Reach Your Fitness Goals

Ankle Weights 101

Give your fitness routine a boost: explore the benefits and technique of ankle weights.

If you want to add intensity to your exercise routine, ankle weights can help.  Before you use ankle weights though, you should keep in mind that they are not for everyone.  Ankle weight exercises should be focused when they are used in resistance training and they can increase the amount of calories burned in a workout.  Using ankle weights can be hard on the body though and are not a substitute for weight exercises. 

Before you start using ankle weights in your workouts, keep these things in mind.

Master the Basics

You should only advance to using ankle weights when you have completely mastered the basic form of the exercise first.

Don't Combine Cardio and Ankle Weights

You can do cardio and strength training exercises in the same workout, but they should not be combined.  When ankle weights are used in cardio, joints (instead of the muscles) take on the extra load and this increases your chance of injury.

Abdominal Exercise

Abdominal exercises can become easy for those who have been doing them for a long time but ankle weights can make them more challenging.  When you are doing leg raises, reverse crunches or bicycle crunches, ankle weights can add resistance and make your abdominals work harder. When you are using ankle weights, make sure your movements are slow and in control.

Leg Exercise

If you have mastered the form of leg exercises and need more challenge, add ankle weights to increase the intensity.  Leg extensions, leg raises, and other lower body exercises can be made more challenging by increasing ankle weights. 

Start Low

Whenever you add ankle weights to an exercise, start low and increase over time. Ankle weights do not need to be heavy to have the desired effect.  1-2 pound weights are usually adequate to start with and you’ll be surprised at how much of an effect they can have.

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