Weight belts



Disclaimer:
It should be recognized by the reader that Delilah or Visionary Dance Productions cannot be held personally liable for injury resulting from the use of the Power Belly weight belt. We cannot make individual or personal recommendations on exact use of this product from a web site. Please consult your personal doctor or physical therapist to answer any health questions you may have before using this product. Please read the information we have provided here and know there are many potential benefits and different ways to use your belt and the weights. The use of this product is at the owners discretion.

Hip Weights for Belly Dancing


Delilah has researched and made arrangements to have belts especially made to meet belly dancers' needs (a wide variety of hip scarves are sold separately here)!

Delilah’s Belly Dance Weight Belts
Ever wonder what makes Delilah such a strong dancer? Here is Delilah’s training secret... adding an 8-12 pound weight belt to your hips while you practice new moves or do your daily workout improves core body strength, balance, and endurance.
Power Belly weight belts can be used by beginners, hobbyists, or professional dancers and instructors. It speeds up the time it takes to learn a new hip move. The subtle extra weight makes you work a little harder. When you remove the weight belt, the muscle memory is there and your hips move like greased lighting! It’s a great warm up device before a show or contest.

A weight belt is indispensable for every dancer’s health, as it also builds valuable bone density to counter osteoporosis. It strengthens the back and abdominal and relieves back ache.

The weight belts are soft, feminine, washable, and the weights are removable. The belts are great for wearing while practicing many other activities.

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Standard sizes colors and pricing

SMALL
8 pockets for
8lb weight set
(fits 22"to 31")
$77.00
MEDIUM
10 pockets for
10lb weight set
(fits 30" to 39")
$83.00
LARGE
12 pockets for
12lb weight set
(fits 38" to 47")
$89.00
XLARGE
14 pockets for
14lb weight set
(fits 46" to 55")
$95.00
XXLARGE
15 pockets for
15lb weight set
(fits 50" to 59")
$101.00
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Sizing Advice

from Delilah


Perfect Fit
The belt fits by wrap and stick velcro. This way you can make it snug on your hips. The two heavy duty velcro tabs need to pass each other, not meet and stick to each other. This gives them plenty of versatility, but you want to make sure you don't buy one that is too small.

Below are sizing tips out of my experience fitting and working with dancers and the belts.
  • All measurement are to be taken on the HIPS not the waist it is important to choose the correct size. If your measurement is near the maximum width go up one size.
  • If you are really a petite person(child size) then the small 8 pound weight belt will be perfect. You can get a medium if you want 10 pounds but know it will over lap somewhat.
  • If you are a combination small/medium person then a medium 10 pound weight belt is ideal.
  • If you are a true medium then you can probably choose a medium 10 pound or a large 12 pound belt.
  • If you are more a large/medium or a true large, the large weight belt is best.
  • If you are large with extra large hips the extra large weight belt may be good, but there is quite a bit of weight in that belt (15 pounds) and that makes it kind of cumbersome to handle. I advise women to buy it for the length but remove 2-3-4 weights. You can use the extra 1 pound weights in your hands to increase upper body strength, and on your head to increase your core body balance.

Sometimes smalls and mediums can go up a size and over lap the weights if you desire. Example: I am a perfect medium and the medium belt fits and looks great, but I wear a large weight belt and overlap the front (probably because I'm so athletic). I like the extra pounds. When we use the weight belts I do not think we need to set the goal of challenging ourselves by adding more and more weight. Not at all. The benefits and goals are more delicately obtained. I do think it's a matter of preference. I happen to like 12 pounds. We do not recommend size large or extra large to go up a size as the belt is hard to manage.
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Question: What should you do if you order the wrong size?

Answer: Call Visionary Dance Productions and we'll ask you to send the belt back to us, but not all the the weights. We will give you our office address in Seattle. We will make the adjustments smaller or larger– no problem.

Question: Is the weight belt returnable for a refund?

Answer: Yes, within 30 days minus shipping and a 15% restocking/handling fee. However it must be unused and resalable.

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Fancy Power Belly
Weight Belts

 

delilah power belly weight belts

 

Power Belly Fancy WeiBelts

Click Here to see our Current Color Samples

Click here or see pricing and sizing info

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Weight Belt Uses & Benefits



Here's how to basically wear them
Simply fit it snuggly on your hips and proceed to practice your belly dancing. Because the weights are evenly distributed and close to your body you quickly assimilate the weight as your own. You barely notice any difference at all. That is, until you see and feel the results of a stronger back, torso, knees and thighs. Your core balance will improve. Your quickness and agility for shimmies and fast hip combination excels by lifts and drops! It's Truly Amazing!

