8 Best Weightlifting Belts for Women in [year]

8 Best Weightlifting Belts for Women in 2024

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Reviewed by Jason Li

Weightlifting belts reduce lower back stress and injuries when lifting heavy. Speaking of heavier loads, the threshold isn’t absolute but relative to one’s body weight. At a certain stage, everyone must buckle up to maintain the progress and protection of their power training. 

That’s why we’ve rounded up the best weightlifting belts for women.

More and more women have taken up weight training, and this diversity is also reflected in weightlifting gear. However, belts aren’t categorized similarly, which makes finding a correct fit all the more daunting. Women, on average, have smaller stature than men with lighter spinal loading compared to their male counterparts.

But worry not! Our team of elite female athletes and coaches has got you covered after running 23 different products through a gauntlet of tests. We keep updating the list regularly, so feel free to drop your suggestions. Let’s go!

IN A HURRY?

Our Best Choice!

WARM BODY COLD MIND Nylon Weightlifting Belt

WBCM Nylon Weightlifting Belt is our top pick due to its reliability, versatility, and convenience in use. It’s made of premium-grade nylon, a highly adaptable material used in flexible swimsuits as well as firm hoses.

Top 8 Best Weightlifting Belts for Women Reviewed

  1. WARM BODY COLD MIND Nylon Weightlifting Belt – Gold Medal
  2. WARM BODY COLD MIND Leather Weightlifting Belt – Silver Medal
  3. ROGUE Toomey USA Nylon Lifting Belt – Bronze Medal
  4. 2POOD Straight Weightlifting Belt – Best for Functional Fitness
  5. ROGUE 4” Nylon Weightlifting Belt – Best for Olympic Weightlifting
  6. TITAN Longhorn Tapered Lever Belt – Best for Powerlifting
  7. ROGUE 3”Ohio Belt – Best 3-inch Female Belt
  8. ELEMENT 26 Nylon Lifting Belt – Best Self-Locking
ProductTotalDesignSizingDurabilitySupportComfortAdjustabilityPrice/
Quality
WBCM4.854.54.54.5555
WBCM Leather4.754.55544.55
Rogue4.64.554.54.5554
2Pood4.6553.54554.5
Rogue Nylon4.65543.554.55
Lifting Large4.555553.544
Rogue Ohio4.44.554.5544.53.5
Element 264.44.5543.54.554.5

1. WARM BODY COLD MIND Nylon Weightlifting Belt

GOLD MEDAL

WARM BODY COLD MIND Nylon Weightlifting Belt

Our Ratings: 4.8

Design: 5

Sizing: 4.5

Durability: 4.5

Support: 4.5

Comfort: 5

Adjustability: 5

Price/quality: 5

Warm Body Cold Mind (WBCM) is our very own strength training accessory brand, with each product designed and trusted by champion athletes.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizes: 5 (S, M, L, XL, 2XL)
  • Waist Measurement Range: 27”-40+”
  • Closure Type: Velcro with a roller buckle
  • Width: 4” (straight)
  • Thickness: 3 mm
  • Certification: IWF
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Pink
  • Price: $$

WBCM Nylon Weightlifting Belt is our top pick due to its reliability, versatility, and convenience in use. It’s made of premium-grade nylon, a highly adaptable material used in flexible swimsuits as well as firm hoses. 

You can expect moderate yet consistent support around your core muscles, thanks to a uniform 4" width. Given the high-quality stitching and fastening mechanism, this best lifting belt for women will surely last a long time.

Regardless of the stress applied by heavy weights or dynamic movements, the Velcro at WBCM belts doesn’t come loose or off. The auto-locking system with a stainless steel buckle and two-way rollers enables an adjustable and secure fit.

Color options are all solid with chic black undertones – high on style, high on substance! The sizing will be suitable for the most part, although a smaller variant  (below 27”) must be up there for women with tiny waists.

Pros

  • Suitable for a variety of strength and WOD functional training
  • Lightweight, straight-cut design balances comfort and support 
  • A roller buckle hook-and-loop pad allows quick tightening and removal

Cons

  • The smallest waist size available is 27”

2. WARM BODY COLD MIND Leather Weightlifting Belt

SILVER MEDAL

WBCM Leather Weightlifting Belt (6mm)

Our Ratings: 4.7

Design: 5

Sizing: 4.5

Durability: 5

Support: 5

Comfort: 4

Adjustability: 4.5

Price/quality: 5

WBCM also offers a competition-approved leather workout belt for women if they are disappointed with the support of softer fabric belts.

