Exercising is quite a fun activity that not only has health benefits but increases the production of endorphins, the hormones that can make you feel happier with just about anything. Sure, you will feel a kind of burn but it is the good kind and one that might even have you looking forward to your next session.
Unfortunately, exercising can fall into a routine and become a bit, dare I say, boring, especially when you work out alone at home. The maneuvers become second nature and that delicious burn is nothing more but a memory. You feel that you aren’t pushing yourself adequately and soon, what was once an exciting activity becomes a chore.
Well, you certainly can up the ante with nothing more than a pair of ankle weights!
But what are ankle weights and how are they supposed to help with your workouts? How do they work? And if you even feel remotely up to it, are they even a good investment and what are the best ankle weights on the market?
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- The Top Ankle Weights in the Market
- Ankle Weights
- What are Ankle Weights For?
- What Are They Not For?
- Fitting Ankle Weights
- Types of Ankle Weights
- Choosing the Best Ankle Weights for You
- The One Pair to Rule Them All!
The Top Ankle Weights in the Market
Now, we go on to the best ankle weights available in the market. You might find that some of these weights can also be used on your wrists, which is an added bonus for those who also want to provide resistance to the arms for those toning exercises!
These ankle weights from Nordic Lifting can be used on both ankles and wrists. They are made of neoprene with a bit of padding to add comfort. The quality of the material is good.
However, the “adjustable” part of the description is a bit misleading as they refer to the size of the weights, which can be adjusted by means of the Velcro strap. The weights themselves are fixed and sand-filled.
One size fits men, women, and children but they are to be used on ankles and wrists only. If you plan to strap them above the knee, especially for rehabilitative exercises, you might find them a bit too short.
- Adjustable size can fit children also
- Made of neoprene with padding
- “Adjustable” in product description is a bit misleading
- Some units have frayed stitching
Ladies, if you have a problem with men’s ankle weights slipping off your ankles during your workout routines then the people over at Healthy Mode Life heard you and came up with these ankle weights that are guaranteed to fit around slender ankles. And they certainly look better than other chunkier types!
These ankle weights are also super comfortable and easy to take on and off with their Velcro straps.
These ankle weights are made with women in mind but men can also wear these ankle weights, although the pink logo might turn them off.
- Adjustable size with Velcro straps
- Sand filling does not dig into ankles
- Material falls apart after a few months, especially with heavy use
- Made for slender ankles and will not fit around larger ankles
- Pink logo might not be attractive for men
The AllPro Adjustable Ankle Weights were designed by a therapist. These are adjustable ankle weights with a maximum weight of 5 lbs. around each ankle. There are pouches around the ankle weights where you can insert the iron bars at ½ lbs. increments to as much as 5 lbs.
They may seem a little bulkier than most but they are quite comfortable and do not dig into your skin as you work out. The quality is also outstanding with consumers claiming that they lasted months until the Velcro straps gave out.
Unlike most ankle weights, the weights in the AllPro are made of iron, which is great as lead weight pose a health risk and sand-filled weights have a tendency to leak out eventually.
However, it is pricier than most ankle weights on the market and may be a little too much for a beginner trying out ankle weights at home.
- Adjustable weights up to as much as 5 lbs. in ½ lb. increments
- Weights are made of iron bars
- Velcro straps will eventually give out
- Weights may dig into your ankles if not positioned well
For those with a lower pain threshold and those who despise the thought of metal bars digging into their skin, the TheraBand Comfort Ankle and Wrist Cuff Wrap Walking Weights Set promise to give you superior comfort with their design.
The weights are known for their padded terrycloth design and even have a padded heel to protect the Achilles tendon.
These weights are not adjustable and are available in three sets with their corresponding colors: red with two 1 lb. cuffs, green with two 1.5 lb. cuffs, and blue with two 2.5 lbs. cuffs. Each set is sold separate from one another.
These weights are known for their durability and can be easily stuffed back into their tube packaging for athletes on the go.
