Pop star Selena Gomez is as famous for her killer threads as she is for her catchy songs. But, curiously, her latest favorite accessory has less to do with fashion and more to do with fitness.
While we commend Gomez’s commitment to keeping fit even during her downtime, we can’t help but wonder whether we should also wear a pair while running errands or just save them for the gym?
If you’re wondering the same, here’s what you need to know about ankle weights.
Why Wear Them?
Ankle weights, which vary in weight, typically from three pounds to five pounds, provide resistance and help to increase the strength in your leg muscles, including your thighs, hamstrings, and glues, by isolating and toning through small, controlled movements.
They’re also helpful for those recovering from injury, like ankle sprains, and aid with rehabilitation in order to help improve strength and balance.
Ankle weights are an easy way to challenge your workouts and give you that extra bit of toning when it comes to your legs and butt. Adding ankle weights to stationary movements, like donkey kicks and leg lifts, adds resistance, which will increase metabolism, burn more fat, and give more shape to your lower body.
Ankle weights can also be used as added resistance to ab workouts. Skip crunches and strap on your weights for a set of bicycles, hip raises, and knee-to-chest planks, and you’ll really feel the burn.
It’s important to remember to keep movements slow and controlled whenever you’re using your ankle weights to avoid injury.
Though you might think you’re getting in a quick and easy workout by strapping on your ankle weights outside of the gym, a la Gomez, you might want to reconsider it.
While walking with ankle weights can increase the energy you burn, they may end up causing too much stress on the ankle, knee and hip joints, which can throw off your alignment, leading to joint pain and damage.
If you’d like to burn more calories while walking, pick up the pace and/or try intervals: one minute walking with two minutes fast walking, or even a light jog.
Even though Gomez does make wearing ankle weights look pretty chic (which not a lot of people could pull off), if you want to avoid injury, save your ankle weights for the gym. You’ll feel the burn, and your butt and legs will thank you.
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