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The Best Ankle Weights to Help With Your Training Goals in 2022

Looking for some extra resistance during your workouts? Ankle weights can help with that. These are our top picks.
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Ankle weights enhance nearly any exercise you’re doing, adding resistance and a challenge to help you level up in your fitness journey. Whether you’re walking, hiking or getting a sweat session in at home, adding a pair of ankle weights is a fantastic way to get even more out of your workout, without using super heavy weights or bulky equipment.

As an added bonus, many of the ankle weights on our list can also function as wrist weights, allowing you to train your upper body as well. In this guide, we’ll share our top picks to match any budget, goal and preference, to help you choose the best possible pair of ankle weights in 2022.

Our Picks for the Best Ankle Weights of 2022:

Best Ankle Weights for Style: Bala — Bangles

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Bangles

Key info:

  • Size of band: 13-inches x 3-inches
  • Weight options per ankle: One to two pounds
  • Material: Steel weights in a silicon band
  • Adjustable: Yes, the adjustable band is made to fit any wrist

If you’re looking for a pair of ankle weights that function well and turn heads, look no further than Bala Bangles. Reviewers say they are extremely comfortable, and easy to take on and off as needed after between exercises.

Versatile enough to be used on both your wrists