T Nation

Deadlift/Bench Press Belt?

Any thoughts on using a thinner/smaller belt on deadlifts? Are the benefits the same as a thicker and larger belt like theoretically or in your experience?

I’ve tried many times to introduce the standard width 10mm belt in my deadlift (sumo) but it’s never worked well. It either gets in the way or doesn’t help much at all. Or both. I don’t think I have abnormal torso proportions or anything and have tried higher and lower belt positions. Belt works as normal for my squats.

I’ve been progressing beltless but if there’s a benefit to be had I wanna go for it. Bit pricey for an experiment though.

More likely your DL position impacts how well you brace, so you’re not bracing as effectively as when you squat. I’ve had similar issues in the past, losing tightness as I get to the bar beltless or otherwise.

Once you figure out the bracing, chances are the belt will become more helpful

1 Like

Maybs inconsistent in that way.

So how’s this sound for a bracing sequence:

Starting at the top set neutral spine (ribs not flared + switch on abs / pelvis in neutral by activating glutes, hams and adductors to pull into alignment)

Get big air at top. Breath into belly and tense core for 360 no scope tension feeling. Maintain when going down.

Set grip or straps. Top up air with little sucky breaths of required. As max air/tension is created wedge ininto the bar + cue lat activation.

Doesn’t always go exactly right buts that’s what I’m tryna make happen. Sometimes I forget to consciously do it but still go through the steps. When I get it right feels solid enough like I’ll be able to pull 260-270 beltless soon-ish and then grab some stinky second hand power pants to pull 300 lol.

I think that might be the issue.

I was taught to pull abs in, hold pee (aka stabilise pelvis) and then take air. You breathe into your flexed abs, not breathe in and then flex. That creates a ton of pressure and is easier to hold.

I find you don’t notice so much if you don’t do it to squat because the weight on your back presses down anyway, so you kind of get pressure from that. With deadlift you don’t, so really when you take air at the top and then squeeze your abs, it’s like squishing a big balloon and you lose tension when you move.

If you lock your abs and pelvis down before taking your air, you’re putting air into an already solid container. There’s not really anywhere for it to move when you change position.


Aights I’ll try it out. Awkward if I’ve been doing it sub optimally the whole time. If it works better or even more consistently I might just stay beltless all the way which is kinda not the point of the thread but oh well

Where does the belt come into it then. Like mechanism wise. Is it just more compression to push against. With a belt can u get away with less than perfect muscular bracing?

More lucky you didn’t get hurt. That’s how I had to learn

It’s protective, especially of chronic wear and tear. Pays off in the long run.

It also adds a degree of weight you can lift, because it does increase pressure. If you aren’t bracing correctly thay can be a problem, because it adds load to an unstable spine, while making you feel stable.

What happens when you brace correctly is that you’re safer AND stronger, and when you combine it with a belt that further increases.

1 Like

Not really. It hides the issue, and lets you add weight. Is problem

1 Like

So like I can still buy a sexy as pioneer belt tho yeah?

I’ve heard so many different cues for this,

  • Draw down (as in draw down your ribs instead of puffing out your chest)
  • Pretend like you are about to be punched in the stomach (not like everyone experiences this all that often)
  • Pretend like you are walking into a cold lake (worst one…)

I don’t know why it’s never “flex your abs, breath into your belly using your nose, and then breath in more through your mouth” but I’ve never had to try and coach anyone so I guess it’s for a reason.

1 Like

One of the best things Dave Tate ever taught me was this. ( he’s taught me a lot but this was golden )

1 Like

Y dis good?

If you do it correctly while bracing you can maximize the amount of air you pull in for ultimate tightness.

Basically if you breath through your mouth THEN try breathing through your nose you can’t get extra air. But if you do nose first, then mouth, you get a tiny bit extra air that just sets the pressure over the top.


I tried that and it makes my head feel like it’s going to explode. It works for some people though.

If wearing a belt doesn’t add anything to your deadlift then it’s not necessary. I get something out of pulling with a belt, but not nearly as much as squatting with one. A thinner belt doesn’t give you much to brace against, unless you have a very short torso and a normal belt digs into your ribs it’s probably a waste of time. People wear thin belts for equipped bench to hold their shirt down, I can’t think of any raw lifter who wears a bench belt.

1 Like

You guys. I forget sometimes how much PL’ers analyze this stuff. I never use a belt. I own a lovely Inzer 13mm lever. I doubt I’ve put it in 20 times, it wouldn’t even qualify as broken in (Although it broke a prong the first few times that I wore it). I found it super counterproductive on Log Press, and generally of no value on any lift. At any tightness, any style. It just isn’t valuable for some guys. You’re better off training without it for the most part if you rain for 1 RM or strength in general. BBers might end up with thicker waists than they shoot for. Build your own belt, it’s better for you overall anyway. If the belt helps, save it for maximal stuff -vit will still help even if you only use it for that. Some guys really just don’t get anything out of it.

1 Like

Then you won’t know how to use it properly.

My heuristic for if I should use a belt is I’d force the rest of my body to wait to develop just because my core sucks. I’d rather use a belt, and work on my core so that I can squat and deadlift heavier weights. It’s also a great cue for me to push out against. If the only benefit was the cue, there are other alternatives (such as belts that don’t provide much in the way of support).


I see your line of reasoning, and many share it. My experience tells me that it is faulty though. The best way to develop your core is doing the lifts without support. Overhead squats are axcellent as well. There is not much of a learning curve to a belt, and I don’t get much from it because caore is not my limiting factor. Mostly I credit that to having trained without a belt for a long time before deciding I ought to give it a go (Because all of these PLers I knew were so in love with belts). Support equipment certainly has a place, but I think it is generally overused which really results in under-development. If a guy can squat 800 lbs, but can’t squat 500 without the belt, he has a problem from my viewpoint.

Maybe if you start with a healthy foundation :man_shrugging: I have kyphosis

Read up to this video. Actually gonna comment on the pull instead of the belt topic. If you slow the video down, your hips remain motionless and raising your back is what breaks the floor. Your pull would be a lot stronger if you used that back motion to pull the bar close and put tension into it then drive with the legs. Slow your clip then slow one of mine and you’ll see what I mean


Very Konstantin Konstantinovs of you. May he RIP

Well I am a manlet

When do u get your breaths?