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What about ankle, wrist, body weights?

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  • What about ankle, wrist, body weights?

    As my weight goes down and hence my exercising (walking) burns fewer calories, I'm thinking of adding weights.

    I've had ankle weights, two pounds each I think ,for years, hardly ever used. I've worn them several times recently walking. I have old scuba weights ca. college years that I'm thinking of adding to my waist. (And no, that old rubber belt will NOT get around my waist. I can get a new belt on eBay for $12.) Or maybe fill the pockets of my photog's vest with lead shot....

    Anyone have any opinions or thoughts or experience on doing this? I certainly can't see any downside.

  • #2

    in my opinion I think they are bad on your joints...

    the ankle ones when I used them a long time ago gave me horrid shin splints. The groks didn't need weights ...on their bodies constricting them...just carry some rocks around lol xxox Darlene


    • #3


      I agree with PrimalGoddess that ankle weights can hurt you; but I like the idea of a weighted vest or backpack. I've been trucking around with a backpack for a couple of weeks, and I have to say that the mighty "California Penal Code Handbook, 2009 Edition" (about 10 pounds) really makes hills a lot more aerobic-and sprints for the bus even MORE delightful!


      • #4

        Thanks, "guys."

        I can't see, at this time, that ankle weights are any worse than the heavy hiking boots I used to own way back when.

        Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe it's the amount of use. Let's see who/what else "weighs" in.

        No comment on the CA codes!


        • #5

          I've been thinking of getting a weight vest and wearing it when I exercise, etc.

          That might be a better load balance than on the ends of your limbs...

          The "Seven Deadly Sins"

          Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . . Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
          Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
          Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)


          • #6

            Tarlach, I think any and all extra weight can be beneficial in some way or another. In my hiking days there used to be some rule of thumb about how an extra (ounces, pound) that your boots weigh translates into X amount of energy or additional distance walked.

            Perhaps not accurate or scientific, whatever it was, but certainly true in its essentials. The first Vasque mountaineering boots I bought ca. 1973 were SO heavy and clunky! Now similar duty boots are to be had at half the weight.

            PG, back at ya, what ARE shin splints? I've heard the term, no idea. And, how much did you use them?

            When I've put the weights on for my walk, only twice, I certainly can't move my legs as fast. Makes sense. And a bit more tiredness in the muscles when done.


            • #7

              If you use ankle weights, don't use them for anything more strenuous than walking. Running and, especially, jumping with them can be disastrous to your knees and ruin proper form.

              The weighted vest is good, but I wouldn't use it for long workouts. It tends to compress the spine and makes you more "top heavy" where you can start hunching over if the weight is too much.

              The weighted belt option is going to be the best bet. It places the weight at your center-of-mass, so it doesn't throw off your weight distribution, yet your limbs have to support/lift the weight when using it. I have one and I use it for most all of my strength workouts and sometimes just wear it for a walk.


              • #8

                Just my opinion, but I'd stay away from the ankle weights. The added weight on your distal extremities magnifies the weight exponentially...not in a good way. The decline in calories burned as you lose weight is small. As you lose weight, the amount of weight you can lose in a healthy manner also decreases, so you should run at a lower deficit anyway.

                Weighted vests are good for things like pushups, pullups and squats. Good luck!!


                • #9

                  What I hear in those responses (thanks) without saying it, is "Use your head." Not for the weights, but use them wisely!

                  No running for me, still way too heavy and that bum knee. Maybe someday, but not this year, literally.


                  • #10

                    An update on my question and what I did today.

                    Since my old scuba belt won't go around the decades later belly, I took the weights off and put them in a fanny pack. IIRC, I think that's 16 pounds. Then I took the ankle weights but put them on my wrists, I think 2 pounds each.

                    Really interesting! I could feel my heart working harder, I was slower walking. But mostly, I discovered I could use the time to do arm exercises! Lift, hold, this way and that, one at a time, or both. I really liked getting this two-fer of my time. I'm going to investigate getting more weight on the wrists, for sure.


                    • #11

                      For an excellent treatise on wrist weights take a look for the book 'Heavyhands walking' or 'Heavyhands the ultimate exercise'(both are out of print now). The author is a little overzealous in his beliefs but he has done a lot of lab research - he doesn't quote much in the book though. The Cooper institute has done some similiar research but on nordic (walking) poles - walking with poles versus walking without poles results in a 20% increase in oxygen consumption, a calorie burn of up to 46% greater, all at the same rate of perceived exertion. The idea is that walking uses about 70 of the muscles in the body versus about 90% when you use poles

                      If you use wrist or hand weights the idea is to use light weights and use the arms vigourously. The author is in his 80's now and still does heavyhands daily. He claims to still be able to do over 1000 pushups a day and can crank out about 25 or more pull-ups.




                      • #12

                        Thanks, twa2w. I'll check that out. I do remember that book, way back when. I just got off of eBay, looking mostly scuba weights and belts.

                        This is good stuff for the not athlete!


                        • #13

                          I ran across Art De Vany's "Evolutionary Fitness" on PDF the other day and this is what he has to say about this weighted body, Heavy hands stuff:

                          (I see some of the copy and paste from the PDF didn't work so well. Still readable, I think.)

                          "Power Walking

                          Our ancestorswalkedalotcarryingheavyweightinordertomov e


                          back as much of the kill as they could. Power walking, laden with real weight on

                          the order of 35 to 100 pounds, is an effective modern version of what our ances-

                          tors did. Power walking with back pack or scuba diving weights around the waist

                          dramatically increases the intensity and effectiveness of walking. And it is about

                          as effective as jogging for aerobic capacity, without the pounding and damage. It

                          is what women among hunter-gatherers do when they gather. For example, Kung

                          San women typically carry an infant on a seven-mile trip foraging for plant foods

                          and return with a 35-pound load. They only do this 2 or 3 times a week for they

                          live in a kind of natural affluence where food is readily available. Males among

                          hunter-gatherers do not carry the large game our ancestors did and are not a good


                          Consider this instead as a model. A historical source reports that 5 Indian

                          braves drove 5 bison into a pit. After they killed these 2000-pound bison, they

                          pulled them out of a pit more than 10 feet deep, lined them up and skinned and

                          butchered them. Then, they carried as much as they could back to camp to get

                          otherstoreturnfortherest. Ithinkthatisawonderfulmodeloffitness,combining

                          speed, power, strength, stamina and courage. You can be sure this successful hunt

                          was followed by plenty of rest and play and feasting. This model is what I seek to



                          • #14


                            The other day I bought a ten pound adjustable Reebok ankle weight set at Target for $21. I already had a four pound set, and old scuba weights that I was using in a fanny pack. I also bought a used book on eBay about these kind of weights although it is not here yet. I will probably buy a modern scuba weight belt that I can drop the old weights into pockets or easily add more.

                            I love 'em! I've not only been using them during yard work, I'm now looking for yard work to get the exercise! As I pause at my computer, I do reps of various kinds, arm or leg.

                            I can feel the muscles being used at the end of the day and into the next morning. That nice sort of notice, "Hey, I'm here!"

                            For someone just starting a regime after many years of nothing, you should consider this technique.