Photo Credit: © Kultur* via Compfight cc. Used with permission.

Ankle weights are a great addition to take a glute workout from good to great. If you aren’t already using ankle weights for your glutes, then you could really be missing out on the full potential of your exercise routine!

Ankle weights offer an inexpensive and portable option to greatly increase the effectiveness of a leg and glute workout that can easily be performed at home.

What Are Ankle Weights?

Ankle weights are a weighted strap that can be fixed around your ankles to add a weighted load to your exercise routine for the lower body. They can also be used around the wrists in the same fashion, to add resistance to upper body exercises.

Why Use Ankle Weights?

Adding resistance to exercises makes them more effective for producing results. If you are trying to increase muscle size, progressive overload is a must, and ankle weights are a great way to do it.

The anatomy of the leg and hip can be likened to a lever and fulcrum. The leg, being long, is like a lever and pivots from the hip, which acts as a fulcrum. Adding weight along the leg can add a considerable challenge to both stability and mobility muscle groups. The further away from the fulcrum point the weight is, the more difficult it is to lift and balance the weight, so incorporating ankle weights into your workout can be extremely effective for getting maximum results.

Ankle Weights Could Be the Key to Your Most Effective Workout Yet

Fixed ankle weights in action
Ankle weights in action in the donkey kick exercise.

Ankle weights are unique in that they add load in a leveraged way – the leg acts as a lever as previously mentioned. This results in a great amount of muscular challenge without having to use an extremely heavy weight. It also strengthens ligaments and joints, as stability, mobility and balance are all challenged when using ankle weights.

Ankle weights are also affordable and portable, and along with exercise resistance bands they are one of my favorite additions to home exercise equipment for glutes because they are easy to use and ultra portable for those who may be travelling or just don’t have space for bulky exercise equipment around the home.

What Kind of Ankle Weights Are There?

Fixed weight ankle weights come in a non-adjustable weight and are typically found in options between 2 – 10 lbs.

Fixed ankle weight pair
These ankle weights are 1.5lbs each for a 3lb set. Available for $19.87 from Amazon.

Weight is often quoted as a pair, e.g. 5lb each leg will often be advertised as (a set of) 10lb ankle weights. This is easily confused, so double check the product you are looking at to make sure you are getting what you want!

Adjustable weight ankle weights allow you to customize the amount of weight in each ankle weight. Usually these have removable weight bags, each weighing around 1.25lb – 2lb each, depending on the product.

Adjustable ankle weights
These adjustable ankle weights can be made to be anywhere between 4lb up to 10lb each, for a 20lb set. Only $25.86 from Amazon!

The weight itself generally takes two forms – either sand bags, or metal bars. Sand has the disadvantage of being bulkier as it is less dense, while metals may be susceptible to rust or corrosion (though this issue can be avoided completely if suitable grade of metal or painting is used).

If you intend on taking your ankle weights underwater for water aerobics, or they are likely to be exposed to a lot of moisture, then you may want to consider waterproof ankle weights which are also available.

Water ankle weights
Waterproof ankle weights are a bit pricier but you get a quality product – this adjustable 2.5lb each or 5lb set is $49.99 from Amazon.

If you’re thinking of using ankle weights in aqua-aerobics or while swimming then buy a set that are made out of solid weights rather than sand. Those which use sand as the weight are prone to shift around in the water and inevitably slip and become troublesome to secure around the ankles. Also be aware that when in the water the weights will not seem as heavy as they are on land.

How to Use Ankle Weights Effectively

Simply loop the Velcro around your ankle and fasten it so that the weighted band is snug to your skin. You don’t want to leave it too loose as it may move around during exercise and can be annoying.

If you have a set of adjustable weight ankle weights then you’ll be able to adjust the heaviness of the ankle weight to suit the particular exercise you’re doing, and simply increase the weight as you get stronger. If you’re only using 1 of the weight packs in the adjustable sets, make sure you position this appropriately in the weight pockets, so that each ankle weight is the same. Strap up the velcro snugly so that the single weight is not going to roll sideways around your ankle as you move against gravity.

If you don’t have a set that comes with an adjustable weight feature, then you still have options. When you progress (and you simply must progress in order to see results), you can use two or more ankle weights per leg. Since they come in sets of two, if you are doing single leg exercises, you can get away with using one set of ankle weights and doubling them up for each leg.

Selecting the Correct Weight

Not sureThe correct amount of weight to use is tricky to estimate because it really depends on what particular exercise you are doing. If you’re just starting out, I would recommend purchasing a set of  adjustable ankle weights with a light range, maybe a set like this that goes up to 5lb max. This will allow you to experiment with lighter ranges without limiting yourself too much.

If you still find that using one fixed weight ankle weight is too difficult, you can attach the weight higher up your leg (closer to the fulcrum point), to reduce the load challenge. As you progress in strength and balance, shift the weight further away from the pivot point to keep the exercise challenging.

Working the Butt

Ankle weights are a great addition to home workout gear. An adjustable set can be versatile and used in many different types of exercises to increase their difficulty. Ankle weights are particularly suited to boosting the effectiveness of glute exercises such as donkey kicks, leg raises, side leg lifts and more.

What do you think about using ankle weights to add an extra challenge to your glutes? Let me know if you have any questions at all about using ankle weights in your butt workouts!

Ankle Weights for Glutes – Why You Absolutely Must Get Some Of These!
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9 thoughts on “Ankle Weights for Glutes – Why You Absolutely Must Get Some Of These!

  • November 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I need some of these! This would be great for just going up and down the stairs at home. I like the idea of adjustable ones, so you can work your way up. I also never knew to look for the weight as a pair. I would have been confused. Have a good one!

    • November 21, 2014 at 5:40 am

      You won’t be disappointed Amanda, they’re a great piece of exercise equipment to have around the home and are very versatile!

  • November 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I need to get a pair of these weights and wear them when I am cleaning house and working out. Great idea. I will keep this in mind for Christmas Present to myself. Thanks for the recommendations and different ways to add things in to our daily lives. Of course to have that perfect BUTT!!

    • November 21, 2014 at 6:25 am

      I usually only use mine when doing a workout, but what a great idea to strap them on while doing housework! Love the efficient use of time. I’ll have to try that one as well, thanks Angela!

  • November 20, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Great info. I really never thought of using ankle weights during my workouts. I will definitely give those a try.

    • November 21, 2014 at 5:48 am

      Making the simple switch to using ankle weights can really power up your workout without much extra effort on your part, so if you do give them a go, I’m sure you’ll love them Michael!

  • November 21, 2014 at 2:38 am

    I have a pair of ankle weights to use for my power walks. I intuitive felt they would really help get the most out of my workout time. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this, I appreciate it.

    • November 21, 2014 at 6:18 am

      Thanks Abigail, great to hear you are maximizing your workout effectiveness by using weights already. Don’t forget to keep training harder by either increasing the weight or increasing the time spent walking in order to progress!

  • July 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I really need some of these XD someone plz sponsor me lol

    • July 16, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      Hehehe, that would be great if we could all get sponsorships Aaliyah! For an at-home ghetto version of ankle weights, you can try and improvise a few things, especially if you’re crafty. For example, if you are any good with a sewing machine, sewing a band with pouches that you can fill with sand, rice or beans etc. can make some ankle weights, then just fasten by velcro ties or maybe even a belt or by putting them inside your socks! MacGyver all the way!


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