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Running With Ankle Weights – 5 Benefits (and How to Use Them)

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running with ankle weights

Running with ankle weights can offer a number of benefits for your body.

They can help you to build muscle, increase your strength and improve your balance. Ankle weights are also a great way to add resistance when you are exercising, which can help you to burn more calories and lose weight faster.

In addition, wearing ankle weights may also help to improve your running form and make you a more efficient runner.

If you are thinking about running with ankle weights, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. What are ankle weights
  2. The benefits of using ankle weights
  3. How to use ankle weights for running
  4. Tips for running with ankle weights
  5. FAQs about running with ankle weights

What Are Ankle Weights And What Do They Do?

Ankle weights are small weights that you strap around your ankles. They come in a variety of sizes and can range from 1 to 10 pounds each and are generally made of neoprene.

They are sold in pairs and come in various sizes, shapes, and colors. There are a few important things to look for when purchasing ankle weights.

  1. Adjustability. Everyone is made different so make sure to get ankle weights that are adjustable.
  2. Sturdy straps. We all know that straps, zippers, and buckles are all failure points in products. Make sure the straps are thick enough to handle the job and sturdy.
  3. Comfort. Running creates a lot of movement and motion. This will inevitably lead to the ankle weights moving up and down slightly along your body. It’s very important to get weights made of a soft, comfortable material that won’t chafe or cause other irritations on the skin.

Ankle weights can be purchased at most sporting good stores or, more conveniently, on any major online retail site.

What Are The Benefits of Using Ankle Weights?

ankle weight on runner

There are a number of benefits for your body, including:

  1. Building muscle
  2. Increasing strength
  3. Improving balance

Increased resistance from the ankle weights cause the legs to have to work harder on the eccentric portion of the movement. This taxes the muscles more which helps produce hypertrophy and, in turn, increases muscle size.

Don’t worry – you aren’t going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger from using ankle weights, but it will help tone your calves, thighs, and even buttocks a bit.

With these hypertrophic gains also comes gains from strength. It’s essentially the same process as above; increased resistance brings increases in strength. Moving up in weight will amplify the effect for both muscular development and strength.

Wearing ankle weights can also improve balance. This is due to the added weight on the ankles, which forces the muscles and tendons around the joint to work a bit harder.

This helps to develop proprioception (the ability to sense where your body is in space) and can help you avoid injuries in the long run.

How To Use Ankle Weights For Running

First, make sure that you purchase a quality pair of ankle weights that fit well and are comfortable to wear. Second, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of weight you are using as you get used to running with them.

Begin by running for a short distance, such as 1/4 of a mile, and then gradually increase the distance as your body adjusts to the additional weight. Increasing the distance too quickly could prove to be harmful.

It’s surprising how much more difficult a little weight can make a run. Be prepared and stay near home in case a rest is needed sooner than anticipated.

It is important to warm up before running with ankle weights and to cool down afterwards. Warming up will help to prevent injuries and cool down will help your muscles to recover.

Tips For Using Ankle Weights When Running

When running with ankle weights, it is important to take into consideration a few things in order to safely and effectively achieve the desired results.

Here are a few tips:

1. Start slowly. As mentioned above, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the amount of weight you are using as you get used to running with them.

2. Increase the distance gradually. Once you are comfortable running with the ankle weights, you can gradually increase the distance.

3. Warm up and cool down. Always warm up before running with ankle weights and cool down afterwards. This will help to prevent injuries and help your muscles recover.

4. Listen to your body. If at any time during your run you feel pain or discomfort, stop and rest.

5. Use them regularly. For best results, use ankle weights regularly as part of your running routine.

To Recap

Ankle weights can help running by increasing resistance, improving balance and building muscle. If you want to increase the weight of your body or add resistance during running exercises, ankle weights are a great way to do so.

Using ankle weights is also beneficial for balancing out muscles in your leg as well as helping build proprioception (the ability to sense where one’s body is positioned).

For best results when adding ankle weights to your regime, it’s important not only that you start gradually but continue gradually throughout the process.

It may take some time before your muscles adjust fully but sticking with it will be worth it–especially if running has been difficult up until this point!

FAQs About Running With Ankle Weights

Do I need to warm up before running?

Yes, it is important to warm up your muscles before running to prevent injuries. A good warm-up could include a light jog or running in place for a few minutes.

How do I increase the weight gradually?

You can increase the weight gradually by starting with a light weight and slowly increasing the amount of weight you use as you get more comfortable with using ankle weights.

What if I start to feel pain while running?

If you start to feel pain while running, stop and rest. It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard.

How often should I use ankle weights?

For best results, use ankle weights regularly as part of your running routine.

Will running with ankle weights help me lose weight?

Yes, adding additional weight while running can help you lose weight as it burns more calories than running without them. Additionally, the added resistance will help to tone your muscles and improve your overall fitness level.

In fact, a 120 pound person would burn around 8% more calories with a 5 pound ankle weight on each ankle based on the percentage of their bodyweight.

Your diet is still a major part of weight loss, but adding some additional weight to your run won’t hurt!

Does running with ankle weights make you faster?

Yes, running with ankle weights can make you faster as it helps to build muscle and improve your running form. It can be a great way to improve your running speed and endurance. With a few tips and some patience, you’ll be running like the wind in no time!

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About the author

Jasper loves to write about fitness, running, and anything else that gets him moving outdoors. He's an avid hiker, backpacker, and climber who loves to stay fit so he can make sure he's healthy enough to enjoy his favorite hobbies. He also spends time writing about his true passions in life.