Seeking to add resistance to your workout?
Ankle weights are pretty popular if you are looking for weight training tools to make your workout routine a little more challenging. You will also find a lot of people rave about how they absolutely love workout out with their ankle weights.
But the question is…
Are these weighted ankle bands really beneficial?
Here’s the truth:
According to experts, adding resistance to your workout by wearing ankle weights can significantly help in improving fitness and overall health. In this article, we will highlight all those benefits that you can get by simply adding this useful workout tool in your collection.
Introduction to Ankle Weights
For a lot of people, ankle weights are the ultimate tool that helps them create lean, toned legs and lifted hips. With the help of the added weight, you can activate your muscles to become more worked up without bulking or breaking down.
But if you’re new to ankle weights, it is okay to have tons of questions in your head about the benefits of using them for your workout. Some common questions that are associated with the use of ankle weights are:
- How do ankle weights work?
- Can I use them for running?
- What are the benefits of working out with ankle weights?
- Can I burn more calories by wearing ankle weights?
- Can ankle weights cause an injury?
- Can I use ankle weights to build muscle and bulk up?
So before we jot down some of the best benefits of exercising with ankle weights, let’s address these questions popping in your head.
These weighted bands designed to be worn around your ankles – specifically at the lower shin – naturally adds resistance to your training and encourages your muscles to work harder. The increase in the level of energy, in turn, helps shape and tone not only your legs but your overall body.
You can use these weights for different types of exercises, including running, walking, and jogging. However, if you’re new to using ankle weights, it’s recommended that you use them with caution. If you’re not trained to lift weight or wear them on your body, it could stress your muscles and can even lead to injury. The key is to start light and increase the weights with more training.
As the weights engage the muscles for more work, it is naturally going to help you burn more calories with the same level of workout. As a result, you can also gain weight loss benefits by simply adding some ankle weights to your workout routine.
Last but not the least, the ankle weights usually weigh between 1 and 10 pounds. This range of weight is perfect for adding the right amount of resistance into your routine and is not suitable for building up muscles or bulking up.
So if you want to add both strength and resistance to your workout, investing in a pair of ankle weights is a great option. You can try out different exercises to achieve the benefits you want.
Benefits of Exercising with Ankle Weights
Simply grab the perfect pair of ankle weights and you can try out different exercises with ankle weights. And if you’re wondering about the amazing benefits of exercising with this tool, here are the top ones for your considerations:
Burn More Calories
Adding weight to your workout will require applying extra force for the same exercise. This leads to higher energy expenditure. As a result, you can expect to burn a few hundred extra calories by exercising with ankle weights.
Ankle weights are a perfect addition to experience progressive overload in your workout. According to research, running or exercising with ankle weights can help you burn extra calories and offer you better weight loss results. This makes ankle weights an excellent remedy for people with bigger weight loss and fitness goals.
Fitness trainers also recommend wearing ankle weights in your daily routine – such as while running errands or completing house chores. By simply wearing them as you walk around can help you burn a lot of calories without any additional effort. No wonder, you can find celebrities wearing their favorite pair of ankle weights casually around the city.
Tone Your Overall Body
Most people believe that wearing ankle weights only helps tone the legs. The good news is, it can help you tone your overall body. Depending on the type of exercise you do with the added resistance, you can have an overall impact on your body.
If doing leg raises, jumping jacks, and lunges without any resistance already shape up your legs, core, and butt, then imagine how you’d be able to sculpt your body by simply incorporate some weight. Weight training or adding resistance has proved to be way more effective in toning and shaping up your muscles instead of just doing more reps.
To gain benefits for your overall body, make sure you add a variety of exercises in your workout routine. When used properly, adding a little extra weight to your exercises will give you the shape you desire without bulking you up. Stronger muscles will further help you improve your metabolism and help with weight loss and fitness goals.
Add Perfect Resistance to Your Training
Resistance is all you need to take your workouts to the next level. If you’re looking for that extra challenge and strength in your workouts, a pair of ankle weights can offer great benefits. Not only for the legs, but the extra resistance works wonders to the overall workouts – especially for the abs.
Since abs is difficult to train, these can be targeted with exercises that include compound movements. With the ankle weights on, try on exercises to improve your ab workouts by maintaining the correct pelvic posture throughout.
The abdominal leg raises are one of the best exercises you can do with ankle weights to engage your overall body muscles.