  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 6 (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL)
  • Waist Measurement Range: 28”-52”
  • Closure Type: Double-prong roller buckle
  • Width: 4” (tapered)
  • Thickness: 6 mm
  • Certification: IWF
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: $$

Genuine leather is hard to beat if you're seeking all-out support and stability. It’s a lot stronger than nylon, enhancing the belt's durability, longevity, and rigidity. As a compromise, it reduces ventilation and range of motion. However, 6mm belts reserve much of these comfort factors, as opposed to thicker 10mm or 13mm powerlifting variants.

The belt comprises two layers of black leather glued together. One of them covers the dual-prong metal buckle to prevent skin contact. It's also padded, since padding isn’t prohibited by IWF rules. 

Furthermore, the 4” back support tapers off to the half in front. It avoids digging into ribs or hips, which is the biggest issue for people with smaller torsos. Such details make it an excellent choice for women's leather weightlifting belts.  

There aren’t many drawbacks as long as you’ve got the correct size. There is also no color variety, so you’ll have to go with the laser-printed black, which fortunately goes with everything.

Pros

  • Multi-layered, softened leather is not uncomfortably firm
  • Double-prong systems are more secure than single-prong or Velcro
  • One of the most affordable and dependable leather belts

Cons

  • The range of smaller sizes can be improved
  • Only one color option

3. ROGUE Toomey USA Nylon Lifting Belt

BRONZE MEDAL

ROGUE Toomey USA Nylon Lifting Belt

Our Ratings: 4.6

Design: 4.5

Sizing: 5

Durability: 4.5

Support: 4.5

Comfort: 5

Adjustability: 5

Price/quality: 4

It’s a special edition of Rogue’s famous made-in-USA Nylon belts, co-developed by Tia-Claire Toomey, the Australian weightlifting legend.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizes: 7 (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL)
  • Waist Measurement Range: 26”-47”
  • Closure Type: Velcro with a roller buckle
  • Width: 4.5” (tapered)
  • Thickness: 6 mm
  • Certification: None
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: $$$$

Besides a jacked-up price tag, there are several design differences from a typical nylon belt. You’ll immediately notice a thick and textured cloth. Additionally, the tapering isn’t linear, and only the sides have been trimmed to 2.75". They form around body contours without risking stability since the front and back panels boast fuller width. 

The matching matte-black buckle that loops and cinches the strap stays off-center, not snagging the barbell.

Toomey’s brainchild has this remarkable capacity to keep your trunk upright. Do deep snatches, cleans, low-bar squats, and deadlifts without seeing its edges flexing or sinking along the movement. However, all non-leather belts blend support with flexibility. They show limitations at max-effort attempts.

Rogue has constructed a comfy foam frame with an antimicrobial inner and extended flaps. Even after a year of regular use, the ripstop exterior shines as good as new, although it only comes in black. One can bear a monochromatic leather female lifting belt, but nylon versions must be available in ample shades and schemes. The original USA Nylon still has five different colors.

Pros

  • 4.5” exceptional back and abdominal support with tapered sides
  • A wider size range that fits true
  • End flaps have built-in pockets to avoid dangling free

Cons

  • Bulkier and pricier than most nylon belts
  • Limited color variety

4. 2POOD Straight Weightlifting Belt

BEST FOR FUNCTIONAL FITNESS

2POOD Straight Weightlifting Belt

Our Ratings: 4.6

Design: 5

Sizing: 5

Durability: 3.5

Support: 4

Comfort: 5

Adjustability: 5

Price/quality: 4.5

The world-famous brand manages three lines of women’s lifting belts: Metcon, Petite, and Straight. The latest is tailored to be IWF compliant.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizes: 7 (3XS, 2XS, XS, S, M, L, XL)
  • Waist Measurement Range: 25.5”-46.5”
  • Closure Type: Velcro with a roller buckle
  • Width: 4” (straight)
  • Thickness: 3 mm
  • Certification: IWF
  • Colors: Black, Custom
  • Price: $$$

2Pood is the official partner of USA weightlifting and NOBULL cross-training games. It first burst onto the scene when Samantha Briggs rocked the stage a decade earlier. Belts with rainbows, sunflowers, doughnuts, and pumpkins soon became a rage (no pun intended: you must browse their website.) Now, the brand features an enviable list of functional fitness greats like Mattie Rogers, Jourdan Delacruz, and Amanda Barnhardt.

