Walking With Weights

How to Safely Add Weights to Your Walks


Walking with weights can be used to help you work harder during your power walks…BUT only if done properly.

If not done properly, you can end up with lower back and joint injuries so it is important to find out all of the information before you make a decision as to whether or not this is an acceptable alternative for you. If it is, that’s great. If not, then I will explain a few alternatives to you that will allow you to increase the intensity of your power walks.

When I think of people walking with weights, I think of two scenarios:

  • A woman walking along the side of the road carrying a pair of 3 lb. weights and doing bicep curls with them as she walks.
  • Same woman, but this time wearing ankle or wrist weights.

And while this woman is trying to increase the intensity of her workouts, the fact of the matter is that by adding only a few pounds of weight she is not significantly increasing her calorie burn. And what is more important is that doing bicep curls while walking could lead to elbow injury.

So, I would never recommend someone carrying hand weights like these. And the same thing holds true for ankle and wrist weights as well, which could lead to hip and shoulder injury.

So how do you add weights in a safe manner if you choose to? With a conditioning vest. It looks like a bullet-proof vest, but instead of body armor the pockets are filled with sand packets. The vests vary in weight…I have seen from 10 pounds up to 50 pounds, and you have the ability to vary the amount of weight as well, because the sand packets can be removed if you choose.

Most of all, a conditioning vest is designed so that the weight is distributed evenly, with some of the weight in front of you and some in back, so that you are balanced through the walk. And because you can carry a decent amount of weight, you do have the ability to significantly increase your calorie burn during your workout.

Editors Note: Debbie Rocker, a fitness walking pro, created the walk vest which comes with incremental weights that you can add when you are ready to increase the intensity of your workout.

Now, what is the disadvantage of using this vest? Obviously if you have lower back problems I can’t recommend wearing one because you will definitely re-aggravate that injury. In addition, any form of hip, knee or ankle problem would immediately eliminate the conditioning vest as an option.

So if you do make the decision to increase the intensity of your power walks by walking with weights, then the conditioning vest is your best bet. But if you want to increase the intensity without using the weights, you have three options:

  • Walk faster for longer.
  • Find a hiking trail where you can take advantage of natural hills.
  • Treadmill walking

So, armed with the pros and cons of walking with weights I hope you now have enough information to make an effective decision as to the best way for you to increase the intensity of your power walks.

About The Author:

Tony Rovere regained his health, strength and vitality by losing 60 pounds and managing to keep it off for over 4 years.

This is why he created a site about health and weight loss tips, where he shares his passion for health and fitness with others so that they can accomplish the same goals that he has achieved.

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