Working out is difficult. There’s no two ways about it. What keeps everyone in the gym? Seeing progress and feeling stronger are addictive. There is no better feeling than when hard work pays off. As you continue to workout finding these results becomes harder and harder. Our bodies get used to training and our favorite exercises. One way to keep from plateauing is to add resistance. That means increasing the weight used during the exercise. Sometimes, this can be difficult. For example, when doing body weight exercises (push ups, pull-ups, planks), or cardio (running, jogging, biking, etc.) it is tough to add weight safely.
One option is to add a weighted vest to your routine, but they are generally for very committed lifters and athletes. So how can you spice up your workout schedule without adding too much stress? The answer could be wrist weights.
What Are Wrist Weights?
Wrist Weights are small - usually less than 5 pounds per pair - heavy wraps worn around the wrists to mildly increase the intensity of most exercises. They are best used for runners, walkers, and joggers to add a small element of strength training to cardio workouts. However, they can be utilized in a variety of ways including augmenting the resistance of body weight exercises, general weightlifting or for cross training/crossfit.
The added weight may not seem like much, but at the end of the workout you will feel the proverbial burn. The weights will work muscles in your arms you never knew you had. The muscles worked will differ depending on the exercise you are doing. Meaning, adding hand weights to your regimen can pay dividends across a myriad of exercises. Wearing them during sports practice will help you perform at a higher level during actual competition. These weights will activate the muscles you need to perform to a new level without unduly stressing the rest of your body. So if you're looking to add a little bite to your workout here are some the best wrist weights on the market…
Yes4All offers some of the most versatile options in the category. With 5 variations ranging from 1-5 pounds per pair, finding the resistance you need is extremely easy. Excellent for casual runners, joggers, and walkers these weights can fit your needs regardless of level. The one pound option can be perfect for aqua aerobics, senior citizens, or for use during physical therapy (make sure to ask your therapist first).
Yes4All Comfort weights are best used during light exercise and casual home workouts. The neoprene fabric and double stitching ensure durability. The rugged Velcro strap ensures a snug fit that won’t move during light workouts. Ranging from $11- $17.50 Yes4All has some of the most affordable choices available, perfect for those who want to see if they can handle the extra weight.
Nordic Lifting has one of the best reviewed wrist weights in the segment. With a perfect 5-star rating and a 1-year warranty, Nordic has put customer satisfaction at the forefront of their mission. The 3 pound weight is squarely in the middle of the spectrum, making them an easy choice for those unsure where to begin. If that seems too much, they also offer one and two pound options.
One of the best features is the reflective trim that will endear these weights to fans of late night runs or early morning strolls. This coupled with the sturdy D-ring design and giant velcro pad makes Nordic the best choice for runners. It’s safe to say they have truly thought outside the box and included features above and beyond the basic wrist weight. Throw in the free carrying bag and you have one of the best values on the market. Fully adjustable these weights are great for women and men alike. Coming in at just under $23 Nordic proves that the old adage “you get what you pay for” is true in this case.
Da Vinci has created a wrist weight for everyone from the extremely serious to the complete novice, with weights ranging from 2-10 pounds. The design is quite simple but super effective. The sand weights allow for a snug fit. However, unlike the other products mentioned above the Da Vinci weights are worn with an open section at the bottom. This uneven distribution of weight is fine for low motion exercises like weightlifting or biking, but not for high impact activities like running or sports practice.
The supple interior liner does give a superior level of comfort and moisture wicking. This ensures that sweat stains, and bad odors are not going to interrupt your routine. Overall, at $23 for 10 pound total weight Da Vinci offers a superb value with a few flaws. These wrist weights are some of the best for some exercises, but the product above is superior for runners and sports enthusiasts.
Valeo has come in at the extreme high end of the spectrum. One of the only companies to offer a 20 pound pair, Valeo has a product for the serious heavy lifter looking for plateau busting performance of a different caliber. These weights also has the added benefit of a customizable weight setup. That means you can add or remove weight based on what you’re doing that day. That makes the Valeo a very versatile choice, add weight for a day at the gym or take some out for that morning run. Double D-rings ensure a tight fit even with the 20 pound version.
If that seems like too much of a challenge, they offer 5 and 10 pound options as well. Valeo has created a supreme choice for very serious athletes. You won’t find a better fit while supporting that much weight.
So if you think you’re ready to jump straight into the deep end, Valeo wrist weights are the best option. With a 4.5 star rating, some customers complain of a cumbersome design, but it’s hard to not be ungainly when attaching 10 pounds to each arm. With the price tag of $15, $25 and $50 respectively the 5, 10, and 20 pound options are for those looking for a serious fitness edge.
The SPRI Thumblock comes with an innovative design that wraps around the thumb to create an unshakeable fit capable of withstanding the most intense workouts. These weights are the most versatile choices for intense weightlifting and crossfit. Furthermore, the thumblock design makes them indispensable for runners and great for various sports like tennis and baseball. The tight, even fit makes sure adding resistance to your practice sessions won’t put unnecessary pressure on your other muscles. So feel free to work on you swings with added weight without worry.
While most other products are marketed as both wrist and ankle weights, the SPRI Thumblock is ergonomically designed with the wrist in mind. That means no slipping, no sliding, no movement, just exactly what you need for those long runs and intense sessions where focus must be maintained.
With only 2 or 4 pound options, these weights are a bit on the lighter side. Starting at $18 they are not one of the cheapest choices either. You are paying for an amazing design and the peace of mind knowing you won’t have to take a break midway to make adjustments.
So, are they good or bad?
Adding weight to your wrists has its pros and cons. Adding a little resistance to intense exercise can result in increased strength, stamina, and core stability. Although, too much weight across a large range of motion can be detrimental to joints and ligaments. So if you’re looking for added challenge while running/walking or increased resistance for sports motions (tennis swing, throwing, crossfit) best to keep the weight light, it will be enough of a challenge. If not, it's always possible to move up later. Heavy wrist weights are best reserved for more static exercises.
Serious weights can greatly improve stabilizing muscles for body weight movements, or controlled lifts. It's always better to err on the light side. Adding too much weight to one joint can be dangerous and difficult. There is no reason to overstress as even the smallest denomination of weight will prove to be a challenge at first. Whether you are recovering from an injury, looking to add a bit of difficulty to your tired routine, or a serious lifter looking for that next huge jump, wrist weights can help you get there.