclude that a belt is helpful. Furthermore, we see that there is no difference in fatigue of the back muscles between people who do or do not use a lifting belt.
A common statement made 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 how this works. Research has shown that using a lifting belt on an 8RM squat creates 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 might 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 ensures that we have less freedom of movement and are therefore better protected, 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 shown that the use of a lifting belt can cause you to lift more from the legs when moving heavy weights and that there was increased control by reducing the speed of movement.
In addition, he supports in the execution, but we cannot say that there is really demonstrated added value in injury prevention or reducing the load on the back.
In summary, we can conclude that a lifting belt has added value in increasing interabdominal pressure which makes it easier to perform your sets. Does using a lifting belt outweigh not using one? That depends entirely on your situation. If you're doing heavy deadlifts and/or squats, for example, then it could certainly have an added value.
Here we are talking about really heavy lifting (1-8RM). If you prefer to train from the point of view that your body itself must be able to handle a certain load. Then there is nothing wrong with that. Are you the person who wears a lifting belt during abdominal exercises or a lat pulldown and now isn't convinced to do it differently? Then you might just be beyond saving....
Want to know more about using a lifting belt, interabdominal pressure (bracing) or training? Please feel free to contact Bjorge via email or via Instagram;
Mail: [email protected]