The scratch-resistant patterns are made of Cordura fabric. The steel buckle-plus-roller combo, dubbed as WODClamp, improves security and adjustability. You can smoothly transition from snug-fit deadlifts to looser box jumps.

However, the Velcro is a significant step down when pitched against high-tensile Rogue or WBCM. Try to keep it clean of chalk and lint for a useful long-term company. Nonetheless, there is a one-year warranty.

The sizing reaches down to 3XS. You can custom order any size and design at an increased cost. Straight-cut belts have a 4” standard width. Despite being thinner nylon, they take some time to be broken in.

Pros

  • Meticulously built for functional and cross-training movements
  • Long-lasting Cordura-based logos and patterns 
  • Multiple sizes and designs with on-demand customization

Cons

  • Velcro’s grip and grittiness rapidly downgrade
  • Custom orders may cost more than twice the original price

5. ROGUE 4” Nylon Weightlifting Belt

BEST FOR OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING

ROGUE 4” Nylon Weightlifting Belt

Our Ratings: 4.6

Design: 5

Sizing: 5

Durability: 4

Support: 3.5

Comfort: 5

Adjustability: 4.5

Price/quality: 5

The Ohio-headquartered Rogue is the leading manufacturer of fitness equipment and accessories. Don’t be surprised if it keeps appearing again and again.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizes: 6 (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL)
  • Waist Measurement Range: 26”-46”
  • Closure Type: Velcro with a buckle
  • Width: 4” (straight)
  • Thickness: 3 mm
  • Certification: None
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: $

Olympic weightlifting is a couple of movements of great finesse. You need bracing and anti-hyperextension assistance to pick a loaded bar and hoist it overhead. Simultaneously, mind-muscle coordination demands unrestricted joint flexibility and ROM. 

Thus, an appropriate belt walks the fine line between support and mobility. Rogue’s 4” nylon women’s weightlifting belt is incredibly lightweight and feels like not wearing anything at all. 

ROGUE 4” Nylon Weightlifting Belt Instagram
Photo by @roguefitness

Weightlifters like to keep barbells as close to the body as possible. Having bulky wraps and hooks on the belly may risk snagging. We recommend this belt for training purposes, but in contests, look for an agile and approved leather-made model, such as the WBCM double-prong belt.

A 2” support strap runs in the center, reinforcing spinal stability, and a faux leather brand logo is proudly stitched on the outside. You can check out its 5” tapered variant for enhanced back coverage and support.

Pros

  • Lightweight construction offers a free range of motion for Oly lifts
  • Neat stitching with a high-quality steel tensioning system
  • The cheapest belt on the list

Cons

  • Not supportive enough for heavy cleans and snatches
  • Not IWF approved

6. TITAN Longhorn Tapered Lever Belt

BEST FOR POWERLIFTING

TITAN Longhorn Tapered Lever Belt

Our Ratings: 4.5

Design: 5

Sizing: 5

Durability: 5

Support: 5

Comfort: 3.5

Adjustability: 4

Price/quality: 4

Belts by Texas-based Titan Support are a gold standard for powerlifting, known to stay firm and fixed. Longhorn models sit at the top of this legacy.

  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 8 (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL)
  • Waist Measurement Range: 21”-59”
  • Closure Type: Nickel-plated lever 
  • Width: 4” (tapered)
  • Thickness: 10 mm
  • Certification: IPF
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: $$$$$

Are you ready to smash your heaviest deadlifts, squats, and benches? Titan women’s powerlifting belt is permitted in all major competitions, including IPF and USAPL. 

A massive sole-bend leather core is placed between two suede layers, totaling 10mm in thickness. Materials haven’t gone through any treatment to be softened or pre-broken. We've heard a few complaints about the suede interior peeling off. Apart from that, materials are durable and guarantee a long lifetime.

