Best Weightlifting Belt 2022: Top Picks For Squats, Deadlifts, And More

share to other networks share to twitter share to facebook

There are a variety of materials, thicknesses, and price points to consider when searching for the best weightlifting belt.

Fortunately, we're here to help kick off your search in the right direction with our list of top picks based on price, reviews, and any unique features that make these belts stand out from the crowd.

A belt can be the key to achieving new personal bests in some of the core movements and lifts thanks to the additional support they provide, particularly during some of the best back and lower body exercises around.

Advertisement

Therefore, a top weightlifting belt is, in our opinion, one of the first things you should consider packing in your best gym bag when your preparing to go train.

So if you're looking for something lightweight, like this Schiek Sports Model 3004, or something made of leather, like this bit of kit from Iron Bull Strength, then we've got everything you need right here.

Best Weightlifting Belt

Advertisement

Best Leather Weightlifting Belt - Iron Bull Strength Weightlifting Belt

Best weightlifting belt Iron Bull Strength product image of a green leather belt.
click to enlarge
+ 7
Credit: Iron Bull Strength
Brand: Iron Bull Strength | Thickness: 10mm | Material: Leather | Closure Type: Double Prong

This Iron Bull Strength should satisfy all your weightlifting needs regardless of your experience level thanks to its sturdy design and secure lock-in.

Advertisement

The belt is actually made from a competition-approved 10mm thick leather which is designed to deliver a significant amount of support to your lower back whilst also being incredibly durable.

What we like most about this belt though is its double-pronged closure system. This lock-in method has been designed to be immensely strong, thus giving you more confidence when attempting to break personal bests.

On the whole, we feel there's a lot to like for weightlifting about this Iron Bull Strength belt, and it shouldn't break the bank with its price tag either.

Best Lever Weightlifting Belt - Inzer Forever Lever Belt 10mm

Best Weightlifting Belt Inzer, product image of a weightlifting belt, with metallic clasp
click to enlarge
+ 7
Image Credit: Inzer
Brand: Inzer | Thickness: 10mm | Material: Leather | Closure Type: Lever Buckle

Inzer is one of the top manufacturers of weightlifting belts around, especially in the powerlifting scene, so it may come as no surprise we're featuring this Forever Belt on our list.

Advertisement

Made from leather, it should have a long lifespan to fulfill all your weightlifting needs, and the lever buckle means it's, not only durable, but can easily be taken on and off between sets.

The belt also includes high-density nylon stitching for improved strength as well as corrosion resistance.

Also, the belt's 10mm thickness makes it suitable for those competing, as well as beginners who might not be accustomed to wearing heavy belts thanks to its aforementioned lightweight stitching.

Best Budget Weightlifting Belt - Harbinger Weightlifting Belt

Best weightlifting belt Harbinger product image of a black leather belt with a brown inner lining.
click to enlarge
+ 7
Credit: Harbinger
Brand: Harbinger | Thickness: 10mm | Material: Leather | Closure Type: Dual Prong

For powerlifting, you'll no doubt need something strong, durable, and capable of withstanding huge amounts of pressure as you load up the plates on your best barbell.

Advertisement

Thankfully, this Harbinger belt looks like it ticks all of those boxes, all for a relatively inexpensive price tag.

This is due to the belt being made from genuine stiff leather and featuring a dual prong lock-in which has been designed for a tight and secure fit.

Additionally, at 4" thick, the belt should help maximise your back and core stability, particularly during heavy lifts.

It's also worth noting that the Harbinger belt comes with foam padding and a suede lining for added comfort, thus making it a strong contender for one of the best weightlifting belts under 100 pounds or dollars.

Best Lightweight Weightlifting Belt - Schiek Sports Model 3004

Best Weightlifting Belt Schiek product image of black nylon belt with a bright blue support.
click to enlarge
+ 7
Credit: Schiek
Brand: Schiek | Thickness: 4.75" Width | Material: Nylon | Closure Type: Hook and Loop

The Schiek Sports Model 3004 looks to be a great pick if you're searching for a fabric belt to support your lifts.

