Ankle weights are commonly overlooked despite providing tremendous value by increasing the benefit of your bodyweight workouts. By adding a little bit of weight and resistance to your workout, you can tone your legs, burn more calories, and even help to increase your endurance.
Choosing the right ankle weights is important, however it does not have to be a difficult decision. Here are five of our favorite ankle weights for women.
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Benefits of Ankle Weights
There are numerous benefits that come with strapping on ankle weights whether you’re mainly participating in aerobic activities or bodyweight exercises. They will improve your endurance by causing you to exert more energy and force than you typically would while improving your pulmonary and cardiovascular healthy.
Ankle weights also help tone your legs while helping you burn more calories than you would without them.
Strapping ankle weights on can add versatility to your workouts by making exercises such as leg lifts and jogging more exciting.
By strapping ankle weights on when doing your regular workouts you will be able to strengthen a lot of important muscles including your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes while toning your thighs.
It is important that you do not wear them all the time when you are working out.
You need to rest your muscles, tendons, and joints, and only wear your weights during the workouts where they will have the biggest impact.
Choosing the Best Ankle Weights for Women
Choosing the best set of weights may come down to personal preference for a lot of people, but you must also consider the specific goal you are looking to achieve when selecting a pair of weights for your arsenal of workout equipment.
Everyone will have distinct fitness goals in mind when choosing a set of weights. Keep these specific goals in mind when you are considering the size of the weights, their comfort level, and also their adjustability.
- Size: The amount of weight that you choose is important, especially when you are first starting out. You should begin with a lower weight at first, such as 1 lb on each ankle, up to 2.5 lb on each ankle. Keep in mind that when you purchase a set, the set weight typically refers to the complete weight for both weights in the set, meaning that a 5 lb set is two 2.5 lb ankle weights. As you feel your tolerance of the resistance growing then you can add more weight.
- Adjustability: What this ultimately comes down to is security. The weights should be adjustable enough that they feel secure when you attach them to your ankles. This is especially important in instances when your workout is involving a set of repetitive motions, such as running, jogging, bicycling, jumping jacks, or similar. The weights ought to remain secure rather than moving around when you are performing these movements.
- Comfort: Comfort is also an essential consideration because it is likely you will wear your ankle weights for some amount of time during your workouts. The best ankle weights will be comfortable for a long period of time, meaning that they fit well and are padded or lined, and designed to fit the ankles specifically rather than to just wrap around anything. If possible try the ankle weights on and walk around a little to make sure they feel good before buying.
Beyond these three considerations the choice is really about your preference, your individual fitness goals, and how you intend to use your ankle weights. You will want to make sure that you are ultimately comfortable with your choice since it will be you who has to live with the decision when you use your weights to work out on a regular basis.
The Best Ways to Use Ankle Weights
One might surmise that the best way to use ankle weights is simply to strap them onto your ankles and then continue doing whatever you were doing, however there are right and wrong ways to use ankle weights that you should consider. Or rather, there are some ways to use ankle weights that are more effective than others.
Use ankle weights in bodyweight workouts to add resistance when your moves begin to seem easier.
Everything from bicycle kicks to lunges can be made more difficult by increasing resistance through the use of ankle weights.
Use ankle weights during traditional aerobic workouts to burn more calories and increase resistance, whether you are walking, jogging, running, bicycling, or even swimming.
Make sure your ankle weights are water proof before taking them for a swim!
Depending on the adjustability of your ankle weights, they may even be able to double as wrist weights as well.
Use them for boxing routines, push ups, and during similar work outs to add resistance that will strengthen and tone your shoulders and arms more quickly.
If your ankle weights do not seem to adjust comfortably to your wrists, then the extra expense for a pair of wrist weights will be worth it.
All Pro Weight Adjustable Ankle Weights
These weights are completely adjustable in 1 lb increments using solid iron weights, depending on which size you purchase. The 20 lb weight, as an example, is completely adjustable from 1 lb all the way up to 20 lbs, with 20 individual 1 lb weights made from iron which can be inserted and removed at will.
These weights offer significant padding including around the ankle and Achilles tendon without compromising freedom of movement.
Choosing the right size is important for this brand of weights, and it is also important to check the product description to determine whether you are purchasing a pair or a single weight.
- Solid Construction
- Completely adjustable from 1lb up to 20lbs
- Great for strength training and gym use
- Smaller weight capacities work well for HIIT
- Cost prohibitive, larger sizes are sold individually
- Larger weights do not fit as well as smaller weight capacities
- Larger weight capacities may not be ideal for HIIT
Gaiam Ankle Weights (5 lb Set)
Gaiam is known for providing user-friendly workout products, and these ankle weights are no exception with their easy-adjust design. They are soft and well-padded which makes them a good fit for many different types of exercises.
These ankle weights are a little bulky to wear under yoga pants however they are bright and visually appealing so they can be worn over your workout clothes easily. They work especially well for yoga, strength training exercises, tumbling, floor exercises and similar styles of working out.
The material inside the ankle weights feels similar to sand.
- Comfortable design
- Easy-adjust fit
- Come in a pair of 2.5 lb weights
- Comfortable during jogging and high-energy activities
- Velcro closures are not ideal for all workouts
- They run on the small side and may not fit every user
- May not be waterproof
Valeo Adjustable Ankle and Wrist Weights
Valeo’s adjustable weights are available in varieties for both the ankles and the wrists, and what makes them so easily adjustable is the small sand-filled bags that can be added and removed to make the weights you choose adjustable from 2 lbs to 10 lbs depending on how much resistance you want.
The self-gripping Velcro closure these weights feature mean you can easily adjust them to fit your wrists and ankles to the desired comfort level and activity level as well.
Whether you are rehabilitating muscles or jogging, cross training or tumbling, Valeo’s adjustable wrist and ankle weights can be a solid choice for your regimen.
- Fairly adjustable, between 2 lbs and 10 lbs depending on how many sand bags you add
- Velcro closures and D rings are easy to connect and disconnect
- Comfortable on both wrists and ankles when adjusted properly
- May be difficult to adjust
- Cost effective but not as comfortable as some brands
- Durability may break down over time, Velcro may require replacing
Nayoya Ankle Weights Set (3 lb)
Designed to be compatible with both the wrists and the ankles, the Nayoya ankle weights set is easily adjustable with a fully adjustable strap and a ring closure, meaning that you can effortlessly set each weight to whatever fit you desire.
These weights are comfortable to wear, fastening securely whether you are doing aerobics, walking, running or doing resistance training.
These ankle weights are made from non-abrasive neoprene material for a snug and comfortable fit.
Note that the 3 lb set means each weight is only 1.5 lbs.
- Comfortable neoprene is non-abrasive and fits well
- Straps and closures are fully adjustable and easy to maneuver
- These weights are considered to be especially well adjustable for small wrists and ankles
- These weights are not considered to be waterproof
- These are lightweight weights, at only 1.5 lbs per weight.
- Velcro closures can wear down quickly, especially with regular use
If you’re looking for the most adjustable ankle weights, the best ankle weights are going to be the All Pro Weight adjustable weights. You can buy a fully adjustable set, then add and remove the metal weights as you need to.
While there are other adjustable weights available for adding resistance to your workout, they do not seem to be quite as accurate as All Pro.
Ultimately it is up to you to decide which set of ankle weights is going to best meet the needs of your fitness routine, which comes down to comfort, fit, adjustability, specific purpose, and even aesthetic value.
Choose a set of weights that best corresponds to the specific purpose for which you intend to use them. Do not settle for anything short of the best weights that you deserve.