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8 Weighted Vest Exercises for Strength Training

 

What if there was some magical way to get more out of your exercise regime without any extra reps? Enter: weight vests – a wearable piece of strength training equipment.

Adding extra weight to your frame with a weighted vest challenges your muscles to work harder and forces your bones to strengthen in order to support the added weight. In turn, weighted vest can be a great tool for building strength and muscle faster, increasing calorie burn, and speeding up fat loss.

AtomicMass’ range of high quality, comfortable and durable weighted vests includes a lighter 10kg weight vest and a heavier 30kg weight vest. Both of our vests are made with double padding and lining throughout body and shoulder, as well as equal weight distribution front and back for optimal performance. Our vests are one-size fits all and have adjustable Velcro straps to accommodate for various body shapes and sizes.

30kg Weight vest for strength training

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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. Let’s take a look at the top three benefits of weight vests…

 


3 benefits of exercising with a weight vest

 

1. Increased musculoskeletal benefits

By wearing a weighted vest, you’re adding extra weight to your frame – and with added weight comes added resistance for your muscles and strain on your bones. Now, the word ‘strain’ might sound off-putting, but the added strain from the weight vest is actually a sly way of building more bone mass. Your skeletal system responds by forming denser bones and connective tissue, which is great for overall health. Weighted vests also push your muscles to grow and strengthen in order to support the added weight.

 

2. Enhanced core strength

Weight vests automatically awaken our abdominal muscles by challenging them to carry and support the added weight to the upper torso. We use the stabiliser muscles in our core to perform almost all basic movements. Adding a weight vest to your workout regime will automatically boost your core resistance and maximise core strength as a result. You’ll definitely notice the core strengthening benefits of a weighted vest when you perform plank holds and balancing exercises.

 

3. Boosted cardiovascular fitness

When we think “cardio” we automatically think ‘running, jogging, jumping’, but cardio also encompasses weight and strength training as well. Adding a weight vests to your range of cardiovascular exercises, from your daily run to your heavy lifting, can result in strengthened heart and lung health, as well as increased efficiency of oxygen consumption. These cardiovascular benefits of weight vest workouts will also lead to increased fat burn and lean muscle.


 

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…

*Start out with a dynamic warm-up sequence to get your muscles warmed up and your blood pumping. This will not only enhance your workout results, but also safeguard against muscle strains or injury. Spend 10-15 minutes on your dynamic warm-up workout with some of these exercises:

  • Dynamic stretching – instead of static stretching in which you hold certain stretches for a long period of time, take your body through a fluid stretching sequence. This will serve as a cardiovascular warmup as you ease into your workout.
  • Upper body twists – stretch out your core and back (you’ll be using them a lot in your weighted vest exercises!)
  • Leg swings – great for opening up the hips and hamstrings
  • Jump rope – this warm-up exercise is slightly more intense, but will definitely get your blood pumping

1. 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.

 

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 box jump

Plyo box jumps with a weight vest are highly beneficial for athletes in any sport. First, you’ll want to set up a thigh-high plyo box. Next, take up a squat position and swing your arms behind your back. Use your quads to propel yourself and jump up, landing on top of the plyometric box and maintaining form. Step down and repeat.

Atomic Mass metal and foam plyometric boxes

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4. Push-up

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.

5. 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!).

 

6. Weightlifting

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.

7. Mountain climber

You’re definitely going to feel your abs the next day in this weighted vest exercise! Mountain climber exercises while wearing a weighted vests are great for increasing stability in your shoulders and wrists, and of course, blasting your abs! Assume a plank position and mindfully bring your left knee toward your left elbow, then swap sides. Try to do about 20 reps of these – feel the burn!

8. Walk/hike

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!

*Don’t forget the cool-down! Just as you prepared your body pre-workout in your dynamic warm-up, you need to ease yourself out of the workout with a cool-down sequence. This cool-down exercise sequence can include a range of light, low-impact exercises and some dynamic stretching – remember not to hold any one position for too long!

Not only are weight vests great for workouts like the ones described in this article, you can also wear them in your daily life or while doing simple chores around the house for a little added resistance throughout the day. Remember to always exercise caution when wearing a weight vest – although it is wearable, a weighted vest is still a piece of fitness equipment and should be treated as such.

Weighted vests are highly effective pieces of strength training equipment you can wear! Suitable for use in home gyms and commercial gyms, weight vests increase endurance, build strength and provide endless variation in workouts. AtomicMass makes high quality, comfortable and durable weighted vests, suitable for a variety of exercises. All of our weighted vests are crafted for performance and built to last!

Click the button below to shop AtomicMass’ range of high quality weight vests:

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