A weight vest can be a super versatile and very effective exercise tool. But before you grab the pounds, let’s weigh the benefits. Everything you need to know about weight vests can be found here.
Studies suggest that weight vests offer a number of impressive benefits. Here’s a deep dive into the biggest benefits.
1. Build strength
Weight vests can help you make more gains. The extra weight forces your muscles to work harder, which can increase strength and build lean muscle mass.
A 2017 study also found that wearing a weight vest helped older adults maintain muscle mass while losing weight.
2. Improve mileage
According to a small 2015 study, running with a weight vest can help improve overall performance and endurance.
Additionally, in a 2019 review, researchers looked at the effects of weight vests on sprint mileage. The participants were loaded with weights that corresponded to 5 to 40 percent of their body weight.
The peeps that carried lighter weights had more improvements over longer distances, while heavier weights were associated with better sprint performance.
3. Burn more calories
As you add extra weight to your body, you can burn more calories. According to a study by the American Council on Exercise, a weight vest that weighs 10 to 15 percent of your body weight can help you burn up to 13 percent more calories. Wow!
Wearing a weight vest can also boost your metabolism. A small 2020 study found that carrying extra weight can help the body metabolize fat better. But that was just a small clinical study, and we need more research to find out if this effect is legitimate.
4. Strengthen bones
Weight vests offer Beacoup advantages for your bones 🦴. Weight-bearing exercises (like exercising with a weight vest) can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. How does it help Exercise challenges your bone tissue and promotes improvement in bone strength and density.
A 2017 study also found that light weight training with a weight vest improved pelvic bone density and knee extensor strength in postmenopausal women who lost muscle mass as they got older.
5. Better balance
A weight vest can help you keep an eye on your posture while exercising, which could improve your general balance and stability.
A 2017 study found that weight vests can improve balance in people with lower body paralysis.
And in a 2019 study, after completing a 6-week step training program while wearing a weight vest, participants had improvements in muscle strength, strength, and functional ability.
But we need more research to confirm these effects.
Here are some top tips to help you get the most out of a weight vest:
- Use it for cardio. Weight vests are the perfect addition to your walking or running routine. You can also take your vest with you on your next bike tour or indoor cycling.
- Try weight training. A weight vest can take your regular resistance training to the next level. It goes perfectly with push-ups, lunges, planks, pull-ups, squats, or skipping ropes. You can also wear a weight vest while exercising with free weights and dumbbells.
- It’s not just for training. Don’t have time to go to the gym? No problem! Wear your weight vest while cleaning your house or even cooking!
- Bigger doesn’t mean better. Overloading a 50 pound weight vest can increase your risk of injury, especially if you’re new to the game. Heavier vests can also tire you out faster, which can lead to sloppy form. Start with a vest that weighs about 5 percent of your body weight and continue from there.
Weight vests are generally safe when used correctly. Just think of these notes before putting one on:
- Make sure the fit is right. A loose vest can compromise your balance, which can lead to injury.
- At first, keep it easy. You can work your way up to heavier loads as you build stamina and endurance.
- It is a good idea to speak to your doctor before using a weight vest if you are recovering from an injury or have a medical condition that affects your bone density.
- You shouldn’t wear a weight vest if you have knee or back pain. It could put extra pressure on your muscles and joints.
A weight vest can be a great addition to almost any workout, whether it’s cardio or strength training. It can help you burn extra calories, increase muscle mass, and strengthen your bones.
Just make sure things are safe by starting with a lighter weight vest and adding your weight to heavier loads over time.