Then you take it off, and you are in for a real treat. You just lost 8 -14 pounds! (the total pounds of the belt). You feel lighter and your hips are more agile.

Other uses and therapies
With common sense and the advice of a trained professional you can use your hip weights for other dance forms and activities as well; walking, standing, house work, jogging on the tread mill, step aerobics, tennis, low impact aerobics, ice skating and even and certain yoga poses! You will find that wearing the weight belt across your shoulders will help your posture at the computer and ease muscle stress in neck and shoulders. Wearing it on an air plane draws down on the back just enough to leave you feeling refreshed and limber after hours of sitting on the plane.

Benefits

  • Lose inches around your waist line
  • Strengthens and improves core body balance
  • Builds and lengthens endurance times
  • Develops muscle memory for crisp hip articulation
  • Shortens the learning curve for developing new skills
  • Strengthens the back
  • As do all weight baring exercises. They build healthier bones and counter osteoporosis

Fit and Feminine Design

We feel that beauty is an esthetic considerations that is important to women’s empowerment. Belly dance appeals to women because of it’s feminine centeredness. So we have tried to make a weight belt that does not look like jock equipment. The standard belt is washable soft and more feminine looking than other athletic weight belts made with sand or rebar. They are perfect for our belly dance needs!

These belts are designed for even distribution of the weight. All weights are easily removed. They start at 8 pounds and go up to 14 pounds according to sizing. This means the larger you are the more weight you can carry in proportion to your size. The belt is made with 1 pound packets that can be removed. (we do sell smaller 1/2 pound and larger 3/4 pound weights, ask us). The belt fits snugly and has an additional strap and latching buckle.

But that's not all– there are even more benefits!

  • Use the weight belt like a barbell and do an array of weight lifting exercises to strengthen arms and upper body.
  • Weight Belts are safer than barbells because they are soft weights. You are not as likely to drop it and hurt your foot.
  • They are practical and easy to carry to your class or gym because you strap it to your hips or waist and have your hands free to unlock your car and front door.

Delilah has extra exercises you can use to strengthen and develop skills in other parts of your body, such as your belly, chest, arms, neck, and back.


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Delilah’s Weight Belt Use

FOR Bellydance training



Disclaimer:
I can’t advise you personally on line to what extent you should use your weight belt. I am not a doctor or a physical therapist. Since there may be a potential for over use as with anything I advise you to use common sense and use it responsibly. Consult your own doctor is you have health questions or concerns before using, to make sure it’s right for you. You should be in good health and free from injury, observe proper diet, drinking plenty of water and being mindful of your own bodily stress.

I can tell you how I use them:

I secure the belt on or just above hips. Then I bend my knees to engage my leg muscles and properly support weight from under the torso. I keep my arms lifted out to the sides for upper body balance and control. Slowly and methodically I work through my repertoire of hip moves: hip circles, figure 8s, shimmies, walks, slides, lifts, drops, twists. I start with 10 minutes per day if I haven’t been using it on a daily basis. I see many more results if I carefully visualize the movements as I practice them, rather than doing mindless repetitions.
I start out with movements that are simple at first and as I gain strength and control by daily practice I increase the range of my movements and length of time dancing with the weight belt. The theory is to work the muscles a bit harder by the increase weight, thus leading to a quickening in the process in which my muscles retain the memory of the new movement and make it automatic. In this way I gain muscle memory in the hips, back, waist, core and legs. Because I am working a little bit harder by the addition of the weight, when the weight is removed my muscles still retain the strength and memory of the movement . With practice the movement becomes part of my natural range of coordination and my isolation and articulation is enhanced.
I find that when I hold the belt in my hands in front of my body it feels like a lot of weight but when I strap it around my hips I quickly forget I’ve added any weight because my body easily incorporates it into my frame. I have to remind myself to take it off. Truly the best part is to work with the belt for a short time and then feel the freedom of movement immediately after removing the belt.

