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Master the Fit With a Quick Guide to Measuring a Weightlifting Belt


Master the Fit With a Quick Guide to Measuring a Weightlifting Belt
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You, my friend, are standing in front of a mirror, feeling a mixture of determination and confusion. You've heard about the magical powers of weightlifting belts and decided to take the plunge. But there's one problem—how do you measure for the darn thing?

As you fumble with a measuring tape that seems to have a brain of its own, you can't help but wonder if it's conspiring against you. You try to get a clear view of your waistline, twisting and turning like a contortionist in a circus. Sweat starts trickling down your forehead as you realize that measuring your waist might be trickier than anticipated.

A thought crosses your mind when you're about to give up and resort to guesswork. "Maybe I can ask a friend for help," you ponder, imagining their bewildered expression as you present them with a measuring tape and a plea for assistance.

You're not alone in this struggle. Countless others have stood in your shoes, trying to navigate the mysterious world of weightlifting belt measurements.

Remember that the struggle to measure for a weightlifting belt is a shared one. And amidst the confusion and laughter, you'll find a community of lifters who have stumbled and triumphed along the same path.

So go forth, my relatable friend, and conquer the mysteries of belt measurement with a smile and a dash of good old-fashioned perseverance.

Who Shouldn't Wear A Belt?

Weightlifting belts are unnecessary for weight training exercises that don't put a heavy strain on the spinal erectors. Such exercises include lateral pull-downs and leg extensions, where using a belt won't impact performance.

Belts don't have much impact when the weight loads are relatively light. However, wearing a tight belt for extended periods can increase blood pressure with time, even during light workouts or aerobic activities. People with heart disease and blood pressure problems should be cautious when wearing a tight belt for long durations.

Wearing a belt constantly can also hinder the development of abdominal muscles. Wearing a belt while lifting leads to lower muscle activity in the abdominal region. The muscles responsible for stabilizing the abdomen are inhibited when a belt is used, potentially resulting in weaker abdominal muscles in the long term.

Strong abdominal muscles are essential for maintaining trunk stability without relying on a support belt. It's also crucial not to become overly dependent on belts during training, as they may not be allowed in competition.

Lastly, proper bracing and breathing techniques are essential for a belt to be an effective training aid. The Valsalva maneuver, for instance, helps generate abdominal pressure that cushions and supports the spine.

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How Does a Weightlifting Belt Work?

Belts serve as a means to enhance intra-abdominal pressure by providing a surface for the core muscles to brace against while the abdominal wall expands. The stability belts provide is why most lifters can handle heavier weights when using one compared to when they don't. A weightlifting belt provides support and stability to the core muscles during heavy lifting exercises. Here's how it works:

Intra-Abdominal Pressure

When you perform heavy lifts, such as squats or deadlifts, you need to generate intra-abdominal pressure. This pressure acts as a natural brace for your spine, protecting it from excessive strain. The weightlifting belt assists in creating and maintaining this pressure.

Core Muscle Activation

The belt gives your core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back, something to brace against. Tightening the belt provides a firm surface for your core muscles to push against, increasing their activation. This helps stabilize your spine and prevents excessive bending or twisting during lifting movements.

Spinal Support

The weightlifting belt provides external support to your lower back and spine. Encircling your waist helps to limit excessive movement and maintain proper spinal alignment. This can be specifically beneficial for individuals with a history of lower back issues or performing heavy lifts.

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Psychological Confidence

Wearing a weightlifting belt can also have a psychological effect. It can give lifters confidence and security, knowing their core is supported and protected. This psychological boost can translate into better performance and the ability to handle heavier weights.

Lifting Belt Size Chart – Not All Lifting Belts Are Built the Same

The problem of finding the right size for your lifting belt becomes even more complicated because different belt companies use different sizing charts. 

Thankfully, we have taken it upon ourselves to examine every weightlifting and powerlifting belt available in the market, enabling us to provide you with a general size chart. Remember to always use the manufacturer's specific sizing chart when purchasing and sizing your belt.

S: 23-29 inches

M: 29-33 inches

L: 33-37 inches

XL: 37-42 inches

XXL: 42-48 inches

How to Measure For a Weightlifting Belt?

Measuring a weightlifting belt is essential to ensure a proper and comfortable fit. You'll need a measuring tape and a mirror (or a friend to assist you) to embark on this measurement adventure. Here's a quick guide on how to measure a weightlifting belt.

Step 1

Get a measuring tape or a long piece of string that can wrap around your abdomen. If you want to track your lifting progress, it's recommended to have a measuring tape. However, a string will work as well.

Step 2

If you have a long mirror, use it to see your torso while measuring. If you don't have a mirror, keep track of the measuring tape by looking behind you. Alternatively, you can contact a friend or partner to assist with the measurement.

Step 3

For most lifters, it's advisable to perform the measurement without a shirt. Only measure with clothing if you wear layers or hoodies to the gym. In that case, put on a thick sweater or add 2 inches to your waist measurement.

