Juliette Kando is a dancer, choreologist, author on fitness and health, and Fellow of the Benesh Institute at the Royal Academy of Dance.
Ankle and wrist weights can speed up training and help you lose weight faster, but if used indiscriminately, they can also be harmful, even dangerous. While doing some in-depth research for this article, I read with dismay that wearing ankle and wrist weights is often recommended for the wrong kind of activities.
This article is particularly important for beginners, but it will also help many of you at intermediate or advanced levels to understand the pros and cons of using ankle and wrist weights in your workouts.
How Dangerous Can Ankle and Wrist Weights Be?
Even people at more advanced and professional levels, who should know their bodies well enough to use ankle and wrist weights responsibly, can learn something new here to prevent the risk of injury and permanent damage to the body.
Ankle and Wrist Weights Dos and Don'ts
Use weights that are filled with water or sand and are made of breathable material.
Don't keep ankle or wrist weights on all day or sleep with them on.
Wait until you can raise your legs 90 degrees while lying down before adding ankle weights.
Don't use them if you are already carrying a lot of extra weight on your body.
Use weights with gravity while stretching.
If you are overweight, don't use weights for strength or endurance.
What Are the Best Ankle and Wrist Weights?
Ankle and wrist weights are usually filled with fine lead or iron powder, not very environmentally friendly when disposed of. Try to find some that use water or sand as filling. Tie them around the wrists or ankles with Velcro straps. On the outside, they should be made of some breathable nylon material.
When to Wear Weights
Ankle and wrist weights are used to increase the workload in the following three areas of fitness:
- Strength and Endurance
Doing regular exercise needs enough devotion without making it more difficult with extra weights, right? An overweight person already carries too much weight for their skeleton. But if you have reached a certain level of fitness and are very short of time, wearing ankle or wrist weights may speed up your training provided they are used with proper caution and awareness.
Wear weights while walking, jogging, running, sprinting, step aerobics, cycling, swimming, kickboxing, karate, and even treadmill exercise to accelerate weight loss, strength, and endurance.
Avoid keeping weights on too long. It is hard on the body to carry extra weight all day (or all night) so don't keep them on for the entire day or sleep with them on.
Strength and Endurance for Advanced Users Only
No adult has a perfect posture. No gait is absolutely correctly balanced. Therefore any activity that requires the entire body's weight to land with impact on the ground—like walking, running, or aerobics—will aggravate the faults and imbalances in the ankle, knee, hip, spine, and neck without adding any extra weight. And let's face it: Most of you guys and gals who are so keen on getting fit already carry the extra weight on your bodies anyway. So, don't use ankle or wrist weights for endurance and strength training unless you're a pro.
Weights With Certain Toning Moves
If you are trying to firm up your triceps (backward arm lifts) or buttocks (lying prone, lifting a leg up) and don't have a lot of time before the holidays, by all means, wear the weights. Be sure you don't strain your back in doing so. See this article on counter moves to avoid injuries.
Using Weights With Gravity Inversion Stretching
The main requirement for flexibility is that the area to be stretched should be relaxed. It is impossible to stretch a muscle or tendons when the muscle is contracted. That is a paradox, a contradiction in terms. We can use weights with the assistance of gravity to help stretch the hamstrings, as in the two Scooping Kick moves described below.
Scooping Kicks With Gravity and Weights
The way to get the most out of this exercise is with visualization. Imagine that you are lying on the beach. Scoop up some sand with one foot and throw it as far as you can over your head. I recommend you close your eyes during this imaginary experience so you can really concentrate on what you are doing. That way, you won't get any sand in your eyes (ha-ha).
- Lie on the floor on your back, on a mat or or your bed.
- Bend one leg and raise the knee as far as you can without bending or lifting the other leg.
- Bring the foot back down to the floor.
- Straighten that leg and raise it up as high as you can while leaving the other leg on the floor. Keep both knees straight.
- Bring the first leg down to the floor again
- Repeat alternating a knee lift with a full leg lift eight times.
- Repeat steps 2-5 with the other leg.
How high does your foot reach with the leg raised? If it does not reach 90 degrees, don't use weights. Once your foot passes the 90 degree mark, you may wear ankle weights. With extra weight tied to your ankle, your legs wants to go downwards with gravity. To stretch your hamstrings fully, all you need to do now is to keep one straight leg up there, past the 90 degree mark, while relaxing the hip joint.
Why the 90 Degree Stretch is Crucial
In the above moves, once your foot passes the 90 degree mark you may wear ankle weights, but not before.
Wearing weights before you can achieve this stretch will make it harder and take longer to stretch. When you can reach the 90 degree point, the ankle weight and gravity actually help your foot go down further and further towards your head. Once you are past the vertical (90 degrees), your hamstrings can stretch in a painless, almost passive way.
