Wearing a weighted vest has many benefits. “By increasing force, weighted vests help build strength, cardiovascular endurance, and power,” says Kelly Froelich, NASM-certified personal trainer and co-founder of Balanced. “A weighted vest adds weight to the whole body, instead of targeting a specific part of the body.” Froelich says that, according to research, weighted vest training has been shown to increase the speed of sprinters and endurance runners2.
A weighted vest may also be a good option for those looking to increase bone density. “Weighted vests can be particularly helpful, when cleared by a doctor, for those who have weakened bone density,” Froelich explains. She elaborates, saying that a weighted vest increases the amount of weight the body is bearing, resulting in increased bone density by encouraging bone remodeling in addition to muscular strength.
Besides the health benefits, Greenwell shares that weighted vests are convenient. “A weighted vest leaves you with the ability to still use both arms and legs for tasks such as push-ups, pull-ups, running, and hiking without the need for additional cumbersome weights,” he says. “It’s typically very portable and you can take it anywhere with you.”
Greenwell does mention that those who are pregnant, have a history of back pain, have undergone spine surgery, or have joint osteoarthritis, should first consult with their doctor before adding additional weight to their body via a weighted vest.