Should you wear a belt during the bench press? This is another user-submitted question! In the VIDEO, I breakdown the pros and cons of wearing a belt during the bench press. In addition, I mention a possible reason for the prevalence of raw lifters wearing a belt during the bench press.
The first pro that I go over is that the belt can give you active feedback on whether you’re breathing and bracing properly. This can help beginner lifters get a feel for how to get tight and properly bench press. But once they’ve figured it out, they can always ditch the belt and then try to mimic the same technique without the belt.
The second pro that I go over is that it can provide lower back support. Some lifters may experience pain in the lower back during the bench press or when they complete the set. The belt can possibly provide lower back support to relieve this pain. But I also mention that you’re probably better over figuring out what the underlying issue is and fixing that directly.
The third pro that I go over is that it can speed up the process of breaking in the belt and getting comfortable with it. If you’ve never worn a powerlifting belt before, it can be quite uncomfortable and new belts need to be broken in and shaped to your body. Wearing the belt for bench press, on top of wearing it for squat and deadlift, can help break in the belt faster and have the lifter get more comfortable with having it on.
On the flip side, the first con I go over is that it can restrict your arch. Depending on the width of the belt and how much you arch, the belt can possibly get in the way of your arch. So, then you aren’t able to arch as much as you possibly can and get in the best bench pressing position for you. You could look into getting a smaller belt that won’t get in the way of the arch as well, but it’s also easier to simply bench without a belt.
And the other one I go over is that it’s another piece of equipment which can become more of a hassle and more expensive. As you add more and more pieces of equipment, the sport naturally becomes more expensive. In addition, it’s more things to keep track of as far as what to take to the gym, what to put on before a set, what to take to competitions, etc. If you’re a beginner to the sport, then you’re better off spending less money and focusing on fewer things. Focus first on consistently exercising and improving technique without any pieces of equipment. Then, over time, you could look into adding pieces of equipment to your arsenal that will help you with the powerlifts.
If you want to check out the best budget belts for powerlifting, then click the link below. And if you want to check out other bench press tips, then click on my bench press tips playlist linked below.
Best Budget Belts Video:
Bench Press Tips Playlist: