Wearable Resistance: Off The Beaten Path Strength Training

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Are you looking for a new way to take your workouts to the next level? Look no further than wearable resistance. This innovative training method involves affixing a load to your body in some way, such as through multi-layer compression garments, weight vests or micro-loads, to make your movements more challenging.

Wearable resistance is a form of resistance training, which has been shown to be highly effective in building strength and muscle mass.

By adding resistance to your movements with a rucking backpack or weighted vest, you force your muscles to work harder, leading to greater gains in strength and endurance.

wearable resistance woman and dog

And because it is integrated with your body and natural movement, it can be a highly effective way to train for specific sports or activities. Weight vests for women offer a chance to build strength without having to go to an actual gym.

Whether you’re looking to improve your running speed and agility, lose weight, build bone density to prevent osteoporosis, or simply get stronger and more toned, weight vests can help.

We’ll explore the benefits of weight vests, the best products on the market, and what the latest research has to say about this innovative training method.


  • It is a form of resistance training that involves adding a load to your body to make your movements more challenging.
  • This innovative training method can be highly effective for building strength and endurance, as well as for training for specific sports or activities.
  • The best products on the market include multi-layer compression garments and micro-loads, weight vests, water bladders and the latest research supports the effectiveness of this training method.
  • It’s a great way to workout while camping.

Wearable Resistance Overview

weight vest man

What is Wearable Resistance?

It is a type of strength training where you attach a load to your body in some way, typically through a weighted vest. This training method takes advantage of the concept of micro-loading, which involves moving small masses at high velocities to increase strength and power.

Benefits of Weight Vest Training

Research has shown that this type of training can provide numerous benefits, including increased mass, force, and velocity, as well as improved fitness, power, and agility. Additionally, it can help prevent injuries and aid in recovery.

Science Behind This Training

The science is based on the principles of physics, specifically the concepts of acceleration, inertia, and rotational inertia. By adding weight to your body, you increase the ground reaction force, which in turn increases your power and torque.

Traditional Strength Training vs Weighted VestTraining

This type of training is different from traditional strength training in that it involves small weights and high movement velocities, whereas traditional strength training typically involves heavy weights and slower movement velocities. It can be a great alternative for those who cannot afford a gym membership or do not have access to heavy weights.

Hiking with a Weighted Vest

It may come as a surprise, but the best “weighted vest” may not be exactly what you’re thinking. 

You can deck yourself out in a traditional style weighted vest that looks like you are ready to start a grueling crossfit workout, or you can simply cross over into the running genre and multi-task with a weighted water vest.

If you’re a hiker, you probably love things that are multi-purpose.  And the more you hydrate, the less you have to carry.  Win-Win!

Weight Vest Vs Rucking?

Have you considered rucking or weighted vest training? Both forms of resistance training involve carrying additional weight while walking, hiking, or running. While they may seem similar, there are key differences between the two.

How to Choose a Weighted Vest

When choosing a weighted vest for wearable resistance training, it is important to consider factors such as the vest’s weight, movement velocities, and radius of the load. Additionally, distal loading (loading the extremities) has been shown to be more effective than proximal loading (loading the torso).

Practical Applications of Wearable Resistance Training

Wearable resistance training can be used for a variety of practical applications, including weight loss, general health, and athletic performance. For weight loss, wearing a weighted vest during daily activities can increase metabolic activity and calorie burning. For athletic performance, wearing a weighted vest during training can improve agility, sprinting, and vertical jump.

How to Use a Weighted Vest for Weight Loss

To use a weighted vest for weight loss, start by wearing it during daily activities such as walking, cleaning, or gardening. Gradually increase the weight and duration of the vest over time to avoid fatigue and injury. Additionally, focus on maintaining proper technique and activation of the hip flexors and axis of rotation during movement.

Pros and Cons

  • Increased resistance: Wearable resistance allows you to add extra weight to your workouts, which can help increase the resistance and intensity of your exercises.

  • Convenience: Wearable resistance is easy to use and can be worn during a variety of exercises, making it a convenient option for those who want to add resistance to their workouts.

