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Without a doubt, using a belt for powerlifting is crucial if you want to stabilize your spine and get the most out of your workout. But to be frank, men’s belts can be quite uncomfortable for women, especially those with short stature.
If this sounds familiar, I can confidently say you reached the right place! In this article, I’ll review the 10 best women’s powerlifting belts on the market. I included leather, nylon, uniform, and tapered belts to satisfy most of your needs.
In a hurry? I’d definitely recommend Rogue 3-Inch Ohio as the best lifting belt for women (click to check today’s price on Rogue Fitness). Since it measures 3”, it won’t pinch on your torso during deep movements. And with IPF approval, you can use it in any powerlifting competition.
Alright, without any further ado, let’s start our roundup!
Top 3 Lifting Belts for Women
|Rogue 3” Ohio Female Powerlifting Belt - Best Overall||Breaks-in faster than others||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
|Schiek Model 3004 Powerlifting Belt - Runner-up||Affordable, Flexible||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
|Titan Longhorn Tapered Female Powerlifting Belt - Best Lever Belt||8 sizing options, Tapered width||CHECK TODAY’S PRICE|
Read Next: The Overall Best Belt for Powerlifting
The 10 Best Women Powerlifting Belts
How does every lifting belt perform? How much time will it take to “break-in”? And what are the shortcomings that might ruin your experience? Those are some of the questions that I’ll answer for each of the following weight-lifting belts.
Before we get into it, here’s a quick overview of each weight-lifting belt for women:
|Lifting Belts||Rating||Material||Width||Ideal For||Approved for Competition||Check Price|
|1. Rogue 3″ Ohio Female Powerlifting Belt - Best Overall||4.8/5||Leather||3”||Competitive powerlifting||IPF||Check Today's Price|
|2. Schiek Model 3004 Women Powerlifting Belt - Most Versatile||4.5/5||Nylon||4.75”||Casual or competitive strength training||Olympic weightlifting competitions only||Check Today's Price|
|3. Titan Longhorn Tapered Female Powerlifting Belt - Best Lever-Style||4.6/5||Leather||4” in back, 2.5” in front||Competitive powerlifting||IPF||Check Today's Price|
|4. Valeo VLP 4” Women Low-Profile Powerlifting Belt - Best Budget Pick||4/5||Nylon||4”||Casual or competitive strength training||Olympic weightlifting competitions only||Check Today's Price|
|5. Iron Bull Weightlifting Belt For Women - Most Supportive Nylon||3.8/5||Nylon||5.5”||Casual or competitive strength training||No||Check Today's Price|
|6. Contraband 4010 Women Powerlifting Nylon Belt - Most Flexible||3.7/5||Nylon||4”||Casual or competitive strength training||Olympic weightlifting competitions only||Check Today's Price|
|7. Harbinger Women’s Nylon Weightlifting Belt - Best Lightweight||3.7/5||Nylon||3” in front, 5” in back||Casual or competitive strength training||No||Check Today's Price|
|8. Fire Team Fit Women’s Powerlifting Belt - Most Comfortable||3.5/5||Nylon||6”||Casual or competitive strength training||No||Check Today's Price|
|9. Hawk Sports Lever Belt - Best for Beginners||3.5/5||Leather||4”||Casual or competitive strength training||No||Check Today's Price|
|10. LiftingLarge Economy Pink Lever Belt - Honorable Mention||3.8/5||Leather (colored suede stitched on top)||4”||Competitive powerlifting||IPF||Check Today's Price|
1. Rogue 3″ Ohio Female Powerlifting Belt – Best Overall
● Certification: IPF-approved
● Width: 3”
● Thickness: 10mm
● Natural, vegetable-tanned leather
● Breaks-in faster than others
● Comes with a sturdy pronged buckle
● Double prongs are a bit time-consuming
The most common concern about lifting belts that I always hear from female athletes is the firmness. It’s absolutely annoying to have a thick leather pad constantly poking you.
That’s why I chose the Rogue Ohio Belt as my top pick for the best women's lifting belt.
You can forget about those awful pinches thanks to its 3-inch-wide body.
The second reason I consider this the best lifting belt for women is the certification. As you’ll see later, not every lifting belt can be used in powerlifting competitions. Certain specs need to be met for the belt to be allowed.
