Weight lifting belt use patterns among a population of health club members

J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Aug;17(3):498-502. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0498:wlbupa>2.0.co;2.


The purpose of this study was to identify patterns of weight belt use in a population of recreational weight trainers. We hypothesized that the majority of weight belt users utilized weight belts to reduce injury risk and/or improve performance while lifting submaximal loads. Three hundred fifty-two strength training health center members (189 men, 156 women, 7 gender not indicated) aged 20-72 years (36.5 +/- 10.5 years) completed a voluntary weight belt use survey. Overall, 27% (94/352) were weight belt users and 73% (258/352) were nonusers. Ninety percent (85/94) of belt users and 63% (55/88) of former belt users utilized belts to prevent injury, whereas 22% (21/94) of belt users and 28% (25/88) of former belt users utilized belts to improve performance. Many belt users were found to utilize belts during inappropriate situations such as lifting light loads or during exercises that do not typically stress the trunk musculature. Based on these findings we suggest that specific educational interventions be developed at health and fitness facilities to help provide a foundation for more informed decision-making regarding weight belt use.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Region / physiology*
  • Male
  • Protective Devices*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*