Braces & Supports
Braces and supports
are useful to weightlifters that have suffered some sort of injury or
are attempting to prevent injury to a part of their bodies. The back,
ankles, knees and elbows are acting controllers to the rest of our bodies.
Braces support a particular area while using weightlifting equipment
there is a brace designed for each body area that could use
support such as the thigh, waist and wrist as well as the ankle,
elbow, knee and back.
The weightlifting belt is often
considered standard issue of lumbar support in the weight room these
days. From the competitive weight lifters to those of a more recreational
interest, agree that supporting the back in order to help prevent injuries
while lifting is necessary. The weightlifting belt, contrary to popular
belief, supports the back in a different manner than a standard back
brace. During a normal lifting maneuver such as the squat; the diaphragmatic
muscles along with muscles of the torso contract generating pressure
on the abdominal cavity. The abdominal cavity and its fluid contents
are kept under pressure by the surrounding musculature. It is this natural
intra-abdominal tension that supports the spinal column. Several studies
have shown that weight belts increase intra-abdominal pressure and therefore
assist in this natural stabilization mechanism.
Additional benefits exist with the use
of the weight belts such as faster lifting movement, greater emphasis
on hip extension relative to knee extension, as well as greater comfort
and sense of support.
The fact that there are benefits to wearing these devices tends to create
the perception that belts should be worn at all times, during
any lifting activity. This is a myth that will only lead to decreased
performance and potential injury.
Individuals who are free from acute
or chronic lower back pain may choose a lumbar support device in order
to prevent injury as well as assist their own musculature for maximal
strength enhancement. In the gym environment the weightlifting belt
should not be worn at all times. The belt should only be utilized for
exercises that involve the spinal erectors against high resistance such
as the squat and deadlift. The belt should be loosened after every set
and the individual should breathe between every repetition.
Elbow braces worn during weightlifting
holds the forearm tendons in a more parallel position to minimize stretching
and tearing. They help relieve pain and discomfort associated with the
movement of the forearm. The lining absorbs shock and helps keep moisture
away from skin.
The ankle is said to be your body's weakest
link. According to research, this is the most vulnerable place on your
body. Ankle braces protect you from injury. If you're already injured,
they can speed recovery. Ankle braces offer support to a weightlifters
ankle and soothes much of the strain.
Knee braces are supports that you wear
for a painful or injured knee. Some people use them to prevent knee
injuries during sports though braces don't always seem to work well
to stop knee injuries from happening. Get your doctor's advice if you
want to try a knee brace. Different knee problems require different
knee braces. Braces are made from combinations of metal, foam, plastic,
elastic material and straps.