Packing on weight might seem counterintuitive when your end goal is fitness, but in the case of weighted vests it’s something that works.
Weighted vests are a fantastic way to increase the output of your routine, and they’re not just for hard-core weight lifters – almost anyone can use them. A variety of sizes and weights open up weighted vests to a number of uses.
For those unfamiliar with what a weighted vest is, it’s a vest (surprisingly) made from durable material that has weight filled pockets throughout. By adding or removing weights into the pockets you can tailor the amount of resistance the vest adds to your routine.
Before you dive in it’s important to note that weighted vests might not be appropriate for those who haven’t perfected their form and built up strength, as the added weight can pose risks if your body isn’t prepared. If you’re unsure, it’s best to work up to it slowly.
For those ready to pull a weighted vest on, below are some great benefits of this versatile piece of equipment.
Whether you’re heading out for a jog, a hike or hitting the treadmills at the gym, a weighted vest can be your best exercise buddy.
Equipping a weighted vest increases the amount of energy required to complete simple exercises. When doing cardiovascular exercises your heart rate increases as your body exerts itself, which builds up over time increasing your overall endurance and strength.
Even wearing a weighted vest around the house when you do chores is a great way to exert energy and build up strength.
A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that use of a weighted vest can increase leg strength by as much as 30% and short-term endurance by 11-13% during cycling and running.
Incorporating a weighted vest into your routines helps with the amount of fat you burn during exercises that might typically not be as effective for losing weight.
As great as cardio is for your fitness, it isn’t the fastest way to burn fat. Using weights builds muscle and reduces the fat in your body faster, so adding the extra weight from a weighted vest to your cardio workouts is an effective way to replace fat with muscle. Wearing a weighted vest during lunges, stretches and other workouts will help increase the amount of fat you lose.
Invest in strength
Over time as you use your weighted vest more and more you’ll begin to notice that your musculoskeletal system grows and strengthens to support the extra weight. This improves your strength and can decrease risk of injury in the future.
Your core can also benefit from use of a weighted vest. By adding extra weight to your upper body you’re enabling your abs to activate. Doing any exercise in a vest works the core, even if it’s not the focus.