New trends and products are constantly surfacing in the dynamic world of fitness and exercise, promising to maximize our routines and improve the outcomes we get. Wearable weights are one such innovation that has grown in popularity in recent years. These fitness accessories are worn on various body areas while performing physical activities to add to the resistance — increasing muscle engagement and improving workout results.
Wearable weights can enhance your workout results by increasing muscle activation and cardiovascular strain.
They offer convenience, versatility, and the ability to progressively overload your workouts.
However, improper use of wearable weights can lead to joint and muscle strain, imbalanced movements, and decreased range of motion.
It is essential to start with lighter weights, maintain proper form, and listen to your body to avoid injuries and optimize the benefits of wearable weights.
Before you excitedly add them to your workout program, it is crucial to be aware of the advantages and drawbacks of their use.
What are wearable weights?
Wearable weights are specialized exercise equipment that may be fastened to various body regions, such as the wrists or ankles. Upper body weights are shaped like vests and are often used by those who want to improve cardiovascular fitness. They normally come in a variety of weights to match different preferences and fitness levels and are made of sturdy materials like neoprene or weighted fabric.
Wearable weights, as opposed to conventional weights, allow for greater mobility and freedom of motion, allowing users to wear them during a variety of exercises and activities.
Wearable weights and exercise
Wearable weights can be used in various fitness routines, such as strength training, aerobic exercises, yoga, and even Pilates. Wearable weights can improve your workout by providing resistance to your motions, which will work more of your muscles and burn more calories. Increased workload may aid in boosting calorie expenditure while also enhancing muscle strength and endurance.
Benefits of wearable weights
Wearable weights present your muscles with an added challenge, making them work harder during activities.
- Increased muscle activation. Over time, this higher resistance may result in better strength development and stronger muscle activation.
- Enhanced cardiovascular workout. You can raise your heart rate and make your cardiovascular system work harder by wearing weights during cardio exercises like walking or running. This might increase cardiovascular stamina and lead to higher general fitness.
- Versatility and convenience. Unlike conventional weights, wearable weights have the flexibility of being worn on your body, enabling seamless integration into a variety of activities. They are adaptable tools for fitness enthusiasts because they are portable, adjustable, and can be utilized throughout a variety of workouts.
- Progressive overload. Wearable weights can be a useful tool for incorporating the idea of progressive overload into your training. You may challenge your muscles and encourage future growth by progressively increasing the weight or resistance over time.
Risks of wearable weights
As well as recognizing the benefits of wearable weights, you need to be aware of the potential drawbacks too.
- Joint and muscle strain. Using wearable weights excessively or incorrectly can put undue strain on your joints and muscles, increasing the risk of strains, sprains, or overuse problems. It is important, to begin with lesser weights and increase them gradually while keeping appropriate form and technique.
- Unbalanced movements. Weights worn on specific body areas, like the wrists or ankles, can change your normal range of motion. Unbalances may result from this, which may also contribute to joint misalignment or postural problems. Wearable weights should only be used sparingly, and workouts should be executed with perfect alignment and control.
- Added cardiovascular stress. Wearable weights can improve cardio exercises, but they can also put more stress on the heart and lungs. Before employing wearable weights during cardio exercises, people with pre-existing cardiovascular issues or those new to exercise should speak with a healthcare provider.
- Reduced range of motion. If your weights are overly heavy or restrict your movement, wearing them while exercising may reduce your range of motion. This could reduce the effectiveness of exercise and raise the possibility of injury. It is crucial to pick weights that do not interfere with excellent form and permit a full range of motion.
5 easy exercises using wearable weights
Incorporating wearable weights into the following exercises could be beneficial for up-levelling your fitness routine.
The 5 easy exercises you can enhance with wearables:
- Squats. Strap wearable weights around your ankles to add resistance to your squats, engaging your leg muscles more intensely.
- Arm curls. Wear wrist weights while performing bicep curls to challenge your arm muscles and increase the workload on your upper body.
- Donkey kicks. Secure ankle weights to add resistance while you are on all fours and kick back one bent leg at a time. This will help build your hamstrings and glutes.
- Straight leg lifts. Strap ankle weights to your legs and perform leg lifts or leg raises to target your hip flexors and lower abdominal muscles more effectively.
- Pilates leg circles. Attach wearable weights to your ankles and perform leg circles during a Pilates session to intensify the engagement of your core and leg muscles.
When used correctly and safely, wearable weights have the potential to improve your workout outcomes. You can include them in your workout regimen to maximize the beneficial effect on your strength, endurance, and overall fitness levels by recognizing their advantages, hazards, and how to use them safely. Always put safety first, and if you have any questions or problems that may limit your ability to use wearable weights efficiently, talk to a fitness expert.
Will ankle weights make you faster?
Ankle weights are not likely to make you faster when used alone. While they may increase leg muscle strength, which can give you more explosive speed — you'll need to incorporate consistent and specific strength training to boost your power to speed up. Using ankle weights while walking and running can lead to muscle imbalance, so use them for exercises like leg lifts to help build hip and hamstring strength.
Will ankle weights tone my thighs?
Ankle weights can contribute to strengthening and toning your thigh muscles, but they should be used with caution to avoid excessive strain or injury. Combining them with a balanced exercise routine can help achieve desired toning results.
What wrist weights should I use?
When selecting wrist weights, start with a lighter option, around 1-3 pounds, to avoid strain or discomfort. Gradually increase the weight as your strength improves. Consult with a fitness professional to determine the most suitable weight for your specific needs and fitness level.
- Harvard Health Publishing. Wearable weights: how they can help or hurt.
- British Journal of Sports Medicine. Health wearable devices for weight and BMI reduction in individuals with overweight/obesity and chronic comorbidities: systematic review and meta-analysis.
- University of Kentucky. New study offers insight into how resistance training burns fat.