Isolation and Coordination
With more practice you will be able to isolate the coordination of the only two necessary actions of kicking up and bringing the leg down. Concentrate on:
- Keeping the knees straight requires a certain amount of tension in the thigh.
- Controlling the action in the hip joint so it stays as relaxed as possible to allow for maximum movement range.
- Keeping the hamstring muscles (behind the knee) relaxed.
Hopefully not to the point of being chair-bound or chair-shaped as shown by Juliette Kando in the next video.
Scooping High Kicks in a Side Lying Position
- Lie on your side on the floor (on a mat) or or your bed. Keep the knee of the lower leg bent to create a more stable structure for maintaining this position.
- Raise your upper knee up towards your shoulder.
- Bring it down to the floor.
- Now raise the whole leg up as high as you can while keeping the knee straight and leaving the other bent leg on the floor.
- Bring the upper leg down to the floor again.
- Repeat eight to sixteen times.
- Turn around onto your other side and repeat steps 2-6 with the other leg.
Arm Swings and Circles
Using Wrist Weights With Arm Swings and Circles
Master this exercise without wrist weights first. Arm swings and circles are perfectly suited to be practiced with wrist weights on, but you might tear a muscle or ligament if you have not mastered it on its own first.
- Swing one arm up as far as it will go without turning the wrist.
- Swing the same arm down and back to its limit.
- Repeat eight times or more.
- Now do a full backward arm circle and repeat that eight or more times until all the stiffness and crunchy noises have vanished from your shoulder joint.
- Repeat with other arm.
Once familiar with these moves you can go much faster to allow momentum and gravity to fully loosen your shoulder joint.
CAUTION: Start slowly and remember my motto: "No Pain, Just Gain!"
I hope that this article on ankle and wrist weights has clarified some of the myths and taught you how to use them properly and safely on your arm or leg.
Please contribute to the questions/answers below to learn more!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Question: How often are ankle and wrist weights safe to use?
Answer: Good news: I used to have severe attacks of sciatic pain shooting down my left leg to the point of not being able to walk. Ever since using the gravity inversion table regularly, at least once a week for a few minutes, my sciatica and back pain are completely gone.
Question: How do I lengthen my hamstrings? I can't even reach a 90-degree stretch. I have never even been able to touch the floor.
Answer: To lengthen the hamstrings, sit on the floor with your butt touching a wall. Try to stay as close as possible to the wall with a straight back. Now, try to straighten the knees as much as possible. You can also watch this video in which the 90-degree position is done by lying on the floor with the legs against a wall for a passive stretch of the hamstrings.
Are You Chair-Shaped? Loosen the Hamstrings: http://youtube.com/watch?v=dDxBoMTHtVk.
Question: What will happen if I wear ankle and wrist weights for a whole day?
Answer: If you use them all day, it may put too much strain on your joints. So, I would not recommend this. Just use them when you want to use the ankle or wrist weights for floor exercises to help you extend your movement range (to stretch), and to tone and strengthen your muscles as shown in the article.
Question: What will happen if I wear ankle and wrist weights for half the day walking?
Answer: You'll get tired. On a serious note, please read the article again and the answers to previous questions which all point to the fact that ankle weights are best used to stretch and tone the body in non-weight bearing positions (floorwork) to avoid aggravating existing miss-alignment of the feet, ankles, and knees.
Question: Can my 10-year-old son use a 1kl sandbag for training? He plays taekwondo.
Answer: This article explains why children should not use weights fr training as it could damage their growth plates.
Question: My upper back hurts when I walk with wrist weight on. What is the best position to hold my arms in while walking? My wrist weights are not heavy, only 2.5 pounds on each wrist.
Answer: If you feel pain in the upper back while walking with wrist weights on you must check your posture. Keep your entire body weight balanced centrally. The head should be above the body, and not in front of it. Read this article on How to Improve Your Walking Style to Ease the Pain:
Once you are aware of your posture, you can try this exercise while you walk.
Upper Arm Toner With Wrist Weights:
Perform the arm sequence without walking in slow motion first until your arms get used to moving in this way.
STARTING POSITION: Stand with the arms relaxed by your sides.
Now, turn the left palm in to face back and the right palm out to face front. We are going to swing, right arm forward, left arm back.
With the right arm going forward and the left back, do only one swing as in normal walking but higher, up to 90 degrees or maximum height. Try to keep the arms straight.
On the second swing, swap the direction that the wrists are facing. In other words, always keep all palms up while swinging. Practice this on the spot until you can easily coordinate the moves.
1. Walk for eight steps swinging your arms as normally.
2. For the next eight steps, hold the arms in the upper-most position palms up. You are still walking on, but your arms are static for eight steps.
Repeat the walking sequence as many times as you can / want.
N.B. You can do the same exercise to the side (one arm across the body, the other to the side).
