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?
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
- Should Everyone Use Ankle Weights?
- Some of the Best Ankle Weight Exercises
- Ankle weights Pros and Cons
- What are the Different Types of Ankle Weights
- What to Lookout for When Choosing the Best Pair of Ankle Weights
- TOP 9 Best Ankle Weights Reviews 2018
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
- 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.
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.
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.
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
Best ankle weights for running
Best ankle weights for the pool
Best adjustable ankle weights
Best ankle weights for women
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