You may have seen people wearing ankle weights before, and maybe you have always wondered what exactly those blasted contraptions are for. Well, you might be interested to know that ankle weights can do quite a bit in terms of helping you get the proper exercise that you need. Ankle weights benefits are quite diverse and there is quite a large number of them that you can reap.
Ankle weights can do a whole lot for you including increasing the strength of your legs, increasing your fat burn, increasing the effectiveness of cardio workouts, and much more too. If you have not tried using ankle weights yet, we would recommend doing so because they add a whole new level of difficulty to any workout, difficulty which ultimately helps to increase the results that you get with each routine.
Benefit #1: Strengthening Your Legs
One of the top benefits that you can get from wearing ankle weights is that they go a really long way in helping you to increase the strength of your legs, not to mention that they also help you get that really muscular look that you are aiming for. The simple fact of the matter is that the extra weight that you get from strapping these things on forces you to use your leg muscles much more, thus helping your legs get much stronger much faster.
Your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and other leg muscles will all greatly benefit from wearing ankle weights while you walk, run, cycle, or do any other kind of exercise. 5 or 10 extra pounds may not seem like that much, but when you work out for any number of time with that added weight, it really helps to strain your muscles just that much more. It actually takes quite a bit of force to carry around that extra weight, and that required force can go a very long way in toning your legs.
Benefit #2: They Can Be Used For Swimming
Another benefit that you can get from using ankle weights has to do with swimming. If you aren’t an avid swimmer, maybe you should give it a try because it’s an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise that also tones your muscles, not to mention that it’s easy on the joints, something that is especially important for people with joint problems.
What we are getting at here is that you can improve the overall results that you get from your daily swimming routine by wearing ankle weights. It’s actually quite simple because the extra weight that you get from wearing these things in the water forces you to work a lot harder to stay afloat, plus it makes it quite a bit more difficult to actually swim.
With the added weight from ankle weights, you can increase the strength training and cardiovascular benefits that are already inherent in swimming. They will force your arms and legs to work harder than ever to keep you from going under. In the end, this has the big benefit of making you a better, more solid, and competent swimmer, something which comes in handy for improving physical fitness no doubt.
Benefit #3: Resistance Workouts To The Max
It is no secret that resistance training is a great way to strengthen your muscles and get those big Vin Diesel muscles, but there is only so much that resistance training can do for you, especially when you are dealing with a limited schedule in terms of how long you can work out for each day.
Sure, you could just do more reps and more sets, such as with squats, lunges, leg lifts, and other leg exercises, but that takes up valuable time in your day, time which you could spend on other and more important things. Leg lifts and other such exercises will definitely increase your strength through the nature of resistance training, but ankle weights can help further your gains thanks to the increased resistance that they add to almost any movement you do. You could compare this to something like working out with dumbbells.
In essence, a 20-pound dumbbell will get you so far, but a 30-pound dumbbell will get you further, something which can be compared to doing leg lifts with the added 5 or 10 pounds of the ankle weights. They make you work out harder and make your muscles more efficient, something which everyone can definitely appreciate.
Benefit #4: They Are Very Versatile
Another thing that you will definitely like about ankle weights is that they are very versatile in nature. What we mean is that you can get a good workout at any time of the day, even when you aren’t actually exercising.
You can wear ankle weights while doing chores around the house, at work, or when you’re walking your dog too. You can wear them while going for a jog, while cycling, when swimming, or when you are doing weight training and resistance training too. You can wear these things at literally any time of the day to get some extra calorie burning effects, and you don’t even have to be at the gym.
On that same note, ankle weights are actually pretty small and comfortable to wear, which means you can comfortably wear them under your jeans or sweat pants without them getting in the way of your daily routine. These things are also very versatile because they come in different weight classes, so when you get used to a lighter weight, you can always increase the weight of the ankle weights to keep progressing in fitness as time goes on.
Even better is the fact that ankle weights can also double as wrist weights, so when you don’t want them on your ankles, you can always wear them on your wrists to give your arms some strength boosting benefits too.
Benefit #5: Increased Calorie Burning & Weight Loss
The next big benefit that comes along with wearing ankle weights while you work out, especially when doing some fat burning cardio, is that it will maximize the results that you get by increasing the number of calories you burn with each movement. Your body gets accustomed to the exercise that you do, and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that over a period of time you won’t burn as many calories as you could be getting rid of.
