If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that nothing can stop us from reaching our goals. We dealt with lockdowns, more specifically, lockdowns at our favorite place: the gym, but that didn’t stop us from making our gains.
We simply had to learn new ways to reach our goals and different resources to utilize to continue building muscle.
Ankle weights are a great example of resources to incorporate into your weekly workout routine especially if you are seeking to spice things up and add some resistance to your workout. They are great for adding intensity to your workouts.
Other than the fact that they add great resistance, they are extremely versatile and flexible as you can use them essentially anywhere. Whether you are traveling, at home, or simply do not want to use free weights, they are extremely beneficial to target large muscle groups such as your glutes, core muscles, or quadriceps.
Now, go grab some Pumped-AF pre-workout to get you hype for your next steps towards your muscle gains.
Exercises like leg lifts, kickbacks, and fire hydrants are all great bodyweight exercises but when you add ankle weights, they are receiving an extreme upgrade.
The extra resistance that the ankle weights provide further targets your quad, hamstring, calf, and glute muscles placing more pressure on those muscle fibers. When more weight is placed on your muscle fibers in a safe manner, more breakdown occurs which can lead to an increase of hypertrophy in both type l and type ll muscle fibers.
Ankle weights are great for at-home workouts as you essentially have everything you need right then and there.Although we have 24 hours in a day and there is no time for excuses, it can be hard to make it to the gym sometimes. However, that doesn't mean we can't fit in a quick at-home workout.
Ankle weights provide a lot of flexibility as they can easily be thrown into your bag if you're traveling or you can put them on real quick if you feel like getting a quick workout in at home.
Ankle weights are a great resource to build your overall endurance. By placing extra force on your muscles, your body increases your stamina in response which is great for your health.
A study focused on two groups of male subjects who were split into two groups.The first group performed 7 weeks of resistance exercise alone and the other group performed 7 weeks of resistance exercise in combination with endurance exercise.
After analyzing the data, they found that individuals with more endurance exercise saw an enlargement in both type l and type ll muscle fibers while the group with only resistance exercises saw an enlargement in only type ll muscle fibers.
If you're a novice to the ankle weights world, have no fear. We all have to start somewhere. Ankle weights come in a variety of weights and you will probably want to start on the lower end when you are first getting started.
Ankle weights range from 1lb all the way up to 20lbs. Staying around the 1-3lb weight range is great for beginners and once you have become more acquainted with your ankle weights, you can work your way up to the 4-5lb range. This range is ideal for leg exercises such as squats, curls, and extensions.
If you are feeling daring, you can work your way up to the 6lb+ range but it is crucial that your muscles and bones are up to the resistance as well as make sure you use fewer sets and fewer reps as it is placing more pressure on your muscles.
Many ankle weights have convenient features such as velcro which make it easy to switch quickly between weights. Let's not waste any more time and let's get into how to perform 12 awesome ankle weight exercises that will give you strong and toned legs.
Note: Make sure you do not arch your lower back as this places more stress on your lower back instead of targetting your glutes.
This ankle weight workout is quite an advanced exercise so please proceed with caution, especially if you have any sort of knee issue or injury.
This exercise is great to target your quads and glute muscles.
This exercise not only targes your gluteal muscles but also strengthens your lower back.
Note: The focus is to move with control rather than to move with speed in order to maximize muscle engagement.
An all-time favorite aerobic exercise we've been doing since we were kids, high knees are a great exercise to get some cardio in that especially targets your lower body.
Note: You can do this in a marching motion which is slower and more controlled, or, you can perform this exercise fast and jog on the spot.
If you're really up for a challenge, try alternating legs.
This exercise is great to target multiple muscle groups including your quads, glutes, hip flexors, abs, and hamstrings.
Leg swings are a great warmup move to incorporate into your strength training routine.
Please note that all the exercises mentioned above are not only limited to the use of ankle weights.These exercises are also great bodyweight exercises that you can incorporate into your full-body workout routine to reach your goals. You can also use other equipment such as kettlebells or dumbbells to perform these exercises with extra weight.
Ankle weight exercises are extremely versatile exercises that can be performed essentially anywhere. Whether you are seeking to build strength, endurance or simply spice up your workout routine, ankle weights are the way to go.
If you enjoyed learning about different ways to add resistance to your workout, it might be time to check out this article about resistance bands.