That said, this belt is IPF-approved. You can use it during any of the competitions held by this federation.
Back to the design. Rogue constructed this belt from vegetable-tanned leather. That’s the reason behind its rich, brown tone.
Since this method is natural, this high-quality leather feels much softer than regular hardened leather. As a result, the Rogue Ohio belt takes far less time to break-in and form around your body. With a thickness of 10mm, this process becomes even easier.
Moving on to the buckle, this lifting belt is equipped with a double-pronged buckle with a shiny zinc finish. I like that they used a roller over the buckle. This way, you can fully tighten the belt without peeling the leather.
2. Schiek Model 3004 Women Powerlifting Belt – Most Versatile
● Certification: none
● Width: 4.75″
● Equipped with double velcros
● Not approved in powerlifting competitions
May not provide as much support as a leather-style belt
If you don’t like how firm the leather feels, you can opt for more flexible materials that promote comfort. For this matter, the Schiek 3004 belt is the best weight-lifting belt for women not made of leather.
Instead, this belt is fully made from neoprene. This highly versatile material can be used to make things as soft as gloves and as firm as hoses. As a result, this belt can be firm enough to be used in powerlifting or for heavy weight lifting yet soft enough for other activities like CrossFit.
Tightening the Schiek 3004 lifting belt can’t be any simpler. If you don’t like the complicated levers and the tiring prongs, you’ll definitely love the velcro pads sewn over this belt.
Don’t worry, though. The velcro won’t easily unlock during the workout. This is possible with the secondary neoprene strap on top of the main belt. After securing the first velcro, this strap locks with another velcro after passing through a one-way metal buckle.
The versatility of the Schiek 3004 isn’t only about the material. Instead of the uniform thickness, this weight belt for women is designed with a contour that follows the convexity of the hips and ribs. This way, you can easily walk and bend comfortably, supported by this belt.
On the downside, this belt isn’t approved for any professional powerlifting competition. Then again, its affordable price makes it a good general gym belt for women. It’s also ideal for Olympic weightlifting (the snatch and clean and jerk).
If you're interested in reading more about this belt, check out my complete Schiek Lifting Belt Review.
3. Titan Longhorn Tapered Female Powerlifting Belt – Best Lever-Style
● Certification: IPF-approved
● Width: 4” in back and 2.5” in front
● Thickness: 10mm
● Versatile sizing with 8 options
● Durable, nickel-plated lever
● Tapered width
● Thick leather construction
● The lever is quite hard to assemble the first time
4” might be too wide for some female frames
Like my top pick, the Titan Longhorn lifting belt is allowed in all IPF competitions. The most prominent difference between the two lies in the buckle. This powerlifting belt is designed with a nickel-plated lever instead of the classic prong.
Although this is a matter of personal choice, I generally prefer lever buckles, especially in competitions. To tighten the Longhorn belt, all you have to do is hook its teeth and flip the lever. As you can see, this is much easier and faster than using a prong.
Furthermore, you can simply tighten it with your hand. On the contrary, pronged belts usually need a rack to pull them into the maximum tightness. Since you may not find a rack in every competition, a lever belt seems like the most competent option.
For the material, Titan chose a North American sole-bend leather. It might be much firmer than the Rogue’s vegetable-tanned leather. But the tapered thickness makes up for this fact.
Toward the back, this belt measures 4” in thickness, just like the usual. It gradually gets thinner over the sides, until it reaches a thickness of 2.5” in front. This way, your back could get the full support without the belt pinching on the rest of your body, which is why I consider it one of the best lifting belts for women.
4. Valeo VLP 4” Women Low-Profile Powerlifting Belt – Best Budget
● Certification: none
● Width: 4”
● Padded with memory foam
● Rounded ends and uniform thickness
● Highly affordable
● A lot of users complained about inaccurate sizing
● The stitching might start fraying sooner than expected
● Its velcro won’t support heavy loads
Lifting belts shouldn’t be reserved only for competitions. You can also use them if you just casually lift weights. But in this case, you don’t have to burden your budget with a fancy powerlifting belt. You can get pretty acceptable performance with this highly-affordable belt.
Valeo constructed this women’s weight-lifting belt from memory foam for the main bulk. As you might imagine, this material will seamlessly conform to your body without pinching on any part. This fact, alongside the affordable price puts quite a surprising value on this belt.
