Wrist & Ankle Weights: Should You Strap Them On?

by Charlene Flanagan

It's a common sighting; many folks can be spotted in the gym with strap-on weights (or, body weights) while they carry on doing their routine exercises. As you continue to run on the treadmill, you may have found yourself wondering whether you should pick up a pair, too. Well, before you do, here's what you need to know.

What Wrist & Ankle Weights Bring To Your Routine

  • Anything that weighs you down, instantly increases the intensity of your exercise, considering that all gym workouts are based on using gravity as resistance.
  • They make for a great addition to your cardio routine, but require your fitness levels to be of a certain rank before you start using them.
  • They must never be used without consulting a trainer, who will assess whether your are ready for them, if they meet your goals (do you need muscle tone?), and if you are susceptible to injury.
  • If youre engaging in strength training, weight training or high intensity workouts, don't use the weights as these routines stress your muscles to a high degree, already.
  • They increase calorie loss by five to 15 percent, depending on the exercise, intensity, and weight of theaccessory.
Tread With Caution
  • If you injure yourself while you have ankle or wrist weights on, the damage may almost be double than without.
  • They can throw you off-balance, so tread slow and steady until you find your center and a firm footing.
  • You have to ease into the use of the weights, so always start light.
  • It can change your bodys rhythm and cause discomfort and muscle pain; in which case, you need to re-evaluate your form, or take them off.
The Verdict
Strap-on ankle and wrist weights are great strength training accessories, but if your workout routine already includes muscle building exercises via equipment, resistance bands or inversions, then you may not necessarily need them. They are definitely not for home use, and must always be incorporated and moderated after consulting a trainer.
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