Best Weightlifting Belt Review December 2018 - Ultimate Buying Guide

Best Weightlifting Belt

updated December 1, 2018

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, when you’re ready to get serious about lifting weights, it’s time to step up to a weightlifting belt. Not only will the right weightlifting belt or powerlifting belt allow you to lift more weight, but it will also provide your spine with additional support, to make it more stable under heavy weight.

You’ll be able to squat, deadlift, and perform overhead and heavyweight power moves more safely. A weightlifting belt is an essential piece of training equipment for anyone who’s serious about heavy lifting.

On the women’s side, however, they were forced to contend with belts that were designed for their male counterparts. Often they were too big, bulky and didn’t provide a cinched fit.

Fortunately, times have changed and there is an impressive selection of belts specifically designed for the female lifter, as well as the male lifter. The leather weight lifting belt is the original old school model that has stood the test of time.

Apart from being more resilient and hard wearing than the modern fabric belts, a leather lifting belt has a certain macho appeal that’s hard to define but very real. That’s why many gym junkies wouldn’t be seen dead in anything but a genuine leather belt.

A Quick Look at the Top Weightlifting Belts

The best powerlifting belt that we have found is the Weightlifting Power Belt by Emerge, which provides you with an adjustable premier hook and loop which is both sturdy and comfortable. It’s premium hoop and lock fastening system allows for easy on-off and secure cinching.

We were also impressed with the FireTeam Fit lever model, which provides four inches of uniform thickness and is handmade from premium natural leather. This model is suitable for both men and women.

We are also very impressed by the FitGirl genuine cowhide leather belt, which is also four inches around and has an adjustable, non-slip fit.

To allow you to compare and contrast the best weightlifting belts easily, we’ve rated them by price and durability. We’ve then given each one an overall rating out of 5. We go in-depth on each product later in this article.

Proper Weightlifting Form and Technique

There are several do’s and don’ts associated with weightlifting form and powerlifting technique and it is good to learn about these techniques so that your weightlifting training is safer and more effective.

You will want to start out by lifting an appropriate amount of weight. This means a weight that you are comfortable with and can conceivably lift around fifteen times. As you continue these reps, you will gain strength and can gradually begin to increase the amount of weight you are lifting.

If you are a male or female weightlifter, then you have probably heard the term Valsalva maneuver. The Valsalva maneuver is simply the action of trying to exhale with both the nostrils and mouth closed. Doing this will increase the pressure in your ears and chest when you brace before you lift heavy weights. It is also considered a means of helping to equalize the pressure in your ears. 

During the Valsalva maneuver, there is a reduction of the filling of the right and then left side of the heart. The stroke volume as well as blood pressure will fall as the heart rate increases.

Advantages of a Weightlifting Belt

One of the best reasons to wear a weightlifting belt is to increase intra-abdominal pressure while you are lifting a lot of weight. Stabilizing your inner core is a key component when it comes to stabilizing your spine and allowing you to increase your maximum power levels.

Weightlifting belts almost act as a second set of abs and you should also practice breathing exercises during lifting. A weightlifting belt should not be confused for a back brace. A weightlifting belt is to primarily support your abs, not your back, during weightlifting.

When lifting, practice proper form. This means you need to learn how to move within the full range of motion you have in your joints. As your form becomes better, you will be able to lift more safely.

Breathing is another crucial element when it comes to weightlifting. Weightlifters, you should not hold your breath as you lift the weights. Instead, breathe out as you begin to lift the weights and then breathe in as you begin to lower them.

Always warm up your muscles before starting your weightlifting routine. Even a quick five to ten minutes of walking is an effective routine to warm up your muscles and prepare them for the workout.

If you are a powerlifter, then it is a good idea to wear a belt because it will allow the powerlifters to squat and deadlift more weight than they would be able to do without the belt. 

The belts that are made for this sport tend to be heavy duty, stiff and also have the same width all the way around the belt.

Difference between Weightlifting and Powerlifting

There is the obvious difference between weightlifting and powerlifting when you see the competition lifts that are involved with each. Weightlifting uses the snatch and clean and jerk moves, which are all overhead movements.

