Chances are you have heard about weighted vests. These workout accessories make exercise much more grueling with the purpose of providing resistance that boosts strength. These vests are exactly as you imagine in your mind's eye. They are heavy vests worn on the torso. Wearers can add or remove weighted bars as desired. You can do anything from climbing to jumping rope, jogging, sit-ups, push-ups and beyond with a weighted vest. Let's take a look at why so many people are turning to weighted vests to improve their physical conditioning.
Weighted Vests Boost Strength & Stamina
The carrying of additional weight during physical activity forces one to work that much harder. The muscles must adapt to the heavy weight, building up their strength as well as their stamina. Studies have shown that those who make use of weighted vests perform better in a variety of physical fitness categories.
Think of weighted vests as the donut weight baseball players place on their bats while in the on-deck circle. The addition of this weight makes it more difficult to swing the bat. As a result, the player is able to swing much faster and harder with a normal weight bat once he is at the plate. This is precisely why athletes and others rely on weights. They challenge the muscles and yield considerable results.
Improved Balance and Posture
Strap on a weighted vest during your exercise routine and you will reap the rewards in the form of better balance. Your weighted vest might even improve your posture to boot. Such a vest improves the body's balancing ability as it adds weight to the upper portion. As one moves his upper body, gravity pulls it downward, causing the body to balance itself. Add a weighted vest to the equation and the body is pulled downward with an even stronger force. As a result, the body must compensate to a considerable extent in order to achieve a balanced state. Such a phenomenon occurs because of the body's proprioceptors that are responsible for position shifts that make the body automatically counterbalance in all positions. Proprioceptors have to work incredibly hard to keep the body upright when a weighted vest is present.
Once the weighted vest is removed, the body will be much better equipped to balance. This improved balance will help with all sorts of daily tasks as well as sports performance and even posture. The weighted vest forces the core muscles to work quite hard, creating robust abs that make it easier to support one's own body weight and remain upright at all times. Pay attention to your posture following workout sessions with your weighted vest and you just might notice it is considerably better. The primary benefit of improved posture is that it prevents back problems from occurring as time progresses.
Weighted Vests are Great for the Heart
Rowing, running, biking or doing any other cardiovascular exercise with a weighted vest makes the activity more difficult and consequently, more rewarding. The addition of this weight pushes the cardiovascular system to the max, bolstering the lungs and strengthening muscles across the body. Furthermore, a weighted vest heightens one's VO2 Max. This is a measure of the body's ability to process oxygen. Even the body's lactate threshold is improved. This term refers to the intensity upon which lactate starts to accumulate within the blood.
Weighted Vests for Fitness Progress
Research has shown that an individual who performs a similar workout over and over eventually plateaus to the point that he gains minimal benefit from his exercise. Weighted vests function as a tool for variation. The body does not expect the addition of such weight. As a result, it is challenged to the point that there is opportunity for considerable progress. If you feel as though your physical fitness routine has hit a wall, incorporate a weighted vest and it will push you through the plateau and onto new horizons.
Improved Bone Health
Don a weighted vest for your next workout and you will do your muscles a big favor. This additional weight heightens the load sent through the bones. This larger load often triggers an increase in bone mass through the stimulation of cells that lay down additional bone material. The end result is stronger and denser bones that can withstand a considerable amount of weight.
Weighted vests allow one to enjoy a demanding workout that doesn't chew up a considerable amount of time. Don a weighted vest and your workout will become that much more intense. Go for a run, do some push-ups or sit-ups with your vest on and you will endure a grueling physical challenge. Such a workout won't last nearly as long as one without a weighted vest. This frees up valuable time for work, socializing and other endeavors.