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5 Exercises With a Weighted Vest

For anyone who is wondering how to use a weighted vest in a fitness routine, the answer is both simple and complex - many different activities can be enhanced by using a weighted vest to provide an additional distributed weight load. The principle behind a weighted vest is simple: by adding distributed weight, the weighted vest makes the body work harder in pursuing various physical fitness activities. This builds more muscle, burns more fat, and helps get each individual on the path toward better fitness.

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Weighted vests are popular for a variety of fitness activities. Here are some of the top training routines where participants use a weighted vest to challenge their body.

1. Running

A weighted vest can be a huge advantage to someone who is training for a marathon or other running event. Training with a weighted vest builds up the body capacity, so that when the user takes it off, she feels lighter and ready to go. Lots of runners prefer to use a relatively light vest, at least at first, so as not to overwhelm the joints or overtax the lung and cardio system that is already working strenuously.

2. Weight Lifting

Another very popular use of the weighted vest is in various types of weightlifting. The weighted vest is often more useful when lifting free weights. That's because many circuit weight training machines include seats, or keep the body in a static position. However, with using dumbbells or barbells, the weighted vest can play an important role. Some see the vest as providing a balance for the heavy weights that are held by the arms. As the limbs work on free weights, the torso works against the vest, helping to exercise a wide variety of muscle groups at the same time.

3. Squats and Lunges

Many fitness participants also use a weighted vest in various activities where they have to move their body up and down. Many of these activities are also adapted for fitness tools like the medicine ball or the kettlebell. Basic exercises range from the mundane to the exotic - for instance, a popular one called the "good morning" involves inclining the body in ways that challenge the core muscles. These kinds of activities will also build more body strength when the trainer wears a weighted vest.

4. Climbing

The weighted vest can also provide resistance for both machine-simulated and real climbing activities. It may seem odd to wear a weighted vest while actually climbing rocks, but these tools are definitely useful in indoor simulations, again, for developing the body to a greater extent and equipping it to handle greater challenges when they arise.

5. Sport Specific Exercises

From baseball, to football, soccer,  basketball, tennis and many other competitive sports, specific training involves a focus on precise movements that will be used on the field. This is another instance where weighted vests can come in handy by building a more "explosive" body response through applied resistance.

These are just a few of the activities where trainers benefit from a weighted vest. The weighted vest tool adds a challenge that may not be right for some individuals, for instance, the elderly or those with cardio limitations. Ask a doctor if a weighted vest may be right for your fitness or weight-loss plan.

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