The Truth About Ankle & Wrist Weights
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.