There are several ways you can enhance your workout routine. One way, specifically, is to utilize weights for better results in an already effective workout routine. When we first start a workout routine, we find it difficult at first, but it becomes easier over time as our bodies adjust and muscle is built, all the while weight is being lost. Once this occurs, you may find yourself searching for ways to make your workout “difficult” again, for further gains. One avenue often taken is to add the use of ankle weights. If you frequent fitness stores, you have probably seen them. These weights can easily be attached to your ankles to enhance light exercises like walking and leg lifts. These weights can further help tone and strengthen your legs and trunk even more so than without them. They also offer some flexibility in the sense that you can begin with three-pound ankle weights and slowly work your way up to 10 pounds or more. As far as versatility is concerned, ankle weights don’t disappoint in that area either. You can use them on land, or in water, from one exercise to the next.
There are several exercises where the use of ankle weights would definitely benefit you. As mentioned, walking is one of them. If you work a job in retail or any job that requires a lot of walking or moving around, ankle weights can help you get in a good workout without ever having to hit a gym or commit to a routine. If you walk regularly, for a good cardio exercise, attaching these weights to your ankles can help you tone as you go, further building muscle. Even wearing them around the house as you clean can offer results if you are looking for a simple way to tone without committing to anything.
If you are committed to regular routines, ankle weights can definitely enhance your leg lifts. This is probably an exercise that you do all of the time, but perhaps it has gotten a lot easier for you. You may find yourself, believe it or not, wishing that you felt the “burn” just as much as you did when you first started. This is because your legs have built the muscle and strength needed to effectively execute the exercise when it becomes easy for you to do that, it is because you have hit a plateau. When an exercise becomes easy, you aren’t necessarily building or toning anything at this point, instead, you are just maintaining what you have already built. To take it a step further, adding weights can bring you back to where you were from the beginning, where you will find that you will be feeling the “burn” yet again, and will find that you are once more, satisfied with your leg lifts.
Another exercise where applying ankle weights is helpful, is the knee or leg extensions. This exercise alone naturally works your femoris muscle and your quadriceps. By sitting in a chair or on a bench, raising each leg, one at a time while kept straight, or raising each leg until the leg is straight at the knee, you can further benefit from the use of ankle weights.
To enhance your core muscles and buttocks for a more toned and lifted effect, ankle weights can enhance your kick back exercise and your hip extension exercise. The kick back exercise is another common exercise that you have probably done before. While all fours are on the ground, firmly planted, lifting one leg at a time behind your head until it is extended straight, bringing it back down to the ground, without your knee ever touching the ground, is another way ankle weights can help. Over time, this exercise can become easier, and the use of ankle weights will help you experience more gains, as opposed to just maintaining what you have already built.
Squat jumps can also be enhanced with the use of ankle weights. By applying these weights you can further tone and lift your trunk as you perform a regular squat and jump up into the air. Repeating this exercise ten times in two repetitions should give you the best results.
The bicycle kick is another exercise that can reap added benefit from the use of ankle weights. Naturally, this exercise too can tone your legs and trunk, but a little-added weight can help you build the muscle needed for best results. With the use of a workout mat, all you need to accomplish a weighted bicycle kick is to lay on your back, raise your legs, and start peddling like you would on a bicycle, except in midair. This workout can also help strengthen your abs, core and lower back muscles.
Becoming increasingly more popular is the use of ankle weights for water aerobics or water workouts. If you are an avid swimmer, you will find that adding ankle weights regularly, will allow you swim more fluidly through water, at quicker and more efficient speeds, for longer periods of time, beating out your competition. This can further make you one lean, mean, swimming machine.
Aside from these exercises, the use of ankle weights can benefit you in other ways. Not only can they increase your endurance through having to use more force to pull off an exercise, and not only can it tone your legs and trunk as we have already discussed, but the use of ankle weights can encourage your body to burn more calories as well. When you have to use more force to complete an exercise, it clearly requires more energy, and the more energy your body needs or uses, the more calories you will burn. In fact, using ankle weights has been proven to make you lose weight more quickly over a shorter period of time. As you can see, there really is no “downside” to the added use of ankle weights or any attachable weight for that matter. There are only rewards upon rewards that can and will be received if you add them to your life and your fitness routine.