Exercises Using Ankle Weights

Leg of injured man in physiotherapy
A man wearing ankle weights. (Image: edwardolive/iStock/Getty Images)

Ankle weights are fitness tools that get fastened to your lower legs to create resistance while working out. Ankle weights are used in walking or running to increase the intensity. However, doing so can change your normal gait, which may cause you to lose your balance or hurt yourself while you're walking. You can use ankle weights for strength training exercises, provided you execute proper form.

Leg Lifts

Leg raises are lower ab exercises performed from a face-up position on the floor. With the ankle weights securely fastened, place your hands at your sides and lift your legs 6 inches off the floor. In a smooth motion, raise your legs until your body forms a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower them and repeat for 15 to 20 reps. If you feel stress on your lower back while doing this exercise, place your hands under your butt.

Bicyle Crunches

Bicycle crunches work your entire abdominal area and are done lying face up on the floor. Lift your legs, bend your knees 90 degrees and level your shins to the floor. After placing your hands on the sides of your head, move your right elbow and left knee toward each other while extending your right leg. After pausing briefly, reverse the move and bring your left elbow and right knee toward each other as you extend your left leg. Go back and forth in a cycling motion 15 to 20 times.

Glute Kickbacks

Glute kickbacks isolate your butt. Get down on all fours. Line up your hands directly under your shoulders and place your knees directly under your hips. While keeping a bend in your knee, lift your right foot toward the ceiling. After squeezing for a second, lower your leg and repeat. Switch legs after 10 to 12 reps.

Leg Extensions

Leg extensions work your quadriceps, which are found on the front of your thighs. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. In a steady motion, raise your right foot off the floor and extend your leg straight in front of your body. Stop just shy of locking out your knee and hold for a full second. Slowly lower your foot to a point right above the floor and repeat. After 10 to 12 reps, switch legs. You can also alternate each leg with this exercise. Keep your thighs still throughout.

Side Leg Raises

Side leg raises, also known as abductions, work your hips and the sides of your glutes. Stand with your right side facing a chair and place your right hand on it for balance. In a controlled motion, raise your left leg to the side in a sweeping motion. Once you have lifted as far as possible, slowly lower and repeat. After 10 to 12 reps, switch sides.

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