Powerlifting uses bench press, deadlift and squats, which are directed vertically overhead. The snatch movement is more like an extension of the ankles, knees and hips. Almost like you would see with the squat and the deadlift.

Olympic weightlifting competitors do not compete in squat movements. Instead, the squat is used to assist them in their other competition lifts.

The Best Weight Lifting Belts

weighlift belt

The Genuine Leather Pro from Dark Iron Fitness for men is constructed from real, hard wearing genuine leather. This weightlifting belt has four layers of double stitching to ensure toughness and durability during strength training and weight lifting.


This unit is four inches across its entire length, unlike most weightlifting belts which can taper down at the front; this provides you with maximum protection to your whole core as you are pushing maximum loads.


The fastening system on this weightlifting belt is by way of a heavy duty double buckling system which comes with 11 sets of holes to allow for a precision fit.


Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather also features an adjustable non-slip fit, meaning that you will not have to contend with it slipping while you’re lifting heavy weight. It comes with a 100% replacement warranty.

PROS

  • Hard wearing cow leather construction
  • 4 layers of double stitching
  • Heavy duty double buckling system
  • 4 inches of uniform thickness

CONS

  • Takes some time to break in
emerge weightlift belt

The Emerge weightlifting training power belt for men and women is the most secure nylon weightlifting belt on the market. Its large size provides maximum protection for your entire core, with an accent on the lumbar region.

 

It’s easily adjustable with the premium hook and loop fastening system and includes a steel tension buckle. This makes it a breeze to transition from light to heavy gym moves.

 

The Emerge nylon belt is the best product we have found yet when it comes to supporting your abdomen and lower back, improving your stability and lifting power and preventing injuries. Emerge provide this belt in a range of sizes to ensure that you get just the right fit.

PROS

  • 4 inches wide all the way around
  • Each unit is handcrafted
  • Lever buckle system
  • Secure and comfortable nylon construction
  • Easy on-off
  • Heavy duty steel tension buckle

CONS

  • Expensive
FireTeam Fit weightlifting belt

The Fire Team Fit weightlifting belt for women is a nylon belt with an adjustable Velcro support system to allow for precision adjustment. This is unlike a leather belt, which has predetermined belt holes.

 

The Fire Team Fit ladies’ weightlifting belt has a lightweight, contoured design that looks great and is highly functional. The nylon webbing construction of the belt is breathable, antimicrobial and sweat resistant.


This lifting belt model provides you with a rigid level of spine support while also allowing you to perform a full complement of CrossFit or plyo type moves. That’s because it is more flexible than a leather belt.


FireTeam Fit features a heavy-duty roller buckling system to provide the most secure of fits. It provides a very comfortable fit and is available in a range of colors. It is offered at a very good price and comes with a 100% money back guarantee.

 

This belt is great for such exercises as squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and power cleans. At the same time, it is ideal to provide back support when performing CrossFit type moves.

PROS

  • Adjustable Velcro support system
  • Flexible yet firm
  • Range of colors
  • 5 inch back support
  • Antimicrobial and sweat resistant

CONS

  • Not wide enough in the front
  • Sizes run slightly small
weightliftting belt

The FitGirl pink weight lifting belt is specially designed to provide support for female weightlifters. Probably the most stylish weightlifting belt ever designed, the pink and black design looks cool while being extremely functional.


It provides a huge 5 inches of back support, tapering down to a 3-inch front. FitGirl pink weight lifting belt is made with an extremely light foam core, this unit has a tricot inner lining that is very comfortable on the skin, while providing warmth to the muscles.


The fastening system is by way of a two-inch Velcro support strap. This makes for a reliable, fast way to get the belt on and off. Because it is so lightweight, this lifting belt is perfect for CrossFit training and female lifters.


An ultra light foam core gives added support and protection to the lower back. FITGIRL pink comes with a 60 day money back guarantee.

PROS

  • Specially designed for females
  • 5-inch back support
  • Very stylish design
  • Velcro adjustment strap
  • Foam core inner

CONS

  • Not a uniform thickness
  • Hard to size for small framed women
Valeo weightlifting belt

The Valeo Performance 4-inch VLP low profile lifting belt has a 4-inch wide foam core that runs around the entire body; this provides equal support for the spine and the abdomen.

