Why should I avoid walking with weights?

Michael Nirenberg
Podiatric Medicine

Part of good, healthy walking means using the momentum of arms and for that matter, you body as you walk. Your arms swing and your torso will wind back and forth gently. When you carry weights, the weights increase momentum beyond what is normal and you can overswing and injure yourself.

Walking with weights can cause excess wear and tear on the joints. This doesn’t only occur through impact, but also altered muscle and joint movement because of the increased load the weight provides.  Rather than walking with resistance, incorporate a few sets of exercises such as lunges or body weight squats into your workouts. These don’t require any type of special equipment, so they can be performed anywhere along your walk. Start with 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
I do not advise walking with weights. I've seen too many upper-arm joint injuries and subsequent need for surgery in people who walked with weights. It's just too easy to injure yourself, and that will make you older, not younger. Walking with weights is a full employment program for orthopedic surgeons specializing in shoulder and upper arm ligament and tendon repairs.

Continue Learning about Walking

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.