Question: Would it be okay to use ankle weights for cycling (1.5 kg for each leg). I asked the same question in some cycling forum. They said that I would probably end up needing hip or knee surgery. Is that true? I want some really tough legs.
Answer: Think about it: the extra weight is shared between the two pedals, While one pedal lifts, an equal amount of weight drops (makes it easier) on the other leg so, the two weights actually cancel each other out. Therefore, wearing ankle weights while cycling serves no purpose at all. And yes, I do agree that unnecessarily forcing your body may land you in hospital
If you want your legs to work harder, just go faster or cycle uphill.
Question: Can I wear ankle weights for about 10 or 12 hours?
Answer: The body is not meant to deal with the stress of additional weights at the extremities for that many hours, especially if the body is not perfectly aligned. If you wear weights for 10 or 12 hours a day, you may end up with damaged wrists, ankles, and knees or even having to get both hips replaced later in life. Don't do it! To be on the safe side, just use the weights for floor exercises as shown in the article.
Question: I'm fourteen-years-old and 5'3. I want to start wearing ankle weights to improve my basketball training. Would that be OK?
Answer: Wearing ankle weights while training for basketball or any aerobic high impact sports for that matter is not recommended especially at your age because you are still growing. It will cause problems with joints, put too much stress on the bones and may stunts growth. Think about it: while your body is trying to grow upwards towards the sky, the ankle weights are pulling you down in the opposite direction. In that situation the weights are fighting against your body's wishes and intentions. Like it says in the article, wearing ankle weights during vertical high impact activity is definitely a no-no, even for adults, let alone for a young growing body. You could seriously injure yourself.
You will benefit from using ankle weights is in static, preferably horizontal positions while stretching to help tendons and muscles elongate as shown in the exercises in this article. In this situation the weights may even enhance your growth.
Question: My left knee joints are weak and elastic and the patella has protruded a couple of times ..but it's been about a year since this last happened can I use 1.5 kg ankle weights during stretching only?
Answer: In your situation I would not recommend using ankle weights at all.
Question: Can I and should use leg weights during an hour-long walk to intensify the leisurely walk?
Answer: Provided your knees ankles and hips are in good shape (free of pain) and you are not overweight, feel free to do so. However, if you are obese, then I repeat, more weight to carry would only cause damage to your joints.
Question: Why shouldn't overweight people use wrist/ankle weights during a cardio workout?
Answer: The above article clearly explains why the use of wrist/ankle weights is not recommended for either overweight people or during cardio workouts. To recap:
1. Overweight people already carry too much weight for their joints. Adding further weight would damage the joints further than they already might be.
2. When doing cardio workouts in the vertical position the sheer gravitational impact causes excessive and damaging pressure on the joints.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 27, 2018:
Using wrist weights while driving? You must be joking! Not only does this practice not help anything at all, what ever you may want to achieve (except for Poppey forearms), it would also slow down you reflexes and could be highly dangerous in an emergency situation on the road. Please don't do it!
Baz on December 27, 2018:
I'm a woman - I drive ~2 hours a day. I read using wrist weights while driving helps. Would you recommend that and at what weight/wrist?
1234Nick on June 30, 2018:
I am 14 years old,i am overweight and im using ankle weights for running is that ok?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on June 29, 2018:
I do not recommend wearing ankle weights for cycling, especially if you already carry too much weight of your own because:
a) adding more weight to your body in the vertical position puts even more strain on your joints than what they already have to endure because you are overweight. Doing so may cause joint and ligament damage.
b) if you think about it, the 2 actions of pedalling one foot downwards and the other upwards cancel each other out so really wearing ankle weights on a bike makes no difference other than putting unnecessary stress on your body.
The most beneficial and healthiest way to use ankle weights is to wear them while doing floor exercises like stretching and toning in the horizontal position as shown in the exercises in the above article. Used in that way, they will soon make you more supple and give you strength in the legs and abdominal area. They will help you turn fat into muscle.
Nick10 on June 29, 2018:
If i wear 1.5 weights on my ankles and do cycling while im overweight is it ok?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on February 19, 2018:
No Megan, high impact landing with extra weights, especially at your age, may damage your still growing limbs and feet alignment. Instead, use the weights for stretching and toning with floor exercises as shown in the article.
Megan on February 19, 2018:
I’m 14 and want to use weights while dancing to increase fluidity and seem lighter. Would it be safe if I use them an hour a day? And do you think that would be effective?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 02, 2017:
Not knowing your height, I cannot judge your weight. Running 15 km a day with weights on seems like punishment to me. Especially if your feet, ankles and knees are not perfectly aligned.
Please read my article about foot alignment which you can find on my profile page.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on March 18, 2017:
Hi 15 year old Nick,
If the skeleton is not yet fully grown, wearing ankle weights during running, walking and hopping may stunt growth. Also check your posture and whether you already carry any excess weight on your body. Don't punish yourself. What are your goals?
