The 10 Best Weightlifting Belts of 2021

Add some stability and support to your lifts

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Verywell / Chloe Jeong

Weightlifting is a popular form of exercise that allows individuals to build strength in a controlled environment. Poor lifting form, lifting too much weight too quickly, or lack of core strength and stability during exercises can often lead to injury. Weightlifting belts are a great way for lifters to protect themselves during heavy lifts by reducing the stress placed on their lower back.

These belts can add stability and support while weightlifting and can also prevent back hyperextension during overhead lifts.

"When selecting a weightlifting belt, you need to consider several things, such as materials, method of closure, size, cost, and the manufacturer’s claims about belt use," Christopher Gagliardi, ACE's Scientific Education Content Manager and ACE Certified Personal Trainer, says.

Here are the best weightlifting belts on the market.

Our Top Picks
The genuine cowhide leather belt has a double prong locking system that stays in place without digging into your sides.
Flexible and lightweight, it's made with 100 percent nylon that will keep you comfortable throughout your workout.
It’s affordable, but still has the exceptional design and comfort you’d find in much more expensive belts.
Features a lever locking system which allows individuals to take it on and off in a matter of seconds.
The belt has a stainless steel slide bar buckle that allows for an ideal fit, no matter your waist size.
The 40-inch weight strap can hold up to six Olympic-size plates, so it's perfect for veteran weightlifters.
A double-prong belt gives individuals peace of mind as the extra prong allows for a more even distribution of weight.
This 6-inch belt is great for beginner weightlifters that are just starting to experiment with a lifting belt.
6-inch width and dual prong roller buckles provide a secure, stable fit, no matter how tough and lengthy your workout is.
You can easily fasten the belt and achieve your desired compression and fit without having to spend a lot of time fussing.

Best Overall: Dark Iron Fitness Lifting Belt

Dark Iron Fitness Lifting Belt
Pros
  • Extremely durable

  • Doesn’t dig into hips

  • Lifetime replacement guarantee

Cons
  • Holes may stretch over time

  • Requires a break-in period

This 4-inch genuine cowhide leather belt has a double prong locking system that stays in place without pinching or digging into your sides. Because it's made with flexible leather, the belt is built to last and won't tear or snap like belts made with cheaper material. According to the manufacturer, it can support squats and deadlifts with over 600 pounds of weight.

The belt comes in XS (23- to 31-inch waist), S (27- to 35-inch waist), M (32- to 40-inch waist), L (36- to 44-inch waist), and XL (41- to 49-inch waist) sizes. With plenty of holes, weightlifters can find the compression that feels most comfortable.

Materials: Leather | Closure: Buckle and prong | Width: 4 inches

Good to Know

To put on a weightlifting belt, bring it around your back and center the locking mechanism (whether that be a lever, Velcro, or prongs) near your belly button. The belt should not be at your ribs, but it should also not be as low as your hips—find what feels most comfortable to you.

You should tighten the belt to where you feel pressure when you press out your abs, but not so tight that your movement is restricted. A good rule of thumb is to be able to slide your hand between your body and the belt.

Best Overall Runner-up: Element 26 Self-Locking Weightlifting Belt

Element 26 Self-Locking Weightlifting Belt
Pros
  • Excellent durability

  • Comfortable

  • Secure fit

  • Lightweight and flexible

Cons
  • Smaller fit only

  • Requires a break-in period

For an alternative to leather weightlifting belts, this one from Element 26 checks all the boxes for a quality, high-performance belt. Made with 100% premium nylon, it’s flexible and lightweight, yet still extremely durable. The self-locking buckle is easy to use and stays secure during workouts.

The belt’s 4-inch width provides consistent, intra-abdominal pressure to enhance support and increase your stability during your lift. Available in sizes S-XL, it can fit waist sizes 23 to 45 inches and is a reliable, sturdy option for lifters of all experience levels.

Materials: Nylon | Closure: Velcro | Width: 4 inches

Best Budget: Harbinger 4-Inch Nylon Weightlifting Belt

Harbinger 4-Inch Nylon Weightlifting Belt
Pros
  • Lightweight and supportive

  • Comfortable foam padding

  • Affordable

  • Durable

Cons
  • Not suitable for waists above 42 inches

  • Runs small

Affordable but made with the same quality as high-end belts, this option from Harbinger is great for beginners. Made with thick, flexible nylon, it’s durable and built to last, but it doesn’t feel heavy and bulky like some leather belts.  

The 4-inch belt provides maximum lower back and abdominal support, with excellent foam padding for added comfort. A heavy-gauge steel roller buckle and 3-inch adjustment strap make it easy to get the right fit. With several sizes to choose from, this belt can accommodate waists from 24 to 42 inches.

