Some of the best ankle weights are of real help for better muscle definition. Simply performing exercises without any weight might not come with the right stimulation to grow in strength and muscle size. A light jogging session to an intense Pilates class, ankle weights offer an extra physical challenge. If you’re looking into using dumbbells and weights but would like to start with something nothing too strenuous, you may opt for ankle weights.
Ankle weights for running are easily put on with the help of Velcro straps. Most weights come in 2, 5 or 8-pound options and they are made with padding so there’s no pain or unnecessary pressure on the ankle.
But not all ankle weights are the same. Some are purely made for fitness while other lighter weight might be made for recovery workouts or exercises. Here are the best options to consider.
These might interest you:
All Pro Adjustable Ankle Weights
These ankle weights are sold in different versions. 5lb and 40lb versions are available. Users can add or remove weights with 1/2lb increments. Improving muscle balance and even coordination is possible using the comfortable weights.
The weights are made to stay in place. Since they don’t move up and down the leg, the weights can be used for running, exercises and various fitness classes such as body pump, TRX, or core training classes. Most users consider these weights for individual training sessions, however.
Adjustable weights are added to the pack. In small increments, users can add or remove weights. These removable weights are secured with a flap which means they won’t fall out while exercising. Their versatility recommends the ankle weights for all types of workouts.
Extra weights are used to build lean muscle. The strength gains are impressive when adding more weight. Lower weights can be used in running. Many people looking to get in shape using a running vest. But those who don’t like how a running vest feels often consider running ankle weights instead.
A wide Velcro strap keeps these weights in place. Unlike others, it has the capacity to maximize the feeling of a tight fit. The strap has sufficient strength even when all 40lbs weights are loaded. Women seeking to workout with and without the weights during the same routine can easily take them off as needed. The strap is the sole securing measure and it is actioned within seconds.
Cushioned flaps are added to the ankle weights. Many cheap alternatives can be a bit dangerous when in contact with the body. Many bruises have been made due to poorly-cushioned ankle straps. But this is not the case here. The thick cushioning of the ankle straps recommends them for all types of workouts, even for the most intense training sessions.
Achilles tendon protection is another strong point of the straps. Women seeking to improve how they feel during a workout need to know extra pressure on this tendon can lead even to injuries in time. But these ankle weights are made with cushioning and no weight directly over the Achilles tendon for this specific reason.
Made with a wide Velcro strap
Sold with or without weights
Suitable for running
Only available on blue
HealthyModelLife Ankle Weights
Made with one of the most appealing designs, the ankle weights are specifically created for women. Apart from looking modern, they also come with some of the best paddings in their class. Soft and easy to wear, the weights can fit any gym bag. Some women even wear them around the house to improve cardio health.
Extra padding has been added to the ankle weights. Women with sensitive ankles might find them particularly appealing. At their weight and size, they’re not made for running. The extra padding makes them a bit too bulky for running outdoors. However, these weights are perfect for building glutes and training abs with exercises such as leg lifts.
2, 5 and 8 pounds versions are available. HealthyModelLife creates these in variations but you can add or remove weights as needed. The best approach is to simply buy the heaviest weights and remove weights as needed.
Most women juggle weights depending on the exercise. For example, leg extensions that recruit lager muscles can be made with higher weights. The same applies to glutes exercises. Demanding cardiovascular exercises such as burpees require smaller weights.
Durable double stitching has been applied to improve durability. Having the weights pressing against the material can come with damages and even ripped ankle weights in time. But double stitching prevents this issue. Covered by thick cushioning, the stitching is not rubbing against the ankle as its alternatives.
Strong Velcro adjustable straps are used on both ankle weights. Women who only want the best alternatives now have the freedom of adding all the weights for all types of exercises without fearing them falling off. Since the fit needs to be quite tight, the Velcro strap is sufficiently-long for all ankle circumferences.
But most importantly, the way these characteristics have been put together is specific to women and fitness attire. This is the main reason why the weight set might be a bit more suitable for the gym. Made with a modern look similar to Reehut’s weights, they complement each workout outfit.
Made with double stitching
They hold up to 8lbs each
Great for glute workouts
A bit bulky due to the extra cushioning
Fitnessery Ankle Weights
The ankle weights pair is made for full-body workouts. Today, a woman can use it with 1lb, 2lb, 3lb, 4lb, and 5lb weights. Users have an excellent choice of weights from the lightest to the heaviest in their class. This means exercise possibilities are endless. As a result, the manufacturer now includes an e-book and an exercise guide on how to make the most about the pair of ankle weights. Workout tips and exercises can only be seen as a major plus.
