Wearing ankle weights all day is not a great idea as it can lead to injury, hurting your overall running progress. While ankle weights do provide additional exertion for burning more calories, wearing them can also lead to joint strain. Skip the ankle weights and focus on other ways to improve your running with strength training.
Benefits and Potential Hazards
Ankle weights are used to increase your exertion during a run. Wearing them throughout the day can keep your muscles engaged. Overall, though, the potential risks of wearing ankle weights, either while running or during other activities, are simply not worth it. Your body becomes accustomed to the impact of your weight, and sudden increases in this weight put unnecessary pressure on your joints.
Lower-Body Strength Training
Strength training can help you avoid potential injury. "Runner's World" suggests adding a routine of the leg press, leg curl and leg extension to your workout. The leg press works your glutes, the leg curl your hamstrings and the leg extension your quads. Do two sets of 20 repetitions on each machine. If you prefer to work out from home, do squats and lunges to strengthen the glutes and legs.
Core Strength Training
Having a strong core is key to a successful long-term running practice. A strong core keeps your form in check and your legs powering your upper body. Strong abs stabilize your pelvis, allowing for a full extension of your hamstrings. Do two sets of 25 crunches, side crunches, reverse crunches and bicycle crunches to target the upper and lower abs and obliques.
Cross-train with yoga to treat tightness that can come from running. Yoga's deep, extended poses can help those tight hamstrings, increase overall flexibility and balance, and improve your endurance. Yoga sequences can be intense as they build your core strength, and they require careful mental focus. Improving your mental focus and knowing how to quiet your mind can keep you more attuned to your body during a run.
Grace Bordelon is a public relations professional, teacher and writer. She owns her own boutique public relations firm that specializes in the advertising, gaming and software industries. She also teaches at a major design school for fine artists, commercial artists and graphic designers. Bordelon holds a B.A. in international economics and an M.A. in English from Bard College.