  • Improved muscle activation: By adding resistance to your workout, you can improve muscle activation and engagement, leading to better results and faster progress.

  • Versatility: Wearable resistance can be used for a variety of exercises, including bodyweight exercises, weightlifting, and cardio, making it a versatile option for those who want to mix up their workouts.

  • Injury prevention: By adding resistance to your workouts, you can help strengthen your muscles and joints, which can help prevent injuries and improve overall joint health.


  • Increased risk of injury: Adding too much resistance or using wearable resistance improperly can increase the risk of injury, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or are new to exercise.

  • Limited range of motion: Wearable resistance can limit your range of motion and make it more difficult to perform certain exercises properly, which can reduce the effectiveness of your workout.

  • Expense: High-quality wearable resistance can be expensive, and some options may not be affordable for everyone.

  • Discomfort: Wearing resistance bands or vests can be uncomfortable and may cause chafing or irritation, especially if they are worn for extended periods of time.

  • Unnatural movements: Some wearable resistance options, such as ankle weights, can cause unnatural movements that can put extra strain on your joints and muscles, which can increase the risk of injury over time.


Best Weight Vests for Osteoporosis

If you have osteoporosis, you might be looking for ways to improve your bone health. One option is to use a weighted vest. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the best weight vests for osteoporosis and the benefits of weight vest walking.

Benefits of Weight Vest Walking

Walking is a great way to improve your bone health, but adding a weight vest to your walk can make it even more effective. Here are some benefits of weight vest walking:

  • Improved bone density: Studies have shown that walking with a weight vest can help improve bone density. The added weight puts more stress on your bones, which can help stimulate bone growth.
  • Increased calorie burn: Adding weight to your walk can also increase the number of calories you burn. This can help with weight loss, which can also improve bone health.
  • Improved balance: Wearing a weight vest can also improve your balance. The added weight can help you feel more grounded and stable, which can reduce the risk of falls.

Now that you know the benefits of weight vest walking, let’s take a look at some of the best weight vests for osteoporosis.

Summary Table Best Weight Vests for Osteoporosis

BrandStyleWeight RangeMaterial
MiRWomen’s Adjustable Weighted Vest1-20 lbs1200 D-Nylon
Challenge Weighted WorkoutwearWomen’s Vest4 lbsNot specified
Hyperwear Hyper Vest PROUnisex10 lbsBreathable mesh

The MiR Women’s Adjustable Weighted Vest is a great option for women with osteoporosis. It’s adjustable, so you can start with a lower weight and gradually increase it as your bone density improves. The vest is made of 1200 D-Nylon, which is durable and washable.

Another option is the Challenge Weighted Workoutwear Women’s Vest. This vest comes with 4 lbs of weight and is designed specifically for women with osteoporosis. It’s comfortable, with removable weights that are flexible and easy to adjust.

Finally, the Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO is a unisex option that comes with 10 lbs of weight. It’s made of breathable mesh, which can help keep you cool during your walk.

No matter which weight vest you choose, be sure to start with a lower weight and gradually increase it as your bone density improves. And always talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.


Running is a popular form of exercise that can improve your fitness, burn calories, and promote general health. However, running can also be hard on your body, especially if you run on hard surfaces or have poor running technique. To improve your running performance and reduce your risk of injury, you may want to consider this method.

Effects on Running Performance

Training with this can also improve your running performance by increasing your ground reaction force, which is the force that your foot exerts on the ground when you run. This can improve your acceleration and sprinting speed.

It can also increase your metabolic activity and calorie burning during running. This can help you burn more calories and lose weight faster.

However, it is important to use it correctly to avoid fatigue and injury. Adding too much resistance can lead to fatigue and poor running technique, while adding too little resistance may not provide enough challenge to improve your running performance.


If you’re interested in improving your sports performance, you might have heard of weight vest training. This type of training involves adding external loads to your body during exercise to increase the intensity of your workout. But how effective is this training method? Let’s take a look at some of the research.

