If you are looking to buy the best weight lifting belt for CrossFit, you are at the right place. We’ve spent many hours reviewing hundreds of different products and we finally came up with the top 5 absolute best weight lifting belts for CrossFit. We are going to share out top picks, together with the pros and cons of each of the products in just a bit.
- What Is a Weight Lifting Belt for Crossfit
- Why Should You Buy a Weight Lifting Belt for Crossfit
- What to Look for When Buying a Weight Lifting Belt for Crossfit
- 2017’s Reviews Of The Best Weight Lifting Belt for Crossfit
What Is a Weight Lifting Belt for Crossfit
These belts are made out of genuine leather or a combination of nylon and a foam-like material. The main purpose of these belts is to offer lower back support and prevent injuries when the user is engaged in weightlifting exercises.
A weight lifting belt for crossfit particularly will be a tiny bit less bulky and maybe thinner than a weight lifting belt you would see a powerlifter use. This allows greater mobility and makes the belt wearable though longer workouts or even when performing stretching exercises.
Why Should You Buy a Weight Lifting Belt for Crossfit
There is a debate on whether weight lifting belts are any good or not, especially for CrossFit. Well, I think this study will help you make up your mind. According to it, weight lifting belts will improve performance.
The number one reason for which athletes use a weight lifting belt for CrossFit is to prevent injuries, lower back injuries to be more specific. Using heavy weights can put a lot of pressure on your back if you don’t have good form.
We all know you will have one or two bad form reps every now and then. That happens when you least expect it and it can happen to anyone. You never know when that’s going to happen, but you definitely want to have your belt on when it does.
Better core stability will allow you to push (or pull) more weight. So if you are ever stuck on a plateau which you don’t seem to be able to overcome, using a belt will get you passed that easily. This is a proven fact – weight lifting belts improve performance on exercises such as squats or deadlifts.
Coming back from an injury is always difficult, but using weight lifting belt will help you get back on that horse quicker. Active recovery is one of the best ways to actually speed up your recovery time, so why not give it a try.
Improve Your Technique
Speaking of form, a belt can also work as a great tool to actually teach you how to perfect your squat or deadlift technique. When you have your mid-section hold tight by a belt you can concentrate more on other aspects of the movement. Such as pushing through your heels when you squat, or getting a better grip on the bar when you deadlift.
What to Look for When Buying a Weight Lifting Belt for Crossfit
Even though at first all belts will look just the same to you, there are a handful of characteristics that can make or break a weightlifting belt. Once you are aware of these characteristics, getting the best belt is pretty straightforward. Here’s what you should keep in mind when shopping.
The first thing you want to look at is the fabric or the material the belt is made of. There aren’t that many options here: you have the full-leather belts and the nylon/foam belts.
The main difference between the two is that leather belts are usually better suited for powerlifters rather than crossfiters. They are bulkier, heavier and always come with a buckle/clamp type of closure. For this reasons, leather belts are not that comfortable and more difficult to adjust.
The upside is that they will offer better torso support which is extremely important when you are lifting really, really heavy.
Now, the nylon and foam belts are so much more light and comfortable to wear. They are smaller, take up less space and you can wear them throughout your entire workout without feeling too much discomfort. The torso support you will get from nylon/foam belts will depend on their width and thickness. So you may have belts that will offer more or less support – which is why these are great for beginners and intermediate users.
Next thing on the list is the type of closure used on the belt – it can be the old-school type with a clamp and buckle, or it can be a Velcro. The main thing you want to keep in mind here is that setting up your belt should be easy, quick and precise.
This is especially important if you put on and take off your belt a lot during your workouts. A high quality Velcro will work wonders. It’s super easy and quick to tie and untie, and more importantly, it is much more precise. So you can tighten or loosen up the belt as you desire.
On the other hand, the clam type of belts will take a bit more time to tie and untie, and the level of tightness will be limited by the number of holes and the distance between them. You may even find yourself making new holes in your belt in order to get the tightness right.
Most weightlifting belts have a width between 4 and 6 inches. The wider the belt, the better the support, right? Well, not necessarily.
Really wide belts can be uncomfortable to wear simply because they will get in the way of your mobility. So you would probably be better off with a belt which is firm enough to offer support and not so wide. Something in-between 4 to 5 inches should work great.
The thickness of the belt will also affect both the comfort and the support. Generally speaking, a thicker belt will offer more support, but it can also be really uncomfortable.
Thick belts are most of the times really rigid and the edges will go into your abs or torso when you squat for example. I’m sure you don’t want anything going into your torso when you have 400 pounds on your back, right?
So try to find a belt which is not that tick, but firm enough to keep everything around the midsection nice and tight. Most manufacturers will not mention the thickness of the belt, but you can always email them and ask, or read what other users are saying about that.
This one is super important if you plan on using the belt a lot. Check out things such as the stitching, the buckle size, inner padding and so on and so forth. All these should look spot on because you will be putting a lot of pressure on all these materials when you tie and untie your belt.
