Deadlifts, squats, snatches, kettlebell swings, atlas stones, double unders…
…okay maybe not double unders.
You could benefit greatly from having a good weightlifting belt while performing most of the above movements. Personally, I try to not put a belt on until I’m going past my 90%’s just so I can train my midline. At the end of the day though, like I always say, I’m all for whatever can make you go on longer and stronger. Some people may just throw a belt on for preventative measures, and some just to hit that PR. Others just need the extra support due to injuries and that’s okay too. At the end of the day, it just pays to keep a belt handy in your gym bag.
What makes a good belt? Well, it really depends on what you’re doing. If you’re powerlifting, you might want to stick with the thicker leather options. Maybe a little bit thinner and contoured if you’re going for Olympic weightlifting. Most of the people reading this site are going to fall towards the CrossFit/functional fitness category. So what would I recommend? Personally I like lightweight belts that are easily adjustable so they don’t bother me too much if I’m wearing them in WOD’ s and that don’t take up too much space in my bag. Obviously they’re going to need some degree of support too. My kind of belt is simple, yet effective, and looks cool. Emphasis on looking cool.
So I bring to you, the Competition CoreFlex Belt by HumanX.
The CoreFlex belt comes in a few different flavors, both 5″ and 6″ versions for men and a specially designed 5″ version for women (in the back, all are 4″ in the front and 3″ on the sides). All versions are just about a single centimeter thick, but you’d never realize that it was only that thick given the amount of support you get when it’s on. The CoreFlex belts use a simple velcro loop and roller closure system which works well enough, though adjustments don’t come as quick and easily as SetWear’s BOA dial system. The unique feature about the CoreFlex’s closure system is that there is a velcro tab under the left side of the belt which you can use to hook on to the right side to hold together while you loop the actual velcro tab through the roller system. Pretty convenient so you don’t have to keep holding one side while you adjust the belt. My favorite feature about these belts is that they’re so lightweight and unobtrusive when they’re on. I haven’t weighed them, but they’re probably under a pound. Your muffin top will love the contoured sides of these belts. I’m not a big guy, but I would always get gnarly bruises on my lower stomach from some of my other belts pinching my flab. Not attractive when you take off your shirt as much as I.
As a belt, the CoreFlex works great. It’s more than adequate in terms of support. I never would even think to go back to my thick leather Rogue belt, which I couldn’t even WOD in. The adjustments don’t come as quickly as SetWear’s belt, but it’s definitely easy enough to adjust on the fly due to that inner velcro panel. I have both the 5″ and the 6″ versions of the belt and I find myself keeping the 5″ version in my bag more often. I’m not very tall and I find that while the 6″ version provides a little more back support, you just feel that it’s there more. I would probably recommend it to those with longer torsos and the 5″ for just about everyone else. As for sizing, I usually wear 32″/M but for the CoreFlex belt I find that the large fits better so I would recommend sizing up if you wear a 32″ waist.
The HumanX Competition CoreFlex belt comes in at $40 for both 5″ varieties and $45 for the 6″. It’s a little more than you’d be paying for other fabric belts, but the useful additions and style bring some value to mix. What makes this belt so great is that you can WOD in it and never really notice that it’s there. That right there is a tremendous amount of value alone.