Support Wanes for Weightlifting Belts
Weightlifting belts do little to improve performance, concluded researchers at the Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y., after comparing the progress of 50 weightlifters, half of whom wore weightlifting belts.
All the men followed the same program, and their results were essentially the same. But there was an important difference: The men who did not use the weightlifting belt had better abdominal and back strength.
These results echo a previous study that found little to support the use of these belts.
While an individual may be able to lift about 20 percent more weight when they wear a back belt, this does not translate to 20 percent more protection for the spine.
Furthermore, other studies have found that the constant use of back belts leads to reliance as torso and back muscles begin to atrophy over time.
Only power lifters or those who lift extremely heavy weights appear to benefit from the use of weightlifting belts. But even these individuals would be better off doing their daily training without the aid of a belt.
Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Annual Meeting, New Orleans, La.
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
Click here to order your subscription today.
for ACE's FREE e-newsletter for fitness enthusiasts.