If you just landed here looking for weighted clothing for your workouts then I know you are serious! So right off the bat congratulations on wanting to take it to the next level. No matter what your skill level I totally have your covered with all kinds of options that you can add to your body for more weight and resistance.
Resistance training is one of the best ways to safely improve your athletic ability by doing exercises that would normally be hard to do with regular weights or dumbbells. They come in all kinds of weight and sizes so that it can work for beginners looking to add a little weight while they walk to people who want to get advanced like in cross fit.
You really need to decide on what your goals are, what exercises you need to accomplish and then ensure that the weighed clothed option you chose will not hinder your workouts. So, with that in mind let’s get started in looking at what options you have below.
Why Use Weighted Clothing?
At wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weighted_clothing they defined it as adding weight to body parts to provide resistance to the muscle groups to cause them to work hard and get stronger over time. Normal strength training like bench press, bicep curls, squats or lunges use olympic weights or dumbbells to provide resistance during the exercise. This works great and serves the purpose. You overload the muscle with weight, doing reps and sets of the exercise that breaks down the muscle and your body responds to it getting stronger as it repairs and adapts.
When you it comes to exercises that require agility movements, plyometric or cross fit exercise or body weight type exercises you cannot lug big weights around to do the normal movements without hurting yourself or sacrificing your form. When you put weighted clothing on, it fits close to your body allowing you to do the exercises.
In the rest of this article I am going to list out all the different types of weighted clothing options you have to add to your workout routines or normal exercise programs to help you get stronger and in better shape. So, let’s look at them one by one below.
Types of Weighted Clothing
This is by far the most popular option to add weighted resistance to your workouts because of its versatility. They have been used for decades. I would say the first people to invest them would be our armed forces who would make their solders march with weighted packs on the training runs.
Weighted vests are great for walking, jogging, endurance running, short sprints, cross fit, body weight exercises and the list just goes on to whatever you can imagine. We have our a review of weighted vests here that you can look through after reading this article.
There are various styles out there to consider when you are buying a vest. A majority of the vest will have built in pockets that you can remove the small weight to get it as heavy or as light as you need for your exercise. Some of the manufactures will have the weights on the back or front or a combination of both. You really want to keep in mind the exercises you are going to do with them and the weight you need.
If you need a running weighted vest then you want a vest that is adjustable up to 10lbs. Adjustable is key here so you can start small and slowly ad the weight. These type of vest will also have a wide opening in the arm area so you can run with them without interface from the weight vest.
If you are looking to do weighted squats or lunges or even hiking you will want something that is in the 20 – 40 lb weight range. So, you want a vest that has a nice padding on the shoulder strap are of the vest to hold the extra weight. You can see a a variety of our top rated weighted vests review here if you are looking to purchase one.
Let’s look at one called the Cross 101 which is a best seller on amazon. The vest adjust up to 40 pounds with 2.5 pound weight increments. You can see the shoulder area is totally clear allowing free movement and the vest is secured by two straps around your chest.
Ok, weighted gloves have a more narrow focused when you are using them in your exercise routine. These actually fit like a pair of gloves or even sparing gloves. I would see people using them for walking, boxing, MMX training, martial arts, shoulder exercises, aerobic exercising and swimming for example.
The majority of styles of these workout gloves have the weight on the back of the hand to keep your palm and fingers open to grab, squeeze or punch. You put them on like a normal glove and secure them with a Velcro strip going across your wrist or around it.
I saw weighted gloves weighing in at 1, 2, 3, 6 pound weight options. MIR had the heaviest out of everyone. What was cool about this is that Everlast has come out with weighted boxing gloves that would be awesome for speed work or anyone doing heavy bag work in classes or their routines. When you are looking to buy a pair of weighted gloves it will all come down to the sport you are training for and how mobile you need your hands to be.
Ok, this was a new one for me and I thought I had seen and tried everything working out. A weighted shirt is what I would describe as a dry fit under armor compression shirt with weights built into it that fits very snug to your body. There is really one main player on the market that is made by TITIN.
These are not cheap to be right up front. If you are in the market for one of these shirts you are totally serious about your training and you need complete mobility and freedom with the added resistance to do your workout.
I could see myself wearing one of these to train for high school or college football. These would be great to use for track practices as well. I would also use it if I were serious about competing in cross fit so I would have complete freedom to do all my normal exercises. Of course if you are a fitness fanatic and have some extra cash to spend on it, go for it.
