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The Truth About Ankle & Wrist Weights

Updated on February 4, 2013

When Walking or Running?

Are Ankle & Wrist Weights Safe

I've heard this question asked a lot lately--from co-workers, at online sites, and from friends during long walks around a local lake. The answer is NO. The purpose of wrist and ankle weights is not to intensify your cardio workout.

Experts do not recommend using hand or ankle weights when walking or running. These weights can add pressure in places your body isn't designed to have it, and this can lead to injury.

If you are using weights to burn more calories, it is better to simply pick up your pace. The added risk of injury isn't worth the calories you could potentially burn.

An acquaintance who works in a hospital told me that they see a lot of joint strain and tendon and ligament tears that can't be repaired because of the improper use of weights.

Aside from the risk of injury, using ankle and hand weights while walking can affect your natural gait--leading to even more risk of injury.

Ankle and wrist weights are meant to be used for other kinds of exercise, like strength training. So, feel free to strap the ankle weights on before doing some leg lifts. Use the wrist weights for some upper body strength training.

If you really want to add weights to your body when doing cardio, try a weight vest. A weight vest adds more weight to your core, which is then more proportionally distributed throughout your body. This could help reduce the risk of injury when working out.

When faced with choices, try to make the healthiest choice possible: in this case, it would be the one that doesn't cause injury.

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    • profile image

      Robert 4 years ago

      Natural is always bteter.However, adding to your your protein intake with powdered protein can help with gaining.Theres 100 s of other suppliments you could take, but everything else is pretty superficial.Things like creatine are a good example, they make you LOOK good, but do very little in terms of actual muscle gain and as soon as you stop taking it, the look will dissapearProtien is good in that your body will make good use of it, either using it recover and rebuild or assist in growth.

    • profile image

      Alesha 4 years ago

      Basically it comes down to "if you don't use it, you'll lose it." It really ddnepes on your body type to determine what's best for you to personally gain muscle. Personally, I found it difficult to gain muscle until I started taking supplements. Protein powder is essential, so start there as a staple and try experimenting with different supplements. I'm currently take NO Explode (a mix of cretine, nitric oxide and caffine) before I work out. The theory behind it is it allows you to work out longer and lift heavier weights which results in more muscle mass. After the work out I take protein powder it helps with the rebuilding of muscles after a workout. They say you're supposed to intake 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh. So if you weigh 160 lbs, then you should be taking in 160 grams of protein, daily. That's very hard to achieve naturally. Naturally you do have to go to the gym in addition to taking anything. No getting around that.Btw mono-creatine is what bloats the muscle through water retension. There are other types that do not.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 5 years ago

      This is a great hub,

      I agree with Skepticbutreasonable , wrist weight and ankle weights are not for burning calorie, they are used to strengthening arm and leg muscles. In fact I find the weights are better than lifting weights that will cause muscle sore. There shouldn't be any problem when you wear weights as long as you can lift them with a little effort. Just make sure they are tightly wrapped in place to avoid it slipped out of place and hit your bone or anything... which obviously the cause of the injury.

      Personally I think that wrist weight develops a better muscle than the one formed through intense weight lifting.

      According to a doctor I know, the muscle formed from weight lifting is considered 'Rough Muscle' or 'Show Muscle', formed by forcing the muscle to harden and stuff(I can't really quote the whole line, It was a long time ago and the sentence itself was long...), producing a hard muscle as we usually see, and a drawback of sore muscle, and usually unnecessary veins.

      While the muscle formed by constant use of weights is considered a 'Solid Muscle' or 'Work Muscle', formed by letting the arm to feel extra weights and let the muscle to do extra work so the arm could get accustomed to it while doing daily routines, to the point you don't even feel like wearing weights. That way, you will only develop the necessary muscles for your arm.

      It's not like I'm saying weight lifting is bad, no it's not. You can do it to make yourself look fit, just remember that even if both ways develop your muscle, both method develops muscle for different purpose.

      Sure, there are many kind of people that does weight lifting:

      -Heavy weight lifting athletes, they develop muscle so they are ready to burst and lift extreme weight.

      -Bodybuilder they develop muscle for the purpose of entertainment and looks.

      Yeah, heavyweight lifting athletes and bodybuilder looks strong, and muscular, but in fact they develop their muscle for show and entertainment, they are not designed for long duration use.

      As for Work Muscle, they are designed for long duration use, and of course they will formed in different way, depending on the situation , exercises and the purpose. Mostly on Athletes like Marathon runner, Boxer, Soccer player,Rugby, American Football, Basketball Player, etc that uses their muscle for a long duration.

