Although both men and women work equally hard in the gym, there are simply physiological difference when it comes to a man’s and a woman’s body.
A belt made for a 280 pound man would be far too big for a 110 pound woman, and can actually cause more damage than help when lifting weights or performing heavy squats.
If the belt is too large it can compress against your ribs leaving them bruised and sore. This can also happen to the tail bone as well.
The belt also isn’t doing its job, which is to support your lower back and abdomen muscles, the “weaker” links so that you can maximize your core muscle training when performing heavy compound exercises in an effort to gain full-body strength.
Rather the belt is supporting too much of your frame leaving you with less mobility and not putting the stress of the weights in the correct places.
So choosing the correct weight lifting belt for a woman isn’t the same as if you were a man. And yes, the differences are very important.
Our Top Picks
Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt for Men & Women
This belt has everything I’ve mentioned in the buyer’s guide and is without a doubt the best belt on the market today. This belt comes in multiple waist sizes as small as a 23 inch waist, five different to be exact, ensuring a proper fit as a man or a woman. You just need to measure your waist (don’t use your pant’s size!) and you’ll get a proper fit.
Tip: Sizing is so important! When you size for this belt, use the exact measurement of your naked waist to match on their buyer’s chart. Try to choose a belt size that is a close to the middle of the size as you can for the best fit. So if you’re a 28 inch waist, get the extra small, but at a 29 inch waist, go for the small.
This belt is made from buffalo leather and is one of the most comfortable belts made today. This leather is soft enough that it doesn’t rub or chafe, and yet still stiff enough to do its job.
It’s also double stitched in red along the edges for maximum life expectancy and a look that stands out in the gym, and comes with a lifetime guarantee. This is also a completely made in the USA product, so if anything goes wrong, it’s easy to get a replacement.
The buckle is actually a metal double tongue buckle for even more support and durability and is USAPL-approved. You can use this belt in competition lifting if that’s what you’re training for. Plus there are a lot of holes for the buckle so you are getting the best fit for compression.
I found that just by using this belt, I was able to add 25 pounds to my squats instantly without feeling like I was straining too much or something was going to “pop”. I actually use this belt during pretty much my whole routine, from simple curls to dead lifts. It’s comfortable enough to wear the entire time, and it lets me focus more on the muscles I’m training and proper posture throughout my reps.
Truly a great product by a company that stands behind them. That’s why they’re my number one recommendation for any woman looking to buy the best weight lifting belt they can afford. And starting at only $40 on Amazon, it’s quality and affordable.
What We Like: It’s SO comfortable! The lifetime warranty and it’s made in the USA. Metal buckles that should last a lifetime.
What We Don’t Like: I with you could get different thicknesses. This is 4mm thick. I’d like to see a 10mm alternative as well.
ProFitness Genuine Leather Workout Belt
This is our second pick and is also a well crafted leather lifting belt made for both men and women. The leather is cowhide and yet it is much more comfortable than many other cowhide belts I’ve worn. There’s also a felt type material stitched in over the leather for even further comfort. A big plus.
This is a little stiff coming out of the box though. And I can tell if I used it everyday, it’s be more like a pair of old jeans that just become more comfortable the more they are washed.
But even out of the box you can tell the leather is quality, and so is the “build”. This is double stitched around the edges and there are two inner stitchings to make sure the leather plates do not move. Very well done and looks good. Personally I choose the red stitching and happy I did. I think it looks great when worn if that’s something that’s important to you.
The buckle is also a double full metal tongue buckle like the Dark Iron above with 3 rivits to keep it in place. And there are plenty of holes to get a sure fit and exceptional intrabdominal pressure without the annoying pinching that goes on with some buckles. And the eyelets are spaced pretty close together giving you plenty of opportunity to get the perfect fit.
One thing I like to do with my belts as I have with this one is buy a chain and carabiner and loop it around the belt and through weight plates and use it to do weighted pull ups. This handled the extra weight and didn’t leave a mark in the high quality leather. Very well made.
The biggest thing is how this fits, so measure your waist properly. There are four sizes to choose from.
What We Like: The price, at around $35 you’re getting a very high quality belt at a rock bottom price.
What We Don’t Like: There’s only a 60 day money back guarantee, but this does have a lifetime warranty that you must sign up for. But if you do, they give a free gift. I won’t spoil the surprise though!
Gymreapers Heavy Duty Weightlifting Belt
If you want the total opposite of a woman’s pink weightlifting belt, this Gymreapers is the one for you. This completely matte black belt looks bad ass and would be the center piece of any goth ensomble.