The weights help build core strength and muscles. They active the abs and there are direct and indirect exercises to target the area to perform. Women can choose higher weights to perform crunches with raised knees. But they can also work the core simply by performing hanging leg raises while wearing the weights. All these exercises plus many others are already detailed in the instructions the weights come with.
May the most interesting aspect lies in the glute-tightening exercises. These exercises are among the best for those who want to have an attractive posterior. However, glutes remain a large muscle and they can benefit from larger weights. Reverse leg raises and other direct and indirect exercises to build glutes are detailed in the official instructions shipped with the weights.
But upper body exercises can also be performed with the weights. For example, women can add the weights on the arms and perform all types of biceps, triceps or shoulder exercises. With the right upper body training, body fat can be reduced further.
A workout routine e-book is also shipped with the weights. All users get to see the various exercises and how they can be performed correctly. There are over 100 exercises to get inspiration from.
A lifetime warranty is offered for the weight. Their durability is hard to match and the manufacturer stands behind the product. Given there’s little which can go wrong with the weights given their solid construction, it doesn’t seem likely anyone is going to need to update them in the future.
Backed by printed exercise examples
Made with 360 equal weight distribution
Include premium anti-chaffing neoprene padding
Only available on black-grey
Nordic Lifting Ankle/Wrist Weights
Nordic Lifting’s ankle weights come with a different design. The weights are made with comfort fit but they only emphasize safety. These weights can be used both on the feet and on the hand for all types of workouts. With an adjustable weights system, users can create their own workouts to follow at home, in the gym or when training outdoors.
From 1 to 5lbs, there are different weights to count on. Most of these weights cover the needs women have for strength training. But there are a few exceptions which mean men might use them for various workouts as well. Some men also train with weights, particularly for abs exercises.
Used on hands and on the ankles, the weights offer much-needed versatility for those who don’t have thousands to invest in home gyms. Without spending too much on their training equipment, women can enjoy full-body and isolation exercises without dumbbells or other fitness equipment.
Industrial strength adjustable Velcro straps have been added to keep the weights in place. Unlike with other similar straps, these Velcro designs are normally seen in gym equipment or other commercial use equipment. As a result, the ankle weights may also be used by commercial gyms, physiotherapists and other premises where they would be shared by multiple users each day.
High-quality reflective trims are added to both these weights. Women who use the weights to improve cardiovascular endurance while jogging can benefit from this small safety feature. On its own, it might not be enough to guarantee nighttime visibility. But together with bright running clothing, it makes runners more visible and it can improve safety.
To use the weights, users simply wrap them around the ankles and secure the straps to they don’t move around too much. Since the weights are made with durable materials, they can also be lightly washed with warm soap and water to avoid bacteria build-up.
The only small drawback of the weights is given by the limited color options. Only available on gray, these are not the types of weights users consider with matching outfits, even if they look more modern than others. But for most, the real choices in terms of fitness aesthetics are with other Nordic Lifting fitness products.
Made with commercial-grade Velcro closure
Padded on both sides
Designed with reflective strips
Short 1-year warranty
Prodigen Adjustable Ankle Weights
The colorful weights come with an old-school appeal. They use the same design many of the first ankle weights in the industry used. But this also makes them a bit more affordable as they’re not as pretentious. Those unwilling to spend hundreds of dollars on simple weights are the perfect customers here.
When it comes to the overall practicality, nothing can be faulted to these weights. Seen across gym chains around the country, these ankle weights have already stood the test of time. But there are a few areas where they are different from most other weights in their class.
0.6lbs weights up to 3.6lbs per ankle wrist are what the manufacturer designed. Since the weights are a bit smaller than others, they are recommended to women who are not particularly interested in gaining maximum muscle but who are simply looking to tone up and get in better shape.
Most other ankle weights come with 1lbs increments on the adjustable weights. But these are mainly targeting those who’re not looking for maximum strength gains.
Breathable materials have been added to the weights. Made to allow some air to pass through the materials, these weights don’t come with as much sweat as others. However, these breathable materials have benefits in drying time over others. When washed, the materials dry completely in just a couple of hours.
Soft mixed sand is used on the ankle wrists. Sand also allows air to pass through better than solid weights. As a result, it remains a better option for women seeking soft weights which don’t ruin hardwood floors when dropped.
Durable straps have been added to the weights. However, they’re not as important as the maximum weight is only slightly above the 3lbs mark, meaning the straps can be used for longer than others which deal with increased pressure from higher weights.