Nick on March 14, 2017:
im 15 and im using it in running,walking,hopping and stretching .
is it OK?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on March 06, 2017:
Please Shelly read this paragraph above:
Walking with Ankle Weights?
To find it quickly, press Ctr/F and type in" walking with" without the quotes.
SHELLY FELTIS on March 06, 2017:
Is walking with them ok?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 20, 2017:
Re wearing ankle and wrist weights all day, that depends on your condition. Are you overweight? If you are, you already carry too much weight for your skeleton; so by carrying even more weight on top of that, you may damage your joints.
Also check that your feet are well placed by reading this article on foot alignment before committing to wearing ankle and wrist weight all day.
Jack on January 20, 2017:
Would it be bad if I were to use ankle weights and wrist weights all day if they were only 2 pounds
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on August 30, 2014:
Sleeping with weights on?
NO! That serves no purpose at all, other than maybe give you nightmares, like you're stuck in quick-sand or such.
Doesn't matter on August 30, 2014:
Is it alright to sleep with them?
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on August 05, 2014:
Thank you for this informative hub :). Great hub layout and topic.
Ev on November 06, 2012:
Hi Sue, I'm 14 years old and 5'3 and wanted to start wearing ankle weights to improve on my vertical for basketball. I've heard ankle weights could cause problems with your joints because the weights are adding more impact when hitting the ground. It also affects growth plates causing misshapen bones. Since I don't want to stunt my growth, should I not use ankle weights at all? If so, maybe 2 pounds at the most to start?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on October 14, 2012:
I wouldn't wear them in the pool. They are not made for immersion in water. Why would you want to do that? Trying to drown yourself?
Marge on October 12, 2012:
Sue; My question is can I wear the wrist/ankle weights in the pool?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on March 24, 2012:
First you have to find a way of making the weights comfortable so they don't rub your ankles raw. Maybe use cotton leg warmers (cut off sleeves from an old long sleeved T-shirt? ) to steady the weights? Then, if you don't have any pain, then yes, continue. But remember, my motto is "No Pain,Just Gain!".
Simon on March 23, 2012:
Lately I've been working out on a regular basis and have lost weight in the process and I also dance ballet folklorico (mexican dancing) a couple times a week. I received a 10 lb pair (5 lb and 5lb) of ankle weights as a gift and was thinking of implementing them in my dancing. I've tried it already in one of my practices and found that it worked quite well (apart from the ankles being rubbed raw). Should I continue or leave them off in case of future knee problems?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on February 16, 2012:
If you are going to use wrist weights while on the treadmill, I would start with no more than 1kg (2 pounds)on each arm and possibly increase the weight at a later stage when you feel comfortable with them.
Good luck in your weight loss.
Alison on February 16, 2012:
I currently do three 30 minute interval sessions on the treadmill per week in an attempt to lose weight (I'm about 160lbs, 5ft 2). I don't suffer any pain when doing this. I was thinking of getting some wrist weights to help tone my arms while I walk/run - is this safe? What weight do you recommend?
Val on January 24, 2012:
Thank you for your suggestion Sue. I will most certainly take care and be mindful of any discomfort whilst wearing the ankle weights. I will not be exercising, nor jogging, or even taking long walks with them on. They will be there just for that extra resistance as I walk around the house. Hopefully all of this will help with slightly building the weak left leg muscle in preparation for surgery.
Thanks again for replying, Val
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 24, 2012:
Hello Val, If you refuse to do exercises, here is a tip that might work:
Wear one (or two) weights on your left leg only to make it work harder and catch up with the right leg. But with a bad hip... Remember, you are responsible for your own body. It may be safer to strengthen the left leg with some slow kicks and knee lifts while lying down. Just in case your hip joint can't take it. See how you feel.
Good luck with your operation,
Val on January 24, 2012:
My situation is a complicated one. I am currently waiting to get a hip replacement for my left leg. I have a pre-existing condition that stems from a childhood injury that has made me predominantly rely on my right leg... As a result, I've got a very week and slim left leg muscle. My physiotherapist has given me low impact exercises to build and strengthen my left leg before I go for surgery... Though I hate those boring exercises , so I was thinking to wear ankle weights pretty much all the time instead of the exercises.. I'm guessing this is a bad idea?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 02, 2012:
The lotus position is knees bent, feet crossed over, resting in the groin. But if you lie down, pull up your knees and keep your feet together, then drop the knees outwards towards the floor, that'll turn your hip joints out. Support the knees with small cushions if they don't reach the floor.
