Weighted clothes are designed for those who want to increase muscle mass, bone density, and cardio endurance. When your body realizes that you are carrying more weight, it begins to compensate by building more muscle and bone to support the weight.
Weighted clothing is a genius invention because you can use it during the minutia of daily life. Whether you’re at the gym or at home, simple activities can become a fun challenge when wearing weighted clothes, allowing you to burn more calories, boost your metabolism, and become stronger.
Indeed, weighted clothing is an excellent resource for breaking through a plateau or upping the intensity in your workouts.
Let’s explore the various types of weighted clothing and their specific benefits.
What are the different types of weighted clothing?
You’ve probably seen them at the gym or at the park. Weighted vests are a type of weighted clothing worn around the chest/torso. Their purpose is to add weight to the body, thereby increasing the intensity and effectiveness of various bodyweight exercises.
There are many benefits to weighted vests which we cover in-depth in the article linked below. In short, weighted vests increase the overall strain on the body which increases muscular strength. Some of the activities people do while wearing weighted vests include:
- Jumping / Sports
Weighted vests can get your heart rate up very high. This is great for those who want to condition their body for difficult sports and increase their VO2 max. For more information on weight vests, click the link below:
Weighted shirts are essentially a cross between the weighted vest and a compression shirt. The weight shirt is an important evolution in weighted clothing because it solves for uses that the vest simply can’t meet.
Weighted shirts, like TITIN’s shirt, can’t be seen under your clothes. If you’ve got a scrawny child who you want to bulk up and get stronger, without looking weird, they could wear a weight shirt to school or camp.
Or if you’re in a professional day-to-day setting but want to strength train, a weighted training shirt can be useful and stealthy. Weighted shirts are much more comfortable than vests, too. They feel very much like an Underarmour compression shirt, whereas some weight vests can cause chafing.
Weighted Shirt Weighted Vest Up to 8 lbs in weight Up to 100 lbs in weight Compression No Compression Tight fit Looser fit Not visible under clothes Easily seen
Weighted clothing for the lower body has become increasingly popular in recent years.
You may have seen people wearing these odd-looking padded shorts at the gym. Athletes and casual exercisers alike wear this equipment in order to build up their lower body, whether it’s their hip flexors, knees, quads, or glutes.
How does it work? Well, the increased load from weight shorts makes lower-body exercise more effective and intense. For example, you might find bodyweight squats effective for some time, but you’ll hit a wall pretty soon. You can put on a 20 lb pair of weighted shorts to raise the ceiling for this exercise and keep gaining muscle!
Weighted pants and shorts are also great for:
- People with shoulder injuries who can’t squat comfortably
- People who are uncomfortable with plated weights
If you’re interested in learning more about weighted shorts and weighted pants or want to see our favorites, click on the link below:
You might wear a weighted belt to increase the difficulty of lower body exercise. You should focus on choosing a belt that is fully adjustable for fit, as well as fully for the amount of weight in the belt. This type of weighted clothing could be great for you if you find that other types of weighted clothing restrict your motion or feel too bulky.
If there’s one type of weighted clothing that I know you’ve seen, it’s ankle weights and wrist weights. This was the first mainstream type of weighted clothing that people wore to increase their leg and arm strength.
Weighted Leg Sleeves
Weighted leg sleeves are one of our favorite types of weighted clothing. Often called “shin sleeves,” weighted leg sleeves are rapidly growing in popularity due to their effectiveness in lower body resistance training. Because of the importance of the lower body in fitness, athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike have found utility in this type of weighted clothing.
Weighted leg sleeves provide one of the most effective means of training up your lower legs. Wear these for activities like jogging on the treadmill or practicing karate at your local dojo. One of the reasons we love leg sleeves at BestHealthGear.com is that they don’t affect movement at all! They are worn over the shins and are made with light, stretchy fabric, with small pockets for your weights.
We've got the best information on weighted leg sleeves.
There are different types of weighted clothing for all parts of your body, even your feet! Shoe weights strap on to your shoes around the ankle and under the foot. This type of weighted clothing is most effective for building up power in the lower body (think kicking muscles). Indeed, shoe weights are a wonderful complement to activities like walking and plyometrics.
Take precautions like those I described in the ankle weights section. When using shoe weights, you have to be careful to not over-stress the joints in your ankles. Shoe weights definitely aren’t sexy and don’t look cool, but they can be a worthwhile addition to those of us who do a lot of low impact exercise.
Check out our ultimate guide to shoe weights!
You might be surprised to hear that weighted clothing isn’t just for humans – it’s for dogs, too! Weighted clothing for dogs can be an extremely effective way to increase your pup’s strength and endurance. Check out our comprehensive guide below:
Another type of weighted clothing is weighted blankets. This is an amazing piece of equipment to help with issues related to insomnia, anxiety, and autism. Weighted blankets are well-woven blankets that have weights inside, usually ranging from 5 to 25 lbs. These weights help to “hug” the user to create feelings of comfort and relaxation.
Safety tips for weighted clothes
Weighted clothing may be an excellent way to build strength and burn fat, but you must use caution when you incorporate them into your routine. If you choose to wear a weighted vest, make sure that it is not restricting your breathing too much. While this feeling can help you learn to better control your fight or flight instinct, it can also easily lead to a panic attack. If you start to feel dizzy, light-headed or nauseous, take a break and remove the vest.
Weighted clothing can also increase your chance of injury if you are not properly performing your exercises. Make sure you can execute any lift or body weight exercise with proper form so that the weight does not cause any strains or pain. If you feel the bad kind of pain when using a weighted vest, then take it off immediately.
You will also heat up much more quickly since the material of weighted clothing is not breathable. You will sweat a lot more and much more quickly, so make sure you are hydrating more than usual with plenty of electrolytes.
Always use caution when wearing weighted clothing and remove it if you start to feel uneasy or exhausted. Remember to always start with light weights and work your way up. Even a small increase in weight will boost your heart rate. Be careful, have fun, and get stronger.
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