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The Effects of Wearable Resistance Training on Metabolic, Kinematic and Kinetic Variables During Walking, Running, Sprint Running and Jumping: A Systematic Review



Wearable resistance training (WRT) provides a means of activity- or movement-specific overloading, supposedly resulting in better transference to dynamic sporting performance.


The purpose of this review was to quantify the acute and longitudinal metabolic, kinematic and/or kinetic changes that occur with WRT during walking, running, sprint running or jumping movements.

Data Sources

PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science and MEDLINE (EBSCO) were searched using the Boolean phrases (limb OR vest OR trunk) AND (walk* OR run* OR sprint* OR jump* OR bound*) AND (metabolic OR kinetic OR kinematic) AND (load*).

Study Selection

A systematic approach was used to evaluate 1185 articles. Articles with injury-free subjects of any age, sex or activity level were included.


Thirty-two studies met the inclusion criteria and were retained for analysis. Acute trunk loading reduced velocity during treadmill sprint running, but only significantly when loads of 11 % body mass (BM) or greater were used, while over-the-ground sprint running times were significantly reduced with all loads (8–20 %BM). Longitudinal trunk loading significantly increased jump performance with all loads (7–30 %BM), but did not significantly improve sprint running performance. Acute limb loading significantly increased maximum oxygen consumption and energy cost with all loads (0.3–8.5 %BM) in walking and running, while significantly reducing velocity during sprint running.


The variation in load magnitude, load orientation, subjects, testing methods and study duration no doubt impact the changes in the variables examined and hence make definitive conclusions problematic.


WRT provides a novel training method with potential to improve sporting performance; however, research in this area is still clearly in its infancy, with future research required into the optimum load placement, orientation and magnitude required for adaptation.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paul Macadam.

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No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.

Conflict of interest

Kim Simperingham has received funding from Sportboleh Sdh Bdh for research quantifying the effects of Exogen exoskeleton suits during various sporting movements. Paul Macadam and John Cronin declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.

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Macadam, P., Cronin, J.B. & Simperingham, K.D. The Effects of Wearable Resistance Training on Metabolic, Kinematic and Kinetic Variables During Walking, Running, Sprint Running and Jumping: A Systematic Review. Sports Med 47, 887–906 (2017).

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  • Stride Length
  • Stride Frequency
  • Jump Performance
  • Vertical Ground Reaction Force
  • Squat Jump