The shirt has small gel packs on it that can be heated or cooled for loosening the muscles up and helping them recover. The shirt will put an extra 8lbs on you overall but it will feel a lot heavier than that. 🙂 So, again these are for those with a very specific training regimen that require them to use such high tech gear. The sizing on these would be crucial as well. I would be tempted to order one size bigger. Make sure to look at the sizing requirements.
These give you the option to wear the weighted sleeves on your forearm or calves. They run around 1-2.5 pounds each depending on who you purchase them from. They definitely could be used for running or walking.
From what I have seen people talking about is that they just wear then in everyday living. It helps them burn more calories with that little extra weight added and of course build strength. Once manufacture quoted that 10 hours of wearing them on your calves was equivalent to a 2 mile run. You can literally get a lot of uses out of these, so just use your imagination on what you could do with these working out.
Weighted Wrist and Ankle Weights
I put these two into the same category because honestly they are interchangeable based on how they are made. Almost all of the ankle weights can easily be attached over your wrist and used that way for resistance. These are great for walking, wearing doing chores around the house, playing basketball, added weight for yoga, leg exercises.
Most of the ankle weights I saw are too bulky for running or jogging. I know people do run with them and if so I would suggest the 1lb weights. Just remember that there is a lot going on when you strike the ground in running. This could definitely cause knee and ankle issues if not done correctly.
Because ankle weights are so popular let’s talk about the Nayoya weights that I found rave reviews on. The are made out of a very comfortable neoprene material and secure themselves with a Velcro strap. They are great for leg weight exercises. You can see our full review here on it.
The other brand that I would mention are Thera-band ankle and wrist weights because of their versatility. They also come in various weight sizes as well starting at 2lbs through 5lbs. Thera-band products are extremely popular the physical therapy field and is a trusted brand that has been around for years. You can find some awesome deals on ankle weights here on amazon to research them further.
Shoe weights are directly wrapped around the shoe to provide the resistance. The ones that I have seen are wrap on the top of the shoe and also wrap under or around the shoe. It really depends on maker of the shoe and style you want. For me, I have flat arches so I would not like the ones that wrap underneath the shoe. So, look at them closely.
These would work for walking for sure and possibly for running if the style secures on top of the shoe. I would honestly prefer ankle weights over them if I want the weight that low on my body but that is just me.
These are great options for people who cannot carry any weight on their shoulders or collar bones because of previous injuries. You might also just prefer that the resistance weight be on your hips rather than your upper body. Either way you can pack on the weight with these guys. You can get weighted belts in the 6-40lb range.
This would work great for squats, lunges, hiking and walking for the most part. You could surely try running with one but I would definitely say you would need a lower pound belt. One not here is that if you are going with a heavier weighted belt, I would really look at how it secures. I would personally recommend that you get something that locks in like a regular belt and not to use just Velcro to secure it. When you get up into that 20-40lb range walking around a lot it will tend to get lose with just a Velcro strap.
These shorts have one goal in mind and that is to work your lower body! There are not a lot of manufactures out there in this area of weighted clothing. TITIN and MRI are your best options to start out looking for a pair of these. I would be concerned about how the weighted shorts are made too given than you will be doing sprints, running and aggressive types of movements in them. You want to make sure the weights are secure and reinforced so you can have a great workout. I have seen these adjust from 3 to 40lbs in weight.
Titin’s weight short version is a lot tighter and a full short. Mri’s weighted training shorts actually just have the weights enclosed on the legs. So, you would actually want to wear shorts under the MRI pair of shorts where the Titin you would just wear a regular pair of boxer briefs. I would have loved to have these to train for high school football and track practices. I would add a whole new dimension to the practice and resistance during your sprints.
Conclusion on Weighted Clothes Options for Working Out
As you can see there are a lot of options to add resistance to your workouts. Frankly it’s a bit overwhelming. I had no idea there was so many! Now, you are armed and ready to roll. Write down your main goal of what you want to accomplish. Make the best choice that will let you do the exercise you are wanting to do with the best form and then go for it. Please leave any comments you might have or other suggestions I should include in here.
You can see more options on amazon here for weighted clothing options to train with.
Here is a video of how to use a weight vest that will give you and idea of what you can do with them and how to use them.