 

The torque ring fastening system makes use of top quality Velcro, ensuring a fast, reliable securing mechanism during strength training. The soft bound edges and tricot inner lining of this unit make it extremely comfortable to wear.


The foam core of this lifting belt is waterproof. Because the lifting belt is lightweight and secure, it is perfect for wearing during your CrossFit WOD, where you are quickly moving from heavy Olympic weightlifting exercises to plyometric jumping and calisthenic type moves.

Although not ideal for max heavy lifts, it is a great beginner belt for those just starting out with their strength training routine.

PROS

  • 4-inch width all the way around
  • Torque ring fastening system
  • Tricot inner lining

CONS

  • Slight tendency to slide around
Rogue Ohio weightlifting belt

The Rogue Ohio Heavy Duty lifting belt for male weightlifters is handcrafted to the very high standard that Rogue is famous for. This leather weightlifting belt immediately sets it apart from its mass-produced competition.


Made from vegetable tanned leather, this model makes use of an all-natural tanning method which takes far longer than the more commonly used sole tanning method. However, the leather that results is far more firm and durable.


You also get a product that, while extremely sturdy, is also flexible so that is will not crack, but, rather, naturally bends with the body. It is also water resistant and has a rich, natural looking brown tone. It gives you a lifting belt that is amazingly strong, yet it also remains soft.


Unlike other belts, there is hardly any breaking in time with this belt so that it will perform for you from day one. The Rogue weightlifting belt has a single buckle design and is built for better strength training.

PROS

  • Vegetable tanned leather
  • Made in the USA
  • Reduced break in time

CONS

  • Crack resistant
Schiek Nylon weightlifting belt

The Schiek weight lifting belt for women provides comfortable, secure back support while powerlifting and weightlifting. It is contoured to fit the shape of your body and has a unique patented angle through the rear to naturally fit the shape of the user’s back.


It also features patented contours in the rib and hip area to provide an even firmer, more secure fit while you are lifting heavy weights. While many leather lifting belts are not as thick in the front, Schiek weight lifting belt widens to provide extra support for the abdomen.


This Velcro weight lifting belt comes with a heavy duty stainless steel slide bar buckle to keep you strapped in while you’re under load, and the velcro provides a secure enclosure.


The belt feels great to wear with no itchiness while providing the right amount of intra-abdominal pressure. The downward angled design works with the natural movement patterns of the body around the waist, allowing you to perform more freely.

PROS

  • Patented rear angle
  • Rib and hip contours
  • Wider in front than most
  • One way Velcro closure

CONS

  • Uncomfortable fit for people over 6 feet tall
Harbinger weightlifting belt

The Harbinger Flexible upright foam core lifting belt for men comes in four sizes, providing you with a large 5-inch wide support system for the lower back. It features a flexible, lightweight foam core to generate warmth in the lumbar muscles while still offering maximum support and guidance.

 

The foam is surrounded by abrasion resistant nylon. The buckling system of the Harbinger lifting belt consists of a heavy-duty steel roller buckle, which is easy to operate and provides a very secure hold. This lifting belt has a tricot lining which is very comfortable against the skin.

 

With 5 inches at the back and 3 in the front, you will get ample back and abdominal support with this unit. It comes with a 90-day manufacturer’ warranty.

PROS

  • 5-inch back width
  • Lightweight foam core
  • Tricot lining

CONS

  • Sizing runs a little on the small side
RDX weightlifting belt

The RDX Cowhide weightlifting belt for men provides four inches of back support with a genuine cowhide suede interior to protect the lumbar region from the heavy pressure of squatting.


The reinforced double stitching used on this model provides an effective sweat-wicking system while also enhancing the durability of the product. The fastening system is by way of a double-pronged roller system, which provides a secure, easy release.


The exterior of the RDX weight lifting belt is made from extremely tough wearing buffalo hide. It is four inches through the back region to provide full support to your lumbar area. As a bonus, this belt is shipped in a long box so that it won’t be folded.

