How to Wear a Weight-Lifting Belt

Written by bill white
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How to Wear a Weight-Lifting Belt
Using a weight belt can be beneficial. (body builders image by Pavel Losevsky from

Weightlifting belts are used for several reasons. For instance, they help maintain proper form when lifting weight by preventing excessive bending of the back during lifts such as the squat. This can be beneficial for both powerlifters who are moving heavy weight or people who have suffered back injuries. Putting on a belt is relatively simple, but requires some basic pointers to ensure proper use and getting the most benefit. Learn how tight the belt should be, when to wear it and where the main support should be placed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Drill
  • Pen or pencil
  • Mirror

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  1. 1

    Stand in front of a mirror when putting the belt on.

  2. 2

    Place the back support (thickest part of the belt) against the small of your back just above the waistline.

  3. 3

    Bring the end and buckle together. Insert the end through the buckle, and pull it tight enough so that it is snug but does not inhibit your breathing. Insert the prongs through the holes, and tuck the end under the belt loop. Use the mirror to ensure that the thickest part is still on the small of your back.

  4. 4

    Grab onto the belt and try to move it from side to side or up and down. If it doesn't move, then the belt is secure.

  1. 1

    Put the belt on as you would in the first section. Only this time, find the best location for the prongs regardless of where the holes are. Use a pen or pencil to mark the spot.

  2. 2

    Remove the belt and drill two new holes into the marks.

  3. 3

    Put the belt on and insert the prongs through the new holes, making sure that they fit and the belt is properly secure. Do this as you would when testing the belt in the previous section. Be sure that the thickest part of the belt is on the small of your back and that it doesn't slide around when you tug at it.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your core tight even when wearing the belt.
  • To break a weightlifting belt in, roll it up with the prongs facing out, place it in a dishwasher minus the soap and turn on the dishwasher for one load. Allow the belt to dry before using it.
  • Many weightlifting belts are Velcro, but the same general principles apply as with traditional belts.
  • If you like to wear your belt really tight, it may be best to remove it in between sets to allow for proper breathing and circulation.

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