As to your second question Abigail, sleeping with ankle weights may slightly help tone your legs and abdomen but only for the number of times you roll over in your sleep. Is it worth the discomfort? I don't think so. You might as well, just perform a few rolling moves with them on during the day and get a good night's sleep without having nightmares about being stuck in quicksand and things like that.
abigail on January 02, 2012:
Quick question. Well, two.
You mentioned sleeping in the lotus position to improve your turnout. What is that and have you any other tips on improving turnout please?
Also, my friend told me that sleeping in ankle weights helps tone your legs and abdomen. Is this true?
Thanks a lot :)
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 01, 2012:
Not knowing how you got the knee injury or what type of injury it is, I cannot say if it would be safe to wear multiple weights. Those targets you set yourself, where do they come from? It seems to me that your priority should be to get off crutches so why not practice walking until you don't need the crutches any more before attempting weights? But you are right, talk to your doctor first and ask for the assistance of a professional physical therapist who can monitor your particular recovery.
Anjali on January 01, 2012:
Hello, I was wondering if it ever is safe to have multiple leg weights on at the same time? I am working through recovery after knee surgery & the exercises are very simple (ie leg lift) so I do not have a physical therapist. I have 2 targets of 15lbs & 35lbs to get off crutches & then resume normal physical activity, but leg weights only come in max 10lbs. I am only at 2lbs so taking it slow & safe & focusing on form but was curious how i would get to those targets. I plan to talk to my doctor at my appointment next week, but just thought I would ask since I found your site.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 31, 2011:
You are welcome Ronald.
Ronald on December 31, 2011:
No I dont have fallen arches, or go skating in them. I just mainly use them during the whole day, mostly doing normal things and when working out (I take them off when I run though). But yes I feel light as a feather and like I have more energy once I take them off.
Also good idea with the stairs thing, Im definitely going to try that now.
Thanks again for the feedback :)
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 29, 2011:
Check that you don't have "fallen arches" and you should be fine Ronald. Do you run and jump or go skate-boarding with the weights on? What a relief it must be when you take them off at night!
Compare the moves you do with and without weights. For example, try jumping up 3 steps with the weights on, you'll probably jump 4 without. MMhhh... interesting.
Have fun with your ankle weights but just remember my motto: "No Pain, Just Gain!"
Ronald on December 29, 2011:
So Im 19 and if Im physically fit and dont have much body fat, and i feel fine while wearing 5 pounds (on each side) ankle weights all day, would you think it would be okay for my ankles?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 15, 2011:
Why would you want to do such an uncomfortable thing? Getting tired doesn't make you fit. Good movement in fresh outdoor air does. Please read this Hub again.
Burton Caparroso on December 14, 2011:
Is it alright to wear the ankle weights when I am in school for 8 hours?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 12, 2011:
If you are not overweight and your feet, ankles and knees are properly aligned, then you could try to use the weights for sprinting, running and skipping. However, if you get any joint pains then stop using them in such aerobic ways. Check out these hubs for feet, ankle and knees alignment first.
Good luck and let me know how you are getting on.
Burton Caparroso on December 12, 2011:
Hello, I'm 14 years old and is 67.50 kg. I plan to buy ankle weights that are 2 lbs each and use them for sprinting, running and jump ropes. Is it safe for me to use them that way?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 11, 2011:
I'm glad you had the sense to try the weights out before buying phillyman. As always, listen to your body and you won't be sorry.
phillyman on December 10, 2011:
This article confirmed what I realized today. I have been thinking of buying ankle and wrist weights to wear while walking/running. So I went to Walmart today and one of the packages was open so I tried them on both ankles and wrists. It was apparent to me that I would most likley do some serious damage to my knees and probably my shoulders if I used them in that way. Even after walking up and down the aisle a couple times my knees felt unnatural. I think they would be good for arm circles or some ab type excercises when you lie on your back. That's it.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 29, 2011:
If your joints don't ache I suppose it's OK to wear the weights but be careful and bear in mind that proper alignment of the joints is crucial when exercising with weights.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 28, 2011:
1. All your injuries and following surgery are a consequence of you being overweight.
2. Eating junk food, then vitamins to make up for it is wrong. Man made vitamin tablets can never substitute the real natural vitamins found in "living" food and do not eliminate the poisons of junk food.
3.As for exercise, for an overweight person, swimming is about the safest or do gentle floor exercises (yoga
4. For more endurance and lung power swim greater distances for longer periods of time. or do more floor exercises (lying down). Subscribe to my YouTube channel for the floorwork.
5. Do NOT wear ankle or wrist weights unless you are in a horizontal position as adding MORE weight to your bones which have to carry your body will do you more harm than good. Find out about the effects of gravity pressing down on your skeleton, read my other hubs for further understanding of how your body works.
