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There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about jumping rope with a weighted vest, what benefits can you expect?
A weighted vest is simply a vest with some weight, often sand, added to it. You can wear a weighted vest to make your current workout routine harder. Generally, you want your weighted vest to be about 4-10% of your body weight.
Some people question how useful this equipment can be but wearing a good weighted vest while jumping rope can offer you some of the following amazing benefits.
You do have to keep in mind that jumping rope can be hard on body parts like ankles, shins, knees, and back. Wearing a weighted vest while jumping rope increases the injury risk even more.
Some of these benefits may not outweigh the extra injury risk. Other workouts may also offer these extra benefits without the added injury risk.
If you are injury-sensitive, it may be smarter to not use a weighted vest, instead use something like a weighted jump rope, or even do a different workout than jumping rope.
1. Can help you lose more weight
Losing weight is about using up body fat, which is basically energy stored. To do this you want to make sure that you require more energy throughout the day than there is coming in from food.
One way to try to make this happen is by doing a workout. By increasing the intensity of your movements for a period of time you use up more energy than usual.
Jumping rope with a weighted vest can help with weight loss since using it generally requires more energy compared to jumping rope without one.
A big factor in how many calories you burn during a workout is your weight. To move around your body needs energy, measured in calories. The more weight you carry, the more energy you need to fuel movement.
For example, a 155-pound (70 kg) person jumping rope for 30 minutes at a moderate pace burns around 366 calories.
On the other hand, a 185-pound (83 kg) person jumping rope for 30 minutes at a moderate pace burns around 437 calories.
There will likely be a difference in how much a weighted vest increases calorie-burning vs the same weight in body fat but that just shows how wearing a weighted vest when jumping rope can benefit your weight loss.
Another way workouts help you lose weight is by increasing your muscle mass which in turn helps with burning more energy with everything you do. Jumping rope with a weighted vest helps increase muscle mass too.
A weighted vest will likely not make or break your weight loss journey but even small benefits can make a big difference over time.
Keep in mind that other lifestyle habits like what you eat are important when trying to lose weight no matter what exercise you do. You can work out and gain weight at the same time if your other lifestyle habits are not good.
2. Helps you engage your muscles more
While jumping rope is mainly a cardiovascular workout, one of its positive effects is that this activity also engages a few muscles.
You should not expect too much or even any actual muscle growth from jumping rope.
That being said, engaging your muscles can still benefit you by slowing down or stopping degradation, keeping the muscles healthier, and improving muscle endurance.
Some of the muscles you work out with jumping rope include:
Generally the more weight you have to move, the more muscle you will build with an exercise. That’s one of the reasons why people go to a gym instead of doing bodyweight exercises at home.
A fact of jumping rope with a weighted vest is that it will engage your calf, glute, quadricep, and hamstring muscles more than jumping rope with just your body weight.
If you are serious about building muscle you do generally want to choose weight lifting exercises over rope jumping sessions.
3. Improved cardiovascular health
Your cardiovascular system is the circulatory system inside of your body and includes heart and blood vessels. These transport many types of important nutrients, oxygen, and waste throughout your body.
When you move more intensely your body needs to transport these things, which means using your heart, at a higher rate.
Your heart is a muscle that can be trained by using it more intensely. Jumping rope with a weighted vest makes your heart beat faster and thus helps you strengthen your cardiovascular system more.
Do keep in mind that muscles can get injured. If you have not done any physical activity in a long time you may want to start out with low-intensity movements without a weighted vest and build up from there.
4. Can improve athletic performance
Getting better at a certain sport or exercise isn’t necessarily done by doing these activities more. Cross-training which is training in a different sport can be useful.
Additionally, one study suggests that in turn, jump height is related to sprint performance (8).
More importantly, one of the previous benefits, better cardiovascular health is a big advantage in many sports.
If you consider all of these effects, it becomes clear that jumping rope with a weighted vest should offer more athletic performance improvements than the regular bodyweight version.
5. Improved bone density
This is helpful for avoiding broken bones. Depending on your age you may not be that worried about something like this right now.
However, exercising right now can help you avoid broken bones in 40 years. The things you do today have an impact on the future.
The way many parts of your body work is that by challenging them you set in motion processes that strengthen these body parts. A similar concept applies to your bones.
By putting more pressure on your bones with the weighted vest, jumping rope can benefit your bone density more in the long term (16). Do keep in mind that you don’t want to overdo it either.
Generally, workouts on land with a lot of jumping and strength training exercises are the best for improving bone density. Next, you have exercises that put less pressure on your bones like walking.
Lastly, you have exercise in the water like swimming which will still benefit bone density but likely not as much as the other categories.
6. Makes jumping rope more time-efficient
Another benefit of jumping rope with a weighted vest is that it can help you decrease the time it takes to complete a good workout. Exercising isn’t necessarily about duration.
For example to build muscle you basically want to put enough strain on your muscles so muscle growth processes start. This doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time out of your day.
A more intense cardio workout can train your cardiovascular system in a shorter amount of time than one at a lower intensity.
Wearing a weighted vest when jumping rope can help with both of these things. This benefit of jumping rope with a weighted vest is especially useful if you have trouble finding enough time throughout your day to fit in a workout.
7. Healthier lungs
To move around your body needs oxygen, the more intensely the more oxygen. Your body absorbs oxygen from the air through your lungs.
Improving how well your lungs function leads to benefits like improved exercise performance and getting tired slower.
8. Improves coordination
While the technique of jumping rope is not that complicated, you do need to use some coordination. By doing this frequently you get better at it like with most skills.
Stronger leg muscles also generally reduce fall risk. Since jumping rope with a weighted vest can improve leg muscle mass it can be helpful for reducing fall risk.
The benefits of improved coordination don’t just show up in other technical sports. Daily activities as simple as walking the stairs require coordination.
All in all, it is amazing that you can get so many important benefits from adding one jump rope accessory to your rope jumping routine.
Remember that even though there are benefits to jumping rope with a weighted vest, your injury risk is generally also higher.
Especially if you are more of an injury-sensitive exercise beginner, you want to start with soft alternatives to jumping rope without a weighted vest and build up from there.
Also keep in mind that consistency is a big factor in a workout plan. The more you love the exercise you do the easier it becomes to do it consistently.
If you like jumping rope with a weighted vest, great. If not, regular rope jumping or other weighted vest exercises can also offer a lot of benefits.