Have you ever seen someone strap up their velcro belt as they prepare to take on a new squat max?
They pull the strap over as tight as they can in hopes that they will give themselves an advantage, because increased belt tightness means greater intra-abdominal pressure and support…
After tightening the belt, they set up under the bar and get ready to hit their max attempt.
The unracking goes flawlessly and their feet are firmly planted under their hips.
They then take a deep breath in for additional abdominal support and begin to descend.
As they hit the bottom however…
The velcro detaches and the strap flys off.
Suddenly all the support and pressure has been lost.
As a protective mechanism, the athlete quickly dumps the bar backwards to avoid a serious injury.
Frustration sets in and any confidence is now shot.
The velcro FAILED.
It’s something you never want to see happen, but it does unfortunately. And it tends to do so when it matters most.
However, there are three solutions to this velcro problem.
The first solution is that you could simply not use a belt at all.
This is a phenomenal strategy for a beginner or an athlete looking for some more abdominal muscle and pelvic floor awareness as they lift heavier. Although once the athlete is getting more advanced and lifting heavier, using a belt is a huge advantage for increasing weights and providing additional support.
The second solution is to wear a leather belt.
This is a great option for powerlifting or movements that don’t require as much mobility or barbell cycling. The downside is it’s a bit too thick and cumbersome for any functional training that utilizes a variety of movement patterns.
The third solution is a velcro belt that does not rely on the velcro for support and pressure generation.
Now you must be thinking how is that even possible?? Well at Element 26, we did just that with the Self-Locking Weight Lifting Belt.
The E26 belt utilizes velcro, of course, but comes equipped with a Self-Locking Buckle. That buckle is what holds all the abdominal pressure when the weights get heavy. And as you read prior, it is very important in reducing the risk of velcro popping open.
The buckle is so secure, you technically don’t even need the velcro strap attached! *Pictured Below.
Bottomline, those velcro-only belts are risky and become increasingly unreliable as the velcro wears down. With the buckle on the E26 belt, the risk of the belt strap popping off is reduced to literally nothing.
There are a lot of belts out there and a lot of different training modalities. So of course you need to choose a belt for your goals, training history, and current state of fitness... Whether that’s a leather belt variation or a velcro belt like the E26 one with a Self-Locking Buckle... that's your ultimate decision.
If you’re thinking about a new belt and would like to check out the Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Belt, simply click the link below.
And if you're curious how this "Self-Locking Buckle" works, we've included a quick demo video below.
Written by: Phil Gauthier
Phil is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
He is also an Owner and Co-Founder of the performance gear company, Element 26 (E26).
E26 prides itself on developing functional gear for the functional athlete to help you "Destroy Your PR's, Not Your Body."
To reach Phil or any member of the Element 26 Staff, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond to you ASAP!