Another great benefit that fitness gurus can’t stop raving about is the improved endurance. Training with ankle weights can help you gain the extra edge by boosting the endurance level. The additional weight in the form of ankle weights is a great way to bring resistance to any speed drill.
Using the ankle weights while running causes higher energy expenditure, increasing the respiration and heart rate at the same time. When this happens, it can offer you a lot of benefits. Not only it enhances your ability to motivate yourself for a better and tougher workout routine, but it also helps boosts your overall endurance.
Increase Workout Versatility
In addition to trying out different exercises, adding ankle weights is also a great way to add variety to your fitness routine. Not only they’re great to run with, but ankle weights are also an excellent tool to bring versatility to stationary exercises – such as planks, leg raises, and multi-plane leg raise.
Adding ankle weights for exercises will break the chain of the regular movements that your body tends to adapt over time. To avoid the benefits from tapering off, use different exercises, variety of positions, and don’t forget to put your ankle weights on.
Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t wear ankle weights for too long. Weights can put your joints under stress and doing it for longer periods can cause damage. So enjoy the workout versatility by putting on your ankle weights.
Strengthen Breathing Muscles
So it’s not just the leg muscles that are worked up by exercising with ankle weights, you can even strengthen your breathing muscles with the use of this effective tool.
As opposed to what most people think, adding resistance to your training can help with breathing problems – including asthma – when you rest the weights on your diaphragm. Breathing with ankle weights – as a substitute to sandbags – on your diaphragm works like strength training for your respiratory muscles. According to Yoga International, this practice can help you strengthen your muscles and make them more efficient.
This also makes ankle weights a multi-purpose fitness tool, which can be used for practicing any breathing exercise. However, it is highly recommended that you always consult your healthcare practitioner before doing the exercise.
Improve Abdominal Workouts
If you like to keep that tummy lean, it is likely that your fitness routine includes a variety of exercises for your abdomen. While you can achieve weight loss benefits by using ankle weights for running, you can also benefit from abdominal workouts by simply putting your ankle weights on.
Regardless of the position, you can perform various knee-to-chest exercises, bicycle exercises, and even reverse abdominal lifts with your ankle weights on for abdominal workout benefits. The extra weight does not only help engage your muscles but also maintain the contraction for great posture.
Improve Water Exercises
Love cardio? Get to swimming with ankle weights!
Yes, you read that right. On your days when you’re done with the regular exercises, get on with some water workout with your ankle weights. It’s hard to believe but adding ankle weights can drastically help improve your water workouts. You can target all your cardiovascular muscles and strengthen them by wearing ankle weights for swimming.
Every time you paddle your legs and feet, the additional weight will require extra force to move your body. This leads to burning more calories and strengthening more muscles as you continue training.
Use of Ankle Weights and Precautions
Now let’s discuss some of the precautions you need to take to ensure you only get the benefits from the use of ankle weights and not the disadvantages.
These weights are not suitable for people with weak ankles or legs. Attaching extra weight, in this case, could lead to severe muscle strain and cause injury. To avoid the side effects, these precautions are necessary:
- If you are already suffering any type of joint pain, avoid the use of ankle weights. It is also not suitable for people who are overweight or underweight. Your muscles, joints, and tendons cannot take the extra pressure or strain caused by the ankle weights. If you feel pain wearing them, avoid using too much weight or indulging in intense activities or running.
- Do not run too fast if you’re wearing ankle weights. Even walking too quickly can cause ankle, knee, or back injuries. While in the movement, avoid swinging sideways.
- Avoid wearing ankle weights while cycling or when there’s a risk of getting your feet stuck to something. Doing so can cause serious accidents.
- Too much of even a good thing can be bad so make sure you keep the use of ankle weights moderate.
When it comes to making the most out of ankle weights, the key is to wear them correctly. The benefits are not limited to just toning and shaping the body but also include metabolic, cardiovascular, and respiratory benefits.
Just keep the precautions in mind and take it slow, especially if you’re a beginner. Start with the least amount of weight and increase gradually with training.
The final word is, it’s a great fitness tool. And if it’s about adding temporary resistance to your workout for better muscle engagement, it’s an excellent choice. So enjoy the benefits, keep adding the variation, and stick to moderation for maximum safety.
What advantages did you gain with ankle weights? Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below.