Studies on Strength Training

Several studies have investigated the effects of this training on athletic performance. One study conducted at Auckland University of Technology found that adding small weights to the wrists and ankles during sprint training led to improvements in acceleration and velocity. Another study from Edith Cowan University showed that wearing a weighted vest during resistance training increased power and improved technique in the vertical jump.

Studies on Running

Wearable resistance can also be used during running. A study from Arizona State University found that wearing a weight vest during running increased ground reaction force and improved hip flexor strength. However, it’s important to note that the placement of the weight is crucial. A weight vest of 20 pounds on a 200-pound athlete is far different than thigh and ankle weights of the same weight on the legs of a sprinting athlete. The weight is the same, but the demand is far different.

Weighted Vest Guidelines

If you’re considering using a weighted vest for your workouts, it’s important to follow some guidelines to ensure safety and effectiveness. The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends that the weight of the vest should not exceed 10% of your body mass. Additionally, the vest should be worn snugly to prevent excessive movement and potential injury.

It’s also important to note that this training should not replace traditional strength training but can be used as a supplement to it.

Wearable Resistance Products

These products are becoming increasingly popular among athletes and individuals looking to improve their general health and fitness. These products are designed to provide resistance to your body during movement, making your workouts more challenging and effective.

Types of Products

  • Weighted vests
  • Ankle weights
  • Wrist weights
  • Resistance bands
  • Clothing
  • Gloves

There are several types of resistance products available on the market. Some of the most popular options include:

Each of these products provides a different level of resistance and torque, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for your needs.

Choosing the Right Product

When choosing a product, there are several factors to consider. These include:

  • Your fitness level
  • The type of exercise you will be doing
  • Your budget
  • The level of resistance you need

It’s also important to choose a product that is comfortable and fits properly. A poorly fitting product can cause discomfort and even injury.

Best Weight Vests for Women

Weighted vests are a popular type of wearable resistance product, particularly among women. Some of the best weight vests for women include:

  • Hyperwear Hyper Vest Elite
  • ZELUS Weighted Vest
  • miR Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest
  • Aduro Sport Weighted Vest

These vests are designed to fit women’s bodies comfortably and provide the right level of resistance for a variety of exercises.

Using Household Items DIY

If you don’t have access to paid products, you can still get a great workout by using household items. Items such as water bottles, canned goods, and books can be used as weights to provide resistance during exercise.

How to Clean a Weighted Vest

It’s important to keep your vest clean to prevent the buildup of bacteria and odors. To clean a weighted vest, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth and mild soap. Allow it to air dry completely before using it again.


This is a great way to make your workouts more challenging and effective. By choosing the right product for your needs and using proper technique, you can achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using wearable resistance?

These products can add extra weight to your movements, which can increase the intensity of your workouts. This can help you to burn more calories, build more muscle, and improve your overall fitness level. They can also help to improve your balance, stability, and coordination.

How do they work?

Weighted vest and clothing products work by adding extra weight to your movements. This extra weight creates resistance, which makes your muscles work harder. This can help to improve your muscle strength, endurance, and power.

What kind of exercises can be done with wearable resistance?

Wearable resistance products can be used for a variety of exercises, including running, walking, jumping, squatting, lunging, and more. They can also be used for upper body exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, and bicep curls.

Are wearable resistance products safe to use?

Wearable resistance products can be safe to use when used properly. However, it is important to start with a lower weight and gradually increase the weight as your body adapts. It is also important to use proper form and technique when using wearable resistance products to avoid injury.

Can wearable resistance help improve muscle strength?

Yes, wearable resistance can help to improve muscle strength. By adding extra weight to your movements, wearable resistance products create resistance, which makes your muscles work harder. This can help to improve your muscle strength, endurance, and power.

What are some popular brands of wearable resistance products?

Some popular brands of wearable resistance products include Hyperwear, Ironwear, and Mir Weighted Vests. It is important to do your research and choose a brand that is reputable and has a good track record of producing quality products.

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.

Thanks for reading this post on wearable resistance.