Before going to advantages and disadvantages of ankle weights we will talk about what are ankle weights and what they do.
What are ankle weights
Ankle weights are exercising equipment which helps in increasing the variety and variability of your exercise. People use them to stationary exercises such as raises or leg lifts. And many people use them while walking and jogging. People wear ankle weights just to enhance their workout. they are designed to fit around your ankle or wrist with providing comfortability. They come in sizes from range 1lb to 8lbs. they come in various modes of attachments, which includes belts and Velcro straps. They are easy to carry and adjustable to your frame size. And some ankle weights have the ability to add or remove weights.
Ankle weights are simply weighted bands which are strapped to your ankle which provides resistance when you are performing isolated strength training exercises. Not only these are used for exercises also they can help you to rehabilitate certain injuries. But sometimes they don’t help they can also increase the risk of joint and muscle damage and due to awkward positioning of these weights can give you strains, sprains, and minor injuries are likely to occur while you are running, walking or jogging.
The main purpose of ankle weights is to provide resistance in your workout. As weights are added to your leg motions where the point of adding extra weight is just to increase the strength of your gluteus, quadriceps, hamstrings and calve muscles, which results in an increased muscles mass over time.
We have three calf muscles in our body, the first one is gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris. And by together all these three muscles make it possible to push yourself off the ground. as these ankle weights create extra resistance, which is good for calve muscles as some doctors said.while you are performing activities that flex those muscles, such as walking, jogging, running, cycling.
Hamstrings are your rear thighs, these are the group of muscles that allow your knee for rotation and flexing, also your hip extension. While you are wearing ankle weights and engaging yourself in any of this movement, hence you are increasing resistance and the hamstring must work through which it can complete the move.
The quadriceps are consisting of four muscles in our lower body, rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and vastus. On the front of your thighs, these muscles are found, they get engage when you extend your knees. The rectus femoris also extends around hip joints, helping them in flexing. As these muscles are extra hard to move when you strap ankle weights because of their location as these are found in the lower body part.
These are your buttock muscles. These play a major part in your ability to move your body forward, sideways and up. As these muscles help you bending yourself, straight-leg raises and helps you in staying in balance in an upright position. For example, when you walk, all these are because of glutes. And when you add ankle weights, you exert a force on these large muscles to push harder as to complete a move.
As these weighted bands are strapped around your ankles hence increase the intensity of an exercise, with a range of 3 to 20 pounds. As the purpose of these accessories is to create resistance for your lower body to work effectively and marketed as calorie-burning and muscle-toning and are considered as effective for calves, hamstring, quadriceps, and glutes as we have discussed above.
We before making a statement for ankle weights we will talk about its advantages and dis-advantages after that we can consider it good or bad for you.
Advantages of ankles weights:
- It increases your endurance:
Ankle weight increase your endurance. In this way, because we add extra weights, and we need extra force to exert than usual and this will help you with giving benefits such it provides you a good cardiovascular and pulmonary health. Within few weeks of using these ankle weights, you will start building more and more stamina in your body.
- Good for toning your legs:
Simple leg raises can shape your legs but further, for enhancing your legs you must add some effective additional in your workouts. In simple words adding more resistance will make your legs perfect. Also, for stronger muscles add weights. These are good for both for men and women who want to shape their legs as perfect desired one by using them within some weeks. And for women who think they would look like a bodybuilder, this isn’t true you would not look like them.
- Allow you to burn more calories:
By applying more energy, you will lose more of your calories so adding weights will help you to burn more calories from your lower body.
If you want to achieve and lose weight more in lesser time, then adding ankle weights will be the best option for you to achieve your desired body goals.
- Improve your water workout:
More often ankle weights are designed to be used in underwater besides other types of workouts. The purpose and benefits of using ankle weights in underwater are to enhance resistance in your legs as you swim. And as toning your legs more. As many fitness models and swimmers add weights to enhance their skills. Another advantage of using ankle weights under water that this does not cause any damage to joint or other issues.