Made with small weights
Designed with breathable materials
Available in multiple vivid colors
Limited weights for some users
Portzon Ankle/Wrist Weights
At 2.2lbs per pair, the lightweight ankle weights are among the simplest designs to rely on for general workouts. They can be as useful for cardiovascular training as they can be for strength training. There are a few users who combine these training methods to achieve fitness goals faster. But at the same time, there are those who’re not into these workouts as much, simply focusing on a specific muscle such as the glutes with multiple exercises performed with the ankle weights.
Soft neoprene is used on the outer surface of the weights. Neoprene is known for its resilience. The lightweight material is among the best options when it comes to washing, drying, and overall aesthetics. It’s the same type of material used on many fitness clothes so there’s no accommodation time to worry about for most users.
High-grade reinforced stitching has been used on their design. These stitches improve durability and they make the ankle weights set a favorite for anyone not looking to upgrade them in the following years. But the stitching is also made with a different color and its ads a distinct premium look to these otherwise affordable ankle weights.
A strong stainless steel D-ring Velcro hook is used here as one premium Theraband alternatives. Steel is not the main material for ankle weight hooks for most alternatives. This means that even the accessories within the ankle weights are made for maximum durability. Still, the hook is not heavy and it doesn’t add unnecessary weight
Glute kickbacks are among the favorite exercises to perform with such low weights. At just 1.1lbs each, the ankle weights are made for anyone looking to get in better shape but without adding extra weight on the legs and on joints. It can be a bit much for some users to deal with the extra weight, especially when it comes to recovery time.
But these low weights may also be used for Rectus Abdominus training. Hanging leg raises with extra weight add a bit of a challenge for core muscles. Stabilizer muscles are also activated by the extra weight. These exercises can be performed in a hanging position. Those training at home may simply perform them lying on a flat bench.
Other exercises that can be performed with the ankle wrists include side leg raises. These glute-building exercises are normally difficult to perform with high weights. But they can work stabilizing muscles when used with low weights.
Made with soft neoprene
Available in 2.2lbs and 6.6lbs versions
Designed with durable stainless steel hooks
AmazonBasics Adjustable Ankle Weights
The affordable ankle weight set are sold directly by Amazon. They come with proper versatility and the 5-pounds version proves popular. However, they’re also available in a 2.5 pounds version for those preferring a lightweight alternative. Most users can also benefit from custom weights to perform various movements.
Polyester and nylon are the main materials used to hold the weights in place. These are not premium materials as they have been chosen for durability. Unlike many others, the materials are made for commercial-grade use which means they can be reliable at the gym as well.
Most of those using the weights at home can also easily wash the ankle weights based on the durability of these materials. Warm water and soap or a mild detergent can go a long way. The ankle weights can then dry naturally within a few hours.
External removable pockets have been added for easier access. Those adding and removing weights are going to find the classic system hard to match for practicality. Other weights may still be added in these small pockets as long as they fit. But the weights which AmazonBasics includes in the pack are based on small sandbags.
With a maximum weight of 5 pounds each, the weight represents one of the demanding designs which is made for those already into fitness. With 10 extra pounds on the ankles, these weights add a challenge even to the most serious fitness trainers. Unlike low weight alternatives, they can also be used for better arms’ toning.
Possible drawbacks include limited colors. The ankle weights only come in black. But these weights are primarily made to be affordable. This is why those who want ankle weights which are comfortable and which also come in various colors will have to choose one of the alternatives listed above.
Made with small exterior pockets
5-pounds maximum weight
Made for a secure fit
A bit large at 14 X 6 inches
Frequently Asked Questions
What are ankle weights?
Ankle weights are added on the legs. Their role is to increase resistance during exercises, running or circuit training. Most users rely on ankle weights to add resistance to specific muscle groups. Women use ankle weights to develop glutes.
What are the benefits of ankle weights?
Using ankle weights improves cardiovascular endurance. Running with ankle weights burns more calories. Exercising with ankle weights aids leg toning efforts. Ankle weights are used to add resistance to abdominal exercises. Other benefits include added resistance for circuit training workouts like when you use other kinds of dumbbells.
More on Other Weights: 9 Best Adjustable Dumbbells
How to use ankle weights properly?
Ankle weights need to be secured properly on the feet. A good fit is considered when the weights can’t move up the leg when performing an exercise. But the right fit doesn’t need to be too tight either. Adjusting ankle weights to tight impedes proper blood circulation in the lower legs.