Q: I started weight training six months ago, and I'm seeing great results. Now I’m wondering, do I really need to wear a weightlifting belt?

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A: Simply put, no. “Using a belt allows you to lift artificially heavy weights by covering up your weakest links. This can lead to injuries, because other muscles have to compensate,” says Jason Ferruggia, owner of Renegade Strength & Conditioning. Build your own “belt” by strengthening the muscles in your lats, abs, obliques, lower back, and glutes. Then learn how to brace yourself properly, and you won’t need a belt to protect your spine.

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