PROS

  • Reinforced double stitching
  • Sweat-wicking properties
  • Tough wearing buffalo hide exterior

CONS

  • Not wide enough in the front 

Leather Weightlifting belts are generally regarded as the best on the market. Check out the top on offer with our Best Leather Weightlifting Belts Review 2018 and discover the best of the best.

Fitgirl is far from the only weightlifting belt designed for a woman weightlifter. Check out the full range with our Best Women’s Weightlifting Belts Review 2018 - it features the best on the market.

Ader weightlifting belt

The Ader Leather powerlifting belt for men is made of high-quality genuine leather and has a soft suede inner lining. This makes it extremely tough while also being comfortable wearing.


This lifting belt is three-eighths of an inch thick and four inches wide, providing you with a high degree of support for both your lumbar region and your abdomen. The fastening system uses a double pronged chrome roller buckle and a single loop.


High-quality double stitching provides extra rigidity, while also serving as a sweat wicking and moisture resistant measure. The belt is finished in a stylish black. Ader Leather Power is a high-quality belt that provides solid protection at a competitive price.

PROS

  • Soft suede inner lining
  • Double pronged chrome buckle
  • 4-inch uniform width

CONS

  • Holes are too small

The RitFit women’s powerlifting belt provides an impressive six inches of back thickness. This is the most back support that we have yet seen in a women’s lifting belt.


The belt has been ergonomically designed to provide the best ergonomic support to the entire core area while lifting. The inner foam core of this unit provides extra comfort and protection to the lower back. Comfort is enhanced with soft bound edges and tricot inner lining.


The thickness of this unit tapers down by about an inch at the front, still providing plenty of support for the abs to brace against. A velcro enclosure allows you to get just the right fit. The RitFit is hand washable.

PROS

  • Six inches of back support
  • Inner foam core
  • Soft bound edges

CONS

  • None identified

The Harbinger women’s belt comes in a stylish pink and black and features an extra wide 5 inch back width. This tapers down as the belt comes around to the stomach. The pick support strap that runs around the middle is two inches thick.


With a very flexible, ultra-light foam inner core, this unit provides plenty of lumbar support and plenty of comfort. The nylon webbing of the harbinger provides a fabric that is at the same time firm yet flexible.


That makes it a great choice for the women who wish to quickly move from heavy power weight based exercises to cardio moves that require movement through the hip area. A breathable tricot lining makes for a comfortable fit on the skin.

PROS

  • 5 inch back
  • Foam inner core
  • Tricot lining

CONS

  • Needs to be thicker in front

The Rip Toned women’s weightlifting belt provides you with 4.5 inches of support back and front which tapers slightly at the waist. This provides a great deal of stability for the lower back and the core, while still giving plenty of freedom of movement through the sides of the waist. You get a super comfortable, snug fit thanks to a tricot lining.


The Rip Toned powerlifting belt for women provides a metal clasp that provides a secure, easy-on, easy-off system, and fits very securely. You get the added security of an extra long Velcro strap to allow you to cinch up as tightly as you need to.


This belt is washable and comes with a 100% lifetime money back guarantee.

PROS

  • 4.5 inch back and front support
  • Waist taper
  • Free guide book
  • Lifetime guarantee

CONS

  • Sizing a little small

The Grip Power Pads Pro workout belt for women features a cool back and pink design that will complement a woman’s figure as it provides maximum protection. The belt is 5 inches wide around the back and tapers down to a 3 inch width around the abdominals.

 

The thick nylon fabric is firm for lumbar support while also affording the flexibility needed to for movement in the gym. Grip Power Pads Pro comes with Sure Grip Velcro to allow for quick fastening. It also features a rubber pull tab to make it even easier to get the belt off.

 

With no buckles to fasten, this belt is completely adjustable so it fits every time.

PROS

  • Rubber tab
  • Sure Grip velcro fastening
  • 5 inch backing

CONS

  • Front width needs to be thicker

The RIM SPORTS weightlifting belt for men and women have the width and thickness to provide maximum lower back support as you squat thanks to its wide back lumbar support design.

 

The quality cotton material construction cradles your back and eliminates the itching that you get with other brands. This belt makes use of advanced wicking properties that ensure comfort, longevity and durability.


