Become a Contributor

What Muscles Do Ankle Weights Work

What Muscles Do Ankle Weights Work

Ankle weights are a popular tool in resistance training exercises. But do you know what muscles do ankle weights work? Before you start working with ankle weights, it would be wiser to know which muscles ankle weights target. Read on, to know more.
Rimlee Bhuyan
Ankle weights are generally used during resistance training as a means to tone the leg muscles. Ankle weights are strapped around the ankles and they help in increasing the efficiency of a workout as they act as extra resistance. Ankle weights are a great way to strengthen and tone the lower body and give the leg muscles a sculpted look. However, before you use ankle weights in your workout regimen, you need to remember that ankle weights puts a lot of pressure on the joints of the legs and people with weak joints must avoid using them. Choosing the right ankle weight for your fitness level is also equally important as too heavy weights around the ankles can cause injury. Ankle weights are available in sizes of 1 pound to 20 pounds with increments of ½ a pound. For a beginner, 1-2 pound ankle weights are a safe weight to start with. You must be wondering what muscles do ankle weight work. Well to know the answer to that, you need to understand the anatomy of leg muscles. Here we are going to explain to you which muscles are targeted by using ankle weights.

Which Muscles Do Ankle Weights Target

Many people wonder, if ankle weights really work in practice and what muscles do ankle weights work on? Well, ankle weights when used the right way will help in strengthening your lower body, toning it and increasing your balance. However, some forms of exercise like jogging and sprinting should not be done with ankle weights as they put a lot of strain on the knee joints and you might seriously injure yourself. To understand which muscles are worked by using ankle weights, you need to first understand the anatomy of the leg muscles. The leg muscles consist of six major muscle groups and they are the glutes, the quadriceps, hamstrings, adductor muscles, calf muscles and the foot muscles. All these muscle groups have further sub divisions that consists of individual muscles. The kind of muscles or muscle group that ankle weights work on depends upon the kind of exercise that is performed. If the back leg raises are done with ankle weights strapped on, then it works on the glutes. Given below are the specific muscle groups that are worked with specific exercises performed with ankle weights.

The Glutes
When you do exercises like hip lift, squats, standing hip abduction and reverse lunges with ankle weights, you work the gluteus muscles. The glutes consist of three muscle groups and they are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The gluteus muscles or the glutes helps in the abduction and rotation of the legs. If you want to tone your glutes, then doing the exercises mentioned above with ankle weights will help you to achieve that.

The Calf Muscles
Another muscle group that ankle weights work are the calf muscles. Exercises like ankle flexion and calf raises done with ankle weights strapped on the ankles, increases the resistance of the workout and helps in toning the calf muscles. For a beginner, it is best to start with one pound ankle weights and then gradually use a higher weight to increase the level of difficulty and endurance.

The Hamstrings
Some exercises like standing hamstring curl, standing hip abduction, prone hamstring curl and standing leg extension when done by strapping a pair of ankle weights, helps in working out the hamstrings. It stretches the hamstrings and strengthens it. This kind of exercises helps to increase the flexibility of hamstrings without putting too much pressure on the knee joints.

The Quadriceps
Exercises like squats, lunges and standing leg extension helps in working out the quads. But when these exercises are performed along with ankle weights strapped to the ankles, it helps in defining and toning these muscles. The quadriceps are the muscles that are at the front of the thigh and they are a very important muscle group. Exercises performed with ankle weights helps in targeting the quads and makes them more toned and gives them a sculpted look.

Now, you can start an exercise regimen that incorporates ankle weights. These weights, when used in the right way can help to give you a toned and sculpted lower body.