Weighted workout equipment has been popular for thousands of years. Its history is going back to the Persians, who train troops by filling cow bladders with sand or water.
Nowadays, weighted clothes and ankle weights are worn by walkers to enhance cardiovascular activity and burn calories. Although ankle weights and other wearable weights are helpful, they may cause damage and are not suitable for everyone. Before using ankle weights, it’s essential to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks.
Good for Cardiovascular Workouts
Ankle weights are wrapped around the ankles. Because the weights resist gravity, lifting your leg requires extra effort.
Ankle weights, for example from Gymrat, stimulate the hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps to work harder, giving your legs’ major muscles a more extraordinary exercise than walking without ankle weights. The cardiovascular effect is greater when you wear weights since your leg muscles have to work harder.
Increase Bone density and muscle strength
According to MayoClinic.com, lifting weights improves bone density and lowers the chance of osteoporosis. Ankle weights offer low weight resistance, and the National Institutes of Health recommends modest weights for elderly people.
Seniors may perform resistance workouts using ankle weights instead of bigger and heavier machine weights. For elderly people, this improves muscular tone, enhances bone density, and improves walking speed and mobility.
Enhance Calorie Burning
Increasing the load on your body during an exercise encourages the muscles and heart to work harder. More energy is required to do the task of exercising when more muscles and organs are engaged. When you exert more power, you burn more calories.
Don’t Forget the Leg Sprain and Injury
Joint tension is increased by using ankle or leg weights. Dr Edward R. Laskowski, a physical medicine and rehabilitation expert from Mayo Clinic warns that they may strain the ankle joint and leg muscles, raising the risk of severe damage.
Leg muscles are not developed in the same way as ankle weights. They strengthen the quadriceps but do not develop the hamstrings muscle at the back of the leg.
Ankle weights are not advised for individuals who already have knee or other joint issues since they place additional stress on the joints. Ankle weights are acceptable for individuals in good condition and have no physical problems, but they should not be used by people who have hurting joints, are weak, or are overweight.
When wearing them, you should avoid lengthy runs or walks. Putting all of your weight on your ankles may cause joint damage.
When your weight is positioned so low, your typical running style is forced to alter. If you want to run with weight on your back, use weighted vests or a backpack to keep it close to your upper body.
Wrist weights may also put more strain on your joints, which may lead to injury. Swinging your arms back and forth while carrying a heavy load may cause muscular imbalance, making it easier to damage your wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck joints and tendons.
However, this is not to say that you should avoid using them. To prevent injury, you must understand how to use them correctly.