Your Guide to Best Ankle Weights + Exercises and TOP 9 Models Reviewed 2018

Your Guide to Best Ankle Weights + Exercises and TOP 9 Models Reviewed 2018
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Should I?

Or Shouldn’t I?

As health conscious athletes, we ask ourselves this a lot. When it comes to food, rest, indulging in drink, what to wear and when to workout.

If you landed here, it is likely you have a few questions about ankle weights, the controversy that surrounds them, and most importantly – IF they can benefit YOU!

Should you use ankle weights?

Sport Equipment - Dumbbells, Ankle Weights and Wrist Weights

We aim to answer that question, offer the best ankle weight exercises, let you know what exercises to avoid, discuss ankle weights pros and cons, then give our top 9 contenders for best ankle weights.

What is the Story with Ankle Weights? The Best and Worst Ways to Use Them

Ankle weights have been around for a while. It used to be, a doctor or physician may have prescribed them to add a little resistance and challenge to a sedentary persons walking routine.

These days however, many doctors and sports professionals are shying away from prescribing the ankle weights for walking or running due to wear, tear and possible injury to joints and tendons that may occur with repetitive motion like walking for an hour. (resource)

But let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water

While ankle weight may not be good for long periods of repetitive motion, the do have quite a bit of utility.

They are great for stationary exercises, improving performance on HIIT and CrossFit movements and so much more.

We will discuss the best ankle weight exercises in a minute, but first…

Should Everyone Use Ankle Weights?

Ankle weights, when used properly, are intended to make activities you are already engaging in, more challenging. (the exception being running or walking, as discussed above.)

So, if you find that burpees, box jumps, leg lifts, extensions and raises ect hold no more challenge, by all means, pick up a pair.

Sometimes ankle weights are appropriate for beginners. It depends on the fitness level of the individual and the exercise they are performing.

In addition to that, ankle weights can be used as dumbbells in a pinch, so it may be handy to have a pair available. They are quite versatile.

The ankle weight debate: The controversy get’s real with Rock Lee.

Some of the Best Ankle Weight Exercises

There are some pretty awesome uses for ankle weights, and the variety is limited only buy your imagination.

The Butt Lift workout

Ankle weights are a great way to shape, tone and “roundify” the butt. For a bikini ready body, ankle weights are a girls secret weapon.

But ankle weights are not just for Bikini models, they are good for all kinds of athletes.

Jump up!

Ankle weights can help your jump performance

Improve Vertical Jump height

In this video A.J. demonstrates how ankle weights are used to improve vertical jump height, and offers a suggested routine.

Kick it!

Ankle weights have a place I many martial arts and fighting sports training.

  • Muay Tai – using a moderate weight can benefit your kick performance
  • Boxing – Trainers recommend lower weights ( 3 to 5 lbs), used in or around the hands during drills.


Ankle weights also help improve agility movements

Soccer – soccer agility movements like dribbling, step overs, and the speed of other skill moves

Core work

Ankle weights are perfect for strengthening the core.

Some exercises you can do with ankle weights:

  • High Knee Kicks – lift your knee to your chest, alternating legs
  • Burpees – bend into a squat, place your hands on the floor in front of you, jump, moving your legs about a meter back. Jump your legs forward, maintaining your hands on the ground. Move into a standing position, raising your hands above your head, and jump. Whew. That was hard just to type!
Fun Fact: You burn between 1 to 2 calories per Burpees.
  • Hip Extensions – get down and lift one leg at a time, extending it completely.
  • Mountain Climbers – get on your hands and toes, bring your knee to your chest and alternate legs in a sort of running movement.
  • Side leg lift – stand and lift the leg perpendicular to your body.
  • Crossed Leg lift – place your foot over your knee and lift your leg pointing your foot towards the ceiling.
  • Bicycle. (do not use ankle weights on a real bicycle) Lay on your back, lift your legs, and move them similar to pedaling a bike. This works the core big time, especially with ankle weights.

Ankle weights Pros and Cons


  • Good for stationary exercises, agility movements, footwork, kicks etc.
  • Can be used as small hand weights if standard dumbbells are not available
  • Hands free way to add extra weight during your workout routine


  • Not good for walking, or running.
  • Prolonged repetitive movement plus unnatural weight placement place stress on joints and ligaments.

What are the Different Types of Ankle Weights


There are a few brands that make an adjustable ankle weight. These have rods or bars that sit in pockets on the weight and can be removed to customize how heavy the weight is.

Velcro strap

This is the most common type of ankle weigh. It has a Velcro strap that threads thru a metal D ring or square loop.

While these are the most popular, and are known to fit both large and small ankles, their downfall is the strap may chafe or scratch an exposed ankle.

Velcro body

These weights incorporate the Velcro into the body of the weight, eliminating the need for a strap.

These are great, but a common limitation is size. They tend to, as a group, run small and may not fit people with really large or swollen ankles.

What to Lookout for When Choosing the Best Pair of Ankle Weights

Material – look for fabric that is durable and wicks sweat and perspiration. Another nice feature, if you plan to use the weights outside, is reflective material incorporated into the weight.

Style – As stated above, there are three styles-adjustable, Velcro strap and Velcro body style. Choose what is best for our needs.