Sue / alias Juliette Kando
bobby on November 28, 2011:
I am only 12 but i use 1 kg ankle weights so this is it okay for me to do so but let me mention i am a very fit 12 year olds
Adam on November 09, 2011:
Hello, I have a few questions for you as well! I am 6'2'' and weigh 270lbs currently. However, almost 10 years ago I was 280, and hit a pretty hard situation where I lost 90 lbs by simply not eating for 4 months and simply drank Gatorade and water while I went to school, worked, and did tai chi, martial arts, and some weightlifting. However, after having concerned friends notice I started to regain my appetite. But it is also worth noting that I am an extremely picky eater and know I eat plenty of unhealthy foods but also take vitamin supplements to help that even if its minute.
Since then I've almost gained back what I have lost before... I have been through some battles though, had a knee surgery in '04 and a back surgery in '05. Since those surgeries, I've stopped my martial arts and tai chi, however, I miss them both tremendously. I fear I am unable to do martial arts anymore though because it took too long for me to have my back surgery and it has left me with permanent nerve damage in my left foot and only have half feeling in that foot. Therefore, there are times I feel off balance so jumping and landing incorrectly is a concern.
Additionally, I am in graduate school so I virtually have no time for them anyway. But, I have almost always found something to stay active.... tried running but that led to a knee issue and a cortisone shot, and the knee doctor telling me I shouldn't run but either roller skate, cycle, ice skate, or even swim. So for the past two years I did just that, ice skated, swam, roller bladed in the spring/summer/fall. However, more recently due to finances I've just been doing biking. With winter now rapidly approaching my options seem rather limited… my parents have a treadmill which I intend to use, however, I'm curious of what other exercises would you recommend?? I really lack muscle in my quad… that has been a losing battle since my knee surgery any strength I would get it, if I stopped for months at a time because life or school got too crazy would be lost in no time…. same goes for my upper body strength for when I used to weight lift. I am curious if I get back into ice skating would wearing additional ankle weights help strengthen my quad while I skate? Also, what would you recommend to increase lung capacity? Even when I was slimmer I virtually had no endurance whatsoever $6…. getting out of breath very quickly…. but still marching on despite being out of breath. I just felt determined to do the things I wanted to do even though I huffing and puffing. On a side note, I am not a smoker, but both my parents are so I grew up with that, even though as of 5-6 years ago they only smoke outside, is having no endurance just something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life? Anyway this is getting rather long so I think I'll stop now, thank you in advance for all your help!
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 04, 2011:
Good Stephanie, you'll see, once you start moving for pleasure both your weight and your mood will improve no end. Remember my motto: "No Pain, Just Gain!"
But you must promise to do it every day (10 minutes here and there). Maybe when you first wake up in the morning, do some stretching to stimulate circulation. Then instead of having lunch, go for a short walk outdoors. Later when you come home, again a few floor exercises. A little often is better than prolonged periods of agonising exercise. If you do it right you'll enjoy it and you will WANT to do it every day, you'll look forward to your short sessions. You can also read my Hub "How To Be A Good Mover". You are responsible for your own body. Do it!
Love from Sue / Juliette
PS Oh, I forgot: Dance! Dance for fun. Improvise to your favourite music whie waiting for the kettle to boil, go crazy in the privacy of your own home. If you need more help you can Skype me. My Skype name is Julikando.
Stephanie on November 04, 2011:
Thank you. I will get started right away. I'll report back periodically and let you know how I'm coming along. I never considered floor exercises before. I thought I had to run or lift weights or something. Every time I've tried I have ended up in more pain. I'm looking forward to trying something new. Thanks again.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 04, 2011:
OK Stephany, The reason your joints aching is that you are carrying too much weight for them to bear. Don't wear the ankle weights as this will add weight to your body which finds it already too hard to carry you. Stop eating meat. Eat vegetables, nuts, mushrooms, salads, eggs, cheese etc. i.e (a healthy diet of only "living" foods, no packaged food for long shelf life that's not food at all.) Eat smaller portions.
You MUST lose weight. The only safe way for you to exercise and move is by doing floor exercises. Lie down on the floor (or on your bed) and kick your legs, stretch, roll, pretend you are a baby who is just beginning to learn to move. It will make you feel good. Moving will make you loose your depression and also some weight. Go swimming. If you can't swim go to a swimming pool at least twice a week and move in the shallow water in a horizontal position.
I also have some good floor exercises for you on my YouTube Channel. Just type in:
Juliette Kando Floor Exercises and you will see them.
Good luck, Let me know how you are getting on,
Sue Adams / Juliette Kando
Stephanie on November 03, 2011:
I am severely overweight. I gained a lot of weight in law school and while I was studying for the bar exam. My body has been aching so badly that it is hard to move. I have also been experiencing depression as well. In the last few days I found my ankle weights and have started wearing them during the day while walking from courthouse to courthouse to try and boost the effects. I have been feeling a little better mentally, I'm guessing just because I'm getting up and moving but my hips and knees are killing me.
