Working out can be hard. However, once you get into your daily, weekly, monthly routine, you will find things becoming a bit easier. If you're already at your fitness goals, keeping your regime intact will help you maintain your success. However, if you want to push your level even further, you have no choice but to add difficulty. This includes mixing in different exercises, routines, or classes and also continually increasing resistance. For weight training, that means adding more weight. For runners/joggers/walkers/cyclists, setting lower target times, taking longer routes, and choosing more challenging inclines can help. This strategy is built into many exercise routines like crossfit. So how do you keep the challenge without totally changing what you like to do? For many the answer can be wearing ankle weights.
How Do They Work?
Wearing ankle weights can add resistance to almost every movement. Wearing light weights while walking will make your normal lap feel new again. By targeting just the muscles being used in the exercise, wearable weights don’t overstress joints and ligaments. Putting small weights in your routine will test tiny muscle groups that are often neglected by targeted weight lifting and athletic exercise. Larger muscles like your quads and calves will reach out to smaller stabilizer muscles for help with the extra weight. Different muscles will be affected by various movements. For example, wearing weights during pull-ups will help tone and strengthen your core and shoulders.
In general, extra resistance is a great way to keep seeing improved results. When the weights are removed the activity will seem so much easier. For basketball players looking to increase vertical leap, doing box jumps with ankle weights will making dunking that much easier. Likewise, wearing weights during cycling runs will give you the edge for that next race. For the casual person who’s not seeing the same returns on their walks or jogs, weights can bring that sweet soreness back. Overall, ankle weights can help almost everyone reach their goals.
The Best Ankle Weights
Not all weights are created equal. There is a correct choice for every person based on preferred form of exercise. Below is a list of the best products for a wide variety of athletic endeavors:
Sometimes the flashy choice isn’t the best one. Champion Sports weights will not impress anyone, in fact many people may not even notice them. The black soft neoprene is understated, but gets the job done. The non-slip design will make sure there’s no additional friction on your run or walk. The 2 pound pair is perfect for runners or joggers to get a little more out of their nightly jaunt. However, Champion also provides 5 and 10 pound options to ensure everyone’s needs are covered. Serious lifters and those wanting to augment their body weight exercises will adore the heavier options.
It’s important to start with something you can handle and work your way up. With prices ranging from $11-$32 based on weight, price is certainly not a barrier. If you’re looking to try out ankle weights and want a basic option that does the job, look no further
CAP Barbell offers one of the most versatile options useful for people of all fitness levels. The 10 pound pair can sound intimidating to beginners, however, CAP’s setup is divided with removable weights that slide securely into pockets. This means one product for all your needs. Remove weight before that run, or fill it up right before heading to that lifting session. The velcro strap provides a bit easier fit that the traditional d-ring but can wear out after a long period.
Furthermore, the ability to adjust the weight comes with a cost, the weights are naturally a bit more bulky and uncomfortable. By virtue of centering the weight into certain pockets the fit will not be as nice as an evenly distributed pre-determined set up. At $20 per pair, CAP offers excellent value. It’s possible this will be the only set of ankle weights you need to buy. Perfect for people who have a variety of needs, these weights will adapt to your routine as you desire.
Healthy Model Life
Healthy Model Life has designed its weights with women in mind. Specifically calling them “cuffs” allows you to imagine the fit. The extremely tight wraps concentrate the weight perfectly where it needs to be. This is spectacular for running and other higher movement exercises like pilates. The 2 pound pair is great for women who are tired of not seeing the same tone from their daily lunchtime walks, or nightly gym sessions. Wearing these weights will introduce strength training to cardio based routines.
This has been proven to have excellent metabolic and skeletal impact especially as we age. Why not work your muscles and your lungs at the same time? Priced at $22.45 you are paying a bit extra for comfort and security. As a woman having a product ergonomically designed for you can be worth the premium.
Nordic Lifting has designed these weights with runners in mind. The D-ring plus velcro design is meant to keep the weight in place so you don’t have to stop your rhythm. Runners are creatures of habit and the slightest discomfort can take your mind off the mission at hand. The even weight distribution will take the stress of joints and make sure your stride stays unchanged. Other bulky weights can put you at risk of injury as your body adjusts.
