Weight lifting belt use patterns among a population of health club members

Steven B. Finnie, Theresa J. Wheeldon, Donald D. Hensrud, Diane L. Dahm, Jay Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to identify patterns of weight belt use in a population of recreational weight trainers. We hypothesized that the majority of weight belt users utilized weight belts to reduce injury risk and/or improve performance while lifting submaximal loads. Three hundred fifty-two strength training health center members (189 men, 156 women, 7 gender not indicated) aged 20-72 years (36.5 ± 10.5 years) completed a voluntary weight belt use survey. Overall, 27% (94/352) were weight belt users and 73% (258/352) were nonusers. Ninety percent (85/94) of belt users and 63% (55/88) of former belt users utilized belts to prevent injury, whereas 22% (21/94) of belt users and 28% (25/88) of former belt users utilized belts to improve performance. Many belt users were found to utilize belts during inappropriate situations such as lifting light loads or during exercises that do not typically stress the trunk musculature. Based on these findings we suggest that specific educational interventions be developed at health and fitness facilities to help provide a foundation for more informed decision-making regarding weight belt use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-502
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • Lumbar support
  • Strength training
  • Weight belt
  • Weight training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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