Belt squat machines are becoming increasingly popular in gyms across the country. How is it better than any other squat equipment? Is it even practical? Belted squat machines provide a unique and challenging way to do squats while being incredibly versatile.
Whether you’re looking to build muscle in your quads or burn fat, squats belt are a great option. Here’s everything you need to know about belt squat.
- What is a belt squat machine, and how does it work
- The benefits of using a belt squat machine
- TYPES OF BELT SQUAT MACHINES
- How to use the belt squat machine
What is a belt squat machine, and how does it work
You’ve probably heard of the belt squat machine if you’re familiar with the gym. But what exactly is it, and how does it work? For starters, a belt squat machine is designed to simulate a back squat by eliminating stress on the spine.
Instead of doing squats with a bar resting on your shoulders, you wear a specialized belt with handles to maintain balance and support during the workout. The belt fits around your waist as if you were wearing a weightlifting belt. You then hold on to specially fabricated handles attached to an adjustable cable system connected to the machine’s counterweight stack.
This allows for proper resistance throughout each exercise, allowing you to control the speed and intensity of each repetition safely and reliably.
The cable system also allows for constant tension and makes it easy to switch between exercises quickly and efficiently. This is very effective equipment for athletes who want to strengthen their lower body with minimal injury or spinal compression risk.
The benefits of using a belt squat machine
The belt squat machine is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a way to improve lower body strength without putting unnecessary strain on your back and spine.
This fitness machine isolates the lower body muscles while eliminating compression of the spine, making it an ideal choice for athletes recovering from back injuries or athletes who need to develop specific muscle groups around the hips and legs.
Training with a belt squat machine also puts less stress on your joints so that you can lift heavier weights with less risk. In addition, exercise with this machine activates more muscle fibers while reducing the risk of injury and increasing your explosive power and strength.
Belt squat are also very effective, as they allow you to maintain constant tension throughout the exercise and work the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors in a single movement.
All these features make belt squat a practical piece of equipment for any athlete looking to safely and effectively increase their strength and power levels safely and effectively.
BOOSTS HIP EXTENSION ACTIVATION
As you put on the adjustable belt and position yourself on the machine, you will notice the load in front of your body. This position emphasizes hip extension, which results in glute activation. So for those who want a killer glute workout without adding more strain on the upper body, try a belt squat machine next time you have the opportunity.
SQUATS WITHOUT BACK PAIN
You can use the leg press and hack squat machine if you want muscle activation, similar to a barbell back squat with a machine. However, the belt squat machines will be the most similar to the back squat without putting undue stress on your spine.
IDEAL FOR EVERYONE
Belted squat machines are versatile gym equipment because they offer something for everyone. Whether you are a professional athlete, a beginner, or someone coming back from injury, this machine can provide you with an efficient and effective workout.
EASIER TO MAINTAIN AN UPRIGHT SPINE
Good form and technique are essential when performing barbell back squats. Many people have some trouble keeping the spine vertical due to the placement of the load on the body. With belted squats, keeping the spine in a vertical alignment is much easier, reducing the chances of injury or pain.
Although belt squat machines are primarily used for the eponymous belt squat, there are many exercises you can perform on one. Below are some movements you can perform using your belt squat machine.
- Belted Squats
- Belted Walks
- High Pull-Ups
- Overhead triceps extensions
The best exercises to do with a belt squat machine
Make good use of the belt squat machine by adding exercises targeting several muscle groups simultaneously. For example, squats are an excellent way to strengthen the legs, increase lower body stability, and work the trunk for increased strength.
Using the belt squat machine, you can incorporate different plyometric and jumping exercises into your session by doing quick jumps from side to side or up and down.
Lunges are another excellent option for strengthening both legs and glutes, with the advantage of working the stabilizing muscles of the trunk. Other effective movements include unilateral lunges (single-leg squats), calf raises, and hip bridges.
The versatility of a belt squat machine allows you to strengthen your body from head to toe with a series of toning exercises that produce better overall results than traditional gym equipment.
With regular practice, you’ll develop muscular strength, power, agility, stability, and balance, plus killer abs. Whatever exercise you choose with this versatile equipment, you’ll get lasting results you’ll be proud of in no time.
TYPES OF BELT SQUAT MACHINES
Belted squat machines come in different shapes and sizes, but you’ll see three main types on the market these days. Below we briefly cover the common types of belt squat machines and what you can expect from each.
CABLE BELT SQUAT MACHINE
A cable squat belt machine is precisely what it sounds like. A cable runs up the footrest and attaches to the belt you’re wearing on one side and a pulley system on the other. The benefit of cable squat belt machines is that the weight is perfectly centered underneath you, so your squat movement is natural.
These machines have a much smoother motion, cost more money, and take up more space. So it comes down to budget and the trade-off of square footage whether you opt for a cable squat belt machine or a lever arm machine. Above, we cover the Rogue Monster Rhino belt squat machine, an example of a cable belt squat machine.
LEVER BELT SQUAT MACHINE.
The lever belt squat machine relies on a primary pivot point in front of the lifter. Above we covered the Bells Of Steel and Titan machines that use this style of mechanism. These lever system machines are much less expensive and take up less space.
The only disadvantage of lever arm machines is that the weight is centered in front of a connecting arm from you instead of under you. This positioning can lead to a slight forward pull at the knees, which is less natural than a cable machine.
FREE WEIGHT BELT SQUAT MACHINE.
Not as common as the two mentioned above, the free-weight belt squat machine uses weight plates that hang below you while attached to the belt around your waist. The lifter sits on a platform with a center hole where the weight plates are stored on a center pin that ensures you stay upright as you perform your squats.
BELT SQUATS VS. BARBELL SQUATS
You may not be asking yourself, “which is better, belt squat or back squats?”, well you’re in luck, as this question has been studied in a clinical setting.
The differences between belt squats and traditional squats. The main question was whether belted squats produced the same core and stabilizer muscle activation as a standard squat but with less lumbar extensor activation.
The results were surprising, as ten well-trained participants performed three sets of 5 repetitions at 100% of their body weight. The researchers found that the belted squat reduced lumbar erector spinae drive and maximal activation by 45.4% and 52%, respectively. At the same time, the belted squat did not alter lower extremity muscle activation, except for the gluteus medius (54.1% of impulse and 55.2% of peak) and gluteus maximus (35.2% of impulse and 32.1% of height).
Belted squats also reduced activation of the rectus abdominis and external obliques.
To put it simply, the belted squat was equally effective in working the quadriceps, hamstrings, and plantar flexors but less effective in activating the trunk stabilizers and glutes. Therefore, belt squats are an excellent alternative to back squats if you want to avoid putting stress on the lower back and trunk.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about belt squat machines. They are a great way to add variety to your workouts, increase strength and muscle mass, and improve overall fitness. Give them a try today!
Most frequent questions and answers
Maximize your lower body gains with a belt squat machine! Attach a chain to the lifting belt, then strap on plates or dumbbells at its low end. Plant your feet firmly in position and perform squats as you would normally – pushing yourself further by lowering until those thighs reach below parallel.
You can get gym-level results without the barbell! Belt squats give you an opportunity to target your hamstrings and quadriceps with extra emphasis on core stability. Put away those weights, forget about free weight squats – belt squating is here for optimal glute growth that levels up your leg game.
Get ready to lift with confidence! Attach your desired weight onto the barbell, then secure a belt squat or dipping/pull up belt around your lower back and waist. Thread it through the centre loop of the Barbell Strap – making sure you adjust into just right crouch so that when you stand up from that deep-knee bend, there’ll be no stopping your moves.