A Beginner’s Guide to Using Wearable Weights Safely and Effectively

Have you ever returned home from the grocery store and attempted to bring all your groceries in one trip? You’re breathing heavily, and your heart rate is racing when you get inside. You’ve finished a workout, and you’re pretty proud of yourself for being so fit.

Wearable weights can help you recreate that “just-brought-in-the-groceries” feeling in your workout by incorporating them into your routine. Wearable weights allow you to use your body weight while adding resistance.

You can incorporate them into your strength training routine and wear them while going for walks or runs to improve your cardiovascular health. Here’s everything you need to know about the advantages of wearable weights and how to use them properly.

A Beginner's Guide to Using Wearable Weights Safely and Effectively

Individuals today are more stressed than ever, thanks to increased work, less free time, and never-ending to-do lists. While there are many ways to manage overall stress, research shows that physical activity is a top choice for helping to reduce stress, increase energy, and improve mood.

While many people want to incorporate more resistance training into their routine, they may be hesitant to join a gym with a monthly membership fee or spend money on expensive home gym equipment. Is there a solution? Weights that you can wear!

Resistance training exercise in your routine has a slew of advantages, including (but not limited to) increased muscle mass, lower body fat percentage, improved overall strength, mobility, and balance, and an increase in self-esteem.

What are Wearable Weights?

A Beginner's Guide to Using Wearable Weights Safely and Effectively

Wearable weights, also known as ankle weights, allow you to add resistance to bodyweight exercises without breaking the bank! Ankle weights cost between $20 and $60, depending on where you buy them and how heavy they are.

Why would anyone want to put ankle weights on? Excellent question!

Ankle weights are one of the most convenient ways to make even the most basic exercise more difficult. For example, when you walk with ankle weights, you automatically add two, four, eight, or even ten pounds to that movement, increasing your strength and stamina with the same movement.

Aside from general walking, ankle weights can be used for various other exercises, such as wrapping them around both ankles and performing lower body exercises or wrapping them around both wrists and upper body exercises. Not only that but instead of wrapping them around different parts of your body, hold them together and use them like a dumbbell!

Here are some more examples

A Beginner's Guide to Using Wearable Weights Safely and Effectively
  • Seated Leg Extensions: Place ankle weights around your ankles and sit with your knees at 90 degrees. Straighten the right leg in front of you and lift until the right leg is parallel to the floor. Return the right leg to the starting position and do the same with the left leg.
  • Overhead Press: Put ankle weights snugly around your wrists, bend your elbows, turn your palms away from your body, and bring your hands up to shoulder height. Raise both arms slowly above your head until they are fully extended. Return to your starting position and repeat.
  • Stair Climbing: Place ankle weights snugly around both ankles and climb stairs one step at a time or one step at a time. Repeat as many times as necessary.
  • Walking from room to room at home, climbing stairs at work, or doing a Fitbit virtual workout during lunch break—wearable weights can add a little extra challenge!

Benefits of Wearable Weights

Wearable weights can help with weight loss, which is one of their advantages. Wearing a weighted vest has been shown in studies to reduce body weight and fat mass. This is likely because heavier loads require more energy to compensate for the increased physical workload. 

Another advantage is their simplicity of use. You only need your body. Wearable weights, depending on the type, are compact and lightweight, allowing you to take them wherever you go. When using wearable weights, you don’t need any extra space or a complicated program. Simply taking a walk while wearing them will add a challenge.

If you have an injury or degenerative joint disease (such as arthritis) that makes it difficult to hold weights in your hands, you can wear them. Exercise is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. 2 Wearing weights rather than holding them would allow you to keep up your fitness routine.

Wearable weights have no age restrictions, which adds to their appeal. Because many of them weigh only a few pounds, they are accessible to people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly. The various types of wearable weights can benefit anyone.

Different Types of Wearable Weights

A Beginner's Guide to Using Wearable Weights Safely and Effectively

Wearable weights are classified into three types. Wrist weights, ankle weights, and weighted vests are examples of these.

