There is no reason to use the lifting belt when working your biceps

Updated: Feb 4, 2019


I didn’t encounter yet a gym where there isn’t at least a person using the lifting belt as an accessory from the moment they enter the gym until they finish showering. They are doing this hoping that it protects their spine or even worse hoping it will correct their posture.


With this article I am aiming to clarify some misconceptions about wearing the lift belt.


When should I use the belt?


The belt is one of the mostly used accessories when talking about strength training or hypertrophy in general or specific sports like: weightlifting, powerlifting, crossfit. With such a reputation lots of people are too dependent of it when they train. The problem is that wearing the belt inhibits the body ability to stand still and stable during the movement.


The only exception in my opinion, is when you are working with really heavy loads (> 85% of 1 RM) that require an enhanced core stability. There is no other reason to wear a belt.


What is the role of the belt?


When we are doing any movement, the middle part of the body - the muscles between the solar plexus and the knees – have the mission to stabilize and transfer force from the upper to the lower body and to cut off any useless movement during the execution.


If you are a beginner the most important thing to focus on is a correct technique, the way you breath during the execution and the way you control the core. The belt should only be used when you need additional stability.


How should you wear the belt?


If you use the belt, you shouldn’t wear it during the entire length of the training. In order to maintain the intra abdominal pressure, the belt needs to be so tight that it starts to be uncomfortable, but without chocking the middle of the body area so that you are still able to push the abdominal wall, oblique muscles and the lumbar area against it.


If the belt is too tight, like in most of the cases, this limits the stability and only gives you the impression that it keeps a correct posture during the execution.

The belt position depends on preferences, however a position that works for most of the people is with the belt covering as much as possible of the abdominal and spinae erector muscles – 3-5 cm above the iliac crest.




How can we get rid of the belt?


In order to avoid injuries, first, we need to address the abdominal area that requires to be strengthened to be able to resist the compression forces.


Below you can find some exercises that improve muscular strength and endurance for a better posture during movement:


GHD hip extension hold:


Stir the pot:



Lateral plank w/ row:



The next step is to look at how we breath and how this can help us create the intra abdominal pressure required to stabilize the body. Most of the time breathing takes place at a chest level and this may have an impact on the spinal position in the lumbar area (a hyperextension). This can be very dangerous when we are aiming for a correct posture.


The correct way to breath during exercising requires to focus on the core region. When we inhale a large quantity of air, a change must be observed in the abdominal area - the inferior part of the ribcage extends in lateral while the air in the stomach goes down towards the hip area.


If we breath correctly (“in the stomach”) and we keep the abdominal region tight the abdominal pressure increases and offers a solid base that protects the spine structures.


You can start applying the above tips with the below exercise as it helps to create pressure around the core by using a breathing technique. When you inhale you push the air towards the hip with the help of the diaphragm, maintain for a couple of seconds and exhale going back in the initial position. If the exercise is correctly executed the kettlebell should be raised when inhaling.




P.S. There is no reason to use the lifting belt when working your biceps 😊


[Ro]


Nu exista sala unde sa nu fie persoane care folosesc centura pe post de accesoriu de cand intra in sala pana cand ies din dus, in speranta ca le protejeaza coloana vertebrala sau si mai grav, crezand ca le corecteaza postura.


In acest articol vreau sa clarificam anumite conceptii gresite legate de purtarea acesteia.


Cand sa folosesc centura?


Centura este unul din cele mai folosite echipamente atunci cand vine vorba de antrenamentele de forta, hipertrofie sau in diferite ramuri sportive: weightlifting, powerlifting, crossfit si bodybuilding. Avand o reputatie atat de mare, majoritatea oamenilor depind prea mult de centura atunci cand se antreneaza. Acest lucru inhiba abilitatea corpului de a oferi stabilitate in momentul miscarii. Singura excepție din punctul meu de vedere, este in cazul în care efectuați exerciții cu greutati mari (peste 85% din greutatea maximala) care implică o mai buna stabilizare la nivelul musculaturii inferiore a spatelui si a musculaturii abdominale, altfel nu există niciun motiv să purtați o centură!


Care este rolul ei?


Atunci cand executam orice miscare, partea de mijloc a corpului, mai exact toti muschii situati intre plexul solar si genunchi (core-ul), au rolul de a stabiliza si de a transfera forta din partea superioara in cea inferioara si de a elimina orice miscare inutila in momentul executiei.


Daca esti incepator lucru cel mai important este o tehnica corecta, modul in care respiram in timpul executiei si modul in care trebuie sa controlam core-ul, iar centura trebuie folosita doar atunci cand avem nevoie de un plus de stabilitate.


Cum trebuie sa purtam centura?


In cazul in care o folosesti, ea nu trebuie purtata pe toata durata antrenamentului deoarece pentru a mentine presiunea intra-abdominala aceasta trebuie sa fie stransa pana in punctul in care incepe sa devina incomoda, fara a “strangula” insa zona de mijloc a corpului, astfel incat sa putem impinge peretele abdominal, oblicii si zona lombara impotriva ei.


Daca este stransa mult prea tare, ca in majoritatea cazurilor, aceasta limiteaza stabilizarea si doar ne da impresia ca ne mentine postura in timpul executarii exercitiului. Pozitionarea ei difera in functie de preferintele fiecaruia, dar o pozitie buna pentru majoritatea persoanelor este atunci cand centura acopera o suprafata cat mai mare din muschii abdominali si erectorii spinali, 3-5 centimetri mai sus de creasta iliaca.




Cum putem renunta la centura?


In scopul evitarii accidentarilor, primul lucru la care trebuie sa ne adresam este zona abdominala, pe care trebuie o dezvoltam pentru a rezista fortelor de compresie.


Mai jos am prezentat cateva exercitii ce imbunatatesc forta si anduranta musculara pentru o mai buna postura in timpul miscarii:


Ghd hip extension hold:


Stir the pot:



Lateral plank w/ row:


Urmatorul pas este modul in care respiram si cum ne putem ajuta de respiratie pentru a crea presiunea intraabdominala, lucru important in stabilizarea corpului. De cele mai multe ori respiratia are loc la nivelul pieptului lucru ce influentiaza si pozitia coloanei din zona lombara (hiperextensie), acest lucru este periculos atunci cand urmarim o postura mai buna.


Pentru a respira corect in timpul exercitiilor, este necesar sa ne concentram la nivelul core-ului iar atunci cand inspiram o cantitate mare de aer, trebuie sa observam o schimbare de volum in interiorul regiunii abdominale (regiunea inferioara a cutiei toracice se extinde in lateral in timp ce aerul din stomac coboara spre bazin).


Daca respectam modul in care inspiram ( "in stomac" ) in combinatie cu incordarea regiunii abdominale, presiunea intra-abdominala creste si astfel ne ofera o baza solida care protejeaza structurile coloanei vertebrale.


Pentru a pune in practica cele enumerate mai sus, am demonstrat un exercitiu ce ne ajuta sa creăm presiunea de jur-imprejurul trunchiului prin intermediul respiratiei. Atunci cand inspiram impingem aerul spre bazin cu ajutorul diafragmei, mentinem cateva secunde, dupa care expiram si revenim in pozitia initiala. Daca exercitiul este executat corect kettlebell-ul trebuie sa se ridice in momentul inspiratiei.



P.S. nu exista niciun motiv sa folosesti centura atunci cand executi exercitii pentru biceps!

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