Leg and ankle weights are exercise equipment that can be worn on the shins or ankles and weigh up to 10 pounds. Wearing these weights can increase the effectiveness of walking, and many other lower-body exercises, by making the "hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes work harder to do the same motion," according to the "Los Angeles Times." Simple walking and modified walking exercises can be done with leg weights to help build muscle.
Attach a leg or ankle weight to each shin or ankle by securing the straps. Tighten the strap so that the weight is not loose, but do not overtighten to avoid obstructing your circulation.
Walk at a normal pace while wearing the weights, making sure to adjust the weights if they become loose.
Increase walking speed and distance as you get use to the weight to build additional muscle.
Attach weights to your shins or ankles. Lift your knees up as you walk so that your knees are even with your hips and your thighs are parallel to the ground when you take each step.
Begin slowly to get your rhythm. Control each leg movement and take care to land each step gently so you do not injure your ankles.
Add a hop with each step or increase the walking speed and duration of your walk as your muscle endurance improves.
Attach weights securely to your shins or ankles with the straps. Kick your heels back as you take each step so that your heels almost touch your glutes.
Start out slowly and kick gently to avoid kicking yourself or throwing yourself off balance. Control your legs as they go up and down to fully engage your leg muscles.
Increase to a jogging pace or walk for a longer period of time to further improve muscle tone.
- Some leg and ankle weights come with removable weight pouches; if yours do, start with less weight and increase slowly over time.
- Remove weights if they become uncomfortable or interfere with your normal movement, or if your joints become sore.
Based in the Los Angeles area, Brandi Junious specializes in health-related articles. Her writing reflects her expertise in fitness and education. Junious is the author of children's book "A World Without Trees" and her work has appeared on Modern Mom, The Nest Woman, Chron Healthy Living and at Loseweightandlivehealthy.blogspot.com. Junious holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Southern California and a master's degree in Education.