Ankle weights are a perfect gift for osteoporosis prevention and when already diagnosed. They will make your leg lifts much more effective for your muscles and bones.
What Size to Order?
I reminded my class this morning to put the 10# or 20# single ankle weights on their Christmas and Hanukkah wish list. Except for my 96-year-old client, everyone outgrows the 5# set! They’re adjustable in 1/2 pound increments for the 10# ankle weights to 1 pound increments for the 20#, so there’s plenty of room to progress. Check the drop down arrow for Ankle and Wrist Weights on my website for my pros and cons on different styles.
In my classes, I provide the dumbbells (I literally have almost a ton of them!) and my class participants bring their own ankle weights. When I see them able to lift their leg several feet off the floor with the side leg lifts, it’s a sure sign that it’s too light and easy. They need to start at an easy level, but progress to a heavier ankle weight in order to take the exercise out of the ineffective “toning” range and into the very effective muscle and bone strengthening range.
Using a light weight doesn’t give muscles or bones enough resistance to make them pay attention and get stronger. If muscles and bones could talk, they’d say, “Ankle weight today? No problem lifting this light weight! Get stronger? Not necessary at this level.”
When a class participant is using the correct size weight, she can’t lift her leg up off the floor more than a foot, maybe two, at the very most.
How to Know When You’re Ready for More Weight
If you have my Safe Strength Training for Osteoporosis Prevention DVD, you’ll be familiar with my reminders on how to know when you need a lighter or heavier weight. It’s a process that is best begun with a light weight, or none at all, while you’re learning the correct strength training form. If everything feels fine at the end of a set—your muscles are warm from working hard, but not searing and burning, you’re not feeling pain in a muscle, joint or your back, and you can complete the full set with ease, then it’s time to add more weight!
Let us know your experience using ankle weights! If you have a question, ask it below. By the way, I need to approve comments, which is why yours won’t show up right away. But, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!