In recent years, you may have seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of ankle weights and other modes of increasing resistance through normal activities. Whether you use ankle weights for a workout or if you just wear them while you walk for a bit of enhanced exercise, these weights can provide a number of benefits. However, it's important to also recognize that using ankle weights and other items to increase the resistance that you normally experience will tend to put additional strain and stress on your bones, joints and muscles. This can lead to injury and more long-term damage if you don't use these items properly.
Increasing Exercise Resistance
Increasing the resistance that you work against in an exercise is the best way of improving your overall strength as you perform that exercise. In many cases, this is done by adding pounds or weights to a machine or other piece of equipment. The same thing can be done with bodyweight exercises as well, only in this case it is done by attaching small weights to different parts of your body. In the case of ankle weights, this will help to increase the resistance that you experience each time you raise your legs up.
Ankle weights can help to enhance a wide variety of different exercises. This is because a good number of exercises require that you lift your ankles up off of the ground. They can be added to stationary exercises that you do with a machine, such as leg lifts or raises. They can also be helpful in increasing your workout when you're walking or running, although some doctors will recommend against using ankle weights while you run because of the added strain that they tend to put on your knees and legs.
Strengthening Non-Leg Muscles
Ankle weights can be a good way to help strengthen other muscles in your body as well. For instance, if you attach ankle weights to your ankles before you perform a set of pull-ups, your arms and upper body muscles will have a greater amount of weight to lift up in each repetition. This can therefore help to strengthen those muscles more than they normally would be strengthened through the same exercise as well.
Improving Water Workouts
More and more often, ankle weights are being designed to be used underwater as well as for other types of workouts. The benefits of using ankle weights under water are many, and include enhanced resistance for your legs as you swim, as well as additional resistance for your body in general considering the added weight. Moreover, ankle weights tend to not cause joint damage or stress when used underwater, as the overall impact on the various parts of your body while you swim is very low or even negligible.
Ankle weights are available at many gyms and gym equipment stores, or from certain department stores as well.