Plyometric Exercises with a Weighted Vest

Many people are always looking for new and exciting ways to get stronger and faster. They want to improve their running speed, vertical jumping and overall fitness. This is where weighted plyometric exercises come in.¬† Some athletes choose to do plyometric exercises with a weighted vest because they feel like they will be able to perform even better when they are not wearing a weighted vest (Here are our picks for the best weighted vest). At the same time, other people often wonder if plyometric exercises with a weighted vest are safe to do. When it comes to safety and injury prevention, the most important thing to remember about plyometric exercises with a weight vest is not to overdo it during your workouts. If you are just starting to use a weight vest, then it’s best to do less to start with to get your body used to those types of workouts.
First, we will discuss the types of people who will benefit the most from plymetric exercises with a weight vest. Then, we will discuss some safety precautions when it comes to using a weighted vest while doing plyometrics. Lastly, we will give some examples of exercises that can be done effectively with a weighted vest.

 

Benefits of weighted plyometric exercises

In general, athletes who take part in sports that require explosive speed and power would find weighted plyometrics the most beneficial. Experienced athletes who are looking to challenge themselves will enjoy plyometric  workouts with a weighted vest. Sprinters, long jumpers, Crossfittters and high jumpers may find that plymetric exercises with a weighted vest will improve their strength, speed and power when done properly. These types of exercises are definitely not recommended for people who are recovering from knee and ankle injuries nor are they advised for people who are just starting their fitness journey.

 

Safety

When it comes to plyometric exercises with a weighted vest, in order to get the most benefits from the workouts, some important safety considerations must be made. For example, if you are training to improve your vertical, your weighted vest must not exceed 10% of your body weight in order to help prevent injuries to your joints. Also, it’s very important that your weighted vest fits you well so that you can focus on performing exercises with proper form rather than trying to get the weighted vest to stay on properly. As you get more and more used to plymetric exercises with a weighted vest, you may gradually increase the weight, but you should still keep it below 10% of your body weight. However, be very cautious when you do decide to increase intensity. It’s also not advisable to do this type of workout more than two days in a row because your body will need time to recover.

Another safety tip is to get the right pair of shoes that doesn’t slip easily and is able to snug your feet pretty well. If you need recommendations, we have already reviewed some of the best shoes for plyometrics, which you can read via the link.

Finally, get a good quality adjustable plyo box with a non slip surface. This will also help to minimize any potential injuries due to slippage during the jumps.

 

Types of plyometric exercises

There are quite a few plyometric exercises that can be done with a weighted vest.

  • One such exercise is box jumps. When you do box jumps with a weighted vest, you are overloading your leg muscles which will, in turn, help you jump better over time.
  • Another example would be plyometric push-ups. When you wear a weighted vest during a plyo push-up, you are putting more load on your arm and chest muscles. This will, in due time, help you develop a stronger and more toned upper body.
  • Jump squats is another great exercise that will help you build your glute, hamstring and quad strength, especially when you do them with a weighted vest. Not only do jump squats help you develop leg strength, but they also help increase your stamina.
  • Jumping lunges with a weighted vest can also be very effective provided that you have good grasp of proper form and a healthy set of knees. In addition to being a leg exercise, jumping lunges will also help you develop your core strength which will improve your overall functional fitness.
  • Another exercise worth trying with a weighted vest is squat jacks. Squat jacks are a slight variation on jump squats. To perform a squat jack, get into a squat position and keep your thighs parallel to the floor. Then, while keeping the squat position, move your legs in the same way that you would when you are doing jumping jacks. The only difference between squat jacks and jumping jacks is the fact that when you are doing a squat jack, you are not moving your upper body at all.
  • Squat jacks with a weighted vest will help improve your ability to perform lateral movements. However, you should be very careful with your knees. Lastly, you can also try weighted uphill bounding. Be sure to land very carefully when you are bounding uphill. Wearing a weighted vest while doing uphill bounding will also help improve leg strength and muscle stamina.

As we can see, some plyometric exercises with a weighted vest can be a great way to make your workouts more challenging. However, precautions must be taken to help prevent injuries.