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Are Ankle Weights Bad for Your Knees?

author image Frank Yemi
Frank Yemi has been a professional writer since 2007, and has contributed to several health and fitness magazines. He has worked as a medical fact checker and sports nutritionist in the United Kingdom. Yemi holds a Bachelor of Science in medical physiology, as well as a Master of Science in applied sports nutrition.
Are Ankle Weights Bad for Your Knees?
Ankle weights put pressure on your knees and can cause injury. Photo Credit Robert Kelsey/iStock/Getty Images

People may decide to wear ankle weights when looking for a way to intensify resistance-training exercises and aerobic activity, such as walking, jogging or running. Wearing ankle weights of 1 to 3 pounds can increase oxygen intake by 5 percent to 10 percent, according to Cedric X. Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council of Exercise. The use of ankle weights, however, is not without its drawbacks.

Risk vs. Reward

Bryant notes that ankle weights can disrupt your walking and running mechanics, which can lead to knee and ankle injury. They can also increase the loading impact on knees, ankles and hips. This can cause joint strain and knee pain. If you are healthy and without joint issues you may use ankle weights, Dr. Anthony Luke, director of primary care sports medicine at University of California San Francisco, told the "Los Angeles Times," but he advised discontinuing their use if you experience any pain.

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