Fitness enthusiasts are always looking for ways to further their training efforts. Have you ever noticed someone walking around with what look like sandbags strapped to his or her ankles? They are known as ankle weights and are designed to provide added resistance to leg motions. Ankle weights have become widely accepted by athletes and regular gym goers, but are they useful?
Purpose of Ankle Weights
People who use ankle weights are instructed to strap the weight just above their ankle, which makes basic leg movements harder to perform. Ankle weights are said to strengthen your glutes, calves, and quads while improving muscle mass through regular use. This may be accurate, but the unnatural positioning of the weights can lead to sprains, strains, and other minor injuries when walking, making them especially hazardous.
The True Result of Wearing Ankle Weights
Wearing ankle weights can be compared to using your cell phone; there’s a time and a place it’s appropriate. Just like you shouldn’t be looking at your phone when you are crossing the street, you shouldn’t wear ankle weights when crossing the street either. Ankle weights have their advantages, but that depends on when you wear them.
When to use Ankle Weights
Strength training exercises that isolate muscle groups are most favorable for the use of ankle weights. The reason being is that they do not require excessive movement, while the added resistance can boost their intensity. Leg lifts and sumo squats are both examples of exercises where wearing ankle weights can help your fitness effort. The extra weight strengthens your core in leg lifts and your leg and hip muscles in sumo squats.
When Not to Use Ankle Weights
Ankle weights become dangerous when people try to use them for cardio training. When you strap extra weight to the ankle, it increases the force on joints which can further deteriorate any existing conditions or create new ones. Rather than using weights to intensify a brisk jog, try jogging on an incline. Whether on a treadmill or a hill, incline training strengthens leg and calf muscles without adding unnecessary weight.
Make sure to leave the ankle weights at home when you join us for a HIIT class in Fort Lauderdale. PumpFit Club combines cardiovascular and strength training to keep the heart rate high throughout the workout for maximum results. Join us for a free class and start your fitness journey today!