Weight training has been an effective form of increasing strength for several generations. There is even some evidence that people in ancient times would build strength through the use of animal bladders that were filled with water or sand. By adding ankle weights, someone who runs or walks to get the exercise they need could increase the intensity of their workout, which would increase the amount of calories being burned. There could be some advantages and disadvantages to adding ankle weights to your next run, so knowing the pros and cons is important.
What Are the Pros of Ankle Weights?
1. It Helps To Build Higher Levels of Bone Density
When training with ankle weights, people are giving themselves the chance to not only increase muscle strength, but also increase their bone density. This will reduce the long-term chances of osteoporosis from developing and improvements of bone density are even seen in the senior citizen population.
2. It Increases Calorie Burning
Because workouts are stronger, people wearing ankle weights are able to burn more calories over the same period of time than those who don’t wear any weights at all. This helps to make the circulatory more efficient and can ultimately result in weight loss goals being achieved.
3. It Creates More Flexibility
Muscles that are working harder are muscles that will be more flexible in the future to changing circumstances. This benefit increases over time because the muscles are getting a good workout and having oxygen pumped into their tissues. Over time, they will then lean out and allow for more movement and flexibility.
What Are the Cons of Ankle Weights?
1. It May Increase The Chances Of An Injury
Because the joints and muscles are supporting more weight than they are used to supporting, the wearing of ankle weights could contribute to higher levels of muscle strains and joint injuries over the course of a workout.
2. They Don’t Work The Hamstrings
Ankle weights might do a good job of giving the leg muscles a workout, but they don’t strengthen the muscles at the back of the leg. With consistent exercise, the leg muscles could become unbalanced and overdeveloped in the front if hamstring exercises, separate from the ankle weight exercises, were not performed as well.
3. They Can Irritate Pre-Existing Injuries
For people who already have a knee or ankle injury, adding additional weights to the workout routine can actually increase the chances of having another injury on that joint. It can also add more stress to an already injured joint that would create ongoing pain during the workout that could eventually led to chronic joint issues.
It’s clear that ankle weights are not for everyone. Anyone with an injury in the legs, either current or past, should avoid using these weights until proper healing is achieved. For everyone else, however, the pros and cons of using ankle weights should be considered to enhance any workout so that all of the benefits can be achieved.
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