There are many women who don't want to weight lift, let alone strap on weights around the ankles. But strapping on a few pounds down below -- in the form of ankle weights -- may do wonders for enhancing the rear end. Some may even be willing to trade in their "butt pads" for a fresh new pair of ankle weights.
Some ankle bracelets can track a person's whereabouts; some ankle bracelets are jewelry. And some ankle bracelets -- the ankle weight -- can give those legs an extra workout without any extra work. Who knew? Walking around with ankle weights can make the legs and butt muscles stressed. To cope, the muscles work a little bit harder. They build themselves up, which makes the muscles a little bigger. Running with ankle weights stresses the muscles even more than usual, which means the leg muscles and the butt muscles may get bigger.
Those 3- to 20-pound ankle weights may seem like a pound of bricks, but wearing them can increase the number of calories burned. Running burns several hundred calories, and wearing ankle weights while running burns even more. For those who like to count calories, here's a way to guesstimate the number of extra calories burned from wearing the ankle weights. For every pound of muscle, you burn 6.5 calories an hour, according to William McArdle in his book "Exercise Physiology." In other words, having more muscle increases your metabolic rate -- the number of calories burned each hour. For a more exact calculation, your age, heart rate and weight are needed. But generally, running with an extra 10 to 15 extra pounds around the ankles -- in this case ankle weights -- could possibly burn 60 to 90 calories around the middle, front or back.
In 2002, the Division of HPR-Exercise Science at Wayne State University conducted a study to finally put to rest the concerns about ankle weights. Do they work or don't they? The study took 44 females between the ages of 21 to 51, strapped ankle weights on them and directed them in doing bench exercises three times a week for 50 minutes. This went on for a 12-week period. At the end of the study, the scientists noticed that the women's body fat had dropped, and they had more leg muscle. The ankle weights, however, did not make their muscles stronger.
Although running with ankle weights does have the potential to make the legs and butt bigger, most experts recommend other methods. Why? Ankle weights are tough on the joints. Wearing them too often can strain the ankle, and even change the way you walk. To get a bigger butt or more muscular legs, experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend walking faster. You know, pick up the pace. Also, try walking up hills. It really works the back of the legs, calves and, of course, the butt. These are safer methods of getting a bigger or firmer "badonkadonk" than wearing ankle weights while you run.
- Mayo Clinic: Could Ankle Weights Help Me Get More Out of My Usual Walking Routine?
- National Library of Medicine: Bench/Step Training With and Without Extremity Loading. Effects on Muscular Fitness, Body Composition Profile, and Psychological Affect.
- Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance; William McArdle
- ABC News: Ankle, Wrist Weights May Pump Up the Pain
Based in Atlanta, Mya Passmore has been writing since 2010, covering health and business topics. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from George Washington University.