Best Weightlifting Belts for lifters of all levels
Weightlifting belts aren’t just for show, and picking the best weightlifting belt is about more than just fashion taste.
Whether you’ve been lifting your entire life, or perhaps just beginning, having the best weightlifting belt for you is important enough that it’s worth shopping around. Commercial gyms may, or may not, have a box of old belts in a corner with none fitting your needs. And for those garage gym owners and home fitness buffs, consider the weightlifting belt a necessary add-on to the squat rack. The primary job of the weightlifting belt is to first reduce stress on the lower back while lifting in an upright position, and second, to prevent over-extension during an overhead lift. These belts also compress the contents of the abdominal cavity and help prevent hernias and groin pulls. If properly fitted, these belts form a rigid wall around the lower torso and keep everything snug in place. Whether an old pro or a newbie, these pieces are important when performing any variation of squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bent-over-rows, and other exercises where the core will bend or extend.
And so as with any wearable item, size matters. When shopping around quality suppliers like Rogue Fitness, you’ll notice that in addition to sizing differences, material varies from nylon to leather. Below are the best weightlifting belts for lifters of all levels, with variations noted for body size and the types of lifting performed, from heavy maximal lifts to more general exercise in a lighter environment.
Best Weightlifting Belts
Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting Belt
Usapl-certified Up To 600 Lbs
Rogue 3" Ohio Belt
International Powerlifting Federation Approved
Rogue Black Leather 13mm - 4" lever belt
International Powerlifting Federation Approved
Rogue 4" Nylon Weightlifting Belt
Rogue Premium Ohio Lifting Belt
I can definitely tell the difference when using a good belt. In addition to squats and deadlifts, I practice rack pulls frequently. Too stiff, or too lose, and you just don’t get the same benefit. When going for maximal poundage, you also want to make sure to prevent a muscle pull or back injury.
Weightlifting belts are safety equipment for lifters of any age or stage. To use properly, first choose a belt of the appropriate size. Make sure the back side of the belt is snugly protecting the base of the spine, and then if possible, keep the front buckle just beneath the belly button. What this does is keep the internal contents of the abdominal cavity secure so as to prevent a tear or pull. The belt will also hold the spinal erectors in place to prevent over-extension. If secured snug enough, the belt should be just a bit restrictive and discomforting so as to prevent injurious movement. Any movement that requires bending at the waist, weights lifted directly overhead, or weights borne across the back, can be made more safe with a weightlifting belt.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Dark Iron Fitness Weightlifting Belt
Comfort and Performance
By far and away the most comfortable weightlifting belt I’ve ever tried, the Dark Iron Fitness belt’s 100% Buffalo leather feels like silk. No more gut-wrenching or stiffness here. US Association of Powerlifting-approved up to 600 pounds for squats, deadlifts, and rack pulls, the belt certainly won’t be outgrown easily.
Secured with a double-decker buckle, hoop, and lock system, you can tighten this up as much as you want and still feel comfortable to move athletically. The leather is strong enough to last, but not as stiff as others models.
Sizes include from Extra Small (23-31″), Small (27-35″), Medium (32-40″), Large (36-44″), and Extra Large (41-49″). Best feel and the price is great. Hands down here.
2. Rogue 3" Ohio Belt
The All-Around Weightlifting Belt
The Rogue 3″ Ohio Belt brings the strength and durability of vegetable-tanned leather with a slightly more narrow fit. A full inch less in width than the 4″ models, lifters with smaller waists and longer torsos might find this belt more comfortable. Made in the USA, the thinner belt still offers firm, reliable support with a leather-strong hold, but is less likely to dig into the hips and ribs of smaller-framed lifters and won’t hinder the arch of a bench presser. International Powerlifting Federation approved, it’s a great choice for powerlifters and bodybuilders who don’t need the action of movement found in jumping about Crossfit competitions, the leather belt is secured with a double-prong buckle. A great choice for lighter built athletes who want to lift heavy often. As with all lifting belts, keep size in mind as a secure fit is crucial. Waists measured outside the clothes at 21-28″ are Small, with 26-33″ Medium, 31-37″ Large, 34-41″ X-Large and 38-45″ XX-Large.
3. Rogue Black Leather 13mm - 4" lever belt
Go big or go home
The Rogue Black Leather 13mm – 4″ lever belt is definitely a heavy duty weightlifting belt for heavy duty lifters. This Pioneer brand belt is 100% vegetable tanned leather and made in the USA. Powerlifters and people with large frames will like this International Powerlifting Federation approved belt. The belt alone weighs three pounds and is 4″ wide, featuring a new patented lock-in lever design made from nickel-plated steel instead of the old-fashioned buckle. This provides more guaranteed safety when performing dynamic movements as there will be no slipping. Edges are beveled for additional comfort with a liner as well. A great purchase particularly for powerlifters looking to lift as heavy a weight as they can for one single repetition without much movement in between. One thing to consider about the Rogue Black Leather 13mm – 4″ lever belt is that sizes tend to run different from most other lines. Waists between 22-31″ are X-Small, with 27-36″ at Small, 31-40″ at Medium, 35-44″ at Large, and 39-48″ at X-Large. When measuring for a weightlifting belt, ignore normal pant sizes and use a cloth tape around the outside of your typical workout clothes, as this is how it will fit. Notice that with sizing these types of belts, there is considerable overlap between the sizes to account for the variety of skeletal builds of lifters in terms of height and hip-waist ratios. Snug is good.
4. Rogue 4" Nylon Weightlifting Belt
On the move
The Rogue 4″ Nylon Weightlifting Belt is much thinner and lighter than a traditional leather weightlifting belt, Rogue’s nylon option brings a solid 4″ coverage without the rigidity and extra cost of hard leather. Action-oriented fitness enthusiasts and those looking for more movement are this belt’s target. But don’t let the lighter weight of the wearable fool you, the Rogue 4″ Nylon Weightlifting Belt has all the strength of material to handle a heavy load while providing firm and stable support to the abdomen and lower back. A big plus for the nylon is increased flexibility for transitioning from lighter to heavier movements and less discomfort. Attaching with a quick-adjust steel tension buckle and hook-and-loop fastening system, this is a great choice for lifters who plan on moving station to station, or those looking for high repetitions per set such as is the case in Crossfit, and could even comfortable double as a work-around-the-home wearable. And the sizing schedule of the Rogue 4″ Nylon Weightlifting Belt demonstrates that it’s a top choice for Crossfitters and bodybuilders alike. Waists between 26-29″ are X-Small, with 29-34″ at Small, 32-37″ at Medium, 35-40″ at Large, 38-43″ at X-Large and 41-46″ at XX-Large.
5. Rogue Premium Ohio Lifting Belt
The Rogue Premium Ohio Belt brings a great all-around package for those who like the 4″ wide style of weightlifting belts. Weighing in at 3 pounds itself, the belt offers a solid slip resistant finish by way of tanned leather. Fastened by traditional metal buckle, these belts are made to keep the torso tight when lifting for heavy poundage. Style wise, this belt in particular double stitching and a roughed interior side for a little extra stick against your clothes as you pull the weight. Another benefit to the tanning process is long-term protection against moisture and a propensity for maintaining its value. Like other weightlifting belts designed to heavier lifters, the Rogue Premium Ohio Belt is sized Small for those with waists between 21-28,” Medium for 26-33,” Large for 31-37,” X-Large for 34-41″ and XX-Large for 38-45″.