However, you might not be that satisfied when you try tightening the Valeo VLP. It has a nylon strap sewn throughout its length. It passes through a metal torque ring back to a velcro pad to tighten.
Yes, you can fine-tune the tightness to match your exact preference. But it may not be secure enough. When doing very heavy weight lifting, it might suddenly unlock, raising the risk of injuries. Therefore, I’d recommend reserving it for light lifting only.
Thickness is uniform over the whole belt at 4”. But Valeo opted for rounded corners over the ends that mildly decrease the thickness. This enhances the belt’s comfort as it’d never pinch on your torso.
Want more info on this belt? Check out my full Valeo 4-Inch Lifting Belt Review.
5. Iron Bull Weightlifting Belt For Women – Most Supportive Nylon
● Certification: none
● Width: 5.5” toward the back
● Reinforced nylon construction
● The metal buckle is equipped with a roller
● Ultra-wide back support
● Poor stitching quality
As we established earlier, leather is the gold standard for strength and firmness. Nylon is a comfortable option that lacks heavy support. If you’re hesitant between both extremes, you should find peace of mind in this women’s lifting belt from Iron Bull.
Thanks to its reinforced nylon construction, it brings the best of both worlds. And with its affordable price, it poses as a great alternative for the pricey leather.
For maximum benefit, this weightlifting belt for women is designed with two parts. The first is an ultra-wide 5.5” pad that encircles the back and ends over your sides. Since this part only supports the back, its extra width is actually a pro rather than a con.
The second part is a regular nylon strap. On one side, this strap has a metal buckle with a roller. When you’re ready to tighten this belt, you’ll have to pass the strap inside the buckle and reverse it to reach the velcro.
The buckle roller seems like a small, insignificant component, but it’s actually quite important. When the nylon strap rolls over, you can pull it into the maximum possible tightness with the least effort.
The stitching quality is the only thing I wish was different on this women’s weight training belt. It may not be a belt that lasts for years, but it is a great belt to get started with at a budget-friendly price.
6. Contraband 4010 Women Powerlifting Nylon Belt – Most Flexible
● Certification: none
● Width: 4”
● Flexible nylon construction
● Sturdy metal buckle with a collar
● 30-day full refund
● 1-year warranty
● Improperly-placed rubber logo
If you want something to support your back over the entire workout, this women’s weight-lifting belt could be your best bet. This belt would be far more comfortable with a light nylon construction than its competitors.
The comfort and flexibility also make this a good weight-lifting belt for CrossFit, functional fitness, or any other workouts that combine strength training with more dynamic movements.
Contraband padded this belt on the inside with a durable nylon mesh to improve how it adapts over your body. And with the natural flexibility of nylon, it’ll be absolutely easy to perform any exercise while wearing it.
Tightening this weight-lifting belt should be hassle-free with its wide velcro pads. You can finely adjust the tightness thanks to the collared, metal buckle. However, like most other nylon belts, a single velcro closure won’t properly support heavier loads.
The only comment I have is on the logo placement. Contraband stitched a large rubber logo on the end of the tightening strap.
Worst of all, it made it almost large enough to occupy the whole strap thickness. This way, it’ll inevitably press on your hands whenever you try to close the belt.
That’s why most brands keep their logo on the back. Even if it were placed anteriorly, it would just be a lightly stitched fabric.
On the bright side, Contraband promises a full refund within 30 days of purchase. If you weren’t satisfied with the design, you can return it, no strings attached.
7. Harbinger Women's Nylon Weightlifting Belt – Best Lightweight
● Certification: None
● Width: 5” in back and 3” in front
● Padded with plush tricot fabric
● Equipped with heavy-gauge buckle
● Attractive design
● Doesn’t have a wide color variety
● Some customers complained about inaccurate sizing
If you want something that you’d barely feel, you should love this 8-ounce women’s weightlifting belt from Harbinger.
With its flexible foam core, it’s guaranteed to be super flexible, comfortable, and lightweight throughout your whole workout.
On the inside, this belt is lined with a plush tricot lining. This adds a lot to the overall comfortable feel. It also prevents sweat from excessively building up, which decreases the likelihood of bad odors.