I bought my first weight belt with the purpose in mind of bellydance training . However, it was sold to me (back in 1975) in the athletic supply store as “the business man’s way to trim down the waist line while on the job”. The brochure said just wearing these around all day doing the normal range of movements would strengthen the abdominal's and you would even lose inches. I have to say the claim was true for me. I was a hair dresser and wore the belt around the shop and I did trim my waist line. When I took it off, it was like getting an injection of vitamin B. I got a burst of energy! It was if I had just lost 10 pounds! Oh, I guess that’s what I did!



These are pictures of Delilah (after teaching powerbelly twice a week for two-and-a-half years) during a drum solo with Erik Brown at the SweetWater Elizabeth Denis Benefit Concert, April 1st, 2005.


Here is the premise for their use by belly dancers:
You wear the 8 to 14 pound belt on your hips as you slowly and mindfully concentrate on your hip combinations. All your hip, leg and torso muscles work a little bit harder. After a few sessions with the belt, you'll notice without the belt your hip begins to responds effortlessly to the new pattern you’ve been working on. Even just walking around with one, doing tai-chi, climbing stairs, or doing house work, will have added benefits for conditioning and strengthening your body and increasing your dance ability. The weight feels heavy when you hold out the belt in front of you, but when you fasten it around your hips you hardly notice it's on. These are considered light weights and you will not get bulky muscles from using them. You will become better conditioned and look great. When it's time to take off the belt you will feel a wonderful little boost of energy, like you just lost 10 pounds or like you had an injection of vitamin B-12!

Benefits for Dancers:

  • It is soft and comfortable to wear.
  • It is adjustable (velcro closure).
  • The weights are soft and if you drop one on your toe you won't bruise anything!
  • It speeds up the learning curve when learning to develop hip articulations in bellydancing!
  • It helps the slow hip catch up with the smart hip (many of you know what I mean).
  • It increases and maintains muscle fitness and general muscular balance.
  • It strengthens torso, back, leg muscles and core balance development essential to all dancers.
  • It noticeably trims the waist line, decreases fat and changes body shape.
  • It builds endurance.
  • It strengthens your awareness of where center is!
  • Like all weight exercises, it helps improve bone density (strengthens bones)– so important for older women!
  • The weight feels good on your back because it's evenly distributed.
  • The weights are removable so you can wash the belt.
  • It's streamlined and femininely designed rather than looking so jock-like.

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Additional Exercises

FOR Bellydance training



There are tons of other exercises to do with the weight belts working any part of your body. The amount or repetitions and sets will vary for different exercises and individuals. Consult a fitness trainer for a personalized exercise plan. For general use, start out with a few repetitions and gradually build up.

Some examples:
  • Lay it on your chest and do sit ups.
  • Use it like a dumbbell for all areas of your arms.
  • Wrap it around your leg and do all sorts of leg exercises.
  • Use one pound weights in each hand and hold your arms high while you dance. This will straighten your alignment and work on energy extension.
  • Spin or turn with a one pound weight held overhead in each hand.
  • Roll a one-pound weight up and down your tummy while on your back.
  • Try popping a single weight into the air like Delilah does with her silver dollar on Delilah's Bellydance Workshop Volume 3!
  • Slowly rotate the belt overhead for chest, shoulders, upper back, midriff and core balance.
  • You can simply lay it on your shoulders for 10 minutes now and then while you are on the computer and feel the shoulder and neck stress melt away!

General Safety when using all weights:
A medical check up is essential prior to commencement of a full weight use program for those who are over 35 years of age, if have been inactive or have a medical condition –e.g. heart problems, asthma. If you have an injury consult your doctor or physiotherapist.

Always follow correct techniques at all times and take care of your back! Be mindful of your body and listen to its warning signs. Always maintain good posture by keeping your knees unlocked, feet apart, head up and chin in. Tighten your stomach muscles and squeeze the buttocks. When doing arm exercises, keep your shoulders down and back.

Always remember to breath out on exertion. Do not hold your breath. Control the weight throughout the entire range of the exercise. Progress slowly and never try to lift heavier weights than you are capable of lifting.

Children under 15 should only use light weights. Beginners should allow a day of rest in between the use of weights. Using heavy weights can be dangerous and should be done with shoes, gloves, various safety equipment and a buddy system.

