The 7 Best Weightlifting Belts to Buy in 2018

Strengthen your workout game with one of these picks

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Weightlifting comes with a host of health benefits, such as improved strength, bolstered bones, and healthy muscle gains, but it also carries a risk of injury—especially if you lift heavy loads. In fact, the number of weight training-related injuries is on the rise, likely because the sport has increased in popularity recently.

Many athletes swear by using weightlifting belts while working out, both to reduce their chance of injury and to improve performance. The idea is that the belts increase pressure in the abdominal cavity, which in turn helps stabilize the spine and protect the back against injuries while lifting. For some, this extra support means that they can lift heavier weights or complete more repetitions of an exercise than they’d be able to without the belt.

It goes without saying that a weightlifting belt isn’t a fix for poor posture or inexperience. If you don’t know how to perform an exercise with correct form—or if you’re unsure whether you can handle a certain load—it’s best to get help from a personal trainer. But if you’re ready to give a weightlifting belt a try, read on to find out which buy is best for your workouts.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Fire Team Fit Weightlifting Belt

The most useful weightlifting belt will be one that you can use for a number of different exercises, from powerlifting moves to Olympic lifting. One to try: The Fire Team Fit belt. It has a contoured design (wide in the back and narrower on the sides) to optimize support and comfort and also features double support in the lumbar region. A Velcro support strap enables the wearer to adjust it to the desired tightness. Pick from four different sizing options as well as six different colorways (including black, blue, pink, and camo).

Reviewers use the belt for squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings and more. Many say that the belt has greatly improved their posture while lifting, and people are impressed by how well the Velcro strap holds up throughout their workouts.​

Best Double Prong: Iron Bull Strength Powerlifting Belt

Some weightlifters find that belts with a double prong offer more support than single-prong belts—although they can be a tad more difficult to get on. One to try is the Iron Bull belt. It features double roller buckle prongs made from zinc-plated steel for exceptional durability. The weightlifting belt is 4’’ wide and made from 10mm-thick premium leather, which is finished with a suede non-slip surface.

One reviewer says that the double prong system makes the belt feel extra secure, and many reviewers agree that this Iron Bull belt provides the perfect level of stiffness. The belt comes in five colors (including traditional black and a bright blue) and is available in sizes small through XX-large.

Best for Powerlifting: Ader Leather Power Lifting Weight Belt

Belts designed for powerlifting should be thick and the same width all around. They’re also usually made from leather. The Ader belt, which clocks in at 3/8’’ thick and 4’’ wide, is one to try. The black weightlifting belt is made from top-quality leather but also features a soft suede lining for added comfort. A double-prong seamless roller buckle fastens the belt, and a single loop secures it.

People who use the belt for powerlifting say that it’s solidly constructed, great for back support and easy to adjust. Some reviews do say that it takes a few uses to break the belt in, but once you do, it molds well to the user.

Best for Lumbar Support: Valeo 4-Inch Padded Leather Lifting Belt

It’s a common misconception that supporting your lumbar—or lower region of the back—with a weightlifting belt takes the work off the core muscles. In fact, the opposite is true. Added support from belts, such as the Valeo Padded Leather Lifting Belt, actually increases the engagement of the abs and lower back. This 4-Inch belt has a foam lumbar pad that’s covered in suede, which adds additional comfort and support. Made from cowhide, it also features a double-prong roller buckle and is 4’’ wide and ¼’’ thick.

Reviewers say that the belt instantly helped improve form when doing weighted squats and deadlifts. One person who owns the Valeo belt even says that the added support has allowed him to increase the number of repetitions he’s able to perform.

Best for Women: Harbinger Women’s Nylon Weightlifting Belt

Quite a few weightlifting belts are made with men’s waist sizes in mind, making it difficult for women to get the belts as tight as required for optimal support. To the rescue: women-specific belts, like the Harbinger Nylon Weightlifting Belt, which is made from ultralight and flexible nylon and features a 5’’ support panel designed for a woman’s body. A heavy-gauge steel buckle allows the wearer to quickly adjust the belt. It’s available in three sizes: X-small (fits waist sizes 24-28’’), small (28-32’’) and medium (32-36’’).

One person who owns the Harbinger belt says that finding a weightlifting belt to fit her small frame is a struggle, but that this belt is perfect for her size. And if leather belts haven’t worked out well for you, know that many reviewers agree that this belt isn’t stiff and won’t pinch like leather weightlifting belts can (indeed, someone mentions that it feels comfortable to wear if you’re working out with just a sports bra on).

Best Leather: Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt

A leather belt that’s built to last will carry you through workouts and personal records for years to come. The Dark Iron Fitness belt is made from premium reinforced leather and promises not to break, tear or wear out. But despite how tough it is, the belt is comfortable to wear and won’t feel bulky, ride up, or dig into your sides. The belt, which is 4’’ wide and 5mm thick, also features a metal buckle as well as extra adjustment holes, allowing for a snug fit. And the cherry on top is the fact that it comes with a lifetime warranty.

People who own the Dark Iron Fitness belt say that the leather is high quality and supple yet durable. Many reviewers gush that using the belt has improved their workouts and helped them hit new PRs.

Best Velcro: Gabor Fitness Contoured Neoprene Back Support Weight Lifting Belt

Velcro weightlifting belts, such as the Gabor Fitness belt, often have the advantage of being simple to adjust (just lift the strap and tug). This belt uses an over-sized Velcro strap to keep the belt secure and includes a roller buckle to make tightening it up easy. Mobility isn’t restricted when wearing the Gabor Fitness belt, thanks to the fact that it’s made from lightweight Neoprene foam. That said, the contoured design provides exceptional abdominal and back support.

Reviewers say that the Velcro closure is easy to use and doesn’t come loose at all. They also agree that it’s comfortable to wear and allows them to move freely, and one person even mentions that it fits nicely under a shirt, allowing the wearer to be more discreet when using the weightlifting belt.

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