Are Ankle Weights Bad for Your Knees?

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.

Ankle weights put pressure on your knees and can cause injury. Credit: Robert Kelsey/iStock/Getty Images

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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