Is there any ways to get moving without killing me in the process. It seriously hurts to move some days and its hard for me to get out of bed.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 02, 2011:
You are welcome Madhubutter
madhubutter on November 01, 2011:
thanks sue...you hv been of great help
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 01, 2011:
Bowlegs is a deformation in and around the knee joint, so yes, I don't see why you shouldn't use ankle weights during yoga. Aerobics I wouldn't recommend as high impact exercise like jumping on badly aligned joints might aggravate the condition. Look up my hubs on ankle and knee alignment / placement for exercises to correct your bow legs and prevent the distortion from getting worse with age. You'll find a progressive contents page under easyfitness, by Sue Adams.
madhubutter on October 31, 2011:
hi..i have bow legs. can i use ankle weights during yoga and aerobics?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on October 09, 2011:
If you use your weights on your feet, it will increase strength and you will, when you take them off, jump higher than before. But be careful, you must make sure that your feet, ankles and knees are perfectly aligned before adding weight to your workout.
Read this for further info:
NelSon13 on October 08, 2011:
Can i ask some question, if i will use my wrist weights in my feet, it would be increasing the strength; like jumping higher than before?!?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on October 05, 2011:
Yes, wearing wrist weights while running might increase the strength in your forearms and biceps a little but for your shoulders and chest I would definitely add five or ten minutes of specific exercises as shown above. Do them immediately after your run when your body is nice and warm.
Jimmy The Runner on October 03, 2011:
I have been running for awhile now, and I want to increase the strength in my arms, shoulders and chest, is putting the weights on my wrists while keeping them in a similar running pose going to help, or do I need to be constantly moving my arms around in order to see the benefit? HELP!!!
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on September 08, 2011:
Hello Mike, If you feel strong, you probably can wear ankle weight on the trampoline but why? I jump on a trampoline to get a feeling of lightness, almost like flying. So I wouldn't like to wear extra weight in that situation. Why would you want to wear ankle weights on the trampoline? Tell me.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on September 08, 2011:
Yes, you strap them on and do your arm stretches, that way you streth and tone at the same time. But start slowly, breathe, and remember, it has to feel good, exhilerating. No Pain, Just Gain.
Mike on September 08, 2011:
Are the ankle weights safe to use on a trampoline?
Asad on August 21, 2011:
do we use them like we use the dumbells??? I mean wear them and then stretch our arms ??
Asad on August 21, 2011:
well, I want to buy them. that's why I read your article.... thanks. but you didn't explained how to use them on wrists?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on June 14, 2011:
Yes, it is important to know one's own body really well and not demand too much of it. Be nice to yourself.
JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on May 22, 2011:
I used to wear wrist weights while shadow Boxing or hitting the bag. It helped me increase my speed and power. But eventually I felt some discomfort in my shoulders. I dropped the weight to 5 lbs per arm and it became better. Sometimes enthusiasm in workouts can cause more injuries that help. You're right, the body can carry only so much weight.
Alex on April 26, 2011:
Thanks :) Sorry for the double post don't know how that happened !
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on April 26, 2011:
The extra weight on your ankles might make you lose weight, as long as they don't make you feel uncomfortable. Also be absolutely sure that you don't have flat feet or they will get worse wearing weights. I still think ankle or wrist weights are best used during exercise.
Alex on April 25, 2011:
I work at a restaurant as a waiter so I walk around a lot . I just got a pair of 10 pound ankle weights (5 pounds each ). Will wearing them help me lose more weight ? I have already dropped 33 pounds on just eating less while playing basketball and lifting after work . I'm just not sure if wearing them will help me burn more during the day ? Thank you !
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on March 27, 2011:
You are welcome Louise, I hope you can cure your knee with some physical intelligence rather than having to go to the doctor and take expensive medication which won't help and might give you side effects.
Louise Goodwin on March 27, 2011:
Dear Sue, Thanks very much for your prompt response, I will certainly do as you suggest. Kind Regards Louise
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on March 26, 2011:
1b wrist weight should not make much difference. The pain in your right knee may be caused by wrong alignment of the foot and ankle in that leg. Get someone to take a slow motion video of your running and observe what is happening in our joints while you are running.
The trauma (pressure) of running always aggravates postural imperfections. Many long time runners end up with bad knees. You might consider switching to more gentle forms of exercise like floor-work, stretching and toning or yoga and swimming. For more in-depth information on the importance of correct alignment please read these two Hubs:
"The Feet You Walk On" and
"How to Use Your Ankles and Knees"
by Sue Adams.
Louise Goodwin on March 26, 2011:
Hi - please can you advise - I have been running for years, I run 5/6 times a week and am not overweight. I have recently bought wrist weights just 1b each wrist and have introduced them to my work out. For the first time ever I am having pain in my right knee. Not just when I run but throughout the day. Could this be a result of my wrist weights and should I discontinue use??