      (Please note that both comparison only points out about how the muscle will work. If you're going to give an example about a bodybuilder athlete then...I would say that the 'bodybuilder athlete' is a dedicated athlete with a strong body that occasionally joins bodybuilding tournament.)

      Anyway, for me personally, I'm a kendo practitioner and I wear wrist weight on daily routine and exercises, after constant use, my muscle got harder even if not as big as those guy from gym, and my swing got faster and stronger. And I'm still increasing the weight.

      So yeah, before you are going to build some muscle, keep in mind that you know what are you doing and for what purpose you're doing it.

    • profile image

      Skepticbutreasonable 5 years ago

      The only reason you got injury from wearing wrist weight or ankle weight is because you got weak muscle or your muscle isn't ready for sudden weight, train your muscle 1-2 months (or anytime when you feel ready) before wearing ankle/wrist weight. when choosing your weights choose the one that you think you can handle , even if it's a 1kg wrist weight, it will help muscle toning. As for ankle weight, to avoid injury choose ankle weight that doesn't hurt your ankle when you walk(some ankle weights are made of metal shafts which will hurt when it hit your ankle, d'uh), and of course the one that you think you can handle. I wore ankle weight (around 2 kg) since high school for basketball training, I wear it daily for most of my activities, and it helped me develop my leg muscle, to the point I could dunk even with my height of 177 cm.

      Just like what the article said, your body isn't designed to handle 'sudden' extra weights, that's why you need to develop your body to handle them before wearing them.

      And the purpose of this weights are NOT to burn more calories, they are there to develop muscle, don't be so stupid....if you can't even move with it, how do you expect to burn some fat...? It's up to you how will you train your muscle, I feel comfortable with wrist weights and ankle weight, I can still do my daily routine normally, and it's fun to feel that your arms and legs are so light when you remove them~~

      @DSan I know your comment were made 2 years ago but, yeah Ankle Weights for kicking exercise is okay as long as you can handle the weight and make sure you tied the weights so it doesn't move when you kick (it will hurt when it shakes and hit your ankles x_x), I usually reduce my weights to 1kgs each (wrist and ankles) so they don't disturb my exercises/sports but outside of exercises I wear 2kgs each.

      @Robert 1 lb weight for walk and you already injured yourself...pssh...it's not even 1 kg....and you don't even run with it...pfft...It's your fault anyway to just follow people without knowing the limit of your body and why do you even wear those without knowing the purpose... (unless you're an elderly then I'm sorry...for my rudeness...but if you're not...pfft...)

    • profile image

      Robert 5 years ago

      I wish I'd researched this before doing the monkey see monkey do thing and strapping weights to my ankles like the other uninformed monkeys walking around my neighborhood. I walked around for about an hour one Saturday morning with some 1 lb weights on each ankle and within 2 or 3 hours of coming home, I could no longer walk without limping due to this ridiculous idea. Mind you I'm in good shape and regularly walk an hour 3-4 days a week with no problems. It took several weeks until I was back to normal. DON'T DO IT!!!

    • profile image

      DSan 7 years ago

      I am wondering if ankle weights affect you when you use it or kicking and stretching. Pretty sure is still bad for you but I want to make sure before I start trainning.

    • BodybuildingBuddy profile image

      BodybuildingBuddy 8 years ago from USA

      I agree completely! if you are looking to burn more calories, don't add weights, don't even spend a long time, do some sprint intervals and really push it and you will feel it for a while!

      if you are doing some kind of activation or corrective exercises, then ankle weights are good, but even bands are better.

      if you really want to strap weights to yourself, get a weight vest and have some fun with that! :) great hub!

    • mo30dc profile image

      mo30dc 8 years ago

      Good hub, i agree that there is a greater potential for injury especially whilst using ankle weights although i have used them over the years and found them ok as long as you know what your doing.

      The same applies for wrist exercises, although I recommend doing intelligent exercises using dumbells, kettles etc rather than strapping weights to your limbs.

      mo

      http://www.wristexercisesblog.com/

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for the advice. My daughter is 5ft tall, and weighs about 107 lbs., and she uses ankle and hand weights all the time, so this is good advice that she needs to know.

    • profile image

      JOe 10 years ago

      So straping on 30lbs (15 on each leg) ankle weights when mowing the yard won't be so bad I got 2 acres and I push Mow.

    • jstankevicz profile image

      jstankevicz 10 years ago from Cave Creek

      Good advice. Thanks!

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