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Optimize Your Workouts With Wearable Weights


For individuals wanting to improve their fitness routine can incorporating wearable weights and knowing how to use them effectively help achieve health goals?

Optimize Your Workouts With Wearable Weights

Wearable Weights

Adding wearable weights allows individuals to use their body weight with added resistance. This can add strength training to a routine but can also be used during walks or runs to increase cardiovascular health and aid in weight loss. Research studies have found that wearing a weighted vest reduces body weight and fat mass. This is because heavier loads increase energy expenditure for the increase in physical workload. (Claes Ohlsson, et al., 2020)


Wearable weights are easy to use.

  • Depending on the type, they are compact and can be taken on the go.
  • Wearing weights is an option for individuals with injuries or degenerative joint disease like arthritis that makes it difficult to hold or move weights.
  • Exercise has been proven to be a useful tool for treating osteoarthritis. (Lei Chen, Yan Yu. 2020)
  • There is no age limit for wearable weights.
  • Because many are only a few pounds, they are available to anyone from adolescents to the elderly.
  • Anyone can benefit from the different types of wearable weights.


Three main types of wearable weights include wrist weights, ankle weights, and weighted vests.

  • Wrist weights can replace dumbbells in some cases.
  • They are typically between 1 to 10 pounds.
  • Ankle weights can provide extra resistance to leg motions.
  • They can be found from 1 pound up to 20 pounds.
  • Weighted vests provide a full-body challenge.
  • The weight choices for them vary, as most contain pockets where weight can be increased or decreased.

Using The Weights

Individuals can use wearable weights as a complement to strength and cardiovascular regimens. Beginners will want to start with lighter weights worn for less time. As the body becomes stronger, it’s important to increase the weight to see results.

Ankle Weights

  • Ankle weights can be used during a strength training workout to add resistance to lower body exercises.
  • As the body ages, it becomes more important to decrease the risk of falls by increasing lower limb and trunk strength.
  • Wearing ankle weights is recommended to build strength, especially in older adults. (Hiroyasu Akatsu, et al., 2022)
  • Individuals can wear them during a walk or run to increase the challenge.
  • They can be used for a high-level core workout.

Wrist Weights

  • Wrist weights can be used like dumbbells and worn during a walk or a run.
  • Research shows that walking with wrist weights can improve walking gait. (Hyung Suk Yang, et al., 2018)
  • Wearing weights on the wrists generates a higher energy expenditure, which allows one to add intensity to a walk or run without having to increase speed. (Catherine T. Campaña, Pablo B Costa. 2017)

Weighted Vests

  • Wearing a weighted vest during workouts will create a full-body challenge.
  • They can be used while walking or running and automatically add more difficulty.
  • Another way to utilize a weighted vest is to wear it while completing a regular workout.
  • Whether doing HITT, strength training, etc, individuals can wear a weighted vest.
  • The weight should be evenly distributed to prevent any injuries or functional disorders to the lower body.
  • Studies show no change in gait or an increased risk of injury when used correctly. (Christopher J. Gaffney, et al., 2022)

Individuals want to talk to a healthcare provider before beginning a new fitness program, and adding weights is no different, especially if there are any current or past injuries.

Is Motion Key To Healing?


Ohlsson, C., Gidestrand, E., Bellman, J., Larsson, C., Palsdottir, V., Hägg, D., Jansson, P. A., & Jansson, J. O. (2020). Increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects – A proof of concept randomized clinical trial. EClinicalMedicine, 22, 100338. doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100338

Chen, L., & Yu, Y. (2020). Exercise and Osteoarthritis. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1228, 219–231. doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-1792-1_15

Akatsu, H., Manabe, T., Kawade, Y., Masaki, Y., Hoshino, S., Jo, T., Kobayashi, S., Hayakawa, T., & Ohara, H. (2022). Effect of Ankle Weights as a Frailty Prevention Strategy in the Community-Dwelling Elderly: A Preliminary Report. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(12), 7350. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127350

Yang, H. S., James, C. R., Atkins, L. T., Sawyer, S. F., Sizer, P. S., Jr, Kumar, N. A., & Kim, J. (2018). Effects of arm weight on gait performance in healthy subjects. Human movement science, 60, 40–47. doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2018.05.003

Campaña, C. T., & Costa, P. B. (2017). Effects of walking with hand-held weights on energy expenditure and excess postexercise oxygen consumption. Journal of exercise rehabilitation, 13(6), 641–646. doi.org/10.12965/jer.1735100.550

Gaffney, C. J., Cunnington, J., Rattley, K., Wrench, E., Dyche, C., & Bampouras, T. M. (2022). Weighted vests in CrossFit increase physiological stress during walking and running without changes in spatiotemporal gait parameters. Ergonomics, 65(1), 147–158. doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2021.1961876

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Optimize Your Workouts With Wearable Weights" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
License Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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