If you don’t use ankle weights in your workouts, this article will show you the benefits of ankle weights you are missing out on.
Have you ever wondered why people use ankle weights? Do they even work?
Ankle weights are weighted clothing attached around the Achilles tendon and the lower shin to increase the work done by your muscles during exercise.
Ankle weights provide several benefits for your fitness and health.
Benefits of Ankle Weights
1. Helps You Burn More Calories
Using ankle weights can help increase your calorie burn and promote weight loss, according to the results of a study published in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Journal.
This can be extremely beneficial especially when you are performing cardio exercises targeted at weight loss.
While cardio is great, the body quickly adapts to the routine and your gains slow down.
Ankle weights can change things up and help you burn calories even when you do the same cardio workouts.
Ankle weights also force your muscles to work harder, increasing your metabolism and helping you burn calories for longer.
2. Promotes Better Breathing
According to research from the University of Maryland, ankle weights can provide relief to people suffering from respiratory ailments such as asthma.
But you have to attach them to your chest, rather than your legs while running.
The increased weight on the chest helps to boost heart rate and respiratory rate, two important factors for proper respiration and strengthening of the breathing muscles.
You can incorporate ankle weights into your breathing workouts for increased effectiveness, but you should talk to your physician before using them.
3. Boosts Your Stamina
Ankle weights can also help boost stamina, especially when used to train for long-distance running.
Training with ankle weights adds extra weight to your legs and increases the work you have to do to lift them up.
Over time, this strengthens your leg muscles, increases calorie expenditure and raises your heart rate.
Increased heart and respiratory rates help improve your stamina, which can improve your performance in long races.
Also, training with ankle weights can help increase your speed as your legs feel lighter when you take them off, and you can move faster and for longer.
4. They May Strengthen Weak Bones
Physicians usually recommend wearing ankle weights to help strengthen weak leg bones.
Many doctors have successfully used this method to treat patients who were unable to participate in marathons due to weak bones.
5. They Strengthen and Build Leg Muscles
One of the best benefits of ankle weights is that they can help strengthen and shape your leg muscles.
They make different moves more challenging, which forces your muscles to work harder and as a result, your leg muscles grow.
With ankle weights, you don’t have to do advanced leg exercises such as the pistol squat since they make simple exercises like lunges very rewarding.
Remember to wear ankle weights when doing these leg exercises.
6. They help build ab muscles
They make your legs heavier, which consequently increases resistance when doing ab exercises that require leg movement.
7. They Are Versatile
One of the best reasons for using ankle weights is because of their flexibility.
While most workout equipment can only be used for specific exercises, ankle weights can be used in every workout.
Ankle weights are perfect for cardio workouts such as running, cycling, jogging, and walking as well as bodyweight workouts.
In fact, you can wear your ankle weights even when not exercising to boost your metabolism.
You can have them on while doing the chores or going about your day, and they will tuck discretely under your pants or jeans.
8. Boosts Aquatic Workouts
If you like aquatic workouts, ankle weights can help increase the effectiveness of your swimming and other aquatic exercises.
Ankle weights force your legs and hands to work harder while swimming, which increases your heart rate and calorie burn.
Ankle weights exert lower pressure on the joints and knees, reducing the risk of injuries while performing aquatic exercises. This is one of the reasons swimmers use them to improve body alignment.
If you love water aerobics, ankle weights can help increase the intensity of your workouts while reducing the risk of injuries.
With this, you can increase the cardiovascular and strength benefits of swimming, making you fitter and a better swimmer.
9. Easy to Use and Affordable
Ankle weights are easy to use and comfortable on the skin.
These weights are made of soft materials that don’t harm your skin or bones. They also come in a design that fastens securely to your legs, minimizing the risk of the weights coming off so you can concentrate on your workouts.
There is also a low risk of injury with ankle weights as they contain granular material that won’t cause any damage even if it falls on your foot, as compared to a metallic weight such as a kettlebell which can mangle your muscles and break bones.
Compared to other weights of similar sizes, ankle weights are relatively cheaper than most weights on the market.
This means you can easily ramp up your cardio and strength training workouts by incorporating these weights into your workout program without breaking the bank.
If you want to take your workouts to the next level, buy ankle weights today and wear them in your next workout.
Do you know other benefits of ankle weights?