Whether it’s for extra strength training or physical therapy, wearable weights can be a great way to add to your workout. However, improper use Read on to learn some exercise tips for your ankle weights:
What are Ankle Weights?
Ankle weights, much like wrist weights or other wearable weights, are flexible weights typically sewn into strong neoprene straps. They can be wrapped and fastened around the ankle (or wrist) with Velcro. Ankle weights put extra strain on the leg muscles, making them ideal for building strength.
Making the Most out of Your Ankle Weights
While it may seem like a great idea to wear ankle weights whenever you go out for a jog, it is best to avoid doing so, as it can build up muscle on the front of your leg but not the back. Instead, consider controlled, relatively stationary exercises to get the most out of your ankle weights.
Before You Exercise
As always, make sure to stretch before you exercise, and do what you need to prepare. If you need to, get a spotter. While some of the exercises on this list may come easy, others may be difficult or even dangerous to do. Before starting an exercise routine, always check with your doctor or physical therapist for a list of exercises that will help you most.
Using Ankle Weights In Daily Exercise
In daily exercise, ankle weights are best used when added to other exercise routines like stretches or squats. Here are a few leg workouts you can do with your ankle weights for a little extra resistance:
- Leg lifts- Lie on your back, and lift your leg up roughly six inches off the floor, bending the leg as closely to 90 degrees as possible. While doing so, keep your hands flat on the ground for extra support. Leg lifts are a great workout for the buttocks and lower back.
- Leg Extensions- These can be done sitting in a chair with your feet flat to the floor. With the ankle weights on, lift one leg horizontally off the floor while the other stays resting on the ground. Repeat this exercise with both legs.
- Side Leg Lifts- Side leg lifts are great for working out the hips, and work best with a chair’s assistance. Standing behind a sturdy chair with your feet slightly apart, and then lift your leg to the side in a sweeping motion. Be sure to keep your knees bent and to find your center of gravity before starting this exercise to help keep your balance.
Ankle Weights In Physical Therapy
In physical therapy, ankle weights can be used to help rebuild muscle lost from injury, and are most often used by physical therapists to do so. Both ankle circles and arm circles accompanied by the weights can help build limb muscle, while lunges and stretches work best for rehabilitating balance and core muscle strength. Most exercises that use ankle weights tend to be low-impact, meaning there isn’t much jumping around, but it is always important to speak with your doctor before beginning a projected routine—your safety comes first!
If you would like to browse ankle weights and other orthopedic exercise items, check us out at the Medical Supply Depot.