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5 Tips for Using Ankle Weights

Posted On: 06-17-2016
5 Tips for Using Ankle Weights
Weights are designed to strengthen muscles and make them work harder, offering a more productive workout than you would get without using weights. Ankle weights, often filled with sand, can strengthen muscles in areas such as the calves, thighs, and lower back. This can also increase balance and burn extra calories. Ankle weights can be used for cardiovascular and strength workouts, but should be used cautiously in order to prevent unnecessary strain.

Here are some tips to follow when working with ankle weights:

1. Choose ankle weights to work with. If you are a beginner, start with one-pound weights. Once you get used to those, increase the weights in half pound increments.

2. Do exercises that strengthen your calf muscles. Try standing with your feet on the floor, and rising slowly to stand on your toes. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower your feet so that your heels are flat on the floor. Repeat the exercise ten times. You can hold onto a chair or table for balance if necessary.

3. Try exercises that strengthen your thigh muscles. While standing, bend your knee as far as you can. Hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower your foot back down to the floor. Repeat the exercise, alternating legs, about ten times. Hold onto a chair or table for balance.

4. For exercises that strengthen your buttocks and lower back, stand a foot away from a sturdy chair or table with your feet spread slightly apart. While holding onto the chair or table for balance, bend forward and stretch your right leg behind you as straight as you can. Repeat the exercise, alternating legs, about ten times.

5. Do some cardiovascular exercises with ankle weights, such as walking or jogging. Rather than use ankle weights every time you do a cardio workout, use them a couple times a week instead to prevent muscle strain. You can also increase your calorie burn and add a challenge to your cardiovascular workout by walking or running uphill.

It’s important to follow some important guidelines in order to prevent injury. For example, you should stop working out with ankle weights if you feel pain. Avoid using them if you have problems with your joints or muscles. This can make your existing problems worse. You should also not use them for activities where they could get in the way and cause injury, such as when riding a bike.

As always, discuss any plans for an exercise regimen with your doctor beforehand.

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