Ankle weights are used by strapping them around the ankles to work out or burn calories. Several manufacturers of workout equipment sell ankle weights in a variety of styles—some are elasticized and must be slid over the foot and above the ankle; other models are made of a long band that has adjustable closures to fit any width, must like a belt. These are wrapped around the leg just above the ankle and secured with velcro or a ring and hook closure. It is a good idea to look for styles with removable weight pockets so that any individual can customize the amount of weight used to fit his personal level of fitness.
Some athletes believe that training with the added weight wrapped around their ankles makes them perform better during games and races; when they remove the weights, some say they instantly feel lighter and more powerful. Non-athletes are often told that wearing such weights hidden under their clothes as they go about a daily routine will burn extra calories without extra effort. Hypothetically, ankle weights could be worn during any activity in which the ankles are not in close contact with other equipment, such as cycling. One should be aware, though, that adding weight to any workout in which the feet and ankles absorb impact almost always carries a risk of injury. Ankle weights tend to have an effect not just on ankle joints, but on knees, hips and feet—using too much weight or landing incorrectly while wearing ankle weights may lead to a painful experience, and muscles and tendons could also be pulled or bruised if weights are used incorrectly.
While some athletes and trainers have used ankle weights for years during aerobic activities, most health experts caution that the only safe exercises to do while wearing this product are those that require zero impact on the legs. Leg lifts are a typical example of one such workout. Mimicking the leg movement of a bicycle while the legs are kept in the air while wearing the weights could also be a way to get positive results while avoiding injury. Water aerobics in a shallow pool, where far less pressure is placed on the feet due to the water’s buoyancy, is another activity that some doctors recommend as safe with weights.