The 4 Best Ankle Weights
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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1. The Best Overall, All Things Considered
If you are unsure about the size of ankle weights you need or if you plan on doing many different types of exercises, these adjustable ankle weights from Valeo are a great pick. Adjusting the size of these ankle weights is a breeze — simply add or remove some of the five individual sand-filled pouches to achieve a variety of different weights (up to 20 pounds total for the pair, depending on the size you buy). Easily strap the weights to your ankles using the adjustable Velcro and you're ready to go. Amazon reviewers love how versatile this product is, and say that it stands the test of time. One reviewer commented: “I've been using these for about a year now, and they've held up really well. They are easy to put on and take off, and won't loosen during your workout.”
- Available sizes (per set): 5, 10, and 20 pounds
2. The Most Comfortable Ankle Weights
With neoprene padding and reinforced stitching, these ankle weights from Nordic Lifting have an added touch of comfort for just a little more money. The large, durable Velcro means that these weights are easy to wear and adjust. With more than 1,300 reviews and a 4.3-star rating on Amazon, reviewers can’t help but love this product. “This is probably the fifth brand of ankle weights I’ve tried and is the absolute best in terms of comfort, aesthetic, and overall contour of it,” one reviewer said. These ankle weights come in a range of sizes (from 1 to 5 pounds per foot), so you can pick the option that is best for your individual needs.
- Available sizes (per set): 2, 4, 6, and 10 pounds
3. The Lightest Option
With a 0.25 pound per foot option, these ankle weights are available in the lightest weight out of the non-adjustable styles and are a great choice for those who are just looking for a little boost or want to start slow. These well-reviewed ankle weights are made with a durable and easy-to-clean material. The adjustable strap closure makes loosening and tightening super simple. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “Used these at a PT office under doctor’s supervision. Liked them so much I bought this pair to keep using at home. Top quality and should last me a lifetime of personal use."
- Available sizes (per set): 0.5, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 25, 30, 50 pounds
4. Also, Great
While these ankle weights aren't available in quite as many sizes as other options on this list (they're only available in 10 pounds per ankle), they're a popular option that reviewers say are great for deadlifts and donkey kicks. These aren't for beginners, but they are adjustable so you can find the perfect weight and fit to your ankle. And, because they come from a well-established brand that's popular amongst exercise enthusiasts, you can feel especially good about the quality you're getting.
- Available sizes (per set): 20 pounds (10 pounds each)
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