Welcome fitness buffs! If you’re ready to amp up your fitness regime with a weighted vest workout, you’re in the right spot.
In this concise guide, we’ll delve into the top weighted vests, examining key factors like weight capacity, comfort, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Our aim? To help you pinpoint the perfect vest for your goals and budget.
Plus, we’ll provide innovative weighted vest workout ideas to boost your routine, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.
So, dive in and discover the top weighted vests that can revolutionize your workouts, and help you unlock greater results. Let’s embark on this fitness journey together!
Weighted Vest Workout Ideas
From classic bodyweight exercises to cardio staples, we’ve curated a list of impactful workouts that benefit from the added challenge of a weighted vest. Incorporate these exercises into your routine and watch your strength, endurance, and physique reach new heights.
First, push-ups with weighted vests help to build endurance and strength. Over time, regular push-ups can help to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat. Using a back loaded weighted vest adds an extra challenge to this bodyweight workout.
Additionally, push-ups can help to improve posture and prevent injuries. When done correctly, push-ups can also help to tone the abdominal muscles and improve flexibility.
So now, vests with some weight make push-ups a weighted vest workout.
That additional vest weight, even if just a few pounds, causes the heart rate to increase just a bit, which increases calorie burning and oxygen flow to the muscles.
Squats (With Or Without Barbell)
Squat workouts are a great way to tone and strengthen your lower body.
They target all the major muscles in your legs, including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. In addition, squats also help to work your core muscles and improve your balance.
Squats with weighted vests, like a budget weighted vest or the best weighted vest for women, are a great way to increase your heart rate and boost your stamina.
Most people think squat reps are only being done at the gym with a barbell and a squat rack.
But weighted squat reps can be done anywhere, especially as a weighted vest workout.
Lunges with additional body weight can also be varied to target different muscle groups – for example, adding vest weights or pulses will increase the intensity of the exercise and help to build more muscle.
Adding vest weights to the exercise takes everything up a notch.
Weighted vests, such as a high quality weighted vest, require more body strength to push up off your leg, more balance to stay upright when going down low, and more endurance to raise and lower yourself in and out of the lunge.
Hiking Or Running
A weighted vest can benefit all cardio training, but steep hill hiking is a different kind of challenge with the extra weight, including HIIT or other cardio.
Hiking up and down hills is hard enough without additional vest weight, but an adjustable weighted vest takes a typical run to the next level.
“I actually do use a 20 lb weighted vest for ultra training, but I don’t run in it as much as do steep hill power hikes,” says John Loftus, owner of runyoupotential.com, running coach, and 2x Boston Marathon age group winner (50-54 and 55-59 AG).
“This builds strength in the power hike muscles which get used in ultra races because often hills are hiked instead using more energy running”
He says, “When I do the steep hill workouts, it’s often 1/4 mile power hike up, fast walk down and repeat that for 40 minutes to an hour. The weighted vests are also good hike training to condition the core and legs and prepare for wearing a backpack.”
Burpees are a great way to get your heart rate up and tone your legs and butt. The jump-and-balance movement is also great for improving coordination.
Burpees may seem like a simple movement, but they are pretty challenging. They require a lot of coordination and balance, so adding vest weight to turn this into a vest workout will increase the fitness ante.
Additional vest weight will make your body work harder for every aspect of a burpee. Weighted vests will make you fight hard for your range of motion.
With the best weight vest workouts, you will have to fight to jump higher. Your landings will impact your feet and legs more. Jumping up and dropping to the push-up will be more challenging, as the weighted vest will try to slow you down.
Weighted sit-ups are a great way to tone your stomach muscles and improve your core.
tone the muscles in your legs and hips. By contracting these muscles during a sit-up, you can help to lift the torso and improve your overall balance.
Gravity wants to keep your torso flat on the ground, even more so with weight vest workouts.
Fighting your way upward against the vest’s weight means taking your weight and thrusting it through the power of gravity into a sit-up position.
So it goes without saying that adding more vest weight, such as a short weighted vest or a lightweight vest, will require even more energy and effort to rise off the floor.
Weighted planking is a great way to work for multiple muscle groups while also improving your balance and stamina.
Using your body to support yourself and the weighted vest, like a versatile vest with adjustable belt, can avoid putting unnecessary strain on your joints.
Holding the position for an extended period will challenge your muscles and see results quickly.
Making this a weighted workout doesn’t make any of those reps any easier.
Thanks to the weight vest’s extra resistance, your arms and legs will have to find the strength to support even more vest weight than before.
No list of great workout ideas to do with some extra weight would be complete without including the good old-fashioned pull-ups.
These exercises can be challenging already, as the weight of your body provides all the resistance you need to work hard and build muscles.
