If you’re serious about weightlifting, then you likely know already know how important it is to invest in a leather pro weightlifting belt. When used properly, a pro weightlifting belt can help you achieve your weightlifting goals and protect your spine.
Weightlifting belts should only be worn by athletes who are deadlifting more than 80 percent of their one rep max. If that’s you, then wearing a leather pro weightlifting belt can help to increase your intra-abdominal pressure during heavy lifting, which stabilizes your core and protects the spine. These belts should only be used for exercises performed while standing and it’s advisable to work with a professional trainer when first entering the world of deadlifts, cleans, jerks, snatches, and unsupported overhead lifts.
Pro weightlifting belts should not be used during mild or moderate weight lifting sessions or workouts. In these cases, you should be looking at workout back braces for added support. Using a weightlifting belt during lower-intensity workouts can relieve the pressure from abdominal muscles, which can cause the core to weaken over time and can lead to injury when lifting without a belt.
For those who are in the market for the best leather pro weightlifting belt, we’ve compiled a list below.
1. Stoic Powerlifting Belt
For serious lifters, we recommend the Stoic Powerlifting Belt. The leather and suede belt is 4 inches wide and available in five sizes, starting at a 29-inch stomach and going up to 48 inches. The non-tapered front is designed to reduce stress on the back, protecting against the natural tendency to round out when squatting and lifting overhead. Stoic uses strong nylon stitching and high-end materials to create a durable and lasting belt made with vegetable tanned, full grain sole leather. Unlike most leather lifting belts, Stoic designs their belts with a single prong buckle.
Pros: The Stoic belt is 10 mm thick all the way around, making it one of the thickest belts available. The unbreakable belt is competition legal and available in 6.5 mm to 13 mm options.
Cons: Because of its use of leather and suede, the Stoic is the most expensive option on our list. The belt arrives very stiff and can be difficult to get on and off as a result.
2. Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt
For a real leather belt that won’t break, tear or wear out after only a few uses, try the Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt. The traditional style weightlifting belt is made with genuine buffalo hide leather. This material is soft and flexible, helping to eliminate pain from the belt digging into the your sides and hips when lifting. The belt is 4 mm thick and 4 inches wide for added lower back support. Dark Iron’s belts are IPF and USAPL approved and have been shown to increase the average amount lifted by 10 percent.
Pros: Dark Iron have an impressive size spread available, starting with a 23-inch belly and going up to a 49-inch belly.
Cons: The Dark Iron can stretch and become difficult to tighten.
3. ProFitness Genuine Leather Workout Belt
For an affordable entry belt into weightlifting, we recommend the ProFitness Genuine Leather Workout Belt. The ProFitness belt is designed with genuine leather that is 4 inches wide all the way around and provides a no-slip fit. A heavy-duty metal buckle lets users adjust the belt to their preferred level of tightness and the belt is designed to be both stretch and tear resistant.
Pros: The ProFitness belt can be worn while weightlifting and while performing certain cross training exercises. Ideal for new and intermediate weight lifters, the belt provides lumbar support while squatting and lifting.
Cons: The belt is only available in three sizes and each size has a wide range, which can make it difficult to get the belt to the desired tightness level. The belt is very stiff and can dig into the sides and hips in some cases.
4. Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Lifting Belt
If you’re looking for an alternative to leather, we recommend the Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Lifting Belt. Made from premium nylon, the belt is designed with a self-locking mechanism that shouldn’t move or slip, regardless of the weight being lifted. A quick-release mechanism means that users can easily loosen the belt and continue to wear it while performing other exercises instead of having to completely remove the belt. The belt is designed with a uniform 4-inch width for consistent pressure and optimal stability, which is recommended for serious weightlifters. The Element 26 is USAW and Functional Fitness Competitions-approved.
Pros: Users can choose from four colors, making it easy to spot their belt at the gym or in the locker room.
Cons: The Element 26 only goes up to a 45-inch waist. The belt may move or stretch when in use and is better designed for light or moderate lifting.