You want to see double or triple stitching, no loose ends. The buckle should look solid and the inner padding should allow you to use the belt directly on your skin without causing any rashes.
Obviously, you want to get the right size, which should be pretty straightforward. All manufacturers offer these charts which are going to help you pick the right size based on your waist measurements. The thing is that some vendors managed to screw these charts up if you are somewhere towards the upper or lower limit of a sizing, you can end up picking a belt which will not fit you.
The only thing you can do here is getting in touch with another user which has measurements similar to yours and ask which size should you get. It’s as simple as that. Just don’t always trust the vendor charts.
Lastly but not least you want to check out the pricing as well. A decent weight lifting belt for CrossFit will set you back $30-$40, but there are also a few decent options under $30 if you are on a budget or you are just starting out.
Alright, let’s take a look at our top 5 picks.
2017’s Reviews Of The Best Weight Lifting Belt for Crossfit
#1 Fire Team Fit Weightlifting Belt
The Fire Team weight lifting belt is different from you average belt because it comes with a Velcro closure. But don’t let that fool you. It will offer just the same amount of support on your back as any other products.
If fact, the Velcro feature will help you a lot to set just the right amount of tightness you want around you midsection really quickly. So, that’s one big plus if you are going to use this weight lifting belt for CrossFit workouts which will require different levels of tightness.
We’ve actually put this belt on the scale and it weighs just over half a pound which is very lightweight. So it’s easy to adjust, easy to carry around and offers good back support as a decent amount of support around your abdominals.
The only downside that we can see in this product is that is priced a little bit higher than other products. But it definitely feels high quality.
#2 ProFitness Genuine Leather Workout Belt
Even though the ProFitness belt comes in a wide range of sizes, we feel like it is more appropriate for bigger and more experienced athletes.
Being a leather weightlifting belt, you will feel it a bit more rigid around your waist. So if you are a person with really low body fat it might feel uncomfortable to you. The edges may cause some discomfort around the ribs area or hips when you are doing your ass to grass squats for example.
But if you are a bigger user and lift heavy, this might be just the right pick. The buckle offer plenty of adjustments so we don’t see any issues there.
The red color stitching on this belt looks totally awesome, but it also comes with white colored stitching if you don’t like red. The inside of the belt has a different finish which offers really good adherence, and also feels comfortable on the skin.
#3 Gabor Fitness Contoured Neoprene Weight Lifting Belt
The Gabor Fitness weightlifting belt is great if you just want to go through your beginner WOD with a little bit of extra support around your back. This is probably one of the lightest and cheapest belts you can buy. Chances are you will not even feel you have it on – it’s that comfortable.
Of course, if you are more advanced and thinking about hitting a PR with it, you might want to consider a different belt. The amount of support on this one is decent, but it probably won’t be enough if you want to deadlift 500 pounds.
Other than that, there’s plenty of Velcro to keep it tight no matter what, but the steel buckle seems feeble. Also, there seem to be some issues with the sizing chart – most users reported that they needed to go one size up to actually have this belt fit.
It comes together with a little bag you can use to carry it around which is great if you are all nice and tidy about your gym equipment.
#4 Bear KompleX Weight Lifting Belt
This premium weight lifting belt will have any advanced crossfiters feel like he can add more weight to the bar. The amount of support you get from Bear KompleX feels just like a traditional clamp weight lifting belt.
So you will get the exact same benefits of a heavy-duty leather belt, but with the comfort of a nylon one and the adjustability of a Velcro. Even though it is stiffer than other foam/nylon belts in our list it still feels comfortable enough and the edges will not get into your abs or torso when you squat or deadlift. The width is around 5 inches, which is just a little bit above average.
The finish is decent enough, but the design feels like it needed a little bit more work. Price-wise, this will be sitting at the higher end of the range, but the quality and value are definitely there.
#5 Harbinger Weightlifting Belt
The Harbinger is an ultra-lightweight weightlifting for CrossFit which features a steel buckle and a Velcro closure. It is 5 inches wide – which puts it right in the middle range of the weight lifting belts widths.
Just as any other Velcro-based belt, the adjustment is quick and precise, the support is good and it feels very comfortable. The belt is made out of a foam-like material which seems to be sensitive to folding. So you might want to either leave it straight as it is or just roll it up when you have it in your gym bag.
We are surprised to see this product positioned at the lower end of the pricing range. It definitely doesn’t feel like a low-end weightlifting belt. Even though it might not offer enough support for the hardcore crossfiters out there, it will definitely do the job for beginners and intermediate users. It also looks like it can take on a lot of mileage if you take good care of it.
One potential downside is the sizing. Many users have reported problems picking the right size based on the chart provided by the manufacturer. You might want to go 1 or even 2 sizes up to make sure it will fit your waist.
With that being said, keep in mind that a good belt will step up you weight lifting game. It will help you make progress faster, it will prevent injuries and it will improve your form. Pick the right one based on your personal situation and take your workouts to the next level.