6 Strength Training Exercises with a Weighted Vest
Weighted vests are wearable pieces of strength training equipment that let you maximise your workouts without having to add in extra reps. Weighted vests can be a great tool for building strength and muscle faster, increasing calorie burn, and speeding up fat loss. They add extra weight to your frame which challenges your muscles to work harder and forces your bones to strengthen in order to support the added weight.
So now you know what you can achieve by adding a weight vest to your daily exercise regime – let’s look at some of the many workouts you can do while wearing a weighted vest…
Walking and hiking with a weight vest is a great way to crank up the intensity on a low-impact exercise. Simply perform your typical walk or hike as you would normally but while wearing your weight vest. You’ll feel the added resistance and your body with thank you for it!
2. Traditional squat
Adding a weight vest to your squat set will allow you to maximise the benefits in your thighs, shins and calves so you can get the most out of your workout. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart for this exercise. Stand with your back straight and knees slightly bent (try to avoid locking your knees at all times). Lower yourself to 90-degrees with a straight back and push yourself back up. Maintaining form is key in this weighted vest exercise.
3. Plyometric skater jump
Plyometric skater jumps with a weight vest are great for enhancing core strength, balance, stability and joint health. First, cross your left leg behind your right leg in a half squat. Quickly jump to the left, then swap your legs and arms. Continue hopping from one side to another. Do four to five jumps in each direction on each side per set.
4. Bulgarian split squat
Bulgarian split squats are another great exercise using a weighted vest and plyometric box.
Start with one foot on your plyo box and place your other foor 2ft in front of it. Lower yourself, then push up. Try to do ten reps of these on each leg (they’re harder than they sound!).
Wearing a weighted vest while weightlifting is a great way to add intensity to any weight training exercise. Use your weight vest while lifting free weights such as dumbbells and kettlebells to work your muscles harder and improve the smaller postural core muscles.
You can also put your weighted vest to use when doing cleans and other weightlifting exercises using a barbell and weight plates.
Adding a weight vest to your push-ups will help to build muscles in your chest, arms and shoulders faster. Start in a plank position with your palms flat and hands shoulder width apart. Keep your feet together, balancing on your toes and lower yourself until your chest contacts the floor. Raise yourself back up while maintaining a flat back. Repeat.
Weight vests are suitable for a variety of activities – from running to plyometric training, to cross training. Exercising with weighted vests can provide core and cardiovascular benefits, as well as musculoskeletal benefits as your bones become denser and stronger from the added weight. Australian-based AtomicMass has some great options for weight vests – check them out online!