Over the back, this belt measures 5” in thickness. But as it progresses toward the front, it gradually gets thinner until it reaches 3”.
To tighten the belt, Harbinger used a nylon strap that runs through the whole length. They also added a heavy-gauge steel buckle with a large roller. This way, you’ll achieve the tightest fit with the smallest possible effort.
I have to say that the design of this female weightlifting belt is by far my favorite. The soft black nylon fits perfectly with the pink strap.
If you don’t prefer pink, you can opt for a merlot or purple strap. But unfortunately, the belt body itself has to be black.
This belt may not be supportive enough for heavy lifting, but it’s a good weight-lifting belt for casual lifters. Its flexibility also makes it a good option for Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit, which both involve a lot of dynamic movements.
Check out my full review of the Harbinger lifting belt.
8. Fire Team Fit Women’s Powerlifting Belt – Most Comfortable
● Certification: none
● Width: 6”
● Contoured, comfortable shape
● Super-creative designs
● Your purchase would help combat veterans.
● Some belts have poor velcro pads
To be fair, comfort is a quite tricky subject. Every one of us has a somewhat unique anatomy that dictates what would be comfortable and what wouldn’t. Still, the best way to approach this is by getting a contoured women's weightlifting belt like this one.
Your ribs and hips are curved. The vast majority of your muscles don’t run in a straight line. That’s why contoured belts are always more comfortable than straight ones and are some of the best lifting belts for women in particular.
The maximum width is, expectedly, toward the back with an approximate of 6”. This is especially useful for people suffering from problems in the lumbar region. The thickness of this women’s weightlifting belt will fully cover this area, decreasing the possibilities of injuries.
But it isn’t only about the contour, though. The extra-thick padding featured in this belt literally hugs your body with every bit of tightness you add.
In terms of creative designs, this belt easily surpasses the others. It has versions colored in green camo, pink camo, and even the stars & bars of the American flag.
On a kind note, Fire Team Fit dedicates $1 from every sold belt to a non-profit organization supporting American combat veterans. I prefer supporting businesses that focus on their social responsibilities.
On the downside, some customers were upset when the velcro straps were damaged within a couple of months after purchase.
Also, while this makes a good weight-lifting belt for general strength training, it’s not ideal for powerlifting since it’s not IPF-certified.
9. Hawk Sports Lever Belt – Best for New Lifters
● Certification: none
● Width: 4”
● Thickness: 10mm
● Material: Leather
● Comes with 12 holes for a more customized fit
● Lever can be replaced for free if it breaks
● Not approved for IPF competitions
● Not that durable
If you’re new to lifting and using a belt, you may want to start by getting reps in with an “entry-level” belt before transitioning to a better product.
The Hawk Sports lever powerlifting belt is excellent for women who have just started lifting weights. The leather isn’t quite as sturdy as it is on a belt like the Rogue Ohio belt, but it is supportive enough when you’re new and not yet lifting very heavy weights.
This belt is 4” wide and 10mm thick, which is in line with many other leather belts. However, unlike some belts with only 10 holes, this one has 12, so you can get a more customized fit.
It isn’t the most durable, but you should be able to get at least a year’s worth of use out of it. You’ll likely be ready to move on to a better belt by that time. But if the lever breaks when you’re not yet ready to buy a new belt, Hawk Sports will replace the lever for free.
The product description says this belt is “IPF legal,” making it seem like the belt is approved for IPF competitions. However, that is not the case. Hawk Sports is not listed as an approved IPF brand.
Therefore, this belt is suitable for training but cannot be worn during IPF competitions.
10. LiftingLarge Economy Pink Lever Belt – An Honorable Mention
● Certification: IPF-approved
● Width: 4”
● Thickness: 10mm
● 100% leather construction
● Sturdy lever covered with a 1-year warranty
● Breaks-in faster than others
● The stitching isn’t durable as more expensive belts
I couldn’t end my list without mentioning the Economy belt from Lifting Large.
It’s been gaining a lot of popularity recently as an affordable alternative to the gold-standard Inzer Forever Lever Belt.
It’s incredibly rare to find brands credible enough to mention the exact composition of their products. This gets even rarer inside the affordable category. A lot of businesses use this as an umbrella to cover their rubbish quality!
