Ankle weights have been around a long time in the fitness world. Today, they have even become a fashion accessory! Like a lot of fitness accessories, which have been around a long time, they are used in ways, which are not always healthy. When it comes to walking, running and any dynamic aerobic activity, ankle weights do far more harm than good. </p>
They put undue stress on your joints, add impact to your strides and negatively impact your gait, causing muscle imbalances. Says physiotherapist Leada Malek (PT, DPT, CSCS, SCS) in a recent POPSUGAR article, “ It's not advised to walk with ankle weights because the repetitive motion can cause a greater load on the knees, hips, and back, which impacts your natural gait pattern.” Same goes for any dynamic, aerobic exercise. Says Malek, “The repetitive nature of the movements and the load of the weight favoring some muscles and not others, causing a muscle imbalance. Running with ankle weights is not advised because the heavier weight can lead to dragging of the legs, which doesn't translate to proper running technique, and it can also lead to tripping or rolling your ankle.”
Just because a fitness tool has been around a long time, and you see a lot of people using it, it does not mean it is always safe to use, and often these tools have not kept up with current thinking on exercise and fitness.
The next time you grab a pair of ankle weights or other piece of resistance equipment, which puts stress or impact on your joints, consider whether there is another way to add the resistance you seek. Your body will thank you!