Bracing with a Belt

In this video Mark discusses some key concepts and ideas when using your weightlifting belt.


  • Belt Placement
  • Belt Tension
  • A Quick Tip for Getting your Belt On (or off)
  • Proper Bracing with the Belt


Belt Placement


Getting your belt situated correctly can be difficult for those of you who are new to wearing a belt. You’re aiming for a comfortable (some what) spot between the top of your Iliac Crest (hip bone) and the bottom of your lowest rib. The position of greatest comfort will vary depending on abdominal cavity girth and torso length but those to anatomical landmarks are great places to start. The best advice here is to just put the belt on and do a set (of fahve of course), then make minor adjustments as needed each set. Eventually, you’ll get the belt where you want it.


Appropriate Belt Tension


Now that you have the belt where you want it, you’ll need to find out how tight you need it to be. We use a simple guide here:


  • If you want to take it off between sets it’s probably tight enough
  • If you’re unable to get a big deep breath then it’s probably too tight


So, you’re looking for the sweet-spot that puts the belt at an uncomfortable level of tension but also one that doesn’t impair your ability to successfully valsalva.


A Quick Tip for Easily Getting Your Belt On (or off)


After you’ve done some work getting the correct placement of your belt along with the correct level of tension, you’re now going to want to get faster at taking the thing off and putting it on. A typical training session might be anywhere from 8-15 work sets so you don’t want to be taking 2 minutes to get your belt on every set.


A quick way to get the belt on (or off) is to use the rack to help you. Using this method you can just “lean back” and the belt comes off easily. This also makes it much easier to get enough tension on the belt to set it correctly … depending on your belt width and thickness, getting enough tension can be difficult.


Bracing with the Belt


Finally, when bracing with the belt you want to make sure you’re not just “pushing your stomach into the belt”. Pushing into the belt typically leads to flexion or rounding of the upper back. This rounding can lead to a “soft back” ultimately making it difficult to keep the bar set in it’s proper place. It also hurts like hell in my opinion. You simply want to take a big breath, hold it while completing your rep just as you would if weren’t using a belt.




Want to know more about belts, check out this article: The Belt Video    


Still have a question? Drop us a line, we love helping people pick up heavy stuff.