Skip to content

Tip of the week Tip: Learn how to use a weightlifting belt correctly

Tipps der Woche Tipp: Lerne einen Gewichthebergürtel richtig zu verwenden

It is undisputed that the use of a weightlifting belt can improve performance in some exercises, as a belt allows for greater intra-abdominal pressure and stability. The use of a belt is recommended from using a weight in the range of 90% of your 1RM weight.

How you should use a weightlifting belt

If you observe how most exercisers use a weightlifting belt, you will often see that they overdo it by pressing their abdomen into the belt. This can be problematic as it can cause an exaggerated arch in the lumbar spine which can affect stability. A better approach is a three-dimensional or 360-degree expansion, where you push air into the entire front, sides and back of the belt.

Tip: Stop this "body love" nonsense

Give it your all and strive for real results, but don't get sucked into this "politically correct" movement


By Dani Shugart

"Politically correct" mainstream fitness advice turns people into weak-willed babies. Here's an example you'll hear frequently:

"Body love is crucial. You should praise yourself whenever you look in the mirror!"

Here's a better idea: love effort and what you have achieved.

What is "body love"?

"Body love" is a term mainly used by people who are fixated on their bodies, who are unhappy with their bodies and tell the world the exact opposite. They want you to believe that THEY think every inch of their body is attractive, which is why they've started a movement to make it universally acceptable to show us their flab.

But talking about how much you love your body probably means you're trying to convince yourself of something you don't really believe. The problem isn't a lack of self-love - it's a lack of effort, action and achievement...and an over-obsession with yourself. Body love is a kind of enforced narcissism that is being promoted and celebrated today.

What happened to modesty and humility? And when did body love become a more important virtue? C.S. Lewis once said that humility does not mean that you think less of yourself, but that you think less of yourself. Yet today it seems more important to put yourself on a pedestal for no reason than to focus on other things that have nothing to do with you.

Once you think about it, insecurity and narcissism are not really opposites. They are both the result of excessive self-fixation. Body love is the way in which people justify this fixation to themselves.

When people publicly flaunt their body love, it always reminds me of the woman or man who constantly talks on Facebook about how much he or she loves their partner, when in reality their relationship is going down the drain. Is this denial? Is it compensation? Or maybe these people are also trying to do the opposite of what you would expect and try to look on the bright side of a negative situation.

The alternative to fake body love: successes

Do you need a boost of self-confidence? Do something that deserves appreciation. Choose something difficult, unpleasant and beyond your current abilities. Put yourself in a situation where you're going to struggle for a while because it's so hard.

This is especially valuable for people with body image issues. Why? When you try something for the first time, you need to focus on that activity instead of yourself. This gives your mind a reboot. And when you get better at it, you'll experience real satisfaction - not that "I love myself for being me" bullshit. The latter is a facade and no one will believe you if you say it.

Achievements trump words. And learning a new skill while surrounded by people who are better at it than you will remind you of what you can achieve with the right attitude. Stop focusing on yourself. Connect with others. Make real friends and not the kind of friends who are also insecure narcissists, as they will convince you that body love is a good thing - but only because they are in the same situation.

Tip: Use the counter stretch exercise

If you sit a lot or have bad posture, this stretching exercise will help you feel better.


By: Maryann Berry

This chest stretching exercise can make a big difference to your forward leaning posture. It encourages an extension of the thoracic spine, which is usually rounded forward.

Perform this stretching exercise as follows:


  1. Stand in front of a table, counter or something else that is approximately at your chest height. Place your hands on this object and move your feet back until they are under your hips.
  2. Look at your feet and make sure your toes are pointing forward or even slightly inward (this is really important). Move your hips back so that your lower back is bent and move your chest down. Keep your elbows straight and tighten your thigh muscles.
  3. Hold this stretch for one minute. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed on both feet.
  4. Repeat this stretching exercise daily.

You will of course need more than one stretch to improve your posture, but this exercise is a good start.

Tip: Choose the right deadlift style for you

Sumo or conventional? Check out these tips for choosing the best style for your body type


By Matt Kroc

There are two primary styles of deadlifting. There is the sumo style, so named because it resembles the stance of a sumo wrestler, with the feet wide apart and the hands between the legs.

The other technique is the so-called conventional style, where the stance is narrower - usually shoulder width or narrower - and the hands are on the outside of your legs when you grip the bar.

Typically, smaller, thinner exercisers do better with the sumo style, while larger, bulkier exercisers tend to do better with the conventional style due to the leverage ratios. However, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, multiple world champion Lamar Grant was able to lift over 600 pounds using the conventional style while weighing only 132 pounds.

At the other end of the spectrum was O. D. Wilson in the super heavyweight class, who was able to lift nearly 900 pounds using the sumo style. Chuck Vogelpohl was able to lift over 800 pounds using both styles and he even switched between the two styles during individual trials of a competition.

