Weight vests provide extra resistance during workouts.
While available in countless colors and designs, weight vests are much more than a fashion statement for women -- they are an effective workout accessory. Whether you are stretching, jumping or resistance training, wearing a weight vest of an appropriate, challenging weight can increase your power, improve your strength and help you lose weight. Because 80 percent of Americans who have osteoporosis are women, you will likely be relieved to know that weight vests also help to prevent bone loss.
Women's bones are often lighter and less dense than men's bones due to post-menopausal hormone changes that increase the rate at which women lose bone mass. Training with a weight vest can help women prevent bone loss. According to a 2000 study performed at Oregon State University, due to the ground reaction force jumping generates and the resistance weight vests provide, women who perform jumping exercises while wearing weight vests help prevent significant bone loss after menopause. Women in the study performed jumping exercises wearing vests three times per week for 32 weeks per year, over five years.
Muscle naturally diminishes as you age. Regardless of your age however, resistance training can help you increase your muscle mass and reduce muscle loss. While you can do many resistance exercises with solely the weight of your own body, wearing a weight vest during traditional bodyweight exercises will provide more resistance, making exercises more challenging and resulting in increased strength. Try wearing a weight vest when you do bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, pullups and crunches.
As you begin to consistently wear a weight vest during plyometric exercises like jumping, and resistance exercises involving the weight of the vest and your body, not only will you begin to get stronger, but you will also be naturally better equipped to lose fat. That's because your body burns calories more efficiently when you have more muscle. Muscles burn more calories than fat, even at rest, so gaining muscle will help you control your weight more easily.
Wearing weight vests can also increase your vertical jumping power. According to a study published in 2006 in the "Journal of Athletic Training," female athletes can improve their jumping performance when they wear weight vests equal to two percent of their body weight while performing a warm-up of dynamic stretches. While this type of benefit may not be desirable for all women, it is particularly useful for female athletes -- particularly those who play basketball or run competitively.