weight lifting belt

7 Weightlifting Belts to Help You Max Out Your Lifts

By Rebecca Swanner

One of the most common pieces of equipment you'll see gym-goers wear is a weightlifting belt. They put pressure on your core and help to keep your body stable, so you're less likely to wobble and sustain an injury heavy lifts.

Weightlifting belts come in a variety of materials and styles, ranging from nylon belts with hook-and-loop closures to leather belts with locking prongs.

So should you invest in a weightlifting belt?

For most people, strength training doesn't require the support of a weightlifting belt. After all, your body comes equipped with its own internal weightlifting belt — the transverse abdominis.

"Strengthening this muscle along with the rest of your core can help stabilize not only your spine but also your entire body," says Trevor Thieme, CSCS, senior director of fitness and nutrition content at Openfit. "And, to be honest, if a load is so heavy that you can't manage it safely and with good form without the support of a weightlifting belt, then you probably shouldn't be lifting it."

Wearing a weightlifting belt also doesn't teach your body how to handle heavy loads on its own in real life situations. In other words, it doesn't increase your "functional fitness," so unless you're a powerlifter, we recommend you forgo the belt. But if you are a powerlifter, or feel a strong need to wear a weightlifting belt, you can't go wrong with these options.

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1. Rogue Fitness Nylon Lifting Belt

WIDTH: 5 inches
FITS WAIST SIZES:
26 to 47 inches

This contoured, flexible nylon and foam belt uses a hook-and-loop locking system and has a three-inch webbing support strap. It's a favorite among CrossFitters, but if you plan on doing Olympic-style weightlifting, you may want a more supportive option.

Get it on Amazon.

2. ProFitness Weightlifting Belt

WIDTH: 2 to 4 inches (tapered)
FITS WAIST SIZES: 25 to 47 inches

If comfort is high on your priority list, this 7mm-thick weightlifting belt is made with pliable, "pre-broken-in" leather and suede. The tapered design helps to keep it from digging in to your ribs or hips, and the two-pronged buckle and tapers range from four inches wide in the back to two inches wide in the front.

Get it on Amazon.

3. Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting Belt

WIDTH: 4 inches
FITS WAIST SIZES: 23 to 49 inches

This sleek black-and-red leather weightlifting belt uses a two-pronged buckle and can reportedly support heavy lifts up to 600 pounds. The 4mm-thick buffalo hide leather is soft and relatively easy to break in but still provides snug support.

Get it on Amazon.

4. Rogue Fitness Ohio Lifting Belt

WIDTH: 4 inches
FITS WAIST SIZES: 21 to 45 inches

This handcrafted belt features 10mm-thick, vegetable-tanned leather for heavy-duty support, plus a single-prong buckle design for easy adjusting. As with most leather belts, expect a brief "break-in" period as the leather softens and contours to your body.

Get it at Rogue Fitness.

5. Iron Bull Strength Powerlifting Belt

WIDTH: 4 inches
FITS WAIST SIZES: 25 to 50 inches

This powerlifting belt is available in black, blue, red, green, purple, and pink to coordinate with your workout gear (or your mood). The 10mm-thick suede leather provides maximum support, and a two-pronged buckle ensures the perfect fit.

Get it on Amazon.

6. Schiek Model 2004 Weightlifting Belt

WIDTH: 4.75 inches
FITS WAIST SIZES: 24 to 54 inches

This nylon weightlifting belt is all about versatility — it's available in multiple colors, fits a wide range of waist sizes, and has a Velcro closure for quick adjustments. The patented shape is designed to contour around your ribs and hips for better comfort and flexibility, which is ideal if you're moving between heavy lifts and other strength exercises.

Get it on Amazon.

7. RitFit Weightlifting Belt

WIDTH: 6 inches
FITS WAIST SIZES: 22 to 51 inches

This budget pick is made from nylon, a waterproof foam core, and a hook-and-loop closure. It's the widest weightlifting belt on this list, but the contoured design helps to keep it comfortable.

Get it on Amazon.

What to Consider When Choosing a Weightlifting Belt

If you want extra support for your heavy lifts, here's what to look for in a belt.

1. Locking mechanism

Weightlifting belts have three types of locking mechanisms: lever buckle, Velcro, or pronged buckle.

If you think you'll want to adjust your belt mid-set, a pronged buckle belt is your best bet since you won't have to take it off to do so. If you want a belt you can quickly remove, a lever buckle or Velcro closure is best.

2. Width

Weightlifting belts vary in width from 4 to 6 inches. Some have a contoured or tapered design, while cylindrical ones are the same width all the way around.

The best width is a matter of personal comfort. It should be supportive without sliding or limiting your range of motion.

3. Material

Most belts are either leather or nylon. Leather tends to last longer if you keep it conditioned, but is typically heavier and more rigid than nylon. Because of their rigidity, leather belts are best for powerlifters.

Nylon belts tend to provide more flexibility, which can be helpful if you're wearing it as you move between strength training exercises.

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