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How do I Use Body Weights for Training?

Kelly Ferguson
Kelly Ferguson

Using body weights for training can add difficulty to a workout and improve physical fitness gains much faster than training without weights. Body weights are also commonly used in rehabilitation and physical therapy. Before using body weights for training, you must determine how much weight to use, where to wear the weights, and how you plan to alter your training. For safety reasons, try removing a portion of the weight for the first few training sessions so you can slowly build up to using the full amount.

Many individuals use body weights for training because normal fitness workouts have become too easy and are not providing dramatic enough results. Along with increases in power, using body weights for training can result in excellent improvements in cardiovascular and muscle endurance and speed. Many athletes who engage in sports that require strength, speed, and endurance, such as football or martial arts, train with body weights. People such as firemen or policemen also may greatly benefit from the same fitness training. Individuals in these and other physically demanding professions frequently train with body weights to remain in top physical shape.

Man lifting weights
Man lifting weights

If you plan to use body weights to train heavily for sports or a physical career and are already in good physical condition, you may do well with progressively adding weights over time to your workouts. For example, if you normally do 30 minutes of aerobics, attempt to do your same routine with 5 pounds (2.26 kg) in a weighted vest, or use light wrist and ankle weights. Slowly over time, increase the amount of weight you use once you feel you have become accustomed to the previous weight. To avoid injury, do not try to add too much weight at once without working up to it first.

One way to use body weights without doing intense exercise sessions is to simply wear them while doing your daily activities. Some body weights manufacturers provide ergonomically fitted weights designed so that the most weight will fall in the muscular and fatty areas. In other words, these weights add extra weight to areas that the body is used to needing to carry weight, which helps to reduce strain on the joints. Wearing body weights during normal daily activities may be a good way for those in poor physical condition to burn a few extra calories and work up to a workout, however, even physically fit people might be surprised to feel how much more effort it takes to, for example, do laundry and clean the kitchen while wearing extra weight.

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      Man lifting weights