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If you use a vegan lifting belt properly, you can take advantage of heavier lifts while remaining safer and more efficient.
Sadly, if you’re looking for a well-known high-quality lifting belt, it’s often made out of leather. It’s a bit like looking for a sofa.
Nevertheless, we’re undeterred by this hardship and we’re on a quest to find the best vegan lifting belt! In today's post, I will share my discoveries with you so you can lift heavier weights in a cruelty-free manner.
In addition to a good pair of gym shoes and a bodybuilding program, a lifting belt can really help you out with those lifts!
Most vegan lifting belts are incredibly flimsy and of poor quality. There is really only one brand that makes lifting belts that actually rival authentic leather belts. These are the belts found at the Strength Shop website.
I don't make a dime from these recommendations. It's just that these vegan lifting belts are extraordinary and great for a vegan powerlifters.
Let's take a look at what makes them so awesome.
Our Best Vegan Lifting Belts (2019 Updated)
OUR #1 RATED
OUR #2 RATED
Fire Team Fit
OUR #3 RATED
OUR #4 RATED
OUR #5 RATED
1. Element 26 Self-Locking Weightlifting Belt (Editor's Choice)
If you’re looking for a vegan powerlifter belt which is secure around your body, then Element 26’s belt with self-locking technology is what you might need.
The self-locking technology allows for injury free use as it will not loosen during your lifts.
This belt is made from 100% premium nylon, and is designed with for a wide range of athletes: Powerlifters, Olympic lifters, and CrossFit athletes.
Personally, I love that this belt is competition approved - which means I can use it in future competitions if I ever do decide to join one; I just need to get stronger first.
It's approved for use in USAW and CrossFit Competitions so you can rest assured that you’re getting a functional and practical weightlifting belt.
With a lifetime warranty, why wouldn't you get it?
2. Fire Team Fit Weightlifting Belt
Fire Team Fit offer tough, durable and heavy-duty belts made out 100% vegan materials that provide a good support for heavy squats and deadlifts.
They can be used by either casual lifters or for competitive powerlifting, strongman lifting, Olympic lifting, or other types of strength sports.
Unlike traditional leather belts with a set of holes, the hook support strap enables you to adjust this belt's tightness for the desired comfort and stability specifically needed for your leg and core body movements.
What's making it more highly recommendable is that its made from softer, lightweight, and flexible vegan materials that will make your weightlifting sessions more comfortable.
All in all, these belts are high-quality and have a reliable track record as they've been used during 800+ pound deadlifts and squats. It also says a lot that Fire Team Fit offers a lifetime performance warranty for them too – they obviously trust their product!
3. Harbinger Weightlifting Belt
For a lifter that doesn't have plans of squatting or deadlifting more than 400-500 pounds, a belt such as the Harbinger Lifting Belt still manages to impress.
This belt is made out of thick and flexible cell foam, surrounded by abrasion-resistant nylon that provides both support and comfort.
It comes with a heavy gauge steel roller buckle, along with a velcro system which makes tensioning secure and simple.
Additionally, as this belt is not quite as unyielding as the belts from Strength Shop, you can also use these in other scenarios than heavy lifting.
The flexibility and less-stiff material make this belt suitable for CrossFit, or some other functional fitness type training where you want to transition between heavy lifting and doing box jumps and burpees in the same workout.
4. Bear KompleX
Despite its unusual name, this Bear KompleX belt is ideal for deadlifts, snatches, squats, and much more, allowing you to get the support you need for various bodybuilding exercises.
4 inches of strong Velcro make for easy and stable fastening, helping you to maintain your balance and keep your core strong when doing demanding exercises.
Whether you’re pumping bars or doing squats, this is a great weightlifting belt to use and it's comfortable too. Owing to the support provided a good belt will always be snug and you'll know it's there, but you want that to feel more like a bear hug than a pinch and the Bear Komplex has that comforting grip.
The only real drawback is that it looks a little tacky, when compared to other entries on the list it is really lacking in the sleek and stylish department, but when it performs that well who cares if it looks a little grizzly?
Ideal if you’re doing a lot of strength training, the RitFit weightlifting belt is ergonomically designed in order to provide lumbar support and keep your back in good condition throughout your gym session.
It comes with a 6-inch wide foam core which is waterproof (i.e. sweatproof) and has a hook and loop closure for secure fastening. This belt is designed to be supportive of your back and abdomen, which is great if you have problems with these areas.
This belt has been specifically designed with smaller frames in mind meaning it's a fantastic choice for the shorter lifter as well as those of the fairer sex.