Luckily, this isn’t the case with this powerlifting belt. LiftingLarge used 100% leather for the belt’s core. Then, they stitched a pink suede on top with 4 rows of high-quality nylon yarn. To keep it looking tidy, no logos are printed on the belt, not even on the inside.
Tightening this belt should feel like a breeze with its chrome-plated lever. A lot of customers were super happy with the lever’s durability since it’s usually the first to break in affordable belts.
Best of all, this belt meets all the IPF regulations. You’re allowed to use it in any of their competitions. I think this is a huge advantage, especially when you consider its super-affordable price.
With a thickness of 10mm, this belt won’t feel annoyingly firm like its 13mm-thick competitors. Before you know it, it’ll break in and conform to your body’s contour. It’s definitely one of the best weightlifting belts for women who are looking for a combination of support, affordability, quality, and IPF approval.
Check out my complete list of Powerlifting Equipment For Women, which includes 9 must-have items if you're a competitive lifter.
Main Differences Between Male & Female Lifting Belts
Technically speaking, women’s lifting belts don’t have special materials that exclusively fit females. But like other sportswear, women’s powerlifting belts usually come in smaller sizes to fit the smaller anatomy of female athletes.
While men’s weight lifting belts are often made with a width of 4”, women usually suffice with 2” or 3”. If you used wider weight lifting belts, they might bruise your ribs and hips. Not to mention that they’ll restrict your movement, which would decrease your gains.
Although women can use leather weight-lifting belts normally, I’ve seen a lot of my female friends opting for nylon. They prefer the latter for its flexibility and ease-of-use.
However, if you’re planning to enroll in powerlifting competitions, leather is your only choice. Nylon is completely banned since it doesn’t provide enough support for heavier weights.
Check out the difference between a 3 and 4 inch powerlifting belt.
What Are the Benefits of Powerlifting Belts for Women?
Wearing a weight lifting belt is a sure way to instantly enhance the quality of your workout. This happens through the following effects.
It Reduces the Spinal Stress
When your muscles push against the weight lifting belt, your intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) rapidly increases.
To avoid getting into complicated medical concepts, think of this added pressure like a balloon inflating inside your abdominal cavity. As it inflates more, it’ll stabilize your spine by pressing against it from the inside.
And since you're working out, your back muscles are already supporting the spine from the outside. As a result, your spine will be kept in the best neutral position during the whole workout. This decreases the chances of injuries by over-extension, over-flexion, or lateral flexion.
Need a recommendation on the best women's powerlifting shoes? Check out my review where I looked at 7 popular shoes!
It Produces Better Yields
Having something for your muscles to press against is the shortest way for bigger yields. When you lift without the weight-lifting belt, you can’t really feel how much your muscles are contracting. The added proprioception allows you to feel and increase this force to reach your full limits.
A study made in 1999 revealed that wearing lifting belts increases the activity of the erector spinae. If you’re unfamiliar, the erector spinae are the main muscles supporting your back.
Related Article: Should You Wear a Lifting Belt For Bench Press?
How Can Women Use Their Weightlifting Belts Properly?
If you want to maximize the potential, you must pay attention to how you’re wearing the weight lifting belt.
Generally speaking, lifting belts should be placed just beneath your ribs. Try to keep their lower border above your belly button. A lot of athletes prefer to place it lower to promote comfort. But in this position, it won’t deliver the maximum back support.
Before tightening the belt, take a breath, and brace your abdominal muscles. Now close the belt so that it feels slightly tight on your contracted muscles.
Obviously, too loose belts would be practically useless. And making them too tight would actually do more harm than good. If you’re still having trouble getting the belt to fit right, check out this guide on how tight a lifting belt should be.
Essential Tip: Never use a belt for masking injuries.
Please, do yourself a favor and never wear a lifting belt to cover a painful back. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Ignoring the problem would only make it worse and more difficult to treat.
Are There Any Risks for Wearing a Lifting Belt for Women?
If used properly, lifting belts wouldn’t cause any risks in either women or men. But just like anything else, too much is too bad.
It Increases the Blood Pressure
Remember our simple balloon analogy? Well, it doesn’t only press against your spine, it also compresses your abdominal blood vessels. In other words, wearing lifting belts raises your blood pressure, especially the systolic.
If the belt was used briefly, this shouldn’t be a problem. Blood pressure normally increases during workout anyways.