Remember, the adjustable ankle weights with removable weights will mean you can increase weight without buying a new pair of weights.

The Velcro strap weights are good for those with very large or swollen ankles.

The Velcro body ankle weights are the most comfortable, but do not always accommodate large or swollen ankles.

Waterproof – Pool Use – if you plan to use the weights for water or pool activities lok for a water proof brand.

You can not use regular ankle weights as the metal parts may rust and the sand inside will retain water for a long time and may not dry between use.

TOP 9 Best Ankle Weights Reviews 2018

Nordic Lifting Ankle / Wrist Weights

Review: These ankle weights by Nordic lifting are available in 1 and 2, 3 and 5 lb increments, feature Velcro close and adjustments, and reflective tape detail for visibility.

  • Fits smaller wrists, as well as larger, highly adjustable strap
  • Mesh carry bag included
  • Reflective tape detail
  • Thick Velcro strap- not flimsy like some other brands
  • The weight part is short, so when you wrap it around your ankle, there will be a Velcro only gap that may chafe the leg. On the other hand, they are ideal for smaller folks.

Quality and durability that fits virtually anyone, made from a trusted manufacturer.

Best ankle weights for running

Zensufu Ankle or Wrist Weights

Review: Available in 1, 2, 3 and 5 lbs, these Zensufu ankle weights.

  • Travel pouch included
  • Strap is the same length as the weight
  • Strong secure Velcro adjuster
  • Can be challenging to get the weights adjusted correctly

Simple and useful ankle weights. Very Zen-like.

Nike Ankle Weights

Review: These Nike 5lb lime and black ankle weights are functional and sport a fresh design.

They have a completely different shape fro other ankle weights and do not use straps to secure and adjust. They stay secure using Velcro, but the connection stay up front, while the weight stays back.

  • Moisture Wicking liner
  • Will not spin around ankle, stays in place
  • No Velcro strap that digs into your heel
  • Most comfortable ankle weights available
  • Cost a little extra than most ankle weights.

Nike hit a home run with this novel, comfortable, practical design. Way to think outside the box Nike!

Reehut Ankle Weights

Review: The range of available weights set the Reehut ankle weights apart. They offer 1,1.5, 2, 3,4,5 lb ankle weights.

1.5, 3 and 4 lbs increments are somewhat rare, so this is one of the only choices if you want those off weights.

  • Several unique weight increments available
  • Made from breathable material
  • Budget price
  • Manufacturer says they are filled with iron shot-so do not use in the water, unless you want your weights rusting away.

Simple ankle weights for budget price.

Ivation Premium Ankle Weights

Review: These ankle weights feature fun colors and are available in 1,2 and three pounds.

  • Moisture wicking liner
  • Thick Velcro strap
  • Fun bright colors allow you to be seen easier if walking or jogging at night
  • Not waterproof or rust proof

These brightly colored ankle weights make some of the best ankle weights for running.

Best ankle weights for the pool

Kiefer 811400-10 Ankle/Wrist Weights

Review: Calling all swimmers, water aerobics and water polo enthusiasts! We found you a pair of ankle weights.

These Kiefer ankle weights are waterproof, and designed for you!

  • Waterproof-pool safe
  • Attached clips can clip weights together to form a belt
  • Too big to be used as wrist weights

Pool ready ankle weights!

Best adjustable ankle weights

All Pro Adjustable Ankle Weights

Review: These all pro adjustable weights adjust up to 5 lbs each using .5 lb increments. Cool! You only need to buy one pair and work your way up instead of buying new weights.

  • Adjustable in increments of .5 lbs
  • Padded at the heel for comfort
  • Uses solid iron weights – no sand or other material that can leak
  • Ankle weights with removable weights
  • No D loop to help with adjusting the weight, you must hold one side while tightening. This is a small issue.

Easily the best adjustable ankle weights available.

Best ankle weights for women

Gaiam Fitness Ankle Weights

Review: This set of ankle weights by Gaiam offers 2.5 lbs for each ankle, offering just the right amount of resistance for floor work and resistance.

  • Uses no annoying straps, the weight itself has the Velcro built in.
  • Soft fabric, no digging or chafing problems
  • Very comfortable
  • Only one weight increment available, 2.5 lbs for each ankle, or 5 lbs for the set of 2

Easily one of the most comfortable ankle weights on the market. Our choice for best ankle weights for women.

Ankle Weights Set by Healthy Model Life

Review: This style of ankle weight, where the Velcro is integrated into the weight, and not a separate strap, distributes weight evenly and does not cut into or chaff your ankles.

These ankle weights by healthy life model are soft yet strong, in increments of 1 2 5 and 8 per ankle.

  • Increments of up to 8lbs for each leg for a serious workout.
  • Super soft, no Velcro strap to wreck your ankle
  • Evenly distributed weight
  • Extra padding for even more comfort
  • Not for really large ankles, ankle under 35cm only

Some of the most comfortable and heavy ankle weights available.

Take your skills to the next level ad invest in a pair of ankle weights today.

Let us know in the comments below what your favorite way to use ankle weights is. Until next time! Kate Lyn



Katie is a busy wife and mother of four. She is a freelance writer and frequent contributor on Garage Gym Power. She guards her gym time jealously, and would rather miss a PTA meeting or get takeout for dinner than miss a workout.