Materials: Nylon, foam | Closure:  Buckle | Width:  4 inches

Best for Powerlifting: Inzer Advance Designs Forever Lever Belt

Inzer Advance Designs Forever Lever Belt
Pros
  • Very durable

  • Variety of sizes and colors

  • Consistent support

  • Easy on and off

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Requires a break-in period

Compared to belts designed for Olympic weightlifting—which usually feature more padding on the back—belts made for powerlifting should be the same width all the way around. An even belt is better for heavy squats and deadlifts, whereas belts intended for Olympic weightlifting are designed to support overhead movements like the snatch, press, and clean-and-jerk.

Easy to take on and off, this .39-inch leather belt features a lever locking system. With four rows of stitching and a forever guarantee, it's designed for durability. While customers say it requires some break-in time, it conforms to your body the more you use it. The belt comes in sizes XS-5XL and in a range of fun colors.

Materials: Leather | Closure: Lever | Width: 4 inches

Best for Women: MRX BOXING & FITNESS Powerlifting Leather Belt

MRX BOXING & FITNESS Powerlifting Leather Belt
Pros
  • Designed for women

  • Very durable

  • Variety of sizes and colors

Cons
  • May not work for petite women

  • Requires a break-in period

Since many weightlifting belts are designed with a man’s build in mind, some women have a hard time finding a belt that can lock tight enough around their often smaller waist. The MRX Powerlifting Belt is 4 inches wide and made to conform to a variety of body types.

Constructed of durable leather and a stainless steel slide bar buckle, it's made to give you an ideal fit. The belt comes in six sizes—S (27 to 33 inches) to XXL (44 to 50 inches). It also comes in multiple fun and classic colors and patterns including black, pink, brown, camo pink, camo gray, and more.

Materials: Leather | Closure: Buckle and prong | Width: 4 inches

Best Dip Belt: Hypeletics Weightlifting Dip Belt

Hypeletics Weightlifting Dip Belt
Pros
  • Comfortable padding

  • Very portable

  • Easy to adjust

  • Affordable

Cons
  • May be too wide for some

  • Requires a break-in period

A “dip” or “dipping” belt sits lower on the midsection than a normal belt. These belts are not designed for every kind of weightlifting exercise—the chain or strap that hangs off the belt allows you to attach weight plates for added resistance. This makes any sort of bodyweight exercise (like pull-ups or free squats) more difficult. 

The Hypeletics Dip Belt comes with an adjustable waist strap and buckle that gives users a snug fit to ensure the belt won’t fall off when exercising. Made with neoprene, reinforced stitching, steel carabiners, and an inner pad, it's crafted for comfort. Plus, the 40-inch weight strap can hold up to six Olympic-size plates, so it's perfect for veteran weightlifters.

Materials: Neoprene | Closure: Buckle | Width: 7 inches

Best Double Prong: Iron Bull Strength Powerlifting Belt

Iron Bull Strength Powerlifting Belt
Pros
  • Very durable

  • Excellent support

  • Secure and stable

  • Quality materials

Cons
  • Difficult to put on

  • Requires a break-in period

The 4-inch Iron Bull Strength Powerlifting Belt is made of thick suede leather, offering support and flexibility no matter what weight you're lifting. Designed to conform to the user’s body shape, it helps lifters maintain good form for safe lifting. The double prong buckle is made of plated steel for strength and durability—giving individuals peace of mind since it allows for a more even distribution of weight.

With ten rows of holes, the belt is fully adjustable for a customized fit. It also comes in five sizes including S (25 to 30 inches), M (30 to 35 inches), L (35 to 40 inches), XL (40 to 45 inches), and XXL (45 to 50 inches).

Materials: Leather | Closure: Buckle and prong | Width: 4 inches

Best for Beginners: RitFit Weight Lifting Belt

RitFit Weight Lifting Belt
Pros
  • Ideal for beginners

  • Wide range of sizes

  • Easy to adjust

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Requires a break-in period

  • Not great for heavy lifts

This affordable, 6-inch belt has a foam core, waterproof exterior, and soft edges for unmatched comfort while lifting. With a solid steel buckle and high-quality velcro strap, its snug fit ensures spinal support and abdominal pressure while allowing individuals to easily move through their workout without restriction.

Since velcro belts are typically easier to fasten and take on and off, this one is great for beginner weightlifters that are just starting to experiment with a lifting belt. It comes in sizes S-XXL—22 to 59 inches around the waist—and in four unique colors.

Materials: Reinforced tricot | Closure: Velcro | Width: 6 inches

Best Padded: Harbinger Leather Padded Weightlifting Belt

Harbinger Belt
Pros
  • Contoured design

  • Foam cushioning for comfort

  • Very durable

  • Secure fit

Cons
  • Requires a break-in period

  • May not work for large sizes

If you’re looking for a very comfortable, protective fit, you’ll appreciate the padding and durable construction of this genuine leather weightlifting belt from Harbinger. The 6-inch width and dual prong roller buckles provide you with security, no matter how tough and lengthy your workout is. The foam and suede lining also provides cushioning where you need it the most.

