Ankle weights not only help in improving your overall body strength but also make you lose considerable bodyweight, so how come you won’t strap them on when running, jogging, or performing such other workouts? Only, if you are not aware of the disadvantages they may bring. Speaking of which, you may know some but we got more. So keep on reading as this blog post is all about making you learn both the pros and cons of using ankle weights followed up by a conclusive paragraph to help you decide whether or not you go for investing in the pair.
Before we get indulged into some details
Do you know what ankle weights are?
They are small and filled with weight pouches and have Velcro straps so you can wrap them around your ankles conveniently. Some are weight adjustable like you can remove the sandbags from weight pouches and they are commonly known as the adjustable ankle weights. Most of them come with a fixed weight but you get an option to pick from the usual 0.5 to 3 kg pairs available. You’ll get to see neoprene ankle weights, nylon ankle weights, leather ankle weights, and so on, as they are named after the fabric used to contrive them.
You know how people use them, right?
Besides connecting them to a common spot down the leg, ankle weights are used very differently to achieve improved outputs. Some like to go with one weight, while others would want to hit different muscles by altering the weight and so on. Walking, running, and jogging are the most common exercises that people love to perform with these strength-training accessories on. While some fitness aficionados wrap them around and get engaged in butt lifts, leg lifts, or such other strength and flexibility training exercises.
Important Note: Just be very careful when picking up ankle weights for performing specific workouts. Remember to go with the lightweight when you are doing an exercise that needs big ranges of motion.
Now we are ready to discuss the pros and cons of using ankle weights
Above the good and the bad of using ankle weights, comes the knowledge of training with them the right way, or being prepared to suffer injuries. Understanding what weight is good, which fabric will go well with your skin, and being mindful of when is the right time to detach them from your ankles, all count for your safety.
More importantly, don’t go for ankle weights exercises if you have an existing knee injury or ankle injury, since things may get worse.
Important Note: The best way to avoid injuries with ankle weights is to consult a personal trainer, particularly, if you are using them for the first time.
First, let’s get to read the advantages of using ankle weights
Adding a load to an exercise where you are required to elevate your leg is why ankle weights are primarily used. They could be considered as a substitute for holding the dumbbells or other gym equipment with your lower limbs for strength training. And, don’t forget that you also can perform different cardio exercises with them. Let’s get to read the other benefits of using ankle weights:
- After connecting ankle weights, you are required to exert the extra force to perform physical activity, like jogging and running. As a result, your stamina gets better and so is your cardiovascular health.
- Shaping your legs with leg lifts gets a boost when you do so with the ankle weights on.
- Leg weights help in adding versatility to your exercises, you can incorporate them into various workouts for a better outcome.
- As you’ll need to exert more force when performing an activity than before, therefore more energy will be used and more calories will be burned. Yes, the pair will help you get rid of the weight.
- No doubts about the ankle weights to improve the strength of your calves, glutes, and hamstrings.
- You can expect the pair to strengthen your ankle and knee joints when you wear it while swimming.
- Ankle weights can help you sculpt those abs faster than desired. Just strap the ankle weights of a suitable weight and give the abdominal leg raise a go to see the magic in a few days!
Pretty decent workout aid you get with ankle weights, isn’t it? Indeed ankle weights help you build strength and endurance, just as you have desired.
Just know that the overuse of ankle weights is dangerous and it’s the only disadvantage discovered so far
Contrary to the amazing benefits we have listed above, ankle weights might go bad on your muscles and may act as a catalyst for different injuries. Because you have an existing knee or ankle injury or you are over using them for different trainings that can conveniently cause the joint stress.
Now let’s get to discuss the safe way of performing some exercises with the ankle weights on:
Stepping Up with Ankle Weights
This is how you can perform it effectively:
- Place an aerobic stepper or plyo box on the floor
- Strap ankle weights around your legs
- Now step up on the stepper with a right foot
- Bring the left foot up to meet the right on the platform
- Now you have to step down with the left foot, bending your right knee
- Finally, bring the right foot down so it meets left on the floor
- Repeat these actions as much as you can in 10 or 20 minutes session
Benefits of performing this workout
This exercise will help you improve body balance and stability along with strengthening your leg muscles individually.
Knee Up with Ankle Weights
Required: Just a pair of ankle weights you are comfortable with
This is how you can practice it effectively:
- Stand straight with a pair of ankle weights on
- Cross your hands in front of your chest
- Get comfortable in the position, keeping your balance throughout
- Now lift the left foot from the knee in front of your hands and bring it down immediately
- Do the same with your right foot
- Keep on doing it till you can in a 10 or 20 minutes session
Squat Jump with Ankle Weights
Required: Again just you and a pair of ankle weights you are comfortable with
This is how you can practice it effectively:
- Put on the pair of ankle weights and stand straight on the floor
- Perform a squat and make sure your hands cross while doing it
- Now take a moderate leap upwards, leaving the hands to flow freely
- As you land, position yourself in the same way you have started
- Repeat as much as you can for strength building
So where are we heading?
Now I guess we are in the position to answer our main question, which is whether or not you should wear ankle weights?
Yes, if you are not already suffering from ankle or knee injuries and would want to intensify your routine workouts for an improved output. Provided that you learn to wear them the right way as they should be. And most importantly, you don’t over train with them!
In short, the pair is great fitness assistance that most certainly will help you get the optimum output form your regular fitness workouts.