Investing in a weighted vest can be a great strategy for those who’re looking for a way to increase the intensity of their workouts. Not only can weighted vests help individuals to burn more calories while exercising, but they can also increase their muscular gains, giving them greater muscle mass and increased definition.
When choosing a weighted vest, it’s important that the buyer select one that is conducive to the types of exercises being done. There are many great exercises one can do using a weighted vest, and the following four are a great place to start.
Before doing any exercises, stretching and warming up are absolutely essential. Basic cardio exercises, such as jump rope, jumping jacks, and jogging for a few minutes, are all effective ways to ease muscles into the workout.
To get the maximum benefit, the individual should do each of these exercises in order until all of the reps have been completed, allowing themselves a 45 second break between each set and a one minute break between exercises. The entire circuit should be done a total of three times.
Strengthen the Abs, Glutes, and Legs with Weighted Lunges
Lunges are powerful exercises that are easy to perform. To begin a weighted lunge, the first step is to step forward about two to three feet and move into the lunge while bending both knees. The movement is then continued until the knee of the rear leg is almost touching the ground, but the front knee should never extend past the big toe.
It’s crucial that the back stay straight throughout the lunge. After the lunge is complete, one should straighten back up, and then repeat the process with the other leg. For beginners who have little to no experience with weighted lunges, three sets are recommended: one set of twelve, one of ten, and a third of eight reps.
Lunges work a myriad of muscles in the body, including the back, abs, quads, calves, hamstrings, and glutes. Even better, these exercises can easily be scaled up or down depending upon the user’s current fitness. For beginners, a lighter vest and reduced reps should be considered. The intensity can then be increased with time as can the number of reps until the individual is lunging like a pro.
Weighted Squats and Buns of Steel
Weighted squats are another exercise powerhouse that can yield great results, both in terms of weight loss as well as muscle mass. To complete the exercise, a person should stand with feet spaced slightly more than shoulder width apart. With abs in, shoulders back, and facing forward, the individual should slowly squat down to an angle of approximately 90 degrees, with hips towards the rear so as to keep the body balanced. Again, for a beginner, 3 sets consisting of 12, 10, and 8 repetitions respectively is advised.
Squats are an amazing exercise that concentrates the workout on the glutes, and weighted squats can boost one’s metabolism even more, thereby increasing weight loss. As with lunges, the intensity of the squat can be adjusted as needed depending upon the individual’s proficiency at the exercise.
Weighted Press-Ups: Working the Shoulders and Chest
Another exercise well suited to weighted vests is the press-up. To perform a press-up, one begins in a face down position with legs flat and hands firmly on the ground at a distance of slightly greater than shoulder width apart. While keeping the back straight and stomach tight, the body should be raised off the floor slowly until the arms are completely straight.
Once elevated, the individual should start lowering back down until the shoulders are in line with the elbows. The exercise can then be repeated in three sets of reps, again 12, 10, and 8.
Weighted press-ups are an excellent way to work the entire upper body, including the back, neck, arms, triceps, chest, and shoulders. Not only this, but press-ups can also greatly increase core strength and stability. As with the previous exercises, the exerciser can increase the weight and intensity as his or her skills improve.
Good, Old-Fashioned Sprinting: High-Intensity Weighted Cardio
Weighted sprints are a fabulous workout for the legs, especially the calves, hamstrings, and quads. Along with burning fat and calories during the exercise itself, adding weights increases the long-term positive effects of the workout and allows the runner to continue losing weight even while at rest.
For those who’re new to weighted sprints, 1 minute sprints should be alternated with 1 minute jogs or slower-paced runs. This should be repeated between six to eight times for maximum benefit. The speed and duration of the sprint can be increased over time, as needed. When the reps have been completed, the runner should cool down for around five to seven minutes by performing a series of low-intensity sprints that continually decrease in speed.
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