When it comes to working out, the more variations in your workouts and exercises, the better. Everyone burns calories at a certain rate and your ability to burn calories might take more effort than others.
However, if you’re following a specific workout or making use of various gym equipment, then you’ll likely see an improvement in how quickly you burn calories and lose weight.
Whatever your aim is when it comes to working out, whether that’s to lose weight, simply get fit, or bulk up, there are many benefits of walking with weights.
With that being said, this guide is going to delve deeper into walking with weights, why you should do it, the benefits, and more.
Why Walk with Weights?
If you’ve never used weights before during a workout, then you’re certainly missing out. Weights provide resistance to your exercises but can also help with building strength. Whether that’s core strength, upper body strength, or lower body strength, applying weight to your workouts, can help greatly.
So why walk with weights? Well, walking with weights certainly helps to intensify the workout you’re doing. It is useful for burning those extra calories but also for toning up your muscles.
Depending on what goals you have and want to achieve when it comes to your fitness, there are many methods of weight work that you can do when it comes to using them in exercise.
Of course, it might not be for everybody, with some certainly preferring cardio to any weight-driven exercises. However, it’s good to have a mixture of both in your fitness regime if you’re able to.
Benefits of Walking with Weights
What are some of the benefits that you gain when walking with weights? If you’re hesitant to use them in your workout, then you’re not alone. Many think that you need to be young, fit, and have super strength to incorporate weights into a fitness workout.
However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even starting out on the lightest of weights and using these alongside your exercises can make a big difference. Here are some of the benefits that are worth knowing when it comes to walking with weights.
Boosts your cardio endurance
Yes, you may be disappointed to be told so but when it comes to your love of cardio, weight training often strengthens this element of your workout. Being able to boost your cardiovascular endurance has many benefits when it comes to fitness.
Not only will you be able to sustain your workouts for longer, maximizing your calorie-burning potential, but you’re also going to improve the health of your body. This is particularly the case when it comes to those cardiovascular organs – such as your heart.
Develops both core and leg strength
Walking with weights tackles two great areas of your body, your core and leg strength. These are two essential areas of the body that require conditioning and strengthening to help support the body.
An engaged and strong core is great for those who struggle with back pain and to lower the risks of back-related injuries.
For your legs, those are the limbs that keep everything moving as they should, which is why it’s a great benefit to use them when training.
Build Bone Density
As a form of resistance training, walking with weights not only helps your muscles grow stronger but the same can be said for your bones.
Certain exercises can help strengthen bones and their density when muscles pull on them. The bones become stronger, which is helpful as you get older and the body’s natural bone strength weakens.
How to Safely Walk with Hand Weights
Walking safely with hand weights is important so if you’re looking to to do this correctly and without injury, then here is a simple step-by-step to get you started.
- Find a pair of light dumbbells to begin with.
- Keep your body fluid, loose, and relaxed as you begin walking.
- Choose a walking pace that suits you and your needs.
- Swing your arms back and forth in a controlled manner.
- Don’t forget to keep the arms relaxed, your grip light but controlled.
Effective Dumbbell Walking Techniques
There are a number of dumbbell walking techniques worth using when you are working with these weights for the first time. If you are in that category of using dumbbells for the first time, never fear. Below, you’ll find a few effective techniques, including a beginner’s technique for those who want to ease themselves in gradually.
A beginner’s technique
The beginner’s technique is much like how you’ll safely walk with hand weights. Start off with a lightweight, something that you can easily pick up and not really feel much resistance to. We recommend 1-2 pounds is a good starting weight.
Take it easy with a warm-up, slowly walking for five minutes. You’ll then pick up the pace slightly, setting a walking goal of around 15-20 minutes.
However, do what your body can manage, and don’t overdo it. Be sure to cool down with another slow five-minute walk before losing the weights and stretching out.
The Farmer’s Carry
The Farmer’s Carry is a slightly more advanced type of walking workout with dumbbells. You’ll want to select a weight that’s around 25-50% of your body weight in each hand. Make sure your grip is tight and that you bring the dumbbells to the side and at arm’s length.
Bring your shoulders down and chest up. Begin to walk carefully, focusing on your posture as you go. You’ll only want to walk so far with these weights as it’s more about lifting the weight effectively than it is about lifting it and walking for long periods of time.
Be sure to stretch again when it comes to this technique so as not to pull any muscles.
Finally, with walking lunges, make sure you set up with a dumbbell in each hand, the weight should be easy enough to carry. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and step forward with one leg, allowing both knees to bend until your back knee touches the floor.
Do the same with the opposite leg and aim for a desired repetition of around 10-12 walking lunges. Stretch to loosen up any tight muscles.
Get the Most Out of Walking with Weights
To get the most out of walking with weights, it’s useful to maximise the potential they offer for the user. However, you can do yourself some injury or use them incorrectly, which often has the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve.
Some useful tips for getting the most out of your walking weights include:
- Keep it light
- Don’t go too exaggerated with your movements
- Try household items like a water bottle or can of beans
- Use weights occasionally
Avoiding Common Mistakes with Weights in Hands
There are some common mistakes that you might be making when it comes to using weights in your hands. To avoid injury or frustration that stops you from trying this form of workout, here are some things to avoid.
You’re lifting too heavy
If you’re lifting too heavy a weight, then you’re going to do damage to your muscles. When starting out, keep it light.
You’re not thinking about where you hold them
You should be holding your dumbbells in the centre, rather than holding them too far left or right. That’s only going to cause strain.
You’re not picking them up properly
Picking weights up properly is essential so that you don’t do damage to your back. Squat down, keep your back straight, and only lift dumbbells you can carry comfortably.
You’re using the same pair for everything
It’s worth mixing up the weight of your dumbbells, depending on what workouts you’re doing or the techniques you’re trying out.
You’re rushing your reps
Don’t rush with your reps, otherwise, you don’t get the full potential output that you would usually get when walking with weights.
Your grip gets tired quickly
If your grip is getting tired quickly, that often means you’ve done enough or the weights are too heavy.
Incorporating Weighted Walking into Your Fitness Routine
To incorporate weighted walking into your fitness routine, start by walking with weights around 2-3 days a week, depending on how often you head to the gym.
Ideally, you should be doing twenty minutes of workout every day to keep up your fitness routine. Select light weights to begin with and choose footwear that provides support and stability while using your dumbbells.
Elevate Your Walking Workout with Hand Weights
Walking workouts are a great way to build muscle mass, help with bone density, and boost cardiovascular endurance. If there’s one new workout or method of exercise that you incorporate into your routine for 2023, it’s walking workouts with hand weights. Make sure to utilize these hand weights within your fitness routine going forward.