Advertisement

The 3004 boasts an ergonomic design, with the patented cone shape being designed to support the downward angle of your lower back

Additionally, you get additional layers of neoprene-coated nylon for added support during your heaviest lifts.

Ultimately, if you're searching for something lighter than leather, particularly as a beginner, then we believe this Schiek Sports Model 3004 could be the one for you.

Best Weightlifting Belt For CrossFit - Element 26 Self-Locking Weightlifting Belt

Best Weightlifting Belt Element 26 product image of red belt with self-locking buckle
click to enlarge
+ 7
Image Credit: Element 26
Brand: Element 26 | Thickness: Less Than 10mm | Material: Nylon | Closure Type: Self-Locking Buckle

This nylon belt comes with a self-locking closure mechanism for quick release, meaning this belt would be highly ideal for a CrossFit enthusiast, hence its inclusion in our list of the best weightlifting belts under 100.

Advertisement

Moreover, its material means the belt is more flexible which is beneficial for more functional training, but it does not compromise support during Olympic-style movements.

People have said, despite being nylon, it does not seem to wear particularly quickly so the Element 26 belt should last a considerable amount of time.

This belt would certainly suit both male and female lifters looking for a more versatile weightlifting belt for CrossFit. Check out our list of the best shoes for CrossFit to accompany this bit of kit.

Best Olympic Weightlifting Belt - Eleiko Olympic Weightlifting Belt

Best Weightlifting Belt Eleiko product image of black leather belt.
click to enlarge
+ 7
Image Credit: Eleiko
Brand: Eleiko | Thickness: 8mm | Material: Leather | Closure Type: Buckle, Double Hook, and Loop

Eleiko is a Swedish company known mostly for its barbells and plates, but it also specialises in supportive equipment for Olympic weightlifting.

Advertisement

As per a lot of the top weightlifting belts, the Eleiko is made from one strip of leather providing rigidity and support when attempting challenging Olympic-style lifts but is also lightweight weighing only 2.2lbs.

The leather also means it is durable which, teamed with the double stitching around the outside, should prevent any potential wear and tear.

This is also the case with the closure mechanism as the Eleiko has two hooks as opposed to one, thus increasing security when lifting and increasing the belt's longevity.

Best Weightlifting Belt For Heavy Weights - Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt

Best Weightlifting Belt Rogue product image of brown/tan leather belt.
click to enlarge
+ 7
Image Credit: Rogue
Brand: Rogue | Thickness: 10mm | Material: Leather | Closure Type: Buckle

The Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt looks to be one of the best for lifting heavy weights as part of either a powerlifting or strength training programme.

Advertisement

What we like about it, in particular, is that it is made from premium, 10mm thick leather which, Rogue boasts, offers firm, consistent support to ease the stress on your lower back.

Furthermore, you get a single-buckle closure system that has been designed for quick and easy adjustments pre and post-lift.

It's also worth noting it's available in 5 sizes, so there should be a size in there to suit anyone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Weightlifting Belts

If you are a beginner you probably have tons of questions about weightlifting belts, but we're here to clear up some of the more frequently asked queries.

What Does A Weightlifting Belt Do?

Weightlifting belts are designed to improve spinal stabilisation, which should help protect your lower back during core exercises such as squats and deadlifts.

Advertisement

Research suggests that wearing a belt can help you get past your 'sticking point' faster when squatting along with also improving your overall bar speed.

According to Mayo Clinic, a weightlifting belt can also help you increase and maintain abdominal pressure to further improve spinal stabilisation. This is because your stomach has something to press against, thus creating a more rigid core.

When Should You Start Wearing A Weightlifting Belt?

Given their purpose, weightlifting belts are recommended when lifting heavy weights, particularly during squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses to support your lower back.

