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Looking to increase your squat or deadlift?

A good lifting belt can add kilos to your lifts and help reduce the risk of injury.


In our article you’ll learn about the different types of belts. We’ll go over which belt is best for your style of training and body type.


DISCLAIMER: The advice below is just that – advice. If you have a medical condition, please consult your doctor to confirm it is safe for you to exercise. A belt will not stop you getting injured if you do anything silly and Mobility Tools do not accept any liability of injury when using any of our products.


So with that out of the way, which belt is for you then? Well firstly, we have three different types of belts:

  • - Velcro Belts
  • - Weightlifting Belts
  • - Powerlifting Belt

We’ll go through each type so that you can understand the pros and cons of them and whether they’ll be suitable for the exercise you do. The main thing to remember though is that you shouldn't wear your belt all the time. It's not a fashion parade. If you want to wear it for squatting or deadlifting we recommend only wearing it when lifting above 80% of your 1RM or on your working sets for the day - so don't wear it warming up. You'll notice the difference and won't become too reliant on it.

Velcro Belts

For the three types of belts velcro belts offer the least support. The advantage of a velcro belt is that they’re quick to put on and off. You can pull the tightness to exactly how you want it, so the sizing is exact. Our Blue and Pink velcro belts are 13cm high at the back, tapering to 6cm on the sides. The Black velcro belt is 10cm all the way round. The high back support gives a large area for support. The tapered sides stops the belt digging in when squatting or deadlifting. If you’re doing a CrossFit style workout they are great to slacken off between exercises. If you’re looking for a belt to squat or deadlift go for a weightlifting or powerlifting belt.


In summary these belts are good for:

  • CrossFit style workouts where you need to slacken the belt off
  • Olympic Weightlifting
  • Entry level gym use

They are not the best belts for:

  • Powerlifting
  • Olympic Lifting (competition – the max height allowed on the back in competition is 10cm)


Weightlifting Belts

A weightlifting belt is the most common type of gym belt. It is 10cm high at the back and tapers to 5cm on the sides and front. Most weightlifting belts are around 4-5mm thick but we’ve made ours a little thicker at 5-7mm. This gives you more support and more belt for your money. Made from leather these belts offer a great amount of support and are the most versatile of all belts. These belts are great for all body shapes and sizes. The taper on the sides allows for squatting and deadlifting without the sides digging in.


In summary these belts are good for:

  • Olympic Weightlifting
  • Squatting and Deadlifting
  • Entry level gym use

They are not the best belts for:

  • Powerlifting
  • CrossFit workouts (where taking the belt on and off is needed)


Powerlifting Belts

Powerlifting belts are often incorrectly referred to as ‘weightlifting belts’. A powerlifting belt differs – they are 10cm wide all the way around and come in two thicknesses; 10mm and 13mm. They offer the most support and are the go-to belt for Powerlifters.

As well as two thicknesses they also have several types of buckle. Single Prong is the most common, with one prong that fastens the belt. Double Prong are also popular, though they are much more difficult to get in and out of. We don’t offer a double prong for this reason. For people who like to have double prong, we offer a quick release, which has two prongs but fastens like below:

Having two hooks at an angle allows the belt to be quickly fastened and un-fastened. The drawback to a quick release is that the ends of the two prongs can dig into the waist. A lever belt has a chunky steel buckle that can be quickly put on or off. They are tricky to change sizes as the belt requires initial setup with a screwdriver. Once it is set up it is very easy and quick to put the belt on and off. Often cheap lever belts have a chrome plated lever that breaks. They’re made in a cast, with lots of impurities in the metal.

We sell a small range of Powerlifting Belts with Stainless Steel levers. These are made from solid blocks of Stainless Steel. These are made to last forever, but aren’t cheap, so we only use them on our small range of UK made powerlifting belts. 

If you’re below 5’9″ you might find that a powerlifting belt digs in or pinches between your ribs and hips. Your body will get used to it and the belt will soften up, but if this puts you off – and you’re not a powerlifter – we’d recommend a weightlifting belt. The other option for powerlifters is a 3″ powerlifting belt, which is 3″ wide all the way round, rather than 4".


In summary these belts are good for:

  • Powerlifting
  • Squatting and Deadlifting

They are not the best belts for:

  • CrossFit style workouts
  • Smaller athletes
  • Olympic Lifting


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