Ever notice that folks don’t train with a weight belt with us? Though Functional Fitness on the Bluffs isn’t a powerlifting dungeon of meatheads, we do lift heavy loads. It’s not uncommon to see folks in other gyms training barbell movements with a weight belt, or lumbar support.
For me, I think it’s pivotal that folks develop their own core stability before ever considering using a weight belt. Many athletes are quick to use lumbar support and build up to train movements that their underdeveloped abdominal muscles and spinal erectors can’t handle.
Training with a weight belt, especially in the early, foundational stages of an athlete’s career is a huge missed opportunity, in my opinion. There is no better tool to build core strength and pelvic stability that with a loaded barbell. And, given that core strength and the ability to great power that emanates from the core is the most vital skill in human function, especially in sport, it seems that such core development is imperative.
Once an athlete develops superior core strength and his/her lifts continue to develop, there may be room for lumbar sport as a training aid later on. This way the weight belt isn’t a crush, but a tool, which is its intended purpose. Until then, embrace one of the great side benefits of heavy barbell training: Core Strength!1
With a partner, complete the following for time:
100 Front Squats (155/115)
**When bar drops, athlete runs 400M