Take your Workout to the Next Level with Ankle Weights

Ankle weights are not just for old-school fitness nerds. These weights have staying power in today’s workouts. Modern ankle weights are being used from hot girl walks to low-impact barre workouts.

Most ankle weights are designed as mini sandbags to attach around your ankles with a Velcro strap. Typical weights range from 1 to 3 pounds and can up your game during everyday activities or a workout routine.

Research suggests they can improve your walking dynamics and help reduce body fat and cardiovascular disease risk.

And no matter where you are in your fitness journey, using ankle weights can improve your overall stamina and strength. Start by wearing them around the house, to the grocery store or taking a walk.

When used correctly, ankle weight exercises can work muscles that have grown weak from inactivity. For instance, if you spend your workday at a desk you can develop glute amnesia, an actual issue stemming from weak glutes. Ankle weights also can be useful in physical therapy.

Before adding them to your routine, make sure you feel confident in your form for any exercise you plan to use with ankle weights. Also, make sure you’re using the right weight.

If you’re walking with ankle weights, keep them light — 3 to 5 pounds max. Any more weight can alter your stride, placing stress on your lower back and pelvis.

For specific exercises (like donkey kicks), aim for 5- to 10-pound weights on each leg, but ultimately choose what is best for you. Everyone is different so start slowly to get a feel for what works.

Low-impact workouts, like barre and Pilates, are well-suited for ankle weights with their slow and concentrated movements. Eventually, work up to wearing ankle weights a few times a week for low-impact exercise.