Step 4

Wrap the measuring tape or string around your abdomen, starting from your navel. The tape or string should cover your navel almost wholly. Keep the tape or string straight as you wrap it around your abdomen, ensuring it goes across the widest part of your abdomen.

Step 5

Relax your breathing once the tape or string is in the correct position. Avoid holding your breath or sucking in your stomach. Also, don't push your abdomen out. The goal is to obtain an accurate measurement while remaining relaxed.

Step 6

Do not tighten the tape or string too much. Just tighten it enough to feel it wrapping around you comfortably. Using a measuring tape, use the number you get as your waist size.

Using a piece of string, use a pen to mark where the ends meet. Then, use a ruler to measure the length between the marks, which will be your waist measurement. You have now successfully measured your waist to determine the appropriate size for a weightlifting belt.

Will Training With a Belt Make My Core Weak?

One common concern among lifters is whether training with a belt will weaken their core. Here are some factors you need to consider to avoid a weakened core.


When you constantly wear a belt during your training sessions, your core muscles may become reliant on the external support provided by the belt. This can lead to a decreased activation and engagement of the core muscles during exercises that require stabilization, resulting in reduced strength development.

Muscle Imbalances

The belt primarily supports the lower back and can limit the activation of specific core muscles, such as the transverse abdominis, which is crucial in stabilizing the spine. This muscle imbalance, caused by excessive belt usage, can lead to weakened core muscles and a potentially unstable core.

Natural Stabilization Impaired

Wearing a belt can inhibit the natural stabilization mechanism of the core muscles. The core muscles stabilize the spine and maintain proper posture during exercises. Relying heavily on a belt diminishes the activation of these muscles and can hinder their development.

What Should I Look for When Buying a Belt?

In addition to waist size, several other factors come into play when determining the size of the lifting belt you'll need. Here are some factors you need to conclude while buying a belt.

Belt Width

Weightlifting belts come in various widths, with the most popular options being 4 inches and 6 inches. A 4-inch belt tends to be more suitable for individuals of shorter stature, while taller individuals often find the 6-inch belt to be a better fit.

Selecting the incorrect width belt can result in discomfort and the potential for interference with the barbell during exercise. CrossFit and Olympic lifters generally prefer the flexibility offered by a 4-inch belt, which allows for greater freedom of movement.

Belt Material

Weightlifting belts are commonly made from two primary materials: leather and nylon. Leather belts, often associated with the classic style of bodybuilders from the 70s and 80s, provide substantial support and stability. 

They offer a rigid structure that limits flexibility and maneuverability. 

While leather belts are well-suited for traditional weightlifting exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, some individuals may find them less suitable for activities like CrossFit due to their limited range of motion.

On the other hand, nylon belts offer more flexibility and allow for more significant movement. They are forgiving and enable a broader range of motion, making them popular among Olympic lifters, and individuals engaged in CrossFit workouts that involve explosive movements like power cleans.

Due to its sturdy support, a leather belt may be preferred if you primarily focus on traditional weightlifting exercises. Conversely, suppose you participate in activities like Olympic lifting or CrossFit workouts, where agility and dynamic movements are crucial. In that case, a more flexible and forgiving nylon belt may be the better option.

Bulking and Cutting

Your waist measurements will vary depending on whether you're cutting or bulking in your training. It's essential to take this into account when choosing a weightlifting belt. You might consider purchasing two belts—one for the cutting phase when your waist is smaller and another for the bulking or "off-season" period when your waist measurements are more extensive.

DMoose Weightlifting Belt

The DMoose 10 MM Powerlifting Belt is a top-notch choice for weightlifters seeking exceptional support and stability during intense training sessions. Crafted precisely, this belt is built to withstand heavy loads and provide reliable lower back and core reinforcement.

The 10 mm thickness of the belt offers a perfect balance of rigidity and flexibility, allowing for optimal performance without compromising comfort. Its durable and high-quality materials ensure longevity and resilience, making it a reliable companion for long-term use.

The secure buckle system ensures a snug and adjustable fit, while the reinforced stitching guarantees maximum durability. With the DMoose 10 MM Weightlifting Belt, weightlifters can confidently push their limits, knowing they have the necessary support to excel in their training and reach new heights.


When determining the size of a lifting belt, waist size is an essential factor, but it is not the only consideration. Other factors, such as body composition, belt material, and design, also play a role in finding the right fit.

To ensure the optimal fit and functionality of a lifting belt, it is advisable to carefully measure your waist circumference and consult the size chart provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, considering your body composition and the belt's material and design can help you make a more informed decision.

Remember, the goal of a lifting belt is to provide support and stability during heavy lifts, and a properly fitted belt can contribute to improved performance and reduced risk of injury. So, take the time to find the right size and style of lifting belt that suits your needs and preferences. Happy lifting!

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