This does mean however that they don't provide as much allowance for larger builds and if you're of an Atlantian or Amazonian build this might not be the best belt for you.
The RitFit isn't going to win any style awards but it is straight, sleek, and to the point. It has been designed to help you achieve peak performance and it's a great choice for smaller athletes that won't break the bank.
What do lifting belts do?
When you lift or push something heavy, your body instinctively wants you to hold your breath – this is referred to as the Valsalva maneuver. The pressure you feel building up is called intra-abdominal pressure.
Alas, this pressure is the foundation of every properly-done heavy squat, deadlift or compound movement. A good weightlifting belt allows you to augment this pressure even more, acting almost like a second set of abdominals, meaning you can lift heavier weights.
Some people claim that powerlifting belts are “unnatural”, but last time I checked, protein shakes, treadmills, and yoga pants don’t occur naturally in the wild either. If you’re safe and use proper technique, you’ll see the weight lifting belt benefits which are possible.
In combination with equipment such as proper gym shoes, supplements, and a muscle building program, a lifting belt can help you up your game in the gym.
For advice on vegan weightlifting shoes, check out The Best Vegan Weightlifting Shoes.
You might consider wearing a weightlifting belt if you're doing powerlifting or dead lifts. A weightlifting belt can be a reminder to keep your spine in the correct position and can help maintain abdominal pressure to stabilize the spine during heavy lifting.
Edward R. Laskowski
Doctor of Medicine
Who Should Use a Lifting Belt?
Any complete beginner in the gym should probably not be using a lifting belt.
The first objective of any new lifter should first be to correctly perform the lifts and brace using the core musculature. After first establishing a solid lifting and breathing technique, you can go ahead and put on a belt – don’t rush to it.
At the point where you're pulling and squatting some decent weights, there's really nothing stopping you from benefiting from a lifting belt, especially if you have a history of back injuries and you want to stave off any future similar accidents.
When Should You Use Your Belt?
Essentially, you should put on your lifting belt whenever a big, strong-braced core comes in handy. This could be in exercises and movements such as:
What to Look For in a Vegan Lifting Belt
So first and foremost let's ensure that no animals were harmed in the making of the lifting belt:
Where should your weight lifting belt sit?
Your weight lifting belt should sit so that it covers your erectors and abdominal muscles. This is usually 1-2 inches above your pelvis, although this can vary depending on your body shape. You want to ensure that the belt is providing lots of intra-abdominal pressure.
Should I wear a belt when Deadlifting?
You should usually wear a belt when deadlifting, as you’re using your core muscles to lift a weight. More experienced deadlifters may not require a belt anymore, but people perfecting their technique should seek the assistance of a belt and reap the weight lifting belt benefits.
What size lifting belt do I need?
When it comes to the size of your lifting belt, you need to measure around your waist in a relaxed state without sucking your stomach in. This is usually around 4 inches above where your pants naturally sit. Choose a belt with the waist size that you measured for the best fit.
How tight should my lifting belt be?
Your lifting belt should be tight enough to give you something to push against, but not so tight that your abdominals cannot contract properly. When putting your belt on, hold your breath and contract your core as you would when lifting. Tighten your belt until it finds this spot, and then tighten it a little more.
Do lifting belts help with lower back pain?
Many lifting belts can help with lower back pain and provide you with lumbar support. However, these weight lifting belts are primarily designed for core abdominal support, so they may not support everyone’s backs as much as they would like them to.
Do lifting belts prevent injury?
Lifting belts do not prevent injuries, so you should always use safe techniques and spotters when performing heavy lifts. Lifting belts are primarily designed to give your core muscles something to brace against, helping you to lift heavier weights than normal. The best way to prevent injury is through proper training and technique.
Our Favorite Vegan Lifting Belt
So, after all is said and done, we have to recommend the Element 26 Self-Locking Weightlifting Belt as our favorite vegan powerlifting belt! Not only is it animal-free, but it’s also very versatile – you can use it for powerlifting competitions, bodybuilding, squatting, and more!
Instead of using a single prong or double prong fastening system, it uses a unique hook support strap which makes it easy to adjust the belt to the perfect size for you and your needs.
These belts have been used on heavy lifts such as 505 pound squats (by @sodiff) and 495 pound deadlifts (by @chocolateviking), so we’re pretty sure that their proof is in the (heavy) pudding!
Element 26 Self-Locking Belt
Our #1 Vegan Weightlifting Belt
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