A tapered design makes up for the extra stiffness, as the 4” back support comes down to 2.5” in front. It avoids uncomfortable overriding or digging into bones. 

Unhooking classic prongs takes all that's left in you after a depleting lift. Thus, most professional female athletes opt for a women’s lever lifting belt, as it never fails mid-lift and unlatches with a single hand swipe. The unmatched security is owed to the screwed-on mechanism, meaning you can’t adjust the tightness between sessions! 

Lastly, twin rows of white thread and a nickel-brass lever clamp provide contrasting effects on the black leather surface.

Pros

  • 10mm-thick, all-leather build offers maximum support for a long time
  • A vast size range, covering 21” skinny to 59” large waists
  • The most secure, snug, and easy-to-remove fastening mechanism

Cons

  • Requires multiple sessions to break in
  • Doesn’t allow switching tightness between sets

7. ROGUE 3”Ohio Belt

BEST 3-INCH FEMALE BELT

ROGUE 3”Ohio Belt

Our Ratings: 4.4

Design: 4.5

Sizing: 5

Durability: 4.5

Support: 5

Comfort: 4

Adjustability: 4.5

Price/quality: 3.5

The Rogue Ohio lineup is as legendary as it gets, paying tribute to its birthplace. Take it as a high-quality handcrafted (read expensive) equipment selection.

  • Material: Leather
  • Sizes: 5 (S, M, L, XL, 2XL)
  • Waist Measurement Range: 21”-45”
  • Closure Type: Double-prong roller buckle
  • Width: 3” (straight)
  • Thickness: 10 mm
  • Certification: IPF
  • Colors: Brown
  • Price: $$$$$

Powerlifters have a knack for uniform 360-degree support. IPF-approved belts are generally 4” wide, and choosing a straight cut is equivalent to inviting pinch marks. Nonetheless, a women’s gym belt by Rogue with 3” consistent width easily settles between your ribs and pelvis.

Another unique aspect is its relatively soft and comfortable feel despite its 10mm thickness. There is no hindrance in bending for deadlifts or Olympic moves! 

The manufacturer states its vegetable-tanning process yields a rich brown tone and leaves leather strong, sturdy, and waterproof with a nearly non-existent break-in period. However, the belt erratically creases and tans as you sweat out the first few times. You might be disappointed if you like your apparel in untouched condition.

The original 4” Ohio had a single-prong buckle. This weight lifting belt female version comes with double pins. A bright zinc roller emphasizes fashion and function. Rogue doesn’t offer lever style, double stitching, or color alternatives.

Pros

  • A superb deadlift belt for women due to a narrower frame
  • IPF-approved; follows all related guidelines 
  • Natural vegetable-tanned leather is softer and faster to break in

Cons

  • Not double stitched
  • Appears aged and wrinkled, although remains in good shape

8. ELEMENT 26 Nylon Lifting Belt

BEST SELF-LOCKING

ELEMENT 26 Nylon Lifting Belt

Our Ratings: 4.4

Design: 4.5

Sizing: 5

Durability: 4

Support: 3.5

Comfort: 4.5

Adjustability: 5

Price/quality: 4.5

Element 26 was the first brand to innovate a self-locking feature with hook-and-loop lifting belts. The special Dani Speegle edition is now up for sale.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Sizes: 6 (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL)
  • Waist Measurement Range: 23”-50”
  • Closure Type: Velcro with a self-locking roller buckle
  • Width: 4” (straight)
  • Thickness: 3 mm
  • Certification: None
  • Colors: Black, White, Red, Pink
  • Price: $$$

Despite being a newer brand, Element 26 is a serious contender in the women's lifting belt category. It manufactures a no-frill 100% nylon belt without foam pads, leather patches, or tapered edges. It hugs your torso pretty tight, creating a sense of security and stability. 

You’ll find nylon belts that are more comfortable or more rigid than this one, since it specializes in neither. Nevertheless, it remains adequate for WOD and functional workouts.

Dani Speegle, the fitness champ and influencer, has collaborated in creating this belt, and her motto "Girls Who Eat" is stamped on bright colors. Watch the strongwoman in action on her IG as she wins both sandbag ladder and log lift events by lifting over 200 lbs with this belt. 

