Ankle weights are bands that go around the ankle, usually fastened by Velcro, that contain sand or metal bars or pellets. Their purpose is to add a extra weight to the legs during exercise or every day activities.
Ankle weights contribute to developing muscle strength and increasing the results of the exercise.
This addition to the fitness or training routine is particularly convenient because it can be applied at all times and circumstances. People wear them when they jog, do pull-ups, walk, work around the house or in the garden, go grocery shopping or simply take a walk in the park. Some people wear it all the time at home or at work, because they can be hidden beneath the pant legs.
Ankle weights can be bought in almost every sporting goods store and they come in different colors and weights, ranging from five to 20 pounds. They are comfortable because they come with practical nylon straps that fit to any ankle.
Benefits of ankle weights
Ankle straps add an extra resistance to the workout techniques. This means that walking or jogging with ankle straps on is more effective and better results are obtained with less time consumed.
They help develop the leg muscles, especially the quadriceps, and also the glutes, by making them work harder.
Because the muscles have to work harder with ankle weights, the cardiovascular workout is more effective as well.
Ankle weights are also recommended by physical therapists for people who recover after a hip or knee surgery.
Negative aspects of ankle weights
Some experts claim that ankle weights are not so good for the health because they may add to much strain to the joints, especially knees, ankles and hips. They believe the same result can be achieved by simply increasing the time spent working out or by jogging faster.
Some caution is always recommended for every type of exercise. Ankle weights should not be worn if the person feels the strain is too much and that the joints may be suffering from them.
It is recommended to wear lighter weights and to avoid wearing them constantly. There is no need for them to be on at all times, it is best to dedicate some time to this activity each day.
People who are not too fond of exercise can simply wear them around the house while doing choirs like vacuuming, doing garden work, or when they are out shopping.