Forget your Peloton and keep your practice mirrors a little weird – I hacked the home practice game, and it only costs less than $30. “How?” I hear you cry. Well, reader, after two years of at-home workouts, I finally invested in a pair of ankle weights, and it seriously amped up my abs workouts.
I’m going to caution this article by saying, like many others, I’ve spent a small fortune on dumbbells, a workout step, a Pilates ball, and resistance bands during the pandemic. Fortunately, nowadays the best adjustable dumbbells and the best resistance bands have returned to their pre-pandemic prices, but if you don’t have the space or the budget for a lot of gear, shop around for the best ankle weights is a good option.
While there are certainly better looking options on the market, I opted for a pair of Sportneer 6-pound ankle weights which weighed 3 pounds each. Since then we have written a best ankle weights guide on Tom’s Guide, and I wish I had now spent a little more time researching and opting for ankle weights with adjustable weight options, which would have allowed me to increase the weight for lower body workouts. body, while keeping it lighter when working on my core.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re a complete beginner, it’s best to start with a lighter weight and work your way up, especially if you’re new to the exercise. It’s important to get your form right without adding weight, and if you’re in any doubt, it’s a good idea to have a personal trainer monitor your form first.
I Added Ankle Weights to My Home Workouts – and Was Surprised at the Results
My workout routine is pretty basic – I run about 20 miles a week, do weight training, and do Pilates. I’m not one to lift weights in the gym; instead, I prefer to come up with weird and wonderful fitness challenges and write about them for work. (Read what happened when I did 100 dead bugs a day for a week or 30 sit-ups a day for 30 days.) I didn’t expect to find ankle weights useful and had a Kinda felt like I was in an 80s Jane Fonda workout video when I first strapped them on.
Instead of looking specifically ankle weight exercises, I simply added the weights to my normal weight training and Pilates workouts. I know running or walking with ankle weights is not a good idea, as it can put a strain on the knee and ankle joints and lower leg muscles, so I chose to leave them at home during my usual runs and walks. What I found, however, was that the weights really increased the intensity of my workouts, especially my Pilates sessions.
Of course, it’s not rocket science – adding weights equals adding resistance, which means your muscles are working harder. Still, I didn’t expect what I considered a relatively light weight to really make such a difference. My heart it hurts after Pilates sessions with the weights, and I found my legs got more workout too.
Maybe it was the novelty of carrying weights, but I like to think the extra weight forced me to think more about my form – the exercises were more difficult, so I had to make sure I kept the lower back pressed against the floor during toe taps and dead insects.
A month later, my ankle weights are now part of my home workout routines and even though I’m finally going back to the gym now that Covid-19 restrictions have eased, I’m pretty sure I’ll rock them there too. If that was good enough for Fonda…right?