Is your squat progress stuck? Studies show that using a weightlifting belt can increase power production in the squat which may allow you to lift more weight. This study also found that using a lifting belt does not lower core muscle activation like many people think. Take a big belly breath and locate the area your stomach inflates the most – this is where you want to wear your belt. Take a big breath and push your stomach hard into the belt to get the most support for each lift.
Source: Zink, A. J., Whiting, W. C., Vincent, W. J., & Mclaine, A. J. (2001). The effects of a weight belt on trunk and leg muscle activity and joint kinematics during the squat exercise. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 15(2), 235-240.
From being a mediocre athlete, to professional powerlifter and strength coach, and now to researcher and writer, Charlie combines education and experience in the effort to help Bridge the Gap Between Science and Application. Charlie performs double duty by being the Content Manager for The Muscle PhD as well as the Director of Human Performance at the Applied Science and Performance Institute in Tampa, FL. To appease the nerds, Charlie is a PhD candidate in Human Performance with a master’s degree in Kinesiology and a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. For more alphabet soup, Charlie is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), an ACSM-certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP), and a USA Weightlifting-certified performance coach (USAW).