- Comfortable padded terrycloth design
- Padded heel for Achilles tendon protection
- Available in three set with corresponding colors
- Easy to carry around with their tube packaging
- Weights are not adjustable
- Might not fit wrists and slender ankles
- Tend to move up and down with use
These adjustable ankle weights come in a pair of 5 lbs. with 2.5 lbs. for each ankle. There are five weight packs for every ankle, ½ lb. per pack, and these weight packs are filled with sand. They can be added and removed to adjust the weight you need for your exercises.
Neoprene is used for these weight packs and they come in four different colors-black, orange, pink, and purple. Consumers report that it is quite comfortable even with extended use. The straps are made of Velcro so you can adjust them to ideal snugness around your ankles.
- Adjustable weights with sand-filled packs
- Can be washed by hand-just remove the sand packs prior to washing
- Adjustable size with Velcro straps
- Available in four colors
- Design is not waterproof
Ankle weights are weights that are worn around your ankles or wrists. They range from as little as ¼ lbs. to as much as 25 lbs. They are mostly adjustable usually wrapped around your ankles or wrists and strapped by means of belts or Velcro straps. They are meant to fit snugly but not too tight that you begin to feel your circulation is being compromised.
These weights are meant to add a bit of resistance to your workouts or fitness routines so you can work those target muscles faster.
What are Ankle Weights For?
If you are looking for a way to add more to your routine, ankle weights can do that for you by providing the resistance that will force your muscles to work harder. This will fatigue your muscles faster so you can achieve just as much in less time.
Ankle weights are great for toning the calves and glutes as they add resistance to the lower part of your body, including your core. Adding ankle weights to certain core and leg exercises will help you get a nice tone and build strength as well.
Because of the resistance they provide, your muscles will have to exert more effort. Even walking at a normal pace will have you burning more calories compared to walking without the added weight.
If you mostly workout at home without access to heavy gym equipment, you might also want to invest in a good pair of ankle weights to give your exercises the added resistance so you can make the most of your exercises. Other necessary tools include resistance bands, weight lifting gloves, etc.
The following exercises mostly benefit from the use of ankle weights?
1. Core Exercises
Ankle weights can present a challenge for your core muscles. You should decide what muscles could coordinate with each other. Start with as little weight as possible and slowly work your way up. Certain core exercises that can benefit from ankle weights include reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, and leg raises.
2. Leg Exercises
Since they are strapped to your ankles, ankle weights will naturally force your legs to exert more than the usual amount of effort. Just like with core exercises, you can start small and work your way up. Leg exercises that can benefit from ankle weights include leg lifts, single-leg squats, and leg curls.
3. Glute Exercises
Fancy yourself a shapely bum? Ankle weights can help you get there quickly.
Glute exercises with increased potential with the help of ankle weights include single-leg glute bridges, alternate leg bridges, and kickbacks.
4. Athletic Training
You might also have heard of many athletes using ankle weights in their routines, especially basketball players. The added weight they provide will help train these athletes to run faster and jump higher.
What Are They Not For?
Now, you might be thinking that ankle weights are just about good for anything but they are not. They might be great for certain exercises but you should always keep in mind that no one thing is good enough for everything and the same holds true for ankle weights.
Although ankle weights provide great resistance without being a hindrance to your workout routines, there are some cases that they should not be used.
Because they add resistance to your lower back and legs, people with problems in their joints and lower backs are advised to refrain from using ankle weights.
Ankle weights are also not recommended for cardiovascular exercises like walking and jogging as they could cause injuries, doing more harm than benefit. Ankle weights shine more when doing stationary exercises like the ones mentioned previously. However, in movement exercises, they are more likely to exert unnecessary pressure on your lower back, hips, and legs.
Crunches? Go ahead and strap them on.
Jogging? You are better off leaving them behind.
Fitting Ankle Weights
Most ankle weights come with Velcro straps or belts so you can fit them around your ankles or wrists. It is recommended to strap them on snugly so they don’t move about while you are performing exercises but not too tightly that they begin cutting off your circulation.
Before you buy ankle weights, a great tip is to visit your local gym or therapist to get a good idea of the weights you will be spending money on. The right weight for you should be one that will give you the sweet balance of resistance without hampering your movements or weighing you down too much.
