You can find ankle weights on many online stores and sport stores themselves. They are very popular and I myself have bought a pair, six years ago. Many people that I have trained, have ankle weights at home and I see many people use them as well. I want to bring you some information regarding this type of exercise equipment.
According to T. Downey a physical therapist at Havard- affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Network (1), ankle weights might not be a good option, to use in your workouts. Downey says that when you do use ankle weights when walking, you use your quads (quadriceps) muscles to lift your feet from the ground instead of your hamstrings. “That causes a muscle imbalance,” Downey says. When you do use ankle weights, that weight pulls down on the ankle joint which poses as a risk for injury in the tendon or ligaments of the knee, back and hips. In other words, you might feel how your back hurts all of sudden and you don’t know why. It is the ankle weights that you have been using the last couple of weeks.
In my experience as a personal trainer and someone who have visited a gym environment before, you will now find ankle nor wrist weights in a gym environment. The reason is because of what Downey says. It causes injuries. You might not feel is right away but it creeps up on you over the years.
So how should I use ankle weights?
There are exercise you can do with ankle weights that strengthen the muscles instead of causing injuries. These are leg raises for the glute and inner thigh, as illustrated in the picture underneath.
Image A illustrated, you exercise the Abductor (inner thigh) muscle and image B shows how you exercise your glutes. Be careful with these exercise if you do suffer from a groin strain (2) or if you do know of something that doesn’t feel right inside your pelvic area. You should get some advice from a professional with regards to solving that first before attempting to do the above exercise by yourself with the ankle weights. The above exercise can be done without ankle weights as well, which are much more safer. The above exercise can be done with resistance bands as well, when you feel that the above exercises are too easy after you have done them without weight or if you do not have any groin nor pelvic problems.
Please consult a doctor before you start a new exercise you haven’t done before, when you do have any injuries, post operations or any other problems within your body.
(1) – https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/wearable-weights-how-they-can-help-or-hurt
(2) – http://www.andorrapediatrics.com/ap_folders/hand-outs/knowledge/groin_strain.htm