Blog By Dr John Cronin

Are your athletes carrying a little too much fat mass? Here is an easy fix…

Whilst they are training either by themselves or with the team, ask them to slap some wearable resistance on their thighs or calves. A little load goes a long way here and there is heaps of research to prove it.

I have shown the results of one of the seminal studies in this area by Martin (1985) in the photo and they found loads of 250 g (8.8 oz) and 500 g (17.6 oz) placed on each thigh or foot increased the energy cost of running by 2.2 to 3.3% and 3.3 to 7.2% respectively.



Why the increased energy cost with lower leg distal loading? Remember – the further the load from the axis of rotation, then the harder the muscles have to work i.e. greater rotational inertia = greater mechanical work = greater metabolic cost of the exercise. So load those shanks for some serious calorie burning.

Another upside of this type of training is that you do it as part of what you do and does not require additional time, and you will most likely get some strength increases to boot.


Ref: Martin, P. E. (1985) Mechanical and physiological responses to lower extremity loading during running. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 17(4) 427-433.



Professor John Cronin

Educator, Researcher and Trainer.

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