Types of Ankle Weights
There are different kinds of ankle weights found in the market and with the advancement of technology, they are all available at your fingertips. Simply go online and you will have a wide array displayed on your screen.
Knowing which one to choose will not only benefit your journey to fitness but your wallet, as well.
1. Adjustable vs. Fixed Weights
- Adjustable weights: For those who are most familiar with the use of ankle weights, adjustable weights might be the better investment, especially if you plan on using them regularly. As the name implies, you can adjust the weights to this type of ankle weights to provide different levels of resistance for different workouts. The flexibility allowed by adjustable weights will make sure that your muscles are always being challenged as you add more weights, as well as allow you to use different weights for different workouts without having to buy a new pair every now and then.
- Fixed weights: These weights are ideal for those who are just starting out or testing the waters with ankle weights. Unlike adjustable weights, fixed weights have only one weight setting, which is good if you are fairly familiar with the weight that is suitable for you or you simply wish to continue your usual ankle weight exercises.
Because you will be unable to change the weights in fixed weights, it is best for you to familiarize yourself with the appropriate weights for your body. Visit your local gym or therapist to have expert advice on the weights you should invest in. Also, you might want to try out the fit in the store before buying to ensure that you are getting the right pair.
Depending on the manner you are planning to use your weights, the two main fillings are usually sand and water.
- Sand-filled ankle weights: Sand-filled ankle weights can generally be heavier than their water-filled counterparts so if you want greater resistance, these might be the best kind for you. However, sand-filled ankle weights have a tendency to eventually leak out of the pouches that contain them so you might want to keep an eye out for it.
- Water-filled ankle weights: These ankle weights can be adjustable to a certain degree as you can simply top them up to the desired amount. If you plan to take your weights with you when you travel, these are also a more handy option as you can just empty them out and refill when you are about to use them. For those who plan to use their weights in water, such as in rehabilitative exercises, water-filled ankle weights can be used in water, too.
Choosing the Best Ankle Weights for You
Now that you have a basic idea of the types of ankle weights available on the market, it is time to select the right pair you will be taking home.
Before you buy a pair of ankle weights, you must first decide what you are going to use them for, where you are going to use them, and how you would use them.
Those who are frequently on the move could benefit from a pair of water-filled ankle weights as they are easy to empty and refill once more when you are going to use them. Water-filled ankle weights are also a great option for those planning to do most of their exercises in water.
If you are still testing the waters with ankle weights, you might want to first invest in a pair of fixed weights. However, if you are planning on using your weights regularly and want to increase the resistance every now and then, adjustable weights might do the trick for you.
There is no one type of ankle weights that fits all your needs but there are certainly some that are versatile enough.
Your ankle weights are meant to be used regularly and this could exert a bit of strain on them so choose them carefully or they could break apart on you in the middle of a routine and cause injury.
Before buying your ankle weights, check for frayed ends or stitches and make sure that the material can hold the weights well enough as you move. Check also the stability of the straps or belts to make sure they do not come undone while you are performing your exercises with weights.
Quality usually correlates with brand and price but there are affordable options which are of good quality as well.
3. Weight Variations
Beginners in using ankle weights should take care to buy ankle weights that are appropriate for them as the wrong pair could impact your exercises.
Ankle weights usually vary in ½ lbs. and can go as high as 25 lbs. for serious athletes. You might want to try some in your local gym or with a therapist to know which weights are a good fit for you.
After all the considerations above, the most important thing is to stay within your budget. Exercise can be fun and to invest in your health is advisable but you don’t have to hand over a pound of your flesh just for a pair ankle weights.
Consider your budget carefully but also make sure you buy quality ankle weights to avoid possible injuries a poorly made pair could cause you.
The One Pair to Rule Them All!
The TheraBand definitely hit the sweet spot with durability, quality, comfort, support, and all of that at a price that is quite friendly on the pockets. The color-coding for the different weights was also a nice touch. Although these are not adjustable weights, these are great enough for a first pair without you having to break the bank for it.