Wearable weights are weights worn on your body when exercising. These include ankle weights, wrist weights, and weighted vests. Some people choose to add wearable weights when walking or running to boost the intensity of a workout.
Ankle weights, wrist weights, and weighted vests can be worn when doing exercise. However, using wearable weights during cardio exercises can overwork leg muscles and increase the risk of injuries. Talk to a healthcare provider to determine whether it is safe to use wearable weights.
Here are the workouts that are suitable with wearable weights and those that shouldn’t be done with weights.
Benefits of Wearable Weights
Talk to your doctor first before buying wearable weights for exercise, especially if you have back, joint, or balance issues. Once your doctor approves you buy these, it is suggested to work with a physical therapist to create a strength training plan.
One of the benefits of using wearable weights is the fact that they help you to lose weight. Wearing a weighted vest reduces body weight and fat mass. Having a heavier load placed upon you can increase the energy it takes to do the same workout.
Another great aspect of using wearable weights is their ease of use. All you need to do these workouts is your body. Depending on the type of weight, wearable weights are compact and lighter in weight. This means they are easier to take with you on the go.
Wearing weights can be a great option if you have a joint injury or degenerative joint disease, such as arthritis. This makes weights harder to hold in your hands. Exercise has been proven to be a useful tool to treat osteoarthritis. In this case, wearing the weights instead of holding them can help you to maintain a fitness routine.
There is no age limit to wearing wearable weights. This makes them more accessible for everyone, and more appealing to use. Since most of these weights only weigh a few pounds, this option is available to everyone from adolescents to the elderly. Anyone can benefit from using wearable weights. Here are the workouts you can do with wearable weights.
Workouts With Wearable Weights
Many people choose to walk around with weights around their ankles. These weights are built into a strap that wraps around the ankle and attaches with Velcro.
Wearable ankle weights can be used for exercises that target leg and hip muscles such as leg lifts. The weights increase the load on the muscle group that is targeted by this weight. The muscles have to work harder to move, and this increases the load against gravity. In turn, this can increase your strength.
Just like ankle weights, wearable weights are wide, weighted straps that wrap around the wrist and attach to you with Velcro. Sometimes people choose to wear them during a cardio workout or while walking. But it can lead to muscle imbalance when swinging your arms back and forth.
These weights can also cause joint and other tendon injuries in the wrist, shoulders, elbows, and neck. Wrist weights do have a purpose in your workout. They are great for targeted exercises, especially if you aren’t able to hold a dumbbell.
Weighted vests are typically put on over your head. They hang from your shoulders with a wide strap that wraps around the middle to keep the vest on. There are pockets in the vest that help you to adjust the amount of weight you want to wear.
Unlike wrist or ankle weights, a weighted vest can be beneficial when going on walks. They put pressure on your bones and stimulate the growth of new bone cells, which can fight against bone loss.
These weights should not exceed 10 percent of your body weight. For a 150-pound person, the weight should not exceed 15 pounds. Weighted vests should not be used for people with neck or back problems. This weight puts pressure on your neck and spine.
If you have any sort of spinal injury, it can increase the risk of disc degeneration or problems associated with your neck. Be careful when using weights for exercise. If you feel that you have problems in any of these areas, don’t use weights. These are the risks related to using wearable weights.
Risks of Using Wearable Weights
Ankle and wrist weights can be a great way to speed up training and lose weight faster. However, if it is used improperly, wearable weights can be dangerous or harmful.
Joint and muscle strain
You should not wear wearable weights if you have any injuries or joint diseases that cause putting any extra weight on to cause extra harm. Even those who are professionals who know how to use wearable weights should be cautioned to reduce any risks of injuries and other permanent damage to the body.
Wearable weights can alter the way you naturally move and operate. This can lead to imbalances and potentially cause issues with posture and biomechanics.
The continuous use of wearable weights can lead to overuse-related injuries. When certain muscles are exposed to excessive strain during repetitive movements, this can lead to harmful effects that can last a lifetime if they are not used the right way.
Having an added weight placed on your body can increase the work it takes for your heart and lungs to properly perform exercises. This consistent added weight can give you cardiovascular stress on your lungs.
Balance and coordination
Additional use of weight can affect the way you balance. This means that you have an increased risk of falls and accidents while exercising.
Using wearable weights for a prolonged period can cause skin irritation and discomfort to your skin, especially if the materials are not breathable or fit properly on your body.
Most importantly, listen to your healthcare provider to determine whether or not you can use wearable weights for exercise. You can minimize the risks of using wearable weights by choosing appropriate levels of weights designed for your fitness level.
