When used correctly, ankle weights are an effective way to add more strength training to your workout routine. The best ankle weights are comfortable to wear, durable, and are a heaviness that is manageable for you. They're are especially beneficial when you are doing exercises that target the leg and hip muscles like leg lifts and bicycles. However, it's not a great idea to wear ankle weights while doing cardio including running, walking, or jumping, because they can strain your muscles, increasing your risk of injury, according to the Mayo Clinic. You should also hold off on using ankle weights if you feel any aches in your joints.
How to pick the right size
Ankle weights come in a range of sizes, with most sets weighing between 1 to 20 pounds, or 0.5 to 10 pounds per foot. And while some may think that it’s best to go big, that is definitely not the case. Using weights that are too large or not appropriate for the specific exercises that you do could cause you to hurt yourself.
The general rule of thumb is that if you are new to ankle weights, you should start off with a low weight and build your way up from there. For exercises that target your core, most people should try starting with a 1- to 2- pound weight on each ankle. For exercises that target your legs like leg extensions, consider starting with a 5 pound weight on each ankle. If you are not sure about the size of ankle weights to buy or need them for many different exercises, adjustable weights may be your best bet.
To make your search for the perfect set of ankle weights a little easier, here are four options that are highly rated and still affordable.
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