From running and cycling to walking and stretching, there are two qualities pro athletes and gym newbies need to work on to keep trucking without losing steam continuously; and those are endurance and strength. But, how do we build upon these qualities, especially when all we care for is a good run? Sometimes it’s hard to fit the daily run into our schedule, let alone make some time for strength training.
Here’s the good news: You can keep pounding the pavement AND strengthen your lower body muscles all in one move because weighted ankle weights are here. This type of weighted clothing is the ideal way to enhance your strength without sacrificing your running routine.
1. Ankle Weights Make Legs Larger
Crafting a physique which draws the attention of many is often made more complicated than it should be. So, all it takes to sculpt your legs to perfection is actually few targeted exercises and a pair of weighted ankle weights.
Knee Extensions (Quadriceps)
Knee extensions while strapping on your ankle weights are the only exercise which is guaranteed to help you strengthen the quadriceps. However, don’t let the simplicity of this exercise fool you. As you go through the reps, both your hamstrings and primarily your quadriceps will start getting in shape.
Knee Curls (Hamstrings)
According to CDC, knee curls work the leg muscles which support the knee (think hamstrings). Now, let’s imagine how stronger and more intense our hamstring muscles would get if we threw a pair of weighted ankle weights into the mix.
2. How Much Should Ankle Weights Weigh?
While ankle weights can work miracles on your lower body physique, there can be risks when they weigh more or less than recommended. In fact, according to the American Council of Exercise, there is such thing as too heavy ankle weights, and that’s more than 3 pounds. They put undue stress on hip, knee, and calf joins as well as on muscles and risk suffering a severe injury. The said organization also recommends we stay away from ankle weights during a variety of different aerobic activities (step or traditional aerobics, walking, etc.).
3. Burning More Calories
Now for some street science. The more weight your legs hold, the more energy you need to apply to perform different planes of motion. So, to keep up with the increased energy movements, your body resorts to stored sources of “fuel”, also known as fat. And as simply as that you get to burn more calories than you would without weighted ankle weights.
4. Toning Your Thighs
Sometimes a little can go a long way, and that’s the case with weighted ankle weights and toning your thighs. Our bodies are designed to host a system of levers. These levers consist of our bones and joints and are held together by connective tissue and muscles. And this is how this system works. When we make a move, the pivot points lies on one end of the bone while the resistance on the other. The muscle force lies somewhere in between. According to simple physics, the further the resistance lies from the pivot point, the more muscular force is required to make a move happen.
So, by strapping on ankle weights, the force to move your knees is purely drawn from your thigh muscles rather than your hips. This practice makes your leg muscles work harder and, thus, tone in the process.
5. Throwing You Off Balance
Although weighted ankle weights can significantly help you strengthen your lower body muscles, they also pose quite of a few risks. The added resistance increases momentum during various movements which place a greater force on lower body joints. It’s only natural the extra momentum may throw you off balance and, perhaps, cause you to fall. So, adding ankle weight gradually is your best shot at avoiding such risks.
6. Enhance Your Water Workout Game
This training trend is becoming increasingly popular and for a good reason. Not only do weighted ankle weights help you improve your skills such as endurance and muscle strength but using them underwater also is an excellent way to prevent joint injuries.