ELEMENT 26 Nylon Lifting Belt Instagram
Photo by @element26.co

Attaching a lifetime warranty and self-locking buckles are extraordinary characteristics. You’ll see an additional ribbed plastic piece with roller, holding the belt in place even if Velcro pops off. Otherwise, Velcro runs the risk of suddenly ceasing abdominal support. WBCM has adopted the identical self-locking article for its nylon belts.

Pros

  • A reassuring self-locking fastening system prevents mishaps
  • Four solid color options 
  • A lifetime warranty is rare with nylon belts

Cons

  • Not as comfortable or supportive as other nylon belts
  • Slightly higher price

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For What Type of Exercises Do Women Need to Wear a Lifting Belt?

A lifting belt wraps around your abdominal and lower back muscles. You can use one for any resistance or metcon-styled functional exercise that stresses this region. Preventing weight-induced spinal compression and hyperextension is a major reason for doing so. Belts allow you to maintain a neutral spine and braced core, thus increasing the safety and success of your lifting routine.

Pro Tip:

Compound movements most likely to benefit from belts include squats, deadlifts, rows, overhead presses, loaded carries, snatches, and cleans-&-jerks. However, belts are not a cover-up for poor form and weak muscles.

The more important aspect is to understand the proper usage of belts. Overreliance can lead to multiple problems, such as

Note that all these risks are related to excessive and unnecessary lifting belt application. The prolonged use may cramp internal organs to the point where you’re exposed to heart or pelvic floor issues. Again, regarding weaker cores, abandoning beltless training altogether may cause muscles to slip into atrophy. Belts themselves aren’t responsible for decreased trunk muscle strength and endurance.

You should employ belts for high-load, low-rep sessions. Remember the 80% rule, warranting belts at over 80% of your 1RM load. Let's say your current squat PR is 150 lbs: feel free to wear a belt whenever logging close to 120 lbs on a barbell.

When Buying Women's Weightlifting Belts

Observe a bulk of your training beltless. No matter how fashionable, belts are not an article of clothing. You're not doing it right if you can roam around sipping drinks and taking breaks while strapped up.

Men’s vs Women’s Weightlifting Belts: What Are the Key Differences?

Technically, there are no mandated distinctions between men’s and women’s lifting belts. Anyone can choose any model as long as it fits and supports them. However, some features and design cues make certain belts more conducive to female body proportions and intended uses. 

Women mostly settle at medium and smaller sizes, although the exact sizing varies with each product and brand. Seeing a 6” wide and 13mm belt on a female athlete is next to impossible. On the other hand, tapered ones that are 2” to 3” in front are a frequent sight. These choices are natural, after all.

Average body measurements for American adults show that women are 5.5” shorter in height than men with about 2” smaller waists. Overbuilt dimensions can bruise ribcage or hip bones, if not both. Pain, discomfort, and loss of time and gains are some unwanted results.

Women also prefer soft and flexible fabrics with appealing colors and patterns. However, leather is always a better option at the competitive stage. IPF has entirely banned the use of nylon and Velcro since these are insufficiently supportive for professional powerlifting. Overall, your torso length, waist circumference, and the required level of assistance are top distinguishers.

Type of BeltSupportMobilityBest Use
Nylon with buckled Velcro tapesLowHighFunctional Fitness 
6mm leather with prong bucklesMediumMediumFunctional Fitness + Intermediate-level Strength Training
10mm leather with prong/lever bucklesHighLowAdvanced-level Strength Training 

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Lifting Belt for Women?

Women’s weightlifting belts bring a lot of upsides to your training. They increase the intensity of your workouts without taking safety risks and do the job through various means, as discussed below.

Pro Tip:

Weider's Principle of Progressive Overloading is a cornerstone of strength training. It states that progressing weight, reps, frequency, and sets are necessary to develop muscles.

If you’ve hit a strength plateau, buckling up supplements your physical as well as mental capacity to get through the challenge and continue making gains. These advantages are only realized when you’ve mastered how to perform a particular exercise correctly.

✅ Increase in Intra-Abdominal Pressure

Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) is an inherent capacity to exert pressure within abdominal muscles. It's achieved by inhaling and then bracing your core. A boost in IAP stabilizes the trunk and lower back, helping you lift heavier, longer, and safer. 

Research has proved that weightlifting belts increase IAP. One study recorded a 25%-40% increase between belted and beltless squats.

