Lever Weight Lifting Belts vs Prong Belts: What's the Difference?
by Evelyn Valdez·
When it comes to making progress on your weightlifting journey, having a lifting belt is a gym bag must-have! Lifting belts are worn tightly around the waist to increase the intra-abdominal pressure to help stabilize the spine and support it. It also helps form a rigid wall around the torso to help prevent hyperextension of the back and any other bending and twisting.
All weight lifting belts generally work the same way, but they come in multiple styles and each style has unique benefits for different types of training. Two of the most popular styles are lever belts and single or double-prong belts. Prong belts are probably the ones you've commonly seen around the gym, but that doesn't mean lever belts aren't beneficial! Lever lifting belts are unique in style and the quick and easy tightening makes it a favorite amongst powerlifters.
If you're not sure whether you want to go the prong belt route or lever route, we're going to give you the full breakdown on lever weight lifting belts vs prong belts, so keep on reading to find out which one you should add to your gym bag!
What is a lever belt?
Like all weightlifting belts, a lever lifting belt is simply a piece of equipment that is worn around the waist to provide a rigid level of support to the areas needed most when heavy weight lifting.
They are typically made from premium leather and have an adjustable lever buckle attachment for optimal adjustment. Lever belts come in in several thickness option, 10mm or 13mm are the most common. 10mm belts are great for lifters just starting out, while 13mm lever belts are ideal for extremely heavy lifts.
How is it different from a regular weight lifting belt?
If prong belts work the same way as a lever lifting belt, what sets them apart?
The primary difference comes down to the way the are secured. Prong lifting belts have a single or double prong buckle to secure the belt around the waist while a lever belt has a lever buckle. Another difference is prong belts can come in leather or vegan leather and some styles (like UPPPER Lifting Belts) feature a tapered design, meaning it's not the same width all around. The tapered design makes it slightly less wide in the front which a lifters hips move freely into a deep range of motion and prevent the barbell from interfering with the belt.
However, there is more to their difference than just aesthetics! Here's a breakdown of their differences that you should consider...
Ease of use
Some lifters prefer a belt that can easily be taken on and off – since they don't need to be worn at all times! So, if ease of use is something you're looking for then you might consider going with a lever lifting belt...
Lever belt feature a lever buckle which allows for easy fastening and unfastening with just one hand. Opposed to prong belts which require both hands to securely fasten the belt. Prong belts simply require a little more fiddling around when strength training, which isn't really a big deal. But for someone wanting to quickly move to their next set.
Although lever belts are easier to put on and take off, they're not necessarily the best at adjusting. Both belts have the ability to be adjusted depending on your personal preference, this allows you to adjust to the perfect tight fit for you. But, here's where they differ...
Lever belts are adjusted the first time you wear them and they will remain at that tightness for the rest of the time that you use it. That is because to adjust the tightness you need a screwdriver. So, you screw the lever into the hole that gives you the fit you're looking for! The lever doesn't have to be screwed their forever, you can unscrew and adjust it when needed, but it is a hassle.
On the other hand, prong belts can easily be adjusted to your preferred tightness every time you use. You can easily adjust the buckle up or down a notch whenever you need to.
Another slight difference to consider is tightness. Generally, you want a weight lifting belt to be tight, but not too tight that its uncomfortable to breathe. You can adjust the tightness for both a prong and lever belt, but lever tends to be a tighter option. This is because when adjusted, you lock in the tightness and the belt won't budge. On the other hand prong belts are altered regularly which can impact its tightness.
It's not a huge difference, but it is something to consider if the fit of the belt is crucial for you!
Your budget is the last (and for some, most important) thing to consider! Lever belts and prong belts are high-quality and durable, but there can be a slight difference in the price due to the design.
Lever belts tend to be slightly more expensive than prong belts because they're typically thicker, real leather, and require a different buckle that tends to be more expensive. People may think that a more expensive belt means it's better and it will last longer, but that's not necessarily true. Both prong and lever belts are great, and what it comes down to is your personal preference.
Which one is better?
There really isn't one that is better than the other! As mentioned earlier, it comes down to a matter of personal preference. Lever and prong belts can be used for the same type of training, but lever belts tend to be more popular with powerlifters due to its ease of use. Prong belts are more popular among casual lifters who simply love to train with heavy weights.
At the end of the day, they both provide stabilize and support your spine for important compound lifts, like squats, deadlifts, clean and jerks, and more! So, outweigh the differences we've outlined above that way you can find the best weight lifting belt for you.
Leaning towards a prong lifting belt?
Look no further than UPPPER!
Our UPPPER Lifting Belts feature a double prong buckle, comfortable internal padding and are designed with a high-quality vegan leather that is soft to the touch, but able to resist any abrasions. Durable, secure, comfortable, and stylish – UPPPER Belts have everything you’re looking for to smash your heavy lifting days!
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