Best 3 Inch Weightlifting Belts in 2022

Wearing a weightlifting belt is now extremely common, becoming a staple in many lifters' gym kits. Walk into any gym and you’ll see beginner to elite lifters wearing a weightlifting belt to perform bicep curls in a squat rack or deadlifts on a platform. In most gyms and training centers, weightlifting belts are provided free to use. Some lifters swear by using one and others lift raw. So why should you wear one?

Weightlifting Belt in Use

A weightlifting belt wraps around the waist and is generally used when lifting heavy weights. It works in 2 main ways, by providing support to your lower back when lifting and preventing your back from hyperextending when lifting overhead. Wearing a weightlifting belt helps you to increase your intra-abdominal (stomach) pressure much more than naturally bracing your core during heavy compound lifting. By adding support, a weightlifting belt should lead to better lifting performance.

Weightlifting belts vary in size, thickness, materials, and price, making it hard to decide which one to choose. The two main powerlifting belt sizes used are 3 and 4-inches. This refers to the width of the belt measured from the back. 

When choosing a belt, it’s essential to pick the right size and fit. The belt should fit securely, but not too tight and sit correctly in the middle of your back. If it's too loose it won't provide enough support. If it's too tight, it may be uncomfortable and restrict your breathing. So, what's the best belt size to use and why? 

I've comprehensively reviewed the top 3-inch weight lifting belts available online, looking at sizing, materials, durability, and comfort. Let's take a look at my top 3 inch weight belt picks. 

Best 3 Inch Weightlifting Belts in 2022 Reviewed

ProductTotalSizingMaterials QualityDurabilityComfortPrice
Rogue 3 Inch Ohio Belt469.59.5999
Starting Strength 3 Inch Weightlifting Belt44.5998.599
Dominion Strength Training Leather Weightlifting Belt44998.598.5

1. Rogue 3 Inch Ohio Belt - Top Pick 3 inch weightlifting Belt

Rogue 3 Inch Ohio Belt

Available Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Waist Size Range: Small (21-28 inches), Medium (26-33 inches), Large (31-37 inches), Extra large (34-41 inches), Extra extra large (38-45 inches)

Width: 3 inches

Thickness: 10 mm, Thickness tolerance +/- 1 mm

Material: Vegetable tanned USA leather

Warranty: 3 years

Even if you're new to weightlifting, you've probably heard of Rouge. Founded in a garage in 2006, Rouge has become a leading brand in the weightlifting community. The company manufactures strength and conditioning equipment including barbells, power racks, sleds, and accessories. 

Rouge is the official equipment supplier of the CrossFit games, the World's Strongest Man competition, the Arnold Strongman Classic, and the USA Weightlifting team. Since 2006, the company has grown to over 1400 team members globally and remains dedicated to supplying serious athletes at all levels, from the garage to competitive arenas. 

Produced by a trusted brand manufacturing strength and conditioning equipment globally, the 3-inch weight belt by Rogue is my top pick, getting the best total score for sizing, quality, durability, comfort, and price. 

The 3-inch lifting belt is available in 5 different sizes from S to XXL and has a thickness of 10mm +/- 1 mm tolerance, suiting a range of lifters.

It's made from natural vegetable tanned USA leather that takes much longer to complete compared to the modern tanning method making it firm, durable, and water resistant. The vegetable tanning process gives the belt a softer feel with the same strength whilst reducing the time needed to break the belt in.

The 3-inch belt features a double prong buckle with a roller in a bright zinc finish. The Rouge branding is on the loop and on the back of the belt that goes across the back. 

The belt is IPF approved, available in brown, and made in the USA. 

46Expert Score

Produced by a trusted brand manufacturing strength and conditioning equipment globally, the 3-inch weight belt by Rogue is getting the best total score for sizing, quality, durability, comfort, and price.

Sizing:
9.5
Materials Quality:
9.5
Durability:
9
Comfort:
9
Price:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Quality vegetable tanned leather

  •  IPF approved

  • Big range of sizes available

    Aesthetically pleasing design

Could be better:

  • Extra cost for larger sizes

Starting Strength Weight Lifting Belt 3 Inch

Available Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL

Waist Size Range: Extra small (20-30 inches), Small medium (25-35 inches), Medium (30-40 inches), Large (35-45 inches), Extra large (40-50 inches)

Width: 3 inches

Thickness: 10 mm

Material: Leather

Warranty: No risk lifetime warranty

The Starting Strength brand was founded by Mark Rippetoe in 2018, initially as a gym brand and training method. Rippetoe has produced several books and peer-reviewed articles alongside competing in powerlifting from 1979-1988.