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Strong Women Stay Young

by Mariam E Nelson Ph.D. with Sarah Wernick, Ph.D. (New York, Bamtum books 1997)



Based on the Tufts University Research Project, 1996

The report featured in Dr Mariam Nelson's book Strong Women Stay Young demonstrates that elderly people with osteoporosis and other chronic conditions can benefit greatly from strength training programs. Many aspects of normal aging, such as loss of muscle mass, slowed metabolism and bone thinning, can be reversed with a regular program of weight lifting and muscle strengthening exercises.

This book targets woman over the age of 35. The authors describe their work as a scientifically proven strength training program which replaces fat with muscle, reverses bone loss, and improves energy and balance. They stress the importance of regular aerobic activity because it will increase longevity and decrease the risks of heart disease and many other chronic conditions. Walking is recommended as good for your legs and lower bone mass but it does not increase bone mass in the hips as Tai Chi would, for example, because of the swaying motion involved. The book stresses that aerobics and walking are not enough to achieve good health and suggests participating in simple overall strength training as a better way to increase bone mass. The authors outline a program that only needs to be followed twice a week.


Other Books:
These should be in every dancer's library.

  • A Woman's Book of Strength, by Karen Andes
  • A Woman's Book of Power, by Karen Andes
  • A Woman's Book of Balance, by Karen Andes
  • Strong Women Strong Bones by Dr Mariam Nelson PH.D

Note: You'll find more about Weight belts in the Visionary Dance Web Club #101, included with the purchase of Absolute Beginning Bellydance with Delilah.

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For those who have Osteopenia

Please read:

Check with your doctor before using the weight belt. It maybe perfectly alright for you and your doctor may suggest the amount of weights for you to use. Using weights and weight baring exercises are good for bones but ask your doctor. Moderate belly dance, Tai Chi and stair stepping and some yoga poses are a few very beneficial exercises.

MOST IMPORTANT WARNING: Do NOT do exercises which require you to bend forward at the waist like toe touching, bend over weightlifting, and some yoga poses. Spontaneous crush fractures of the spine can occur as you come back up. Consult a physical therapist for proper safe body alignment for you.

Avoid high impact exercises that involve hoping, jumping, skipping or running. They can cause stress fractures. You don’t have to do the more jarring styles of belly dance.

Avoid exercises that increase your risk of falling. In fact maybe you will need to stand next to a sturdy table, counter or railing while practicing so you can catch your self.

Always move slowly and mindfully when exercising. Relax, breath, visualize and concentrate on the movement at hand.

You should do balance and co-ordination exercises every day.
Examples are standing on one foot, walking on tip toes, playing catch with a ball or whirling a belly dance veil in the air. As advised above, stand next to a counter incase you loose your balance and need to catch your self.

Note from Delilah

Studies show that Tai Chi has been more successfully beneficial to people suffering from osteoporosis because it is fun and relaxing and they are more likely to stick with it regularly and for a longer time in their life. The swaying and weight baring over to the side of the hip is said to strengthen the bones of the hips and reduce the occurrence of hip replacements. They never do studies on belly dance (as of yet), but I think we can see the same must apply to belly dance. I along with so many women I know have now been dancing for 35 years. It engages our body, mind, sense of femininity and enchantment in addition to the balance and co-ordination. I don't know about you but I fully intend to keep belly dancing even in my aluminum walker if need be! More Power Belly to us all!

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End Notes

From delilah


Dear Dancers:
My new belly dance weight belts are becoming very popular with dancers of all styles. These dancers are using them and fast discovering for themselves the exciting benefits. I've been using my weight belt for more than 20 years. After I'd tell my students about it, they said they couldn't find one in the stores. Now you can order one from me! I’ve researched and arranged to have these belts especially made with a more feminine sensibility than traditional sporting equipment. The design is pleasing to the eye, soft, colorful and washable! You can call, write, or order one from our Bazaar page.

The weight belt is not just good for belly dancers. Men, women, kids, seniors, fit and unfit, can all gain benefits from using a weight belt.

Weights are used for all sorts of sports and rehabilitation. Weighted toys on a high chair table help children with disabilities gain control and strength. Basketball players use weighted vests to watch the game so when they take them off, they will join the game with extra and instant vitality! Senior citizens use weights for increasing bone density (strengthening bones) and maintaining fluid mobility.

If Tai Chi works well because of the swiveling hip action, we wonder what those researchers would have to say about bellydancing with weights? We think the secret to good health is to do a little of everything: aerobics for your heart and endurance, free weights for strength and good bones and bellydancing for fun, creativity and self expression!