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on March 02, 2011:
You are welcome Clarence. Just don't go crazy with the weights before you have improved your posture OK?
ClrenceTerrira on March 01, 2011:
Thank you for this informative hub.I was using ankle weights almost all day in the hope of losing weight. Now I shall think again and pay more attention to my posture. I also learned a lot from th comments on here.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on February 17, 2011:
The answer to your question: "Is it unsafe to wear ankle weights while skipping?" depends on:
1. Is your posture good enough to sustain the extra weight?
a. check your foot, ankle and knee placement and especially your neck. Do you carry your head above the spine or in front of it? Check out my other hubs on these subjects.
b. Are you overweight? If you are, I would not recommend wearing ankle weights while skipping. You have enough extra weight on your body to possibly damage your posture as it is.
2. I suggest taking a video (side view)of you skipping where you can see clearly how your body posture is aligned.
3. If you have good posture and are not overweight, wearing ankle weights while skipping is OK. Doing so will make you stronger and fitter.
Dara on February 17, 2011:
I was just contemplating on buying myself a set of ankle weights for my skipping workout sessions. Is it unsafe to wear ankle weights while skipping?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on February 11, 2011:
Firstly I would try doing some of the exercises described in this Hub without weights, then if you can do them without pain try them with wrists weights (not more than 2lb). Good luck with your practice.
Beckinstein on February 08, 2011:
I have a shoulder and neck injury that has caused me to loose much if not all of my upper body strength. I'm trying to find a very low impact way to slowly regain muscle and strength. Would the use of light (1lb-2lb) wrist weights be more helpful or harmful?
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 05, 2011:
Using wrist weights for punching in kickboxing safely depends on your posture while in action and your strength level. I would suggest taking a video of you in action without the weights first to check your posture and alignment (ankles, knees, hips, spine, neck, shoulders). If you are happy with what you see, then proceed with the wrist weights. If not, correct posture in action before attempting to use the weights. Then make another video with the weights and see if any negative strain occurs on your posture while using them and correct your posture accordingly.
By "posture" I mean the overall lines and look of your actions from a purely aesthetic point of view. Like for example, are you tight, hunched and closed up or do you move freely, with fluency, good grounding and balance?
Let us know how you get on.
gsp on January 05, 2011:
i have a question
if i want to use wrist weights for punching ( because i do kickboxing) how can i use them safely??
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on January 02, 2011:
Tell me about it fit2day. I used to go to sleep in a lotus position to improve my turn-out as a trainee ballet dancer. That hurt.
Now that I have studied many more movement disciplines I have learned to listen to and obey my body rather than madly compete for technique. Funny enough the technique comes easier that way and it doesn't hurt. On the contrary, it feels exhilarating. Hence my new motto:
"No Pain, Just Gain!"
fit2day on January 02, 2011:
I slept with ankle weights on when I was younger and my mom woke me up and told me to take them off, I was in so much pain.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on December 07, 2010:
Lucy, that depends on how much superfluous weight you are already carrying on your body as body fat. The point is: you need to know how to MOVE in the right way before committing your body to extra strain and stress or doing so might damage you. I'm afraid there is no shortcut to losing weight. Just eat less and move more.
Lucy on December 06, 2010:
While I don't plan on sleeping with them on, would I see any weight loss benefit in just wearing them day to day and would there be any significant danger in using them like that?
Alex on July 11, 2010:
Thank you for all the useful info Sue. Now I know when and how to use my ankle and wrist weights I shall benefit more from them.
kohku on May 30, 2010:
I have been using ankle weights almost 24/7 in the hope of losing weight. No wonder I am so tired all the time. I never knew any of this and I think your article should be included as a form of instruction sheet in every package of weights one buys. Now I shall certainly better my ways and use them more appropriately with some of the above mentioned information and exercises.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on February 12, 2010:
I know that many people like to take shortcuts but to do that you have to be well informed.
Andre on February 12, 2010:
Thank you for an extremely well laid out, and informative guide on fitness weights. I believe many will rush out and attempt to use fitness weights without the right motivation or even proper knowledge in how to use them effectively, never mind correctly.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on November 04, 2009:
I know a lot about fitness training because I have been running a dance studio / gym for many years. Thanks for dropping by.
advoco from cadiz on November 03, 2009:
How do you know all this stuff? I barely even knew these things existed. I'll stick to my basic low-tec exercise methods but well done for explaining and cautioning those wanting to use this method.
Juliette Kando FI Chor (author) from Andalusia on October 30, 2009:
You are welcome creativeone59. I hope this helps.
Benny Faye Ashton Douglass from Gold Canyon, Arizona on October 29, 2009:
Thank you for the hub on Ankle and wrist weight, thank you for sharing the info. creativeone59