If you use wearable weights in moderation, you can bypass the negative impacts of using them frequently. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits.
Do or Don’t?
Use weights that are filled with water or sand and are made of breathable material. Don’t keep ankle or wrist weights on all day or sleep with them on.
Wait until you can raise your legs 90 degrees while lying down before adding ankle weights. Don’t use them if you are already carrying a lot of extra weight on your body.
Use weights with gravity while stretching. If you are overweight, don’t use weights for strength or endurance.
It is also not a good idea to use wearable weights while walking or during an aerobics workout. Using them during these exercises can increase the risk of injuries.
When to wear weights
Ankle and wrist weights can be used when doing these fitness activities:
- Strength and endurance
Doing regular exercises has an equal amount of importance as it is important to exercise with wearable weights. If you have reached a certain level of fitness in a short time, using wearable weights can speed up the training process.
However, if you are inexperienced, or have underlying health issues, wearable weights hurt you more than they can help you. It is suitable to wear weights while walking, jogging, running, sprinting, step aerobics, cycling, swimming, kickboxing, karate, and even on the treadmill to accelerate weight loss, strength, and endurance.
Don’t use weights for other activities, as this can lead to injuries. Here are some of the ways you can use ankle and wrist weights safely.
Workouts That Should Be Avoided with Wearable Weights
Any exercises that include quick movements, or movement with an increased risk of injuries should be avoided when using wearable weights.
Running or jogging
Using wearable weights can alter the stride you naturally have when running. This extra weight can destroy the form you once had if you are not careful. Using wearable weights while running can increase the risk of joint injuries.
High impact activities
Activities like jumping, and high-impact aerobics can strain the joints in the body and lead to injuries with wearing weights. This fast repeated movement can ruin your joints and do more harm than good.
Deadlifts, squats, deadlifts, or overhead presses can put unnecessary weight on your spine and joints with these added weights on your body. Since your body isn’t used to this weight, injuries can be bound to happen.
Activities with jerky movements
Exercises with any jerky movements like dance moves and karate can increase your risk for injury. If you’re not used to the weights yet, you could accidentally swing an arm or leg further than you meant to, easily causing a strain.
Activities with restricted movement
Movements that require a full range of motion can be destructive to you by adding extra weight while performing these movements.
Incorporating safety procedures and having the proper form is a priority to prevent yourself from getting hurt when exercising. Consulting with a doctor or health professional can determine whether this form of exercise is good for you to do. Here are some of the ways you can use wearable weights safely.
How to Use Weights Safely
You will want to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any exercises with wearable weights. You also want to start slow when adding wearable weights. You can do so by starting to wear wearable weights for a few days, and then working up to using them daily. Make sure your weights are evenly distributed when wearing them to avoid any imbalances.
Here are the ways you can wear weights safely.
Start with every other day
If you walk or exercise most days of the week, you can begin introducing your routine of including added weights every other day of the week. This will give your body time to adapt to this new change in workouts.
Alternating every other day can help you to recover between workouts and give you more time to assess whether or not this new routine works for your body.
Begin with light weights
If you are using a weighted vest or a different form of weight, begin with lighter weights, then start walking with heavier weights as your body adjusts to this new weight and gets stronger. You can never go wrong with starting on lighter weights.
Start by walking with weights for fifteen to twenty minutes per day until it feels easy to walk longer. At that point, you should be able to overcome the ongoing soreness that starts at the beginning of introducing weights. You can progress to twenty to thirty minutes once you feel comfortable.
Use good form
Risks of injuries increase when walking with weights. Having poor form can increase this risk by a ton. Make sure you are using the proper posture. This includes an upright torso, neutral spine, and shoulders back and down.
If you choose to use wrist weights or walk with dumbbells, pump your arms by swinging them back and forth along the side of your body instead of the front and back crossing over the midline of your body.
Buy the right gear
If you are looking into walking with weights frequently, it is important to get the best weights for walking. The best-weighted weight for walking is the OMORPHO vest. This weighted vest is more comfortable than using a traditional weighted vest. It can move seamlessly with your body.
Walking with weights can be a great way to gradually increase the intensity of your walking workouts. This can accelerate your fitness progress, burn more calories, and strengthen your muscles.
It is important to start walking with weights gradually and consider the best weight type for your body according to your abilities and goals. Assessing your current status and skills can help you to determine what steps you need to take to start working out with wearable weights. Knowing the benefits and risks of using these can help you to exercise safely and properly.