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'These Are The Most Comfortable Ankle Weights I've Ever Owned'

Women's Health Logo By Madeline Howard, Mercey Livingston of Women's Health | Slide 1 of 11: If you've tried streaming Pilates or sculpt workouts at home, you've probably seen your trainer donning ankle weights to add resistance. Although relatively light and non-intimidating at first glance—don't underestimate the serious burn that adding even a couple of extra pounds to your lower-body moves can muster. "It increases the endurance of the muscle groups you're working," says Emily Diers, CPT, founder of Body Craft.Diers frequently cues students to put on their ankle weights during her workouts for a little added oomph! "I use them for sculpt classes," she says. "Adding resistance to any movement is going to ask more from your muscle, and if you're doing it without rest it's going to add a cardiovascular element to it."That said, you'll find that wearing ankle weights helps with more than just revving your heart rate and muscle gain: They can literally help improve your bone strength, too. How, you ask? Well, resistance training aids you in maintaining skeletal health by increasing your bone mass and density, says a 2018 study published in the journal, Endocrinology and Metabolism. And while ankle weights can level up lots of exercises, there is one type of workout that Diers doesn't recommend wearing them for: "I stay away from using them during cardio just because I like to take optimal care of my joints and any extra weight with impact is just going to put more stress on them," she says. (This could be dancing, running, or any workout that requires jumping, like plyo or, sometimes, HIIT.)Another tip: Don't start too heavy. Diers recommends beginners skip the weight until they get the hang of their new fitness routines. "Working with body weight and gravity is enough resistance at first, and then once you feel confident in what the movement is, and what the format is, then you can add weight," she says. After you've mastered bodyweight exercises, start with 1 or 1.5-pound ankle weights, and then you can work up to 2 or 3 lbs. from there. Keep reading for 10 of the best ankle weights you can find online now.

If you've tried streaming Pilates or sculpt workouts at home, you've probably seen your trainer donning ankle weights to add resistance. Although relatively light and non-intimidating at first glance—don't underestimate the serious burn that adding even a couple of extra pounds to your lower-body moves can muster. "It increases the endurance of the muscle groups you're working," says Emily Diers, CPT, founder of Body Craft.

Diers frequently cues students to put on their ankle weights during her workouts for a little added oomph! "I use them for sculpt classes," she says. "Adding resistance to any movement is going to ask more from your muscle, and if you're doing it without rest it's going to add a cardiovascular element to it."

That said, you'll find that wearing ankle weights helps with more than just revving your heart rate and muscle gain: They can literally help improve your bone strength, too. How, you ask? Well, resistance training aids you in maintaining skeletal health by increasing your bone mass and density, says a 2018 study published in the journal, Endocrinology and Metabolism.

And while ankle weights can level up lots of exercises, there is one type of workout that Diers doesn't recommend wearing them for: "I stay away from using them during cardio just because I like to take optimal care of my joints and any extra weight with impact is just going to put more stress on them," she says. (This could be dancing, running, or any workout that requires jumping, like plyo or, sometimes, HIIT.)

Another tip: Don't start too heavy. Diers recommends beginners skip the weight until they get the hang of their new fitness routines. "Working with body weight and gravity is enough resistance at first, and then once you feel confident in what the movement is, and what the format is, then you can add weight," she says. After you've mastered bodyweight exercises, start with 1 or 1.5-pound ankle weights, and then you can work up to 2 or 3 lbs. from there.

Keep reading for 10 of the best ankle weights you can find online now.

© Christine Giordano

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