✅ Spine Stabilization

Spinal stability is the ability of the spine under physiological load to limit patterns of displacement to prevent acute or chronic damage, deformity, or pain. This stabilization is vital to the progress and protection of your weightlifting routine.

The IAP generation transforms the core region into a rigid cylinder, keeping the spine stabilized and neutral. The belt reduces compressive forces by 10%.    

✅ Erector Muscles Relief

Erector spinae is a set of large muscles responsible for back movement and posture. It’s been traditionally held that a belt decreases its engagement, lowering spine-related stress, shrinkage, and injuries.

During 90% of 1RM squats, research found greater IAP and lower lumbar erectors’ activity in all weight-belt conditions. However, a separate EMG analysis reached polar opposite conclusions. Superfluous tightening of the belt was given as a possible explanation, preloading back muscles.

Benefits of Wearing a Lifting Belt for Women

✅ Maintenance of Proper Form

A stiff core envelope restricts motion. Think about your back flexing forward at the bottom of the squat or hyperextending during overhead lockouts. 

A lifting belt creates a wall to push your belly against, thus preserving tension and pressure. It provides tactical feedback and improves explosiveness and speed of the movement without altering the joint range of motion or overall lifting technique.

✅ Boost of Confidence and Control

A comprehensive literature review makes it apparent that a facet of mental strength and sharpness is also involved. 

Wearing a back belt readily offers a subjective boost in confidence, support, and lifting capacity. A deadlift test reported reduced time of completion and perceived exertion. Another study investigating impacts on IAP and muscle activity found an intuitive ability to better stabilize the torso among participants with belts on.

What to Look for When Buying Women's Weightlifting Belts?

The best lifting belts for females are built to last a long time in addition to being reasonably supportive, comfortable, and cost-effective. The following features must be sorted beforehand.  

1. Fitness Goals

Whether you’ll do weight training solely or a thorough functional fitness program, Oly or powerlifting movements, load or volume progressing, and just for recreational or professional purposes – the answers to these questions would greatly influence the final decision criteria. You might prioritize support and rigidity over comfort and flexibility for serious pursuits. 

Women Need to Wear a Lifting Belt

2. Materials

The nylon vs leather: which one should you choose? Nylon is tough, tactile, form-fitting, and adjusting to body contours. It provides wiggle room to carry out mobility drills and snatches. However, it tends to give in when your core splays inside the belt. Leather, on the other hand, is stiffer and sturdier, restricting unnecessary movement and providing better support for heavy lifting.    

3. Stitching

The belt's durability is partly determined by materials, with leather being an obviously superior choice. However, the way a belt is manufactured and put together also makes a difference. Look for stitches, seams, and glued layers. The stitching for heavy belts must be reinforced and doubled. In addition, inquire about the health of Velcro and buckle joints.       

4. Size

You want a belt that's neither loose nor too tight. Don't make the rookie mistake of going with your pants' size, as the belt stays further up on your waist. Take a measuring tape and wrap it around your abdomen in the line of the navel. Use the final reading to reference against the company's size chart. Additionally, determine whether sizes are regular or need sizing up/down.

5. Design

There are two types of female lifting belts. You'll see straight cuts of uniform width from the buckle to the end of the strap, which provide consistent support. The alternative is a belt with contoured outlines, which cover your back extensively but taper off in the front. The latter are your choice if you're planning to throw dynamic moves or your rib-to-pelvis distance is shorter.   

6. Width and Thickness

Nylon belts aren't as affected by thickness as leather belts are. Most manufacturers don't even bother to list the specs. In the case of leather, it's one of the most important features to look out for. You have 6mm, 10mm, and 13mm options. As the thickness increases, the spinal support and stability grow, while flexibility and comfort take proportionate blows.    

two types of female lifting belts

7. Comfort

Comfort is the antithesis of support and shouldn't be the first thing on your mind. Here, a clear picture of future training goals will help you figure it out. Nylon belts are more comfortable and usually padded with foam or other soft, breathable inserts — they must flex with body movement. Leather takes suede layers on the inside, but it's still firm and rugged compared to nylon.  

8. Closure Type

Nylon belts come with a buckled Velcro fastener. If it has a built-in roller, the strap will experience less friction and damage during the tightening and removal of the belt. Leather ones tackle bulkier demands and thus have prongs or lever buckles. Single/double prongs balance adjustability and security, whereas levers are secure but remain affixed to a single point.

