Should I Use a Weight Lifting Belt?
So let's talk about breathing patterns and how it links to spine health and spine stability and core stability and in relation to an actual lifting belt. So a lot of novice lifters will see more advanced athletes training in a lifting belt and they'll ask you what is the purpose of the belt. The purpose of the belt is in order to basically force a like fixed amount of volume in your abdominal space so that when you take a deep breath in, you push your belly against the belt in order to increase the pressure in your abdomen which then protects the lumbar spine. Now I personally use a belt when I'm doing a like a heavy lift, something above maybe like 80 or 90% of my one rep max, however I don't recommend beginners to use a belt. The reason why is that you want to actually learn how to control the bracing of your abs when you're doing a heavier lift. So how that breathing pattern would look like is that you want to take a deep breath in down into your belly and then brace your abs against that held breath. That bracing of your abs serves the "purpose" of the belt but then which is stabilizing the lumbar spine prior doing the lift. So I recommend trying that out on your next heavy workout.