What are Ankle Weights?
Ankle weights are small removable weights worn strapped around the ankles during various exercises to increase resistance and intensity. They are a versatile piece of fitness equipment.
How Do Ankle Weights Work?
Adding weight around the ankles provides moderate resistance to lower body exercises. This increases the challenge to your muscles to build strength in the legs, glutes, and core. Ankle weights range from 1 to 20+ pounds.
Exercises to Use Ankle Weights
- Squats – Bend hips and knees to lower body; engage glutes and quads to return to standing.
- Lunges – Step forward, lowering back knee toward ground; push back up through front heel.
- Step-ups – Step up onto platform, bringing second foot up; step back down.
- Planks – Hold body straight in push-up position; engage core.
- Mountain climbers – In push-up position, bring one knee to chest then switch legs.
- Donkey kicks – Braced on hands and knees, kick one leg back, engaging glutes.
- Side lunges – Step legs wide, lowering into side lunge bending one knee; keep chest up.
- Wall sits – Hold seated position against wall with knees bent at 90 degrees.
- Bridge variations – Squeeze glutes to raise hips off floor; variations include single-leg or shoulder bridges.
Start with low weight and progress gradually as the ankles adapt to avoid strain. Proper form is important.
Benefits of Ankle Weights
- Portable and affordable
- Allow progressive overload
- Target smaller muscle groups
- Enhance calorie burn
- Improve bone density in the legs
In summary, ankle weights provide moderate lower body resistance to burn more calories and strengthen the legs during bodyweight exercises.
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