  • Wrist weights, which are worn strapped around your wrists, can be used in place of dumbbells in some cases. They typically weigh 1 to 10 pounds.
  • Ankle weights are excellent for adding resistance to your legs. They are strapped around the ankles and provide additional resistance to your leg movements. They range in size from one pound to twenty pounds.
  • Weighted vests provide a more comprehensive workout. Their weight options vary greatly, as most have pockets where you can add or subtract weight as needed.

Wearable Weights: How to Use Them?

Wearable weights can be used to supplement both your strength and cardiovascular workouts. If you are a beginner, you should begin with lighter weights worn for a shorter period.

As you progress, you can use heavier weights. It would help if you continued to increase the weight as your body strengthens to see results. Here are some applications for wearable weights.

1. Ankle Weights

A Beginner's Guide to Using Wearable Weights Safely and Effectively

Ankle weights can add resistance to lower body exercises during a strength training workout. As we age, it becomes more important to reduce our fall risk by strengthening our lower limbs and trunk.

It is recommended that mature adults wear ankle weights to build that strength. However, there is always time to begin. 3 You can also incorporate them into your walk or run to make it more difficult.

Ankle weights are useful for your lower body and can also be used for a high-level core workout. Try these two exercises to add some variety to your next core workout.

2. Raises of the Hips

  • Begin on your back, weights strapped around each ankle.
  • Raise your legs straight above your head until your ankles are in line with your hips.
  • Lift your hips off the ground and drive your legs up to the sky.
  • Return to your starting point.

3. Bicycles

A Beginner's Guide to Using Wearable Weights Safely and Effectively
  • Begin on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor, and weights strapped around each ankle.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the floor by placing your hands behind your head and engaging your core.
  • Raise your knees toward your midsection.
  • While straightening your left leg, twist your right shoulder toward your left knee.
  • While straightening your right leg, switch and twist your left shoulder toward your right knee.
  • Continue to alternate.

4. Wrist Weights

Wrist weights are an excellent addition to your home fitness equipment because they can be used similarly to dumbbells but are strapped to your wrists. They can also be worn while walking or running.

According to research, walking with wrist weights can improve walking gait performance.

 Furthermore, wearing weights on your wrists increases your energy expenditure, allowing you to add intensity to your walk or run without increasing your speed. 5 Instead of dumbbells, try these two exercises with wrist weights.

5. Lateral Raises

A Beginner's Guide to Using Wearable Weights Safely and Effectively
  • Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your hands by your sides, weight on each wrist.
  • Raise your arms up and out to your sides, parallel to the ground.
  • Return to your starting point.

6. Biceps Curls

  • Begin with your feet hip width apart and your hands by your sides, one weight on each wrist, palms facing away.
  • Bring your wrists up to your elbows and bend your arms.
  • Return to your starting point.

7. Weighted Vests

A Beginner's Guide to Using Wearable Weights Safely and Effectively

Wearing a weighted vest while working out will provide a more comprehensive workout. They, like wrist and ankle weights, can be used while walking or running to increase the difficulty.

Wearing a weighted vest while doing your regular workout is another way to use it. Wear a weighted vest while doing HITT, strength training, or anything else.

The weight load should be evenly distributed to avoid injuries or functional disorders in the lower body. According to research, when used correctly, there is no change in gait or increased risk of injury. 6 Wear a weighted vest the next time you go for a run to give yourself an extra push.

Safety Recommendations

Before beginning a new fitness program, you should always consult with a healthcare provider. Adding weights to your current routine is no exception, especially if you have any current or previous injuries.

When adding wearable weights, you should also start slowly and gradually. Begin by wearing them for a few days, then gradually increase frequency and weight. Make sure your weights are evenly distributed to avoid any imbalances in your body and to avoid injury.

Wrapping it up

Wearable weights are a simple way to increase the difficulty of any bodyweight workout. They benefit people of all ages and have a low impact on those suffering from joint diseases.

Wearable weights can also aid in fat loss by eliciting a higher heart rate response and increasing energy expenditure. They are not only useful for strength training but they can also be worn while walking or running. If you want to amp up your workout, try incorporating wearable weights into your routine.

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