Buckle TypeAdjustabilitySecurity
LeverLowHigh
ProngMediumMedium
Velcro HighLow

You may need to adjust the tightness for each session based on the type of exercise, belt placement, and stomach bloating.

9. IPF/IWF Approval

If you're willing to appear in competitions, you should learn the rules and regulations of the concerned governing body. 

Olympic weightlifting events are regulated by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). The belt shouldn't exceed 4.75" in width. The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) has a rather long list of rules.

You must use a leather belt within 4" and 13mm dimensions with no additional padding, braces, or unapproved logos. See Technical Rule Book 2021 for more insights. Regional federations, such as USAW and USAPL, align their guidelines accordingly.

10. Value for Money 

When looking for fitness gear, conduct a quick price-quality analysis in your mind. Usually, a simple nylon workout belt for women is the cheapest option on the market, and you'll easily find multiple sizes and styles. On the other hand, all-leather build, competition approvals, and lever buckles surge the price. Belts may be pricey, but they shouldn't be overpriced.

How to Use a Lifting Belt for Women

How to Use a Lifting Belt for Women?

Using a weightlifting belt correctly isn’t as simple as it seems. First of all, understand how a belt works. Note that wearing the  belt excessively tight is counterproductive and dangerous.

The secret to heavy lifting lies in the 2B Technique. It includes breathing and bracing, more popularly called Valsalva Maneuver

You have to take a deep diaphragmatic breath, hold, and brace your core, causing it to expand and stiffen. Increased IAP and spinal stability are direct consequences. It’s not about sucking in your stomach. An easy hack is to flex your guts as if someone is about to punch right there. 

The technique must be followed in any case. A belt at its correct fit only reminds you to breathe and brace to fill it. Therefore, you must leave a finger-width space between the skin and belt so as to allow enough space for core expansion.

FAQ

What Type of Weightlifting Belt Is Best for Women?

Mostly, 4” nylon makes the best lifting belt for women. However, some might prefer the support and firmness of leather. A women’s leather weightlifting belt that’s no bigger than 3” in front (tapered or straight) sits comfortably. 

How Should Weight Belts Fit on Women?

There are two determiners. First, your torso length dictates the proper width, which avoids contacting ribs or hips. Then, the waist circumference tells you the length and size of the strap. When sizing up, make sure you’re wearing regular gym attire or have about an inch of extra room.

Conclusion

After extensive research, the WBCM 4” Nylon Belt and IWF-approved Tapered Leather Belt are the best weightlifting belts for women. These two models cover all sorts of support and comfort prerequisites at an affordable price.

Once you’re past the beginner stage, wearing a belt becomes unavoidable for continuing strength development and injury prevention. There is an evident leaderboard-shuffling ergogenic effect in competitions, so you must get accustomed to belt usage. 

When do you think one must buckle up? Is a load equivalent to 1.5x of body weight a good baseline? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

References:

  1.  A. A. White, M. M. Panjabi, Clinical Biomechanics of the Spine (2nd ed.), (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1990), 342.
  2. Attila J. Zink, William C. Whiting, William J. Vincent, Alice J. McLaine, “The Effects of a Weight Belt on Trunk and Leg Muscle Activity and Joint Kinematics During the Squat Exercise,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 15, no. 2 (2001): 235-240.
  3. “Body Measurements,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm (accessed January 12, 2024).
  4. Daniel A. Hackett, Chin-Moi Chow, “The Valsalva Maneuver: Its Effect on Intra-abdominal Pressure and Safety Issues during Resistance Exercise,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 27, no. 8 (2013): 2338-2345.
  5. E. A. Harman, R. M. Rosenstein, P. N. Frykman, G. A. Nigro, “Effects of a Belt on Intra-Abdominal Pressure during Weight Lifting,” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 21, no. 2 (1989): 186-190.
  6. E. Holmström, U. Moritz, “Effects of Lumbar Belts on Trunk Muscle Strength and Endurance: A Follow-up Study of Construction Workers,” Journal of Spinal Disorders 5, no. 3 (1992): 260-266.
  7. Gary R. Hunter, John McGuirk, Nancy Mitrano, Paul Pearman, Bruce Thomas, Richard Arrington, “The Effects of a Weight Training Belt on Blood Pressure During Exercise,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 3, no. 1 (1989): 13-18.
  8. Idsart Kingma, Gert S. Faber, Edin Suwarganda, Tom B. M. Bruijnen, “Effect of a Stiff Lifting Belt on Spine Compression during Lifting,” Spine 31, no. 22 (2006): 833-839.
  9. J. Bauer, A. Fry, C. Carter, “The Use of Lumbar-Supporting Weight Belts While Performing Squats: Erector Spinae Electromyographic Activity,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 13, no. 4 (1999): 384-388.
  10. J. E. Lander, J. R. Hundley, R. L. Simonton, “The Effectiveness of Weight-Belts during Multiple Repetitions of the Squat Exercise,” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 24, no. 5 (1992): 603-609.
  11.  J. E. Lander, R. L. Simonton, J. K. Giacobbe, “The Effectiveness of Weight-Belts during the Squat Exercise,” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 22, no. 1 (1990): 117-126.
  12.  Kristina Lindquist Skaug, Marie Ellström Engh, Helena Frawley, Kari Bø, “Prevalence of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Bother, and Risk Factors and Knowledge of the Pelvic Floor Muscles in Norwegian Male and Female Powerlifters and Olympic Weightlifters,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 36, no. 10 (2022): 2800-2807.
  13.  M. Magnusson, M. H. Pope, T. Hansson, “Does a Back Support Have a Positive Biomechanical Effect?” Applied Ergonomics 27, no. 3 (1996): 201-205.
  14.  S. M. McGill, R. W. Norman, M. T. Sharratt, “The Effect of an Abdominal Belt on Trunk Muscle Activity and Intra-Abdominal Pressure during Squat Lifts,” Ergonomics 33, no. 2 (1990): 147-160.
  15.  Shirley S. M. Fong , Louisa M. Y. Chung, Yang Gao, Jeff Chak Wai Lee, Tak Ching Chang, Ada W. W. Ma, “The Influence of Weightlifting Belts and Wrist Straps on Deadlift Kinematics, Time to Complete a Deadlift and Rating of Perceived Exertion in Male Recreational Weightlifters: An Observational Study,” Medicine (Baltimore) 101, no. 7 (2022): e28918.
  16.  Vlad Adrian Geanta, Ardelean Viorel Petru, “Improving Muscle Size with Weider's Principle of Progressive Overload in Non-performance Athletes,” Timisoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal 14, no. 27 (2021): 27-32.

Why Trust Our Reviews? Our product reviews are meticulously curated by a team of seasoned athletes, certified coaches, and sports nutrition experts, boasting more than 20 years of collective coaching experience. In our mission to promote Olympic weightlifting and strength training, we engage in comprehensive testing and evaluation of weightlifting products and supplements, making certain that only the utmost quality items meet our rigorous criteria.

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Jason Li

Reviewed by: Jason Li

Personal Coach | Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist

Jason is an NYC personal training expert and National level Olympic Weightlifting Coach with over 10 years of experience training everyday clients to high levels of performance. He has trained everyone from youth (13 years old and under) to masters (60+ years old) to regional and national rankings for powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Short distance (up to 200m) sprinting, discus & hammer throwing.

Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko

Fitness Enthusiast, Girl Power, Blog Contributor, Journalist
Oly Lifting Experience:
 7 years

Tetiana Shayko has been involved in Olympic weightlifting for over 7 years. In addition to sports, Tatiana is engaged in photography and journalism and attends various sporting events related to weightlifting, including European Championships, World Championships and more. As an author and expert, Tatiana covers sporting events and shares her own training experiences so that readers can benefit from them and improve their results.


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2 Comments

  1. Wow, this guide is a lifesaver for women who are starting out in weightlifting! The WBCM nylon belt caught my attention, but I’m torn between the two. Any advice on how to choose between nylon and leather? Also, many thanks to the author for the comprehensive information.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! When choosing between nylon and leather, consider your priorities. If you prioritize comfort and affordability, go for the WBCM Nylon Belt. However, if durability and a classic look matter more, opt for a leather belt. Both have pros and cons, so weigh your preferences against the features. Happy lifting!

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