A good rule of thumb to follow is you should consider wearing a belt when you're squatting or deadlifting anything above 60% of your one-rep max.

There are also a number of benefits to wearing a belt during heavier sets; for example, it's estimated that a well-trained belt user can move between 5-15% more weight, thus making it a handy tool for progressive overload.

However, a belt isn't necessary during movements that require less spinal stabilisation and lower back strength, for example, bench press and dumbbell curls.

If you're trying to figure out some great movements that require a belt to add to your workout routine, check out our guide on some of the best shoulder exercises for mass right here.

Advertisement

Is Using Weightlifting Belt 'Cheating'?

Simply put, no, using a weightlifting belt isn't cheating as they're allowed in most lifting competitions, and should be a useful tool for protecting your lower back and avoiding injury.

The key is not to become over-reliant on using a weightlifting belt by incorporating some days where you don't use one for additional brace support.

Having said that, we'd recommend wearing one when going for personal bests to help you complete the movement successfully.

Is A Leather Weightlifting Belt Better Than A Fabric One?

Generally speaking, leather weightlifting belts are strong, durable, and rigid, but can also be quite heavy and uncomfortable to wear in comparison to fabric belts, especially if you're just starting your fitness journey.

With that being said though, their added stiffness can be more beneficial when attempting extremely heavy lifts as the leather provides a solid surface to press against for added spinal stabilisation.

Advertisement

Fabric belts tend to be softer and more flexible and, therefore, more comfortable, but this can sometimes mean they're a little less supportive during heavier lifts.

Ultimately, which is better will come down to personal preference and the intended use.

For example, if your favourite way to work out is by completing fast-paced, high-intensity sets, then you may find a fabric belt to be more beneficial as the added flexibility should suit more active exercise.

However, if you're a keen powerlifter, then you may prefer a leather bit of kit for the added stiffness and support during the key moments of your heavy sessions.

Does Wearing A Weightlifting Belt Weaken Your Core?

A common misconception is that using a weightlifting belt will mean you won't need to engage your core as much whilst lifting, thus weakening it in the process.

This is not the case. In fact, wearing a belt can increase spinal stability and stiffness by supporting your core as you 'brace' and push your abdominal muscles into the belt itself.

With that being said though, it's recommended you incorporate some training without a belt to ensure you develop your core muscle strength naturally without additional support.

Advertisement

How Tight Should Your Weightlifting Belt Be?

The belt should fit tightly around your waist to cover your belly button as this provides maximum support to your lower back.

It has been said that if you don't want to immediately take the belt off after your set, you're probably not wearing it tight enough; however, be careful to not wear it so tight you're struggling to move or breathe.

Once the belt is on, you'll want to tense your abs rather than push your abs out and against the belt as this will likely cause flexion of the low back and make it hard to maintain a neutral spine.

How Thick Should Your Weighlifting Belt Be?

As previously touched on, competition-approved belts come with a 10mm thickness; however, there are several pros and cons for going either up or down a size.

For example, a 6.5mm belt should be more flexible which, in turn, can allow for greater mobility and range of motion during lifting.

Advertisement

The downside here is the thinner material may not provide as much support which could increase the risk of injury from repeated heavy lifts.

Going up to a 13mm belt is almost the exact inverse of a 6.5mm bit of kit. You will likely feel incredibly supported, especially from a leather belt, however, it can be uncomfortable to wear as there's less room for your torso.

A 10mm belt sits comfortably in the middle, providing a steady compromise to both sides, which is why it's one of the most commonly used thicknesses.

How Do You Know What Size Weightlifting Belt You Need?

The best way to know what size weightlifting belt you need is to measure around your core, with the tape covering your belly button fairly tightly.

However, if you already own a belt and looking to pick up another one, then you may find it easier to simply measure your previous belt to give a good indication as to what size you need.

Read More: Best Squat Racks Available Right Now