Arm weights for walking

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Arm weights for walking

Postby mabli » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:13 pm

I do lots of walking in the Welsh hills near where I live, the walks are normally around 8-13 miles long and take in some serious assents. I run sometimes but mostly I just walk as fast as I can, and I dont allow myself any stops so drink and eat on the move. Im pretty sure my legs are in good shape but Id really like my arms to be more toned. My arms are quite skinny so its not about losing inches just about definition.

I was wondering if I walked with weights on my arms if it would help to strengthen and tone them? I sometimes workout but mostly just walk because I love it and it helps me sleep.

Sorry its such a daft question, but Im sure you guys would know.
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Postby Gelert » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:10 pm

You can get wraparound weights but to be honest I wouldn't bother. Weight for the sake of weight in the [proper] hills is a no-no. If you do want to use added weight, I'd suggest picking up rocks and carrying them - you can dump them at any point if needs be, but of course there are environmental implications to rearranging Snowdonia, even bit by bit.

However in walking in hills, you use your upper body and arms without realising it in maintaining balance and forward motion. I only noticed the extent of it when carrying kit or a weapon that meant I couldn't use my arms as much. You can use this as a base and accentuate upon it by a few options:


A) Submit to the shame of walking poles and transferring weight from the lower body to the upper part somewhat. Good for your knees as a bonus, but expect yourself to be slowed down

B) Put in some scrambling as well. I know good climbing/scrambling technique is about using balance and making the big moves with your legs, but nevertheless it is a lot less passive on your upper body than just walking. If you're not so keen on exposure, then tackle a steep gradient quickly, using your arms for support and bracing agains your thighs for traction etc.

C) Ye olde fashioned sickener. Carry your daysack and its contents in your hands for a spell.
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Postby mabli » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:31 pm

Gelert wrote:A) Submit to the shame of walking poles


Never!!!

So you think the weights arent a good idea? I dont do much scrambling other than the bit on Siabod because I walk with a dog so I dont want to put her at risk and Im a wuss.

Ill try holding my bag out in front of me, will probably look like an idiot though.
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Postby Gelert » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:56 pm

mabli wrote:
Gelert wrote:A) Submit to the shame of walking poles


Never!!!



I like your style! Still waiting for the photographs btw :wink:

I would suspect you have the dog on a leash because of the sheep (had the fun of watching someone bound through deep snow on Snowdon chasing an errant spaniel the other day...) - that would help.

I'm not too keen on weights for several reasons - firstly when put on the extremities they have much more impact on your joints (remember that one kilo on your feet equals four on the back, for example, probably similar effect for arms), they may further constrict circulation to your extremities which isn't good, particularly in the cold.

At the end of the day they're inert weight that you carry without function that you can't abandon without littering the hillside in the event of an emergency or injury.

If you're still keen a reasonable idea might be to hold your water bottle(s) - you could get a pair of those doughnut-like runners' bottles. Water's obviously useful and can just be poured away

Only marginally better than the poles in the dignity stakes though IMO.
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Postby fredrikw » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:29 am

If you want more muscle mass on your arms I think you're better off getting a pair of dumbbells and do some strength exercises at home. Adding a smalll weight and doing a stupid amount of reps (which is what you'll effectively will be doing) is a very ineffective way of building muscles, and I doubt you'll get much benefit from it at all (other than perhaps making your walks less enjoyable :)
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Postby mabli » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:49 pm

I wanted to incorporate building up my arms whilst I walked otherwise it might just become a fad, but I do need to work out more so maybe I should be a bit stricter with myself and buy some dumbbells

Dont like poles, and Pinkle the dog would think I was going to throw it for her. Probably said this before, but when my friend broke her ankle we first tried making crutches from the branches of a tree so she could hobble part of the way off the hillside. Pinkle would not accept that the stick belonged to my friend and kept pulling it out of her hands, in retrospect it was really funny but at the time my friend was not amused.

Will sort out photos, for now here is a picture I took yesterday of Pinkle with what she considers to be a reasonable sized stick, my legs are battered!

Image
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Postby Gelert » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:33 pm

Cool photo!

mabli wrote:Dont like poles, and Pinkle the dog would think I was going to throw it for her. Probably said this before, but when my friend broke her ankle we first tried making crutches from the branches of a tree so she could hobble part of the way off the hillside. Pinkle would not accept that the stick belonged to my friend and kept pulling it out of her hands, in retrospect it was really funny but at the time my friend was not amused.


I've seen/suffered some weird and wonderful mishaps with all kinds of improvised splints, stretchers, cervical collars, torniquets and crutches but that rates right up there with them! I'm glad you and your friend got home safe - I've walked 1.6 km in your shoes high on the Carneddau myself and it wasn't particularly funny at the time.
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Re: Arm weights for walking

Postby Big Foot Marty » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:13 pm

If you are walking on trails and paths- a pair of Hiking Poles will do a buit to help the arms.

If you want arm size changes you will need to do arm specific training-

Dumbbells, stretch bands or other resistance tools
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