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Does Wearing a Belt Increase Ab Strength?

In starting strength, Mark Rippetoe says that when you wear a belt you can use it as a cue to tighten our abs more. Therefore more isometric contraction produces stronger abs. However in 531 Jim Wendler states that some people think that wearing a belt makes your abs weaker so they should supplement with more ab exercises.

I’m just wondering what peoples experiences/thoughts on this are?

Wearing a belt doesnt increase your ab strength

I tried a few and came to the conclusion that I don’t like them. I find it easier to focus on my abs, lock my spine and lift right without one. I have a gut though so I think that might make it less useful since it’s real intent is to increase intra-abdominal pressure to support the fluid column around the lower torso and I just have too much cushion between my abs and the belt. No gut and lifting much heavier maybe it would be more useful. I don’t think it will make much difference in ab strength though either way.

I warm up with particular attention to form and no belt. I always wear a belt on my work sets. I like that I get some core work done without the belt, but I am not doing deads and squats for core work. Better safe than sorry and I just add in some focused core work. The core still gets worked with a belt and whatever benefit/detriment to using it is not too much. I wear it for spinal stability and safety.

I prefer minimal equipment in general and have never used straps. When I had trouble holding the bar on deads I just did kroc rows and farmer walks until it wasn’t an issue. That was just a matter of strength, not like I was going to permanently injure my hands by dropping the bar.

I do think wearing a belt does help to remember to engage the abs.

Wearing a belt will help protect your back. I have used an Inzer belt for about 5 or 6 years now and I don’t think it’s made my abs any stronger. I do think that having 200, 300, 400 lbs + on your back repeatedly will make your abs stronger. I have always done lots of weighted ab work in addition to my main workout.

Wearing a belt makes your midsection stronger than it actually is by stabilising it. So no, it won’t make your abs stronger, it will actually make it less taxing for them. I only use a belt when I go for a PR on squats or deadlifts.

Thanks everyone for your input