The RIM SPORTS belt features a long, heavy duty velcro latch to make sure that you get the ideal fit every time. It also comes with a heavy duty rust free buckle. You’ll feel a pillowy soft texture against your skin and a secure grip around your middle.

 

The belt comes in five sizes and a range of colors.

PROS

  • Unique triangle lumbar support design
  • Heavy duty velcro latch
  • Soft against the skin

CONS

  • Largest size difficult to adjust

The Bear Komplex women’s weightlifting belt is designed to support ideal lifting technique during intense Olympic style power moves such as squats and deadlifts. This is a heavy duty belt for heavy lifting. It has a quick release so you can get it on and off very quickly.

 

A steel roller buckle keeps you securely in place. While being very heavy duty, this belt is also light enough during your CrossFit workout or metcon session. The width of the belt is maintained both front and back to give you the support that you need.

 

This is a very functional belt that also look great.

PROS

  • Front and back width
  • Steel roller buckle
  • Light enough for CrossFit

CONS

  • Sizing runs a little small

The LadyFit women’s weight lifting belt gives you plenty of support for the vulnerable lower back when performing squats and overhead lifts. You get a full 5 inches of thick Velcro back support.

 

This tapers ever so slightly in the front, but generally offers full support all the way around the core. Because LadyFit women’s weight lifting belt is made of nylon and features a tricot lining, you won’t have to contend with rubbing on the skin or bruising when you use the LadyFit.

 

This model comes in a range of sizes, so you are able to find just the right fit for you. The Velcro fastening system is totally reliable and extremely easy to use. The LadyFit is a very attractive, lightweight, firm and flexible lifting belt.

PROS

  • 5 inch thickness
  • Easy on-off Velcro fastening
  • Very comfortable to wear

CONS

  • Sizings run a little small

The Serious Steel Fitness leather workout belt for men is a heavy duty core support that provides you with 4 inches of black leather with a suede inner lining. The leather is three eighths of an inch thick.

 

High quality double stitching is heavily featured on this product, giving both a look of strength and quality and robust durability. You will be securely cinched in with a three eighths inch double prong buckle. You don’t get any padding with this unit.

 

Padding can often minimize the level of support, so the lumbar rigidity on this product is outstanding. You have a choice of 4 sizes to ensure that you get just the right fit. This is a serious belt for putting up some serious poundage.

PROS

  • Suede inner lining
  • 4 inch uniform thickness
  • Double prong buckle

CONS

  • Requires breaking in

The Grip Power Pads lever buckle belt for men gives you four inches of all round thickness, ensuring bracing for your abs as your lower back is being protected. Handmade from top of the line natural leather, this unit is built to perform and to last.

 

It is 13 mm thick and features edge stitching, which also acts as a moisture and odor wicking system. The unique lever buckle system of the Grip Power Pads models sets it apart from the competition.

 

Finally, you have an instant on / off process that provides you with as much rigid protection as the traditional double prong buckle system. It has a natural tanned leather finish with the Grip Power Pads logo stamped into it.

PROS

  • Lever buckle system
  • Handmade
  • 4 inches of uniform thickness

CONS

  • Expensive

The IronCompany leather belt is perfect for smaller framed guys and female lifters, and provides a 6.5mm thick uniform 3.5 wide support for your entire core area. It is treated leather, a process which gives you more suppleness to ensure that it doesn’t crack, twist or bend. This process also gives a deeper color to the leather.
 

This is a one piece piece unit, so there is no stitching – and, therefore, no weak points. There is a single belt buckle to ensure a solid, reliable and quick enclosure. The rivets and buckle are nickel plated.

 

It won’t dig into your ribs the way many wider belts do. It is made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Treated leather
  • One complete piece
  • Nickel plated rivets and buckles

CONS

  • Only 3.5 inches thick

The Valeo 4 inch leather weightlifting belt for men and women is a very comfortable wearing unit, thanks largely to the suede leather lining that feels great on your skin. You won’t have to worry about chafing or bruising when you wear this belt. The addition of a foam lumbar pad adds to the comfort level.

 

The edges of the belt are double stitched, providing moisture and bacterial protection. The Valeo 4 inch comes with double buckle prongs to ensure a secure, tight fit. It also has double loops to keep the tab secure and out of the way.