An excellent pick for lifters of all levels, this belt comes in a wide range of sizes. As with most leather weightlifting belts, it will take several wears for it to break in, but it’s well worth the wait.

Materials: Leather, foam | Closure:  Buckle and prong | Width: 6 inches

Best Velcro: Gymreapers Quick-Locking Weightlifting Belt

Gymreapers Belt
Pros
  • Easy closure

  • Durable

  • Lightweight and supportive

  • Lifetime replacement guarantee

Cons
  • Runs small

  • Not as thick as some

Velcro weightlifting belts, such as this one from Gymreapers, are popular because they're easy to use and comfortable. With a low-profile hook and loop closure, you can easily fasten the belt and achieve your desired compression and fit without having to spend a lot of time fussing with a buckle.

Designed with 100 percent high-grade nylon materials and reinforced stitching, this belt is built to withstand tough, long workouts. The 4-inch width around the entire belt supports your core and back, whether you’re squatting, deadlifting, or snatching. Plus, Gymreapers stands behind their belts with a lifetime replacement guarantee, so you can trust that you’re getting a quality, durable product.

Materials: Nylon | Closure: Velcro | Width: 4 inches

Final Verdict

Crafted with genuine cowhide leather the Dark Iron Fitness Lifting Belt (view at Amazon) is a durable option that will stay in place during your workout. It features a double-prong locking system that won’t dig into your sides, and it can support over 600 pounds of weight—making it a good option for heavy lifters.

If you’re looking for a more flexible option, you can’t go wrong with the Element 26 Self-Locking Weightlifting Belt (view at Amazon). Made with 100% premium nylon, it’s lightweight and easy to take on and off. However, the 4-inch width provides consistent pressure for safety and stability while lifting. 

What to Look For in a Weightlifting Belt

Material

The ideal material for a weightlifting belt is often based on personal comfort and how long a lifter intends to use it. Leather belts take some time to break in but will last a long time. Individuals who are newer to weightlifting may prefer a nylon belt since it generally takes less time to break in. 

Locking mechanism

There are a couple of ways to secure a weightlifting belt—single prong, double prong, lever, and Velcro. Lever and Velcro locking mechanisms are the fastest to get off, but prong systems tend to give users the ability to customize how tight their belt is more easily. This is especially important if individuals prefer different degrees of compression depending on what lift they’re doing—with a prong system you can just tighten a different notch, but a lever requires you to reset it with each compression change.

Width

The desired width of a belt is generally dictated by how much weight an individual is planning to lift or how much support they feel their body needs. Competitive lifters often find their range of motion slightly impacted by wider belts, but more novice lifters may want the extra support.

FAQs

How to wear a weightlifting belt

To put on a weightlifting belt, first, bring the belt around your back. Next, center the locking mechanism (whether that be a lever, Velcro, or prongs) near your belly button. The belt should not be at your ribs, but it should also not be as low as your hips—find what feels most comfortable to you.

Why do weightlifters wear belts?

The use of a weightlifting belt may benefit those performing extreme athletic lifting to help stabilize the core and alleviate pressure on the spine. “When the torso is in a bent position, such as during a deadlift, wearing a back belt assists lifters in generating more torque,” Gagliardi says.

“Back belts have been shown to add stiffness to the torso through increased intra-abdominal pressure, which reduces the risk of spine buckling under load and to increase elastic recoil, or the way muscles return to their normal length after being lengthened," he adds.

How tight should a weightlifting belt be?

You should tighten the belt to where you feel pressure when you press out your abs, but not so tight that your movement is restricted. A good rule of thumb is to be able to slide your hand between your body and the belt.

When to use weightlifting belt

“Back belts are most helpful and purposeful during the extreme lifting of maximal loads,” Gagliardi says. “They work best or provide the most support when poor lifting mechanics are used and weight is lifted in a way that exposes exercisers back to a higher risk of injury.” So, weightlifting belts are useful for doing deadlifts, squats, or stand-up lifting, but shouldn’t be used if an exercise can be performed with good form, such as when the exerciser can maintain a neutral spine.

Do you need a weightlifting belt?

If you’re doing regular exercise to enhance your overall health and fitness, you probably don’t need to wear a weightlifting belt. They should be used by weightlifters who are lifting maximal loads and need lower lumbar support.

Additionally, weightlifting belts should not be used as a treatment for an injury. “While it may feel good to wear a back belt, it’s important to not lose focus on the cause of injury,” Gagliardi says. 

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a former fitness coach, long-time wellness enthusiast, and current health editor, Lily Moe understands the importance of equipment that is made to help you reach your fitness goals. She’s seen how using the wrong equipment can cause injury, and how choosing the right tools will often be the momentum individuals need to reach success. Most importantly, Lily always looks for research and first-hand reviews when it comes to deciding on a product.

A personal trainer, marathon running coach, and fitness writer, Christine Luff loves researching and testing the latest and greatest health and fitness gear and gadgets. Her decades of running experience have helped her understand the value of using the best gear to improve comfort and performance.

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