Weight Vest Running


Are there any negative effects of jogging with a weight vest on?

I play water polo pretty much year round and the sport requires speed, strength and endurance.

I would like to tone up, lose fat, and build muscle weight but without losing flexibility, speed or agility in the pool.

Do you have an suggestions and advice for exercises, workout programs, or supplements or any combinations of those to use to be able to achieve my goals?

Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken


Have you ever wondered why overweight or obese people have the most lower body joint problems?

The excess body weight causes excess load to be placed on the joints. While load on the joints can be good for some people, it is bad for most.

If your lower body is in perfect alignment running or jogging with a weight vest will have no negative effects.

If your lower body has any, even slight muscle imbalances jogging with a weight vest on can and probably will cause excess stress on the joints and possibly cause a knee, ankle or hip overuse injury.

A simple way to see if your lower body is in proper alignment is to do a 1 legged squat. Stand and try to squat on 1 leg. If, towards the bottom of your squat your knee is pointing any other direction than exactly the same direction at your toes, you lower body is out of alignment.

The muscles are playing a constant tug-of-war with your bones and joints during functional activities such as jogging which will cause the excess weight to be negative. You can read all about muscle imbalances on this page: Posture Problems and Solutions


You have to ask yourself why you want to jog with a weight vest on.

A better question may be, Are there any positive effects of jogging with a weight vest on?

Ankle weights and weighted vests have long been used for incorrect reasons. There is no evidence that running or jogging with a weight vest increases caloric expenditure or athletic performance.

The only legitimate uses for weight vests are for people whose competition or occupation require something similar, such as a fireman who always has to carry a large, heavy weight on their shoulders.

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