But adding a few extra pounds, or many for that matter, like those offered by most weighted vests with various weight options, can take these already tough workouts to the next level.
Pull-ups are a must-do exercise if you want a great workout with a weighted vest, such as the best budget weighted vest or one with soft neoprene material for added comfort.
The Benefits of Training with a Weighted Vest
Incorporating a weighted vest into your workout regimen can bring a whole new level of intensity and effectiveness to your exercise routine. Let’s delve into the manifold benefits of this versatile fitness accessory.
1. Increased Strength and Endurance
One of the primary benefits of wearing a weighted vest during workouts is the enhancement of strength and endurance. By adding extra weight to your body, the vest essentially intensifies your workout, pushing your muscles to work harder during each exercise. This increased load triggers muscle adaptation, resulting in improved strength and endurance over time. Whether you’re doing bodyweight exercises, running, or simply going for a walk, the extra weight can help improve these attributes.
2. Improved Bone Density
Weight-bearing exercises, such as those performed with a weighted vest, can significantly improve bone density. The added weight puts more stress on your bones, similar to the effect of resistance training, encouraging your body to increase the density of your bones to better handle the increased load.
3. Enhanced Calorie Burn
Workouts with a weighted vest can also offer enhanced calorie burn. The additional weight forces your body to expend more energy, increasing the number of calories burned during your workout. This can be particularly beneficial for those looking to lose weight or improve their cardiovascular health.
4. Better Balance and Stability
The strategic placement of the weight in the vest around your torso can improve your center of gravity, which in turn can enhance your balance and stability. This is particularly beneficial when you’re performing movements that require a significant amount of balance or stability.
5. Versatility and Functional Fitness
Weighted vests are versatile tools that can be incorporated into virtually any type of workout—from running and hiking to bodyweight exercises and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). By wearing a weighted vest during your regular activities, you’re essentially turning them into strength-building exercises. Moreover, the added weight can help simulate real-life scenarios where you might be required to carry extra weight, thereby increasing your functional fitness.
While wearing a weighted vest can offer numerous benefits, it’s important to gradually introduce this piece of equipment into your workout routine. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase it to avoid any potential injuries. Additionally, it’s essential to maintain proper form during exercises to ensure effectiveness and safety.
Incorporating a weighted vest into your fitness journey can be a game-changer, transforming simple workouts into intense, robust, and comprehensive fitness routines. Be patient with your progress, listen to your body, and enjoy the journey of becoming stronger, faster, and fitter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a weighted vest workout help with weight loss?
Weighted vest workouts can significantly boost your calorie burn. The extra weight causes your body to work harder, thereby increasing the amount of energy expended. When combined with a balanced diet, a regular workout routine involving a weighted vest can create a calorie deficit, an essential factor in losing weight.
How does a weighted vest contribute to building muscle?
Weighted vests add extra resistance to your workouts, forcing your muscles to work harder than they would without the added weight. This stimulates muscle growth by causing small micro-tears in the muscle fibers, which heal and grow back stronger, leading to gains in muscle mass. This is particularly effective when incorporated into strength training and bodyweight exercises.
Are weighted vest workouts suitable for beginners?
Yes, but it’s crucial to start with a lighter weight to allow your body to adjust to the added load. Over time, as your strength and endurance improve, you can gradually increase the weight in the vest. It’s also key to maintain proper form during exercises to prevent injuries.
How often should I include a weighted vest workout in my routine?
The frequency can vary depending on your fitness level and goals. If you’re aiming to build muscle, you might include weighted vest workouts 2-3 times per week, allowing for rest days in between for muscle recovery. For weight loss, you could incorporate the vest into your daily activities like walking or jogging. Remember, consistency is key in any fitness regimen.
Final Thoughts On Doing A Vest Workout With Vest Weight
As we’ve traversed the landscape of fitness, we’ve unveiled the transformative potential of weighted vests. From boosting muscle strength to enhancing endurance and promoting weight loss, the benefits are manifold and tailored to all fitness levels.
The versatility of weighted vests opens up a plethora of workout options. Whether you’re mastering push-ups or powering through lunges, taking a serene hike, or nailing those challenging pull-ups, a weighted vest is your trusty companion amping up every movement.
Moreover, remember that every fitness journey is unique. Start slow, listen to your body, and gradually increase the weight as you grow stronger. Your consistency and dedication to maintaining proper form will reap rewards.
So, are you ready to elevate your fitness regime with a weighted vest workout? Whether your goal is to build muscle, lose weight, or simply become a healthier version of yourself, a weighted vest is a powerful tool in your fitness arsenal.
Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (or squat!). So strap on that weighted vest, and let’s get moving towards a fitter, healthier you!
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Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape to better himself and those around him, focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.