The 10 Popular Weighted Vest Workouts

weighted vest

Have you started to plateau in your workouts?

Looking to take your favorite moves to the next level?

Dedicated to making this the year you get serious about strength training?

Adding a weighted vest to your workout can do all that and more. Working out with these vests has a variety of health benefits - for both mind and body.

In fact, recent research shows that weighted vests can apply pressure to your nervous system.

This pressure helps those who suffer from anxiety and sensory disorders like ADD and Parkinson's to help to stabilize and focus these people.

Weighted vests have also shown to help people with Osteoporosis prevent additional bone loss. 

Plus, since over 70% of the adult American population is either overweight or outright obese, wearing a vest with a little weight to it is a great way to work up a sweat.

In this post, you'll learn the top 10 weighted vest workouts you have to try this year!

Cross 101 (Best Seller)
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Cross Weighted Vest 101

Out of the 10 weighted vests on this page, Cross 101 is my favorite. It's the most versatile since it goes up to 40 lbs. I can use it for runs, squats, lunges and jumps. It's truly a 5 star vest.

Feature List

  • Range of 12-40lbs
  • 40lb Version Comes with 10 x 4lb removable weights
  • Secures with Velcro Belt
  • One of the most compact heavy vests
  • 15 Inches in length and 13 inches wide
  • Great mobility with it!
  • Water bottle holder
  • Great for push-ups and pull-ups

1. Get Your Heart Rate Up

To warm up, you need to get moving right away!

First, put on your vest (we recommend starting with 10 pounds and building from there.)

Then, get your heart rate up by doing a standard set (8-10, depending on your fitness level) of box jumps. Swing your arms forward and backward to build momentum, then bend your knees and jump on and off the box.

When you land, make it your goal to keep your feet as quiet as possible. Do this by bending down further.

Do about 3 sets of 8-10 jumps.

2. Hop On A Bike

Whether you want to make this your whole workout by doing it a for few cycles, or just need a break to focus on cardio between strength sets, listen up.

Wearing your weighted vest, do the following:

1) Sit on the bike and pedal normally for 3 minutes.

2) Stand and pedal for 4 minutes.

3) Take another 3 seated minutes, with higher resistance

4) Stand and pedal for another 4 minutes

5) Cool down for 3 minutes

3. Take A Hike

Especially if you're just starting out or need to get used to moving with a weight vest, taking a hike is a great beginner workout.

It's especially great because you'll get used to a variety of terrains and incline levels. You'll also train your body how to safely balance the weight while you move.

If you're making a hike your total workout, be sure to wear a heavier vest - building up to 35 pounds or more. This is also a great opportunity to combine walking with ankle weights to even make it more challenging.

4. Try This Body Weight (Plus Vest!) Circuit

If your body weight alone isn't giving you enough of a challenge, it's time to add a vest to the mix!

Try this circuit of the following body weight moves, at least 5 times:

  • 2-minute treadmill jog warm-up
  • 15 push-ups
  • 15 squats per leg
  • 20 burpees (these are killer)
  • 15 reverse lunges

We suggest starting with a 10-pound vest and working your way up.

5. Try Skater Hops

Skater hops are an awesome way to increase flexibility, speed, and agility.

But adding a vest with some weight to the mix also means you can get serious strength training in, as well!

To start, get lower to the ground than you would in a normal skater hop.

Cross one foot behind the other, bend down, and then hop to the other side to bend again.

Be sure to reach your arms all the way out in front of you every time you bend down.

Try 20 hops on each side for 3 sets.

6. The Bulgarian Split Squat

You don't have to be from the Balkans to master this move!

This is a great move to do in addition to the box jumps we mentioned earlier - when you want to really kick things up a notch!

Put one of your feet on the box, with your toes pointed downwards.

Then, get into a squatting position with your other leg (it's ok here if your knee goes past your front toe.)

Drop down, then push your body back up. Once you've done 12 on one leg, switch.

This video tutorial may also help you learn how to do the move safely and correctly.

7. Climb That Mountain

To kickstart your ab workout, try the infamous mountain climbers with a weight vest.

Start in a push-up position, but without bending your elbows (sometimes called a press-up position.)

Slowly bring your knee into your forearm, trying to line up with your elbow. Then, move to the other side.

It may seem easy at first, but it's killer on your arms and abs! Try 25 reps.

8. Walk Up The Stairs

Adding a weight vest to any climbing you do - whether it's on an actual climbing wall, a stair stepper, or just in your building - adds a serious extra burn.

Start with a 20-pound weight vest, and build. This will make carrying your groceries up your fifth-floor walk-up a lot easier.

9. Walk Out Your Abs

Say goodbye to the traditional crunch. To really test and strengthen your abs, add a vest with weight.

(We suggest beginning with a 10-20 pound vest and building from there.)

Get on all fours, without bending your knees and with your bottom straight up in the air.

Then, slowly walk out your hands until you're nearly in a push-up position. Then, walk it back in.

It hurts so good!

10. Lift With Your Vest

If you're already a dedicated lifter, adding a vest to the mix can challenge your whole body - even the muscles you're not currently working.

If you're experienced, we suggest doing about 4 sets of deadlifts and bench presses wearing your vest. Best of all, the vest will help you to make sure your body is in the correct alignment when you do your lifts.

Upgrade Your Workout With A Weighted Vest!

Whether you're working out at home, in the gym, or even at the CrossFit studio, wearing a weighted vest is a great way to get stronger and leaner - and have a lot of fun in the process!

Looking for more fitness tips?

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Check out our website and blog for more ways to maximize your workout and get killer results.

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