One of the easiest ways to make your workout more challenging is to throw on a weighted vest.
Whether you’re still able to get into the gym or not, a weighted vest is a great piece of equipment to have if you’re looking to work on building strength and endurance without a ton of extra gear. But especially if you’ve been stuck at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. If your at-home workouts have been lacking added resistance, you might want to invest in one. The added weight is a sure-fire way to make whatever workout you’re doing infinitely more difficult. And if you’ve been sticking with bodyweight exercises, it can be an incredible tool to help push you.
You can wear them during hikes, cardio workouts, and even CrossFit’s iconic Murph workout. (CrossFitter Chris Holt did two back-to-back Murphs wearing a 30-pound weighted vest.) Or you can try one out during this weighted vest home workout designed by Scott Britton that will challenge you with a descending ladder of running and reps of press-ups.
“Rest as and when but always break on the push-ups before you feel you need to,” says Britton. “Smaller sets with a few breaths in between is always better but sit up straight on your knees, to give your chest and shoulders a break from the weight of the vest.”
Weighted vests will take any home workout to the next level and transform just about any activity into a resistance exercise. Here are 12 of the best weighted vests to help ramp up your workouts.
Aduro Sport Weighted Vest
Minimalism is key with this vest from Aduro. You won’t be able to pack on the load you can with some of the other options (this maxes out at 20 pounds), but what you give up in weight, you’ll gain in mobility.
ZFO Sports Weighted Vest
Are you a stickler for hydration? Stow your water bottle in the specialized pocket before you strap on the belt mechanism that keeps the vest snug.
5.11 TacTec Plate Carrier
You can add your own plates to this vest from 5.11, which boasts a streamlined design to keep your workout from getting too bulky. Don’t worry about getting too sweaty — it’s also covered in a water-resistant coating.
Hyper Vest PRO Adjustable Vest
We like this vest so much, we named it the best of 2017 on our Gear of the Year list. Each size comes pre-loaded with 10 pounds, and you can add to up to 32 pounds. to that in the largest version.
RunMax Pro Weighted Vest
If you’re looking to go basic, this Amazon best-seller from RunMax is a great no-frills choice. The 20 pound. version is all you need for the Murph, one of CrossFit’s toughest WODs.
Cross101 Camo Weighted Vest
This adjustable vest maxes out at 40 pounds, and its available in multiple camo patterns. For long rucks, there’s a water bottle holder attachment.
CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest – 50 LB
Ramp up the weight on your hikes and runs with the 50 pound version of this padded mesh vest from CAP. You won’t get bored, either — there’s an integrated pocket for youR phone to stream music while you work out.
MiR Adjustable Weighted Vest – 60 LB
This compact vest proves that looks can be deceiving—it can hold up to 60 pounds of weight. Your bodyweight workouts will feel like you have an extra person strapped to your back, and your gains will only grow.
Powerhandz’ Powersuit is a patented weighted suit, not just a vest. It’s made of neoprene and has six flexible rubber weights, ranging from 1.25 pounds on the upper body to 2.5 pounds on each thigh for a total of 10 pounds sewn into it.
Prodigen Running Weight Vest
Prodigen’s neoprene weighted vest was designed with running in mind. It has elastic on the waist as well as elastic on the edges for more flexibility. It also has reflective strips on both sides of the vest to keep you visible in all weather conditions. away from traffic accidents in all weather conditions(rain, fog, dark) at day or night. It comes in weights: 8, 12, 16 and 20 pounds.
Goplus Weighted Vest
Goplus’s neoprene weighted vest is filled with iron sand and river sand and comes in weights: 12, 16, 20 and 30 pounds. It has adjustable straps marked with reflective stripes, and also has a convenient mesh pocket in the back to store your phone, gels or keys.
MOVSTAR Weighted Vest
This 10-pound neoprene weighted vest has removable weights so you can adjust how much you want for every workout. It has a super-thick Velcro belt around the waist to keep it in place and offer extra support throughout your workout.
Brett Williams, NASM
Brett Williams, an associate fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.
Emily Shiffer is a freelance health and wellness writer living in Pennsylvania.
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