A Guide to Weight Lifting Belts
Obviously weight lifting belts are designed to support your lower back while weight training. Whether they do offer any real protection is debatable. A tightly fitting belt may act as an extra brace but if that results in the lifter lessening the tension in their core muscles, the benefits may be negated.
What is undeniable is the "psychological" support they bring, particularly to people with a history of back problems. Take deadlifts for example. You can probably lift more weight on this exercise than any other and the lower back could not be in a more prone position. Yet if your focus is on the vulnerability of your back the entire time, you might as well forget lifting anything more than a few pounds.
A weight belt won't stop you from injuring your back... correct form is the only thing that can do that. But it will provide some peace of mind allowing you to think about the lift at hand. As long as wearing a support belt doesn't lead to a false sense of security, most experienced lifters see them as a must.
If you're after a low priced, basic weight lifting belt, Onlinesports are hard to beat. Their belts range from 20 to $25 dollars. Comfort and support are key so do yourself a favor and look for the padded models.
If you consider yourself a serious lifter and don't mind paying a bit extra for the professionals choice, consider Schiek weight belts...
The manufacturers claim the contoured design offers greater support and while that's difficult to prove, the shape of the belt is exceptionally comfortable. What does create more support is the velcro "slide and grip" fastening mechanism that replaces the buckle. For quality Schiek are about the best and they back their claims up with a 2 year warranty... something you won't find on any weight lifting accessory.