And it performs as well as it looks giving you more control over any number of compound movements. This belt is meant for women who are serious power lifters and need something equal in strength to any man’s equipment.
This is completely 100% cowhide crafted leather and steel and equals four inches around the total circumference of the belt. The outside of the belt is leather while the inside has a felt backing that is double stitched into it for comfort. At a 6 millimeter thickness, this is the thickest belt we’ve reviewed.
This also has a double pronged steel buckle with 3 steel rivits keeping everything in place like the rest of the best weightlifting belts we’ve written about. There are also six different waist sizes and plenty of eyelets that are close enough together to get that perfect fitting belt with lots of compression.
What We Like: 6MM thickness and a choice of 4 or 6 inch width all around. This is the thickest of all the belts we’ve reviewed, but this also makes it a bit stiffer too. If you like a stiffer belt, this should be the one you choose.
What We Don’t Like: This smells like rubber when new. I know it sounds weird, but it does. Other than that, it’s a high quality made product.
We’ve listed a few very important points to consider when you’re buying a weight lifting belt as a women. If you’re going to invest in training equipment, why not buy the best from the beginning? This will ensure your equipment lasts as long as you do, is safe and doesn’t cause more harm than good, and is comfortable enough to wear so that you actually use it when you train.
How to choose the best weightlifting belts for women?
As far as weightlifting belts for women, there are 4 things you need to know about. These are the most important features when buying your belt. They include the width, thickness, material, and fastener system of your belt and I’ve gone into more depth on each below.
If you are under 6′ the best width is a four inch belt. Over 6′ and a six inch weight lifting belt will fit your frame better. Either of these are well suited for maximum support, and it’s up to you to see which size fits more comfortably on your body size and type.
You are looking for a belt that will give you intra-abdominal pressure and help to support your back without any interference or pressure on your ribs while you are lifting. Try the belt and squat, how does it feel? Is it rubbing into your ribs? If so, it’s too wide and you need to go down a size.
Do not get anything more than a six inch width unless you are power lifting. That means seriously heavy squats. Some power lifting belts can be as large as ten inches, far too big for most women, and not at all necessary.
For normal cross fit training exercises, or even moderate weighted dead lifts, the maximum six inch belt for taller women is enough to support your abdomen and back. And most often a four inch belt will do.
Leather has long been the preferred material for Olympic style power lifters and for good reason. These belt can last a lifetime, and are rigid and stiff giving you total support as you train.
Nylon belts and other materials are okay for lighter training like cross fit, and sometimes more comfortable to wear. The best weight training belts are well made and should last a long time as well, but most don’t have the “stiffness” that leather has or its durability.
Furthermore, depending on the material used, the edges of the belt can be quite rough, almost like sand paper and as a result they can dig into your skin and leave you sore or worse, with a kind of carpet burn that will need to be treated. This is especially true if you exercise in a tank top or something similar where bare skin is exposed.
So see how the belt feels against your bare skin. If it scratches like some nylon belts do, then go on to the next one.
The belt’s fastener needs to be strong enough to keep the belt closed during heavy weight training sessions. They shouldn’t extend out too far or impede your mobility in any way. They should also be strong enough to last as long as the belt material does. Personally I always opt for a metal fastener and not the “quick clip” plastic ones.
The simplest metal double pronged metal buckles are the best and last the longest as long as the manufacturer is a good one. Here, simple is better. The fancy clamps or Velcro just won’t hold up like an old fashioned belt buckle will. And under stress of weights, this becomes apparent quickly.
I have also found the Velcro straps to be adequate and give solid support, but over time these types of fasteners will wear out and not hold as well. If you’re just looking for basic support and not going too heavy, they are fine. But if you will be squatting more than your body weight, you’ll be better off with a metal buckle system.
Sizing is one of the biggest issues when buying a weight lifting belt for a woman, especially when buying online. The problem is, each manufacturer is different. They each have different size lengths, different thicknesses, and different measuring requirements.
The best advice I can give is first, when you measure your waist, measure bare skin. Second, always try to go to the closest size in the middle as this will give you some space if you either gain or loose some weight over time.
Most size charts overlap, sometimes by a lot. You may have a 30 inch waist, and two belts will fit. Always go with the size that is closest to the middle of the chart you are reading and you will more often than not be okay with the sizing.
One last thing to talk about is cost. Thankfully buying a quality belt isn’t as expensive as you think. All of our picks are under $50. And that’s for hand made and stitched leather, not bad vlaue for something that can improve performance and keep you safe.