- Makes your breathing muscles stronger:
Another benefit of ankle weights that it eases asthma or other breathing problems. It provides maximum benefit when your breath with ankle weights, it gives strength to your respiratory muscles and makes them stronger and more efficient. You can practice any breathing exercises while using ankle weights, recommended by your doctor or therapist.
- Good for building bone density and muscles strength:
The advantage of ankle weights that is provides in the strengthening of your muscles and increase your bone density. People can use them and tone their legs without using large and heavier machine weights. It is easy to carry and provides the best resistance in exercises.
- Inexpensive and cheap:
You can tone your legs and become fit without purchasing those heavy and expensive machines or buy expensive gym memberships you can get your desired leg shape at home with using inexpensive and cheap ankle weights. Another benefit of this that it comes in different sizes and adjustable.
- Adds variety to your workout:
If you are bored and stuck following same dull routine going to the gym and exercising over heavy machines, then this will be the best option to buy and use them. as this brings variety in your workout
Besides all advantages, there are disadvantages of ankle weights too. As some doctor consider as dangerous. As ankle weights apply more and increased the force on the joints and muscles which can cause problems and injuries. Those people who are frail or overweight have a risk of extra strain on their ankles and knees.
- Less comfortable:
Ankle weights provide less comfortability while you are walking, running and jogging. And will not help you to run faster. While doing exercising with them it will slow you down.
- Ankle weights weigh you down:
As this will not allow you to jump higher while you are wearing them.
- Damages your joint:
As wearing ankle weights, we use more force and exert extra force than usual this will affect our joints thus our joints damages. If you are having a joint problem, then this will be dangerous for you.
- Not good for hamstrings:
While using ankle weights might be a good and easy option for giving your leg muscles in tone shape. But after this all they may not strengthen the muscles. With using these weights your leg muscles could become unbalanced and overdeveloped.
- Can irritate pre-existing injuries:
For those people who have already a knee or injury, while using these additional weights to the workout can increase the chance of having another serious injury on that joint. It will add more stress to an existing injured joint that will lead to a dangerous joint problem with more pain and led to the chronic issue.
It is very clear that ankle weights are not good for everyone. Anyone with having an injury in legs, joint, the ankle should avoid using these weights. Until your doctor allowed you to use them.
- Not recommended for extended use:
It is not fit for wearing them on daily and regular basis because it will more likely to induce joint stress, instead of for gaining benefits as calorie burning and muscles building benefits it will put you in problems. For toning your muscles in lesser time people weights more than their capability and get stuck in severe pain and major issues. You can tone your legs without using weights also and in healthy, natural way.
We have talked about the safety hacks for both the Ankle and wrists weights. Ankle weight seems to be an easy way to increase the intensity of your workout. You simply put them to walk, run, jump or lift. The extra weight makes your muscles work harder, which means you spend more energy. However, use them incorrectly, and your ankle weights can do more harm than good.
Whilst, walking with wrist weights can be beneficial because of our muscles contract against the resistance that the weight provides. This helps develop muscle mass and increase strength and strength. Balance and coordination are also likely to improve.
These weights could be carried by people who are new to exercising, just by being careful and following simple hacks and safety techniques that we have stated above. It is better not to overdo any of these weights because an excess of everything is hazardous as well. Just make sure you start slow while you are learning to tackle these weights and once you have taken enough command on how to handle these weights you will feel confident and your style of doing workout will also become professional.
Many of us do not get the result from a workout that we desire that is because the method of our doing workout is incorrect. Same goes for lifting ankle and wrist weights we keep on lifting them and after days of hard work only to realize that we are not even close to our desired workout results. We are pretty sure if you follow these safety tips from this article you will be amazed to see what the right and proper technique of doing ankle and wrist weights could do to you. So good luck for these miraculous without putting your health and life at risk of any internal injury.
Khalid Irfan is a Fitness expert who enjoys spending time in gym. He also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand his horizons.