The starting Strength method uses the body’s basic movement patterns in a coordinated system to force the adaptations needed for increased strength. 

Mark Rippetoe and the starting strength team partnered up with Dominion strength to create an exclusive belt for their affiliate gyms. 

Starting strength and Mark Rippetoe has teamed up with Dominion strength to produce a high-quality 3-inch weightlifting belt, making my top 3 list.

The belt is designed for heavy powerlifting and weight training and should stand up to a lifetime of gym abuse, as stated by the brand. 

The 10 mm thick belt is available in 5 different sizes from XS to XXL from 20-50 inches in 5-inch increments, providing a huge range of size options.

It's made from best-quality top grain sole bend cow leather, designed to last a lifetime even with repeated, heavy use.

The 3-inch belt is fully adjustable, with 11 holes spaced 1 inch apart giving 10 inches of adjustability. The belt is designed to the standards of Starting Strength with the brand stating their years of weightlifting experience have influenced all aspects of the belt design.

Each belt is handmade in the USA and features the Starting Strength branding on the end of the belt. The brand offers a lifetime warranty, guaranteeing the belt will last for your entire training career. If not, the brand will replace or repair the belt at no additional cost.

44.5Expert Score

It's made from best-quality top grain sole bend cow leather, designed to last a lifetime even with repeated, heavy use.

Sizing:
9
Materials Quality:
9
Durability:
8.5
Comfort:
9
Price:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Top grain sole bend cow leather material

  • Large range of waist sizes

  • Lifetime warranty

Could be better:

  • No logo or brand name

Dominion Strength Training Leather Weight Lifting Belt

Available Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL

Waist Size Range: Extra small (20-30 inches), Small medium (25-35 inches), Medium (30-40 inches), Large (35-45 inches), Extra large (40-50 inches)

Width: 3 inches

Thickness: 10 mm

Material: Leather

Warranty: No risk lifetime warranty

Dominion Strength Training is a small family business owned by Blake and Katie Roache. Blake is a Mechanical Engineer and Katie is a Microbiologist. 

After starting in CrossFit, they struggled to find a good-quality belt available on the market. This led them to start making belts, initially working with overseas suppliers before moving production to Florida, USA after inferior hardware that was rusted upon delivery. 

Dominion Strength Training manufactures and sells exercise and fitness equipment, mainly weightlifting belts and physical therapy arm exercisers. The brand states it provides top-quality leather weightlifting belts made in the USA.

Produced by a small family-owned business in the USA, the belt by Dominion Strength Training is a great quality 3-inch weightlifting belt and rounds out my top 3 list.

The belt is available in sizes ranging from XS to XXL in 5-inch increments ranging from 20-50 inches and has a thickness of 10 mm.

The belt is made from top-quality grain sole bend cow leather, designed to be durable and not stretch with use. The 3-inch belt has 11 holes with 1-inch spacing to give 10 inches of adjustment.

Made by the same brand involved in my second option, this belt is designed and fabricated by lifters for lifters. The brand states years of weightlifting experience have guided every aspect of the belt design.

The belt features clear branding on the belt loop and is available in black. It comes with a lifetime warranty, with the belt guaranteed to last your entire training career or the brand will replace or repair the belt for free.

44Expert Score

The belt is made from top-quality grain sole bend cow leather, designed to be durable and not stretch with use. The 3-inch belt has 11 holes with 1-inch spacing to give 10 inches of adjustment.

Sizing:
9
Materials Quality:
9
Durability:
8.5
Comfort:
9
Price:
8.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Very aesthetically appealing design

  • Well priced

  • Small Family run business

Could be better:

  • Single clasp buckle


3 vs 4 Inch Lifting Belts 

Both 3 and 4-inch lifting belts are popular sizes to use when lifting. The belt width that's right for you depends on your build, hip width, and what you need the belt for. The 1-inch size difference offers different pros and cons for lifters and makes the sizes suitable for different uses. So what are the pros and cons of each and should you choose a 3 or 4-inch powerlifting belt?

3 vs 4 Inch Lifting Belts

Pros and Cons of 3 Inch Lifting Belts

Whilst the 3 inch weight belt is less common than the 4-inch, many lifters prefer them due to the benefits gained from the smaller size. 

  • Increased flexibility and range of motion

  • Approved for use in competitive weightlifting and powerlifting

  • Less expensive compared to the bigger belt sizes


  • More suitable for smaller lifters or bench press specialists

  • Not as widely produced as 4-inch belts

Who Needs a 3-Inch Lifting Belt?

1. Shorter Lifters

If you're a shorter lifter with a smaller torso, wearing a 4-inch belt may be uncomfortable to use by digging into your torso during lifting.

This may make the 3-inch belt a better option, allowing increased range of motion and flexibility when lifting, allowing you to focus on proper bracing and technique and increase your lifts. 

2. Bench Press Specialists 

If you're a bench press specialist competing in bench press competitions, the 3-inch belt size may be a better choice.

When performing a bench press, you only need to support your lower back. The mid-back needs to flex and arch backward, meaning the 4-inch belt may be uncomfortable and limit your range of movement.

3. Crossfitters

If you're a Crossfitter, most exercises are performed using a full range of movement meaning you may benefit from the increased flexibility the 3-inch belt offers.

Crossfit generally involves multiple different types of lifts and Olympic movements, making the 3-inch belt an ideal choice. 

Pros and Cons of 4 Inch Lifting Belts

The 4-inch lifting belt is the more popular size choice amongst lifters, offers increased back support and comes in a wider range of colors, and styles.

  • Increased core + back support

  • Wider range of colors and styles available

  • Approved for use in competitive weightlifting and powerlifting

  • Suitable for a wider range of lifts

  • More expensive compared to 3 inch belts

  • Less flexibility offered and may dig into torso

  • May not be suitable for smaller lifters

Who Needs a 4 Inch Lifting Belt?

1. Larger Individuals 

Due to the size of your torso, if you're a larger individual you will benefit more from the 4-inch belt option. 

You want the belt to sit tight against your back and core, but not so tight that it limits movement and makes lifting uncomfortable. If you're a larger individual, a 3-inch belt may not be suitable for your torso and take the focus away from natural bracing and performing the movement correctly.

2. First-time Belt Users

If you're a beginner lifter, starting with the 4-inch belt is a better choice. Chances are you're not specializing in any movement quite yet and will benefit from the wider range of uses a 4-inch belt offers.

Once you get used to a 4-inch belt and grow in size over time, you may wish to switch to a 3-inch once you have more lifting experience.

3. Competitive Lifters

The additional core and back support offered by the 4-inch belt makes it the best choice if you're a competitive lifter.

Your main goal is to lift as much weight as possible. Using the maximum permitted competition width to provide the maximum amount of extra support makes the most sense. 

Girl with WBCM Lifting Belt

Lifting Belt’s FAQs

How thick should a weightlifting belt be?

The thickness of your lifting belt depends mostly on your ability level and goals. A 10 mm belt would be a better choice if you're a recreational lifter as it's more comfortable, offers increased flexibility, and doesn't take as long to break-in.

If you are an elite level lifter, using a 13mm belt may give that extra bit of performance needed despite being less flexible and harder to ‘break in’

Do I need a 3 or 4-inch lifting belt?

Choosing a 3 or 4 inch powerlifting belt depends on your needs and goals.

If you're a first-time lifter, larger individual, or competitive powerlifter, the wider range of suitable exercise uses and increased core and back support offered may make the 4-inch belt a better choice.

Whilst not as commonly used, a 3 inch powerlifting belt is a worthwhile investment in some cases. If you're a smaller lifter with a shorter torso, a bench press specialist, or simply feel you need more flexibility, a 3-inch belt is the way to go.

Which Lifting Belt is the best?

Lifting Belt in Use

Both 3 or 4-inch weightlifting belts can be used for lifting in and out of competition. The right choice depends on your goals and ability level.

If you're a smaller lifter, bench press specialist, or feel you need more flexibility and range of motion when lifting, go for a 3 inch lifting belt.

The 3 inch lifting belt manufactured and sold by Rouge is an excellent choice and my top pick, earning the highest total score for sizing, the material used, durability, and comfort. 

What belt size is your favorite and why? What experience do you have using 3-inch weightlifting belts? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Also read:

References:

  • The best weightlifting belts in 2022 // Tom`s Guide: https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-weightlifting-belts
  • Mark Rippetoe  // Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Rippetoe
YES4ALL RUBBER ENCASED HEX DUMBBELLS

Top Pick 3 inch weightlifting Belt

My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.