Running With Weights

Kaleena Lawless

Personal Training Specialist

Here is an embarrassing confession. I bought wrist straps back when I was losing weight. They were 1-2lb each. I ran with them. I don't know what I was thinking. Was I getting more out of my cardio session? Not really...Was I doing weights? No. So what exactly was I doing?

Potomac River Running Feet

I was tiring out my body. My shoulder hurt and kept crackling like roaring camp fire. I was giving myself a repetitive strain injury. When my arms were fixed in a running position, that little bit of weight was constantly weighing on my shoulders. It was at the point where when I moved my arm out of the 90 degree angle, I felt a sticking/suction sensation. Ew gross! I've felt this same sensation by holding on to my first generation PSP while running. I've switched to an IPod since!

I've seen many variations of running or walking with them but what this post is really about, is doing bicep curls/overhead extensions while performing cardio on a treadmill or StairMaster. These "little weight workouts" are basically pointless and I'm going to tell you why.

1-2lbs won't give you results. If you have been advised to use a weight this light you are most likely under medical supervision and your exercise goal is to strengthen connective tissue and improve circulation through low weight, high rep light cardio routines.

The only kind of workout where you can do cardio and strength training at once is a circuit training routine or boot camp style workout. Even still, you are doing purposeful body weight and strength exercises in combination with running on the spot, jumping jacks or something similar for cardio.

Doing 1000 bicep curls is considered cardio, not weight lifting. If you are already doing cardio, why in the world would you risk injury by lifting little weights? They throw you off balance and increase the chance of future joint problems.

My reason for running with weight was I thought that if I was carrying around a few extra pounds my body would burn more calories. Meaning, I was trying to trick my body in to thinking I was heavier, so it would burn more calories to support the extra weight. This may be true if you have a 20lb-40lb weight vest on. Some rock climbers, and professional athletes do weighted runs to improve endurance and stamina. 2-4 extra pounds won't make any significant difference to how many calories you burn or improve athletic performance.

Running with wrist and ankle weights is a controversial issue. It comes down to how strong your joints and muscles are. Some people can, some can't. No matter what though, I don't recommend running and doing strength training exercises.

Next time you exercise, ditch the extremely light weights. Strength train separately with weights that challenge your muscles before 15 reps can be completed and then perform your cardio. You will be doing you body a huge favour and will see faster, injury free results.

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  • Micky05 says
    I'm pleased to read your article as I'd tried running with weights and found it extremely uncomfortable
    • New Member says
      nice information
    • Marley says
      That's good to know as I've just started running this year and was told to add weights later. God running is have enough as it is ha.
    • Ginaaaa says
      This was good to read as I was intending on purchasing some hand weights to add to my walking. I wont be buying them now!
    • New Member says
      IMO for PC free text, voice and video chat make it easy to stay in touch with your family and friends, wherever they are
    • New Member says
      Nice post

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