But doing this on a regular basis might put athletes into a bigger risk for strokes and other cardiovascular diseases.
It Might Weaken Your Muscles
Wait a minute! How can lifting belts produce better gains and weaken the muscles at the same time? Well, they certainly won’t happen simultaneously. The outcome depends on how you’re using the belt.
The problem happens when you fully depend on the belt and ignore bracing with your muscle. As you might imagine, the belt will successfully do the job, leaving your muscles to relax. This gets especially harmful when athletes start to wear their belts for the whole day.
Looking for workout gloves? Check out my reviews of the best women's workout gloves.
Competitive Powerlifting: What Belts Are Approved for Women?
If you checked my 10 recommended belts, you’ll see that only 3 are approved for professional competitions. IPF, or the International Powerlifting Federation, requires belts to have the following features to be allowed in competitions.
● It must be made from leather, vinyl, or other non-stretching materials.
● It can be laminated with glue or stitching.
● It shouldn’t be padded.
● It can be equipped with a lever, a prong, or double prongs.
● The buckle must be stitched or studded.
● It shouldn’t have any logos unless approved by IPF.
● The width shouldn’t be bigger than 4”.
● The thickness shouldn’t exceed 13mm.
● The buckle must not be wider than 13mm.
● The tongue loop can’t be wider than 2”.
Obviously, you won’t have to inspect every belt to see whether it satisfies the rules. I preferred to briefly mention them to avoid buying counterfeit products.
The Approved Brands
To save you time, here is the full list of brands that produce IPF-Approved belts.
● Iron Tanks
● Lifting Large
● Super Training
● Strength Shop
● Beast Genetics
Key Features to Look for When Buying a Women’s Weightlifting Belt
The most important factors to consider when searching for the best weight lifting belt are the material and the thickness. That’s why I’ll discuss them in their own sections later on. For now, we’ll take a look at the firmness and the contour.
Pick a Suitable Firmness
Personally, I like a lifting belt that feels firm enough to brace my muscles against. But some of my friends, especially females, prefer the opposite. They like the inherent freedom of flexible nylon belts.
If you’re lifting in your gym, there’s no right or wrong. You can use whatever feels comfortable. But in powerlifting competitions, as established earlier, you won’t be allowed to use nylon.
Moreover, it’s important to know that leather might produce bigger yields because your muscles will have to do more work to push it. Similarly, the flexibility of nylon will decrease spinal bracing.
Related Article: Should You Wear a Lifting Belt For Squats and Deadlifts?
Look for Contoured Outline
The most notable difference between powerlifting and weightlifting belts is the design. Powerlifting belts have the same width throughout their length. On the other hand, weightlifting belts start with a wider back and end with a thinner front.
Again, in your gym, you’re free to do whatever you like. For female athletes, I always recommend weightlifting belts. The thinner front will provide more wiggle room to catch a deep clean or snatch weight overhead.
Some belts, like the Schiek Model 3004, go the extra mile by incorporating curves that fit your hips and ribs.
Should Women Wear Velcro or Leather Powerlifting Belts?
To be frank, powerlifting belts rarely use velcro. Instead, their leather bodies are secured with prongs or a lever.
Prongs and Lever: Tighter but Bulkier
Affordable leather belts are usually tightened with a single or double-pronged buckle. Just like pants’ belts, you have to pull the belt strap and hook the tongue inside a suitable hole. Some athletes like to pull the strap on a rack for maximum tightness.
Lever belts are much easier to use. You start by loosely hooking its teeth on their dedicated holes. Then, you have to flip the lever into the predetermined tightness. If you want to adjust the tightness, you’ll have to use a screwdriver.
In weightlifting, prongs and levers can be extremely dangerous. As you try to snatch the weight overhead, it might hit the buckle and cause serious injuries.
See more differences between prong vs lever belts in my other article.
Velcro: Thinner but Weaker
Obviously, velcro belts would be the safest option for weightlifting since the barbell wouldn’t have anything to hit.
However, velcro isn’t as secure as buckles. It might accidentally open as you’re trying to lift heavy weights.
Still, velcro is much easier to close. You’ll be able to fine-tune the tightness to exactly fit your preference.