So while we are able to make some generalizations, it is up to the individual trainee to determine which style suits them best based on their individual strengths, weaknesses and leverage ratios. Sumo style is considered a more technical and leverage-driven style, while conventional style is more about overall brute strength.

When using the sumo style, stance, setup and technique must be perfect or the trainee will fail. The conventional style has a higher margin for error, although technique is always an important factor when it comes to moving as much weight as possible.

While both styles use broadly the same muscle groups, the conventional style trains the entire posterior chain of muscles including the hamstrings, gluteus, erectors, upper back and trapezius. The sumo style tends to involve the hips more while using the optimal leverage ratios to its advantage.

If you are not a competitive powerlifter and are simply using deadlifts as a tool to increase strength and mass in your posterior chain, then you should definitely favor the conventional style. Conventional deadlifts will have a greater carryover to daily life movements outside of the gym and will be better suited to increasing your performance in other athletic endeavors.

Key Points:

  • Conventional deadlifts are preferable for bodybuilders and athletes
  • Smaller, thinner exercisers typically do better with the sumo style, while larger, heavier exercisers tend to do better with the conventional style.

Tip: Strengthen your book muscles with these 5 exercises

What's better than good-looking abs? A strong midsection that's as strong as it looks?


By PJ Strebel

If you want abs like a washboard, then you need to get your diet on track. If you want actual core strength, do the exercises below.

Abs like a washboard without core strength is like a brand new tire without air. The ability to apply internal pressure is not only important for strength training, but also for athletic performance.

Anti-core training

The mindset behind core training is shifting towards "anti-core" ("anti-core") training. Your core should be stable and not move. So stop doing crunches and sit-ups and start doing these exercises if you want to take your core strength to the next level.

Roll Out(

Imagine maintaining a straight line from your knees through one hip to your shoulders. Keep your back flat and don't let your core sink down. To make this movement easier, you can start by using a stability ball and then progress to an ab wheel with a limited range of motion.

Palloff Press(

Position your body perpendicular to the cable machine. Hold the handle at mid-chest height. Get into a half-kneeling position with your knee pointing inwards on the floor. Keep your shoulders and hips straight and push both hands away from your body. Perform one set in each direction.

Stir-the-Pot on Ball(

Start by holding a low plank position on a ball. Keep your legs straight and your back flat as you move your arms in a circular motion. Perform one set clockwise and one set counterclockwise. The larger the circles, the harder the exercise will be. Spacing your feet further apart will make the exercise easier to perform.

Body Saw(

Using a felt glider or towel on a wooden floor, start in a low plank position with your toes on the gliders. Move your body backwards to change the plank position. For a more challenging version, you can perform this exercise in a push-up position or lift one foot off the floor.

Loaded Carrys

Take two heavy kettlebells or dumbbells in your hands and go for a walk. A very strong person will be able to carry their body weight (half their body weight in each hand) over 100 meters.

Tip: Perform landmine side raises

Build up your shoulders with this unique exercise that will feel good even if you have worn out shoulder joints.



By Ben Bruno

The landmine apparatus works really well for the shoulder muscles. The arc of the barbell turns lateral raises into more of a hybrid front raise and lateral raise exercise, providing a unique stimulus that's different from what you can achieve on the cable or with dumbbells (if you don't have a Landmine machine available, you can also simply place a barbell bar in a corner).

Landmine side raise(

Stand upright next to the landmine apparatus, holding the bar in one hand. Start with your hand on the opposite side of your hip, as if you were trying to reach into the opposite pocket of your pants. From here, keep the arm straight and perform a side raise.

Too easy!

This exercise may look quite easy, but try it out first before you draw the wrong conclusions, because it is very heavy. I wouldn't use more than 5 kilos at the end of the bar as a starting weight and usually 2.5 kilos is enough.

Too heavy!

Even the empty barbell bar may feel too heavy at first, especially if you are holding it at the top end. In this case, you can grip it further down on the thinner part of the bar to shorten the lever arm.

Bonus: If you perform this exercise strictly and without any movement of the body, it also engages the core muscles responsible for trunk rotation.

Tip: Stretch your hip flexors

Do you spend most of the day sitting on your butt? Then try this dynamic stretch that will prepare you for a smooth, heavy workout


By Mike Sheridan

A hip flexor or gluteus medius stretch should always be part of a dynamic warm-up. These muscles are often tight from too much sitting, which is exacerbated by heavy training. Unfortunately, walking lunges will not help you here.

Lower back lunges, on the other hand, stretch your hip flexors when the back leg is held straight and gluteus and quadratus lumborum when the elbow is moved towards the foot.

Lunges for the lower back(

An additional rotation of the trunk is optional and can relieve tension in the spine.

By Tony Gentilcore
Previous article The definitive guide to preventing muscle loss