Weighted clothing is clothing that adds weight to parts of the body, as part of resistance training. The effect is achieved by attaching weighted articles to the body or clothing. Which leave the hands free to grab objects. Unlike with free weights or machines, LEG WEIGHTS clothing can leave users with more freedom to perform a variety of movements and work. In some cases weighted clothing is worn under normal clothing, to hide its use to allow exercise casually.
Weighted clothing is a form of resistance training, which is kind of like weight training. In addition to the greater effect of gravity on the person, it adds resistance during projectile movements, thanks to more force needed to overcome the inertia of heavy masses, as well as a greater momentum that needs deceleration at the end to avoid injury. The method may increase muscle mass or lose weight; although, there have been concerns about the safety of some weights, such as wrist and ankle weights. It is normally done in the form of small weights, attached to increase endurance when performed in long continuous events, such as running, swimming, punching, kicking or jumping. Heavy weighted clothing can also be used for slow, controlled movements, and as a way to add resistance to calisthenics exercises.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF LEG WEIGHTS
When it comes to the lower body, there are three kinds of weighted clothing available to be attached to three different areas of the legs for their respective purposes; Thighs, ankles, and the feet.
Thigh weights are the most reasonable form of lower body resistance. The location of the mass more easily replicates the natural fat-storage mechanism of the body and being closer to the abs. In leg raise exercises, it allows more hip flexor(glutes) and abdominal activation without putting much strain on the quadriceps for an extension, making it good for sports-specific training on movements like knees and jumping. The more area and safe location allow it to handle more weight. For those with wide thighs, e.g bodybuilders, or people with large amounts of fat stores on the thighs, it may cause chafing. If worn on
both legs, however, the chafing would be between the weights and only damage them, possibly only chafing with a lack of rigidity.
Thigh weights are not ideal for movements involving quads use, as they require tightness which may limit muscle use and blood flow to the legs. For such movements, weights worn higher on the body or free weights are better.
Ankle weights are a common weight used in numerous exercises. Far from the core, fixed above the ankle around the lower shin and Achilles tendon, due to leverage less weight is needed to increase the forces on the body.
Since they’re attached to a region with a smaller diameter compared to the thigh, there is no room for great weight without greatly changing the effective width of the lower leg. An advantage over thigh weights is that they’re not attached to any major muscle or fat storage region, so tightness isn’t a factor and it can be used in almost every exercise.
Exercises using the calf muscles such as calf raises can benefit from ankle weights.
Ankle weights are handy in adding weight to pull-ups and dips, especially when incorporating leg raises into the exercises. They are also useful in slow kicking katas, and static-active stretching of the legs when balancing on one leg, or suspended in the air.
Light ankle weights have a history of use for kicking in swimming, of forwarding flexion in kicking, walking, jogging, and sprinting. Concern has been voiced regarding this type of training. It might put too much stress on the joints, similar to the shearing forces found in leg extension and leg curl movements.
Weighted movements at high speeds also cause the nervous system to fire at larger intensities. If an individual loses the weight without being trained to improvise and adapt to the transition, he may overexert himself without checking at the end of the movement and hurt himself. This is a risk when people fully extend their limbs in such exercises and do not come to a controlled stop in time, limiting muscle flexion. The muscle being extended is more at risk, not one held statically. E.g, the quadriceps could overexert in a snap kick trained with ankle weights, but with a rising kick, it is the hip flexor muscle most likely to overextend. Either way, the hamstring and associated ligaments would be at risk for a tear.
The advantage to ankle weights, unlike wrist weights, is that it adds a whole new component to movements that wrist weights don’t since we can’t grab dumbbells with our feet like we can with our hands. It is a major advantage in training rotational hip stabilizers, to work on turnout for martial arts and dancing. To do this, the leg is bent 90 degrees at the knee and then rotated inwards and outwards to bring the foot upwards. This is common in footbag kicks and holds.
The disadvantage to ankle weights is they may add stress to ligaments in ankle or knee. Because of this, some experts discourage running while wearing them.
Weighted footwear, e.g boots, sandals, and shoes, are similar to ankle weights. The difference is that being below the ankle, the calf muscle isn’t activated at all. Muscles in both legs only become activated when the leg is raised in the air. For straight-leg flexion (front and back) the increase in distance does increase leverage. In regard to the flexion muscles of the ankle, weighted footwear gives divergent methods of training them that ankle weights don’t. Leverage is best when the weight is near the tip of the foot, either above the toes or below the ball of the foot. Flexed to the front, it works the muscle
opposite the calf, which is useful as it’s not a commonly activated muscle for exercise, only a stabilizer to the calf muscle. It’s very useful in retaining flexibility. The calf muscle can also be activated, but the leg should be raised behind the body as to make gravity resisting the flexion. At the front of the body, it will only assist calf flexion.
An advantage of weighted footwear is that they can be discreet, depending upon the weight and form of the footwear in question. This only applies to those with a fixed weight, adjustable footwear is obvious, and can’t be used as normal footwear at all. An advantage to wearing them beyond additional training is their extra mass, which creates more downward force than one would normally have, with foot-dropping attacks such as axe kicks and stomps.