Can You Jump Rope With a Weighted Vest? (5 Factors to Consider)

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Without a doubt, you’re not alone in pondering, “Is it possible to jump rope while wearing a weighted vest?”

In fact, I’ve spotted this very question numerous times on many fitness forums.

It almost seems like you’re getting the best of both worlds.

We all know that either jumping rope or using a weighted vest provide some great fitness benefits.

So, it almost makes sense to put the two together, or does it?

Allow me to explain the ins-and-outs of whether you should jump rope with a weighted vest.

Can You Jump Rope With a Weighted Vest?

It is not recommended that you jump rope with a weighted vest. You can certainly perform weighted vest jump rope workouts and produce some fantastic strength, conditioning, and endurance results. However, the risk of injury far outweighs the benefits. Jumping rope in a weighted vest puts incredible stress on the joints, especially the knees and ankles. You’ll also place a lot of pressure on the lower back and Achilles tendon. It is more advisable to either use a weighted jump rope, walk or perform bodyweight exercises with a weighted vest.

1. Jump Rope Weighted Vest – Reward vs. Risk

A Man Exercising With a Jump Rope

I honestly don’t think jumping rope with a weighted vest is a good idea.

Sure, you’ll find various people who do it, plus I’m sure there’s a wide variety of YouTube workouts.

And I’ll even agree that there are many potential benefits to it as well.

Let’s face facts, jumping rope is an awesome cardio and conditioning exercise.

In fact, there are few exercises that are better when it comes to getting your heart rate up, burning calories, and getting a total-body conditioning workout.

So, with the added intensity of a weighted vest you are literally turning things up a notch or two.

I’m sure your lungs will be screaming for air.

Your shoulders and traps will be getting a great workout.

You may find that it helps your calves to blow up.

Plus, your fitness levels will go through the roof, while you produce rock-solid core muscles, all the way around.

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Sounds great so far, right?

However, the major concern when it comes to jumping rope in a weighted vest is the risk of injury.

And in my mind it’s simply not worth it, even with all these great benefits.

Firstly, you’re going to be putting a huge amount of stress on the knees and the ankles.

Additionally, the hips, lower back, and Achilles tendon are going to get quite a hammering.

An injury in any of these areas is going to be quite serious, and I certainly don’t think you should ever put the joints under undue pressure if it can be avoided.

As I say, I’m sure there are many people who regularly jump rope with a weighted vest.

And they’ve never had any issues, yet.

But, for me, it’s like a ticking time-bomb, and I personally don’t think it’s worth the risk.

2. Change Up Your Jump Rope Workout

What are you trying to achieve by jumping rope with a weighted vest?

This is basically what it all boils down to.

I’ll cover the various reasons in the rest of this article and provide better and safer alternatives.

So, I’m guessing the first reason is simply to make your jump rope workout harder.

Well, there are certainly far more sensible ways to do this that don’t require a weighted vest.

The most obvious way would be to get yourself a weighted jump rope.

You’ll immediately find that a weighted jump rope is a lot harder on your cardiovascular system.

So, you probably won’t be jumping rope for as long before your lungs are burning and you’re out of breath.

Furthermore, your shoulders, arms, and traps will be getting a pretty decent workout too.

Then again, you could use a standard jump rope in a different way.

If you’re looking to hike up your conditioning levels then try throwing a bodyweight exercise into the mix.

Something like alternating between one minute of jump rope and one minute of burpees would certainly do the trick

Alternatively, for endurance you could simply jump rope for longer, but use varying foot techniques along the way.

And of course, you could try upping the speed at which you jump rope in order to burn through calories at a rate of knots.

Basically, there’s plenty you can do with a jump rope and just your own body weight without having to risk your joints.

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3. Don’t Do it For the Calves

Something that I’ve often read on fitness forums is that people want to try this combination to increase the size of their calves.

Let’s face facts, calves are extremely hard to grow, and you won’t always have access to a calf-raise machine.

With that being said, even though jumping rope with a weighted vest will stimulate the calves to great effect, you will need to be wary of your Achilles tendon.

Plus, even though you may see some size increase while wearing a weighted vest, it probably won’t be as impressive as you’d hope.

Once more, I think a far better alternative would be to combine jump rope with various body exercises.

4. Weighted Vest For Cardio

Personally, I think that just wearing a weighted vest can provide some great cardio benefits.

However, I don’t believe that you should be doing high impact exercises in a weighted vest.

This includes jumping rope, running, sprinting, and even plyometrics.

Basically, with the impact of these exercises you’ll be putting a huge amount of stress on the joints.

Once again, I’m sure there are people who regularly perform any or all of these types of exercises in a weighted vest.

But, as I’ve said, I think the risks far outweigh the rewards.

I actually believe that walking in a weighted vest can provide fantastic cardio benefits.

Even if you’re just walking 3-4 times a week for 45 minutes at a time you’ll definitely be getting a great workout.

Plus, walking is extremely low impact, but with the added use of a weighted vest you’ll be burning far more calories and breathing much heavier.

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5. Weighted Vest For Muscle & Strength

You can also use a weighted vest to spice up your workouts.

In fact, just performing many of the basic bodyweight moves you’ll be getting an awesome full-body workout.

You can also look at this as progressively overloading the muscles, which can certainly lead to some great muscle and strength gains.

I’m sure a workout that involves just bodyweight squats, push ups, and pull ups in a weighted vest will produce some great results.

And once more, you won’t be stressing the joints or your lower back as much.

Additionally, if you throw in a few separate jump rope sessions and weighted vest walks your physique is going to change for the better.

If you have a vest that allows you to add more weight incrementally then you can consistently overload the muscles week-after-week.

Trust me when I say that by the time you’re performing basic bodyweight moves with an additional 30-40lbs strapped to you, you’re going to be getting one of the best workouts ever.

And of course, all in a completely safe manner without risking injury to your joints.

Final Thoughts

For me, jumping rope with a weighted vest simply isn’t worth the potential downsides.

I would much rather use the two pieces of equipment separately in order to get a great week-long workout.

If you’re looking to make jumping rope more difficult then add a weighted jump rope or change the style of your workout.

You can then use your weighted vest for walks, while also performing bodyweight exercises and adhering to progressive overload.


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