Weight Lifting Belts – Do they help prevent low back pain?


This topic has been on my mind a lot recently as I watch the influx of people flocking to gyms to fulfill New Years Resolutions and even those who are mainstays at the gym. If you have low back pain, a weight lifting belt WILL actually prevent the back from hurting during the exercise. However, the longer you wear the belt, the worse your back pain will be in the future.

When we wear braces (ankle, elbow etc) or belts, the nervous system doesn’t have to work as hard to engage muscles anymore because there’s a belt helping! Or a brace helping! In these real-world examples, people are using belts through the entire workout because they have back pain. But what happens to those back and core muscles now that they don’t have to work as hard? You got it…they become weak! It’s a vicious cycle. The same goes for ankle braces (I’ll do another video on those at some point too!) where the longer you stay in an ankle brace, the weaker that ankle will be over time.

This weightlifting belt is NOT meant to be used for every single lift! If you’re doing a heavy 1rep Max or a similar low rep max effort workout, then it’s okay to use. But if you’re using it because you have back pain, the longer you wear it for your biceps curls and triceps extensions and normal lower body work, the back is going to suffer even more in the long run. Get assessed first!