The simple fact of the matter is that the extra weight you have on your legs helps to increase the number of calories you burn by forcing your muscles and the rest of your body to work much harder than it is used to. Even a little bit of extra weight goes a long way in increasing the amount of fat and calories that you burn.
Let’s face it, the main reason that people exercise is to lose weight and to keep away that pot belly for swimsuit season and there’s no better way to do that than with ankle weights. Sure, running or cycling is great and they will definitely help you burn calories, but some simple ankle weights can optimize results, something which lets you save time because it makes your workouts much more efficient.
The added weight forces your muscles to work harder, something which of course makes you burn more calories than you would otherwise. Not only that but the increased difficulty of the workout you are doing will also benefit your metabolism. The more you work out and the harder you work out, the more your metabolism gets activated.
A higher metabolism means that you burn ever more calories, plus if you don’t have many calories in your system, the increased metabolic rate will help you burn more fat than ever. Moreover, this also goes a long way in increasing your EPOC or exercise post metabolic rate. In essence, this means that you will continue to burn more calories throughout the day even after you have stopped exercising.
Benefit #6: Increasing Endurance
Another thing which ankle weights are fantastic for is to increase your endurance and overall stamina, especially when you aren’t wearing them. As we mentioned before, ankle weights add resistance to anything you do, and this goes for resistance training, strength training, and cardiovascular exercise too.
As you use ankle weights, especially when you continually increase the weight level of the ankle weights, your muscles get used to that added weight, almost like your legs actually weighed that much on a regular basis. Your muscles grow accustomed to that added weight and thus learn to accommodate said weight.
What this means is that your muscles learn to grow stronger and work harder thanks to that weight. So, when you take the ankle weights off, it is like your legs weighed several pounds less all of a sudden. This helps you to work out for longer and work harder because your muscles are used to the extra weight, but now that the weight is removed, they can end up doing a lot more.
This is great for people who like to run because if you train with ankle weights you will find that when you aren’t wearing them you can all of a sudden go a lot further without getting tired thanks to your muscles being accustomed to carrying around a lot of extra weight.
On an interesting side note, since your muscles are used to working out with the ankle weights, when you take them off you will be able to jump higher than ever. If you like to practice how high you can jump, train jumping with ankle weights on. Since your muscles will grow accustomed to jumping with added weight, when you take them off you will find that you can jump higher than ever.
Benefit #7: Increasing Your Cardiovascular Workout
Another big benefit that you can reap from wearing ankle weights is that they help to increase the difficulty, and thus the results of your cardiovascular exercises. Your muscles require blood and oxygen to function properly, and since your muscles are working harder than ever thanks to the ankle weights, your heart and lungs must also work harder in order to deliver said blood and oxygen to your muscles.
Since your heart and lungs have to work harder, it trains your cardiovascular system to be more efficient. Simply by wearing some 5 or 10-pound ankle weights, you can increase the heart healthy effects of any cardio routine that you do by making your heart and lungs accommodate for the extra weight.
Of course having a strong cardiovascular system is essential to your overall health. A good and strong heart means that you have a lower chance of developing heart disease, getting a heart attack, developing arterial diseases, and it helps keep your blood pressure at an acceptable level too, not to mention that it helps increase your overall physical performance too. It doesn’t seem that obvious, but running or cycling with some added weight will not only strengthen your muscles but your cardiovascular endurance as well.
Benefit #8: They Are Cheap
Something that you can definitely appreciate about working out with ankle weights is that they are fairly inexpensive. A good pair of ankle weights really doesn’t cost very much, especially when compared to other exercise equipment such as dumbbells. Thus, with ankle weights, you can increase the results that you get from virtually any exercise routine without having to spend a whole lot of money.
As you can see, there are a great number of ankle weights benefits that will make you a stronger and healthier person. Ankle weights are fantastic for a wide variety of reasons and they go a long way in increasing the difficulty of any workout and thus the results that you get from it. You should definitely try using some ankle weights as soon as possible because once you do, you will never go back to working out without them.
Any questions or comments you have about ankle weights are more than welcome!