The five best weighted vest exercises include several old favorites such as vertical leaps, pull-ups, and sprints. Adding a weighted vest to your exercise routine can help you increase the intensity of your workouts and get the most out of them. This is because the added weight in the vest requires you to work especially hard to move your body with that weight. Although you can use a weighted vest while completing most of the activities you are already doing, it is especially beneficial for some specific types of activities. Here are five of the best exercises to do with a weighted vest to get your heart rate going and build muscle.
Basketball players and others who need a strong vertical leap will benefit greatly from doing leap exercises while wearing a weighted vest. With the vest, your body must be significantly more explosive to get you to the height that you can reach without the vest. Wearing a vest forces you to use perfect form and really push your body to get up to your usual height on the leaps. You can either perform leaps by crouching down and jumping straight up or by jumping onto pylometric boxes of increasing height.
Athletes training for sports like basketball, soccer, football, and others that require explosive sprints will find that a weighted vest makes training much more effective. Take a jog with the weighted vest to warm up your legs and prevent muscle strain during the sprint exercises. Wear the weighted vest while performing sets of sprints, getting up to full speed as quickly as possible. After performing a set with the vest, do another set without it to see how much lighter your body feels at its regular weight.
If you have mastered the basic pull-up or chin-up, add a weighted vest to your body to make the exercise more strenuous again. The vest acts as additional body weight that your arms must work against to pull your body up in the motion you have practiced. Start with just a little bit of extra weight in the vest, and progressively add more as your arm and shoulder strength increases and you need more of a challenge.
If you are a runner, you already know that running uphill is a great way to increase the intensity of your exercise. Adding a weighted vest to the mix makes uphill movement even more difficult and forces your body to work even harder to maintain forward movement. Wearing a weighted vest during your training on hills can be especially helpful if you are getting ready for an uphill race because your body will feel much lighter and springier when you race without the vest.
If you are finding that regular push-ups are too easy, add a weighted vest to make the exercise more strenuous. You will have to push up all of that additional weight resting on your body, which increases the work your pectoral muscles need to do. Other ways to make push-ups harder include raising your feet so they do not support as much of your weight and varying the position of your hands to target different muscle groups.