 

The belt is 4 inches wide all the way around and a quarter of an inch thick. It is finished in a dark hue which provides the look of style and quality.

PROS

  • Uniform 4 inch width
  • Foam lumbar pad
  • Suede leather lining

CONS

  • A little too stiff

The LIFT leather Powerlifting belt for both men and women gives you four inches of non tapered width so that, not only your lumbar region, but also your abdominals, receive maximum support while you are squatting.

 

You also get an impressive half inch thickness which is the double of what you see with most products. That makes this the ‘go to’ belt for heavy powerlifting, weightlifting and strongman training.The simple chrome buckle has a single prong to provide a quick on/off access.

 

LIFT leather Powerlifting belt comes with a seamless roller buckle. With this product you get a rugged, super strong, genuine leather core support that is free of any foam, plastic or other additions that could weaken it. It has heavy stitching and black suede lining for comfort.

PROS

  • Half inch thick
  • Non tapered 4 inch thickness
  • Black suede lining

CONS

  • May pinch the sides of the waist

The Ader leather belt allows you to show your patriotism with it’s red, white and blue color scheme. You get 4 inches of uniform thickness in a top quality leather designed to provide the rigidity you need to support your lumbar region while lifting heavy.

 

The leather is three eighths of an inch thick and has a suede inner lining for comfort against the skin. A double prong chrome buckle makes sure that you get a tight, cinched waist when it’s time to go to work.

 

Quality stitching runs around the edges of the product, with double stitching on the single loop. You get a feel of power and robustness when you wear this belt, allowing you to push harder for longer.

PROS

  • 4 inches of uniform thickness
  • Red, White and Blue color
  • Suede lining

CONS

  • Needs breaking in time
  1. The Harbinger leather contoured belt for men provides you with four inches of leather protection for your lumbar area when lifting heavy. This tapers to a three-inch front. A suede inner lining makes sure that you get a comfortable fit against the skin.

 

Double stitching around the edges of the unit make sure that it is as sturdy as possible, while also wicking away sweat and preventing odor build-up. The Harbinger features a double prong buckle system and has a generous number of holes to ensure that you get just the right fit.

 

A sturdy loop makes sure that the tab stays out of the way when you are lifting. You get a full board backing to provide enhanced lumbar support.

PROS

  • Four inch backing
  • Double stitching
  • Board backing

CONS

  • Not wide enough at the front

​Want to know how to wear a weightlifting belt the right way? Find out how to put on a weightlifting belt and when to use a weightlifting belt and what size weightlifting belt you should use with this comprehensive tutorial.

Conclusion

The best belt for powerlifting and weightlifting, is the Dark Iron Fitness belt, which provides a very secure protective fit for the entire core, while retaining its lightness so you can do metcon work unhampered. This belt is for both men and women. It also features a solid, secure buckle and easy on-off functionality.

A close second is the FireTeam Fit lever belt, with it’s 4 inches of all round natural leather protection, and solid buckling system. This belt is also suitable for both men and women. Rounding out our top 3 is the women’s  FitGirl, which also provides 4 inches of uniform protection, and features a patented non-slip technology.

Remember, weightlifting belts were designed for those that choose to squat or deadlift as often as they can. If you are one of these people, then a belt will be a good idea to help stabilize you and provide you with additional strength.

However, if the belt begins to restrict your movement and starts to affect your clean or snatch movements, then you may want to consider trying to build up your strength without the aid of a weightlifting belt.

Also, if you have a heart condition or any other condition that can be adversely affected because of increased blood pressure and any intra-abdominal pressure, then a belt is not a good idea either.

The belt is designed to wrap around your abdomen so that it can limit how far out your abdomen is able to expand after you lift. The restriction of the abdomen is what causes pressure, and in turn, help stabilizes the spine.

Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather


Our #1. Recommendation

Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather

jim roose

My name is Jim Roose. I'm a former competitive power lifter and gym owner. I've bought millions of dollars of fitness equipment over the last 20 years. This site is my way of giving back to the fitness community that's done so much for me. Every article on here is carefully researched and written by me. Leave a comment if you have any questions.

Best Weightlifting Belt
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