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Why do weight lifters wear belts when they work out?

The belts that weight lifters wear when they work out are used to increase stability in their spine and lower back muscles. Along with spinal stabilization, the belts also increase intra-abdominal pressure. You can think of this like adding an extra set of abdominal muscles. The benefits to this increased spinal stability and intra-abdominal pressure is that it allows the weight lifter to ultimately use heavier weights than they could without the belt and be safer while lifting these heavy weights. (This answer provided for NATA by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.