Related Article: How Tight Should A Lifting Belt Be? (Breakdown Per Exercise)
Should Women Wear 10mm or 13mm Powerlifting Belts?
If you decide to opt for velcro, nylon, or any flexible belt, you shouldn’t worry about the thickness. It’s actually rare to find brands that describe this feature anyways.
However, it’s crucial to check the thickness with leather since it’ll directly impact the performance.
10mm Belts: Comfortable but Less Supportive
If you’re still exploring the powerlifting world, I’d definitely recommend going with 10mm belts.
Without a doubt, having less thickness of leather around your waist would be far more comfortable. The belt wouldn’t pinch on your torso during deeper movements. Moreover, belts with this thickness would break-in faster by conforming to your body’s curvatures.
As your body gets stronger, you might want to increase the thickness to accommodate your new strength.
13mm Belts: Better Performance but Less Versatile
Some athletes may find a 13mm belt to be too firm for some exercises. In fact, I know some athletes who prefer to use it only for squats, leaving the deadlifts and bench presses for a 10mm belt.
Worst of all, if a 13mm belt feels uncomfortable, don’t expect it to improve any sooner. It’ll take a lot of time to break-in.
But to be fair, the added thickness can be an excellent way to get bigger and faster yields. That’s why advanced powerlifters tend to upgrade their belts after they master the basics.See more differences between 10mm vs 13mm lifting belts in my other article.
Looking for a workout vest? Check out my reviews of the best women's weighted vest.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Should You Start Wearing a Lifting Belt?
There’s no right time when everyone should start wearing a belt. Generally speaking, you should try it when you feel that your body is ready to step up the training. The important question is how to use it rather than when to start. Lifting belts are mainly intended to relieve spinal stress. Therefore, they shouldn’t be used except with exercises that directly load on your back. These include squats, deadlifts, strict presses, Olympic lifts, etc.
Why Do You Wear a Belt When Lifting?
When you wear a lifting belt, your intra-abdominal pressure increases, which supports your spine from inside. Moreover, it increases the activity of your muscles, which braces your back from outside. So, all in all, a lifting belt is used to decrease the likelihood of back injuries and allows you to lift more weight.
Should Women Wear Lifting Belts?
Women should wear weight-lifting belts if they are looking for more spinal stability or want to increase the amount of weight they can lift. However, women shouldn’t wear a lifting belt to mask back pain, for every single lift, or in the place of doing core-strengthening exercises.
When Should Women Wear Lifting Belts?
Women should wear a weight lifting belt when lifting weights around 80% or more of their one rep max or attempting a new rep max. However, wearing a lifting belt isn’t necessary for all lifts. It’s only needed for lifts that involve spinal loading, such as squats, deadlifts, snatches, and clean and jerks.
What Is the Best Lifting Belt for Women?
The best weight lifting belt for women is the Rogue 3-Inch Ohio lifting belt. It is made from soft, vegetable-tanned leather and is 3” wide, so it won’t dig into your torso. It’s also IPF-approved, so you can wear it in any powerlifting competition.
Is There a Difference Between Male and Female Lifting Belts?
There aren’t a lot of differences between male and female weightlifting belts, as the materials are the same (either nylon or leather). However, women’s weight lifting belts are available in shorter widths (2 or 3 inches), while men’s lifting belts are available in larger widths (typically 4 inches).
Should I Get a 4 or 6-Inch Weight Belt?
A 4-inch weight lifting belt is suitable for most lifters. A 6-inch lifting belt is best for lifters who are tall, have long torsos, or are looking for more back support. However, if you plan to compete in powerlifting or weightlifting, 6-inch weightlifting belts are not approved, so you’ll have to use a 4-inch belt.
After my elaborate research, Rogue Ohio is surely the best lifting belt for women. It offers a great balance between flexibility and support with its 3-inch leather construction.
If you don’t want to waste time on prongs, you should consider the Titan Longhorn Lever Belt. It measures only 2.5” in the front, which would give a lot of freedom when you’re catching a deep clean.
For non-competing athletes, the Schiek Model 3004 would be the most versatile belt. The contoured outline won’t restrict your hips and torso by any means. The flexible, comfortable nylon material also makes it one of the best weightlifting belts for women that can be used for Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, and other dynamic movements.
Remember, be kind to your body, and never use belts to cover the pain.