Lifting with a Belt, the Upside

**We will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday with One Special Noon Class Only**

You can move more weight with a belt. Period. The controversy comes in mostly when the belt becomes a crutch. If you can do things with a belt, for example, that give you pain without the belt it’s a crutch. If you become psychologically dependent on the belt, or any other piece of equipment it is a crutch.

There is upside for lifters of all levels to wearing a belt, though. In fact, an argument can be made that a belt can teach one of the most important lessons in movement. This lesson is the lesson of creating something called intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) made more famous than ever from our friends at BIRTHFIT.

The way our bodies are shaped places of center of mass in or trunk. Since our extremities originate here, it’s critically important to the performance of our extremities that the midsection be a solid base from which to move and apply force. This is true whether we’re pulling on a barbell in our hands or pushing the ground away from us. The midsection is the epicenter of stability (or the lack of stability).

The most effective, high-functioning way to stabilize in the midsection is to ultimately create IAP. This involves the diaphragm, the 360 degree expression of the abdominals that even wrap around to the back, and the pelvic floor. We essentially create a giant inflated balloon or a shaken up can of soda with our midsection. The pressure that pushes out in all directions is where we get the name IAP.

Unfortunately, dysfunctional movement and socialized norms about what great abs do and look like have combined for a critical misunderstanding. Many think of contracting the abs as sucking in or some other partial approach, therefore fail to create a safe, high performing, stable midsection.

The weightlifting belt can reinforce the critical practice of IAP because it works only if there is pressure out into the belt. Sucking your tummy in would loosen the strengthening effect for the belt and, in that way, the belt becomes a tool for tactile feedback. It gives your something to push against. The tricky part is whether or not you can create this outward pressure with the belt off. After all, IAP is critical for movement all the time.

Logan Gelbrich


1/18/19 WOD

Complete 3 rounds for quality:

20 Arch Rocks
10 Chest-to-Bar Pull Ups
5 Bar Dips

Then, complete the following for time:

1 Mile Run
4 Rounds:
10 Toes-to-Bar
15 Squats
30 Burpees