Have you heard about weighted vests? If you haven’t, this is the time to try adding one to your workout for an additional fat burning edge.

What Is a Weighted Vest?

A weighted vest is simply a vest with small pockets that can be filled with small steel bars, or other weighted objects. The general purpose of a weighted vest is to add extra weight for body-weight exercises, walking, distance running or speed, agility and quickness drills.

Using this type of extra load during sprinting or speed work requires your lower-body muscles to generate more force against the ground, and can lead to improvements in strength, power, and acceleration during running, as well as increased strength and efficiency during speed, power, and agility drills.

You can also benefit from using a weighted vest by simply doing your daily activities with a bit of extra weight to increase your calorie burn and even help with bone density by loading the skeletal system.

Here are 3 great Weighted Vest workouts to try:

Body Weight Workout

Turn a body weight workout into a difficult routine by simply putting on a weighted vest. Here’s one routine that you can do a few times a month, with a treadmill:

·       2 minute treadmill run

·       20 weighted vest push-ups

·       20 weighted vest squats

·       20 weighted vest walk out planks

·       20 weighted vest reverse lunges

Repeat these 5 moves as a circuit 5-10 times through. This routine works best with a 10-20-pound vest.

Go on Weighted Vest Walks and Hikes

Sometimes, I want an easy nature hike to be a more intense workout. To do that I simply put a weighted vest over my shirt and underneath my coat. For hiking and walking, look for a heavier 30-50-pound vest if possible.

Take a Spin

Whether outdoors or indoors, you can put on your weighted vest and do the following bike workout:

•       5 min warm-up

•       Alternate standing to seated for 30 seconds standing, 30 seconds seated, 10 times through

•       Finish with 5 minutes of standing, then ride for 1 mile as hard as possible in a seated position

•       5 min cool-down

A weighted vest can be a great way to amp up the difficulty of your workout. Whether you decide to get a light 10-pound vest, an intermediate 20-30-pound vest, or an extreme 40-55-pound vest, it’s important to have it well fitted. You don’t want to put awkward pressure on your upper back and shoulders that could cause chafing, muscle knots in the neck and upper back, or joint injuries.

Be sure to pay attention to your body. During intense workouts, weighted vests can cause constricted breathing and overheating due to the heavy, non-breathing materials used in the construction of the vests. This means you may need to hydrate more and plan for more rest/recovery time.