A weighted vest workout is an excellent way to elevate basic exercises and workouts.
This article will show you 7 exercises that can benefit from wearing a weighted vest.
We will also talk about how adding additional resistance to your body can benefit your body and provide a more intense and rewarding fitness weighted vest workout experience.
What Exactly Is A Weighted Vest?
A weighted vest is a piece of clothing worn around the torso and adds extra body weight. This can be a great way to increase endurance and strength during exercises.
Weighted vests are made from a breathable material, so you don’t overheat while wearing them.
The resistance in a weight vest is evenly distributed around so that it doesn’t throw off your balance. Most have pockets on the front and back to keep the weight vest on your body and shoulders.
How Is A Weighted Vest Different From A Rucksack?
A weighted vest is different from a rucksack in a few key ways.
- A weighted vest is worn on the body, whereas a rucksack is carried on the back.
- Weighted vests add resistance to the body weight, while a rucksack carries weight.
- Weighted vests can be made from various materials, including breathable fabrics, so you don’t overheat while wearing them.
- Rucksacks (not vests) are typically made from durable materials, such as canvas or nylon.
- A weighted vest comes in various weights, from a few pounds to over 100 pounds, while most rucksacks only hold up to 50 pounds.
What Are The Benefits Of Wearing Weighted Vests?
Does weighted clothing work to get in shape and lose weight?
Adding extra vest weight to your body with vests during exercises can help increase endurance and strength. Additionally, the balanced weight distribution of the vest’s weight around your body can help improve balance and stability.
While it’s true that working out can help you lose weight, adding extra vest weight to your body with these vests during exercises can help you burn more calories and fat.
Additionally, wearing a weighted vest during workouts can help increase muscle mass and definition.
Best Weighted Vest Workout Ideas
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.
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 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 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 in vest weight to turn this into a vest workout will up 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 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 strength training.
Sit-ups can also help to 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 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 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 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.
Final Thoughts On Doing A Vest Workout With Vest Weight
If you’re looking for a way to build muscle, gain health, and lose weight through workouts, you may wonder if a weighted vest is right.
Vest workouts have many benefits while wearing a weighted vest and can be an effective tool for achieving your fitness goals at all fitness levels.
The weight vest I am using is the RunMax Weighted Vest. You can see a review here:
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Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.