Hip Belt Squats For Injured Lower Backs

The Hip Belt Squat done on a platform is a proud addition to our modest  library  of effective  squat substitutes. It’s a movement that mimics the back squat and yet there is much less stress on the lower back. It’s used by weightlifters and bodybuilders who either have lower back injury or want to add some additional volume to their lower body training without fatiguing the spinal erectors.

To perform hip belt squats you are going to need some sort of a handle (you can make one from steel pipes), a belt and two platforms.

The platforms have to be the stable and equal height. The T-Handle is meant to serve as a loading device while the belt is obviously the link between the weights and you.

Image credit: www.sportivnypress.com

Russian weightlifter Alexei Yefimov demonstrating the hip belt squat. Image credit: www.sportivnypress.com


1.The platform you use for your hip belt squats should be high enough so that you can squat deep without the plates touching the floor.

2.The belt should be wide and comfortable. Use only solid made belts.

3.Use chains to connect the T-Handle (the loading pin you put the plates on) to the belt.

image credit: http://www.beyondstrong.com/training_info/

image credit: http://www.beyondstrong.com/training_info/

4.The hip belt squats follows the same principles as the regular barbell squat. Make sure that your knees and toes point in the same direction when you squat in order to avoid unnecessary stress on the knee ligaments. Keep the natural arch of your back and breath through your teeth. That will add additional strength to your lift.

Note: Alexei Yefimov in the photo above is not doing the exercise with perfect form. He is looking down and his knees and toes are not in perfect alignment. He can get away with it because he knows what he is doing. As a beginner you don’t have room for experiments. Stick to the basics.

5.Don’t do low reps.

The hip belt squat should be used as an assistance lift. Not as a strength tester. There’s no point in doing sets consisting of less than 5 reps.

Here’s a demonstration of hip belt squats:

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