Furthermore, the weights are designed with bright reflective trim that ensures those early morning and late night drivers see you on the road. Coming in 2, 4, and 6 pound varieties, Nordic has everyone covered, from the casual walker, to the marathon trainee. You can find your ideal resistance. Starting from $19 and topping out at $25, Nordic put in the features runners deserve. Don’t screw around with your gait, make the right choice for your safety and security.
oFitness has put a lot of research into their design, and it shows. The purple sweat resistant neoprene is wonderful for those that wanted to add a little pizazz along with the weight. Engineered to fit underneath the ankle, this is one of the most comfortable pairs on the market. Designed for those core centered workouts, and bodyweight exercises, like planks, lunges, and extensions. These ankle weights could be the ticket to finally getting that six-pack you’ve always wanted. Also featuring reflective trim, runners will be delighted as well. The soft terry inside will make sure that scuffs and scrapes are a thing of the past.
The supple material also helps wick away sweat, meaning the stench and sogginess will be gone as well. The 6 pound combined weight is perfect for the average person, but could be a bit of a heavy beginning for true novices. At $19 dollars they offer features of the more expensive brands. The lack of other weight classes may leave people looking for more versatile options. The 90-day no questions asked warranty is a nice touch. Give them a try, if they are too heavy or too light, send them back. Chances are you’ll fit right in the goldilocks zone, and fully enjoy oFitness’ focus on technology.
Valeo has created an excellent offering for the segment. These ankle weights are arguably the most useful on the market. The pair’s adjustable weights is widely variable making them a great choice for beginners looking to improve and those who enjoy different types of exercise. Valeo weights are quickly adapted between 4-20 pounds. This spectrum allows for a huge range of uses.
While they too are a bit bulky, the double D-ring design makes sure they won't shimmy and slide. At peak weight, these are great for serious lifters. At 4 pounds they are made for runners, and cyclists. The variability is the main feature. The self closing weight pockets make certain that adapting the resistance to your routine is a true breeze. Valeo makes the perfect set for crossfitters, kickboxers, and heavy lifters. With a $29 price tag, you are paying for this adaptability. However, that likely means you will never have to buy another set again. Going with Valeo guarantees months of continued progress and the ability to match your difficulty with a changing regimen
All Pro provides equipment for the super serious enthusiast. This 20 pound weight is NOT sold in pairs. Each item is sold separately . If you purchase a pair the total cost is $110 and you’ll be carrying a whopping 40 pounds total on your ankles. While the solid iron interior weights are removable, the selling point of All Pro is the sheer mass. They offer double the weight of their nearest competitor.
These are not for the faint of heart, or the truly frugal. The dual ankle and achilles pads are absolutely necessary for this level of pressure. If you’re looking to get truly serious about augmenting your body weight, All Pro is the only way to go. If you find bodyweight exercises extremely easy, and core work a breeze, this choice could make you feel brand new. The shear size and bulk makes them a bit too stressful for running or long walks. Serious weight lifters only.
Last couple words regarding weighted anklets
Adding ankle weights is an easy way to help you push over that fitness plateau. However, it's extremely important to pick the right weight for your desired results. Light weight is best for adding a strength element to vigorous cardio. They are especially useful in augmenting cardio classes like Zumba, Kickboxing, and pilates. For sports practice and more serious training, like competitive running and biking, a medium weight can be applied to give you the edge of the competition.
When the weights come off, you’ll be surprised how much easier it feels. It’s meant to help strengthen the small stabilizer muscles often neglected by standard practice, and training. Medium weights are also perfect for core exercise sessions and people looking to take their lifting sessions up a notch. Heavy weights should only be used by seriously committed people. It may even be wise to consult a trainer before adding heavy weights to your rotation. These weights can alter your gait and put stress on joints and ligaments during rapid movements so they are best limited to semi-stationary exercise and good form is essential. Don’t jump straight in the deep end of you don’t know how to swim. Take a few laps in the shallow end to see if wearing weights is right for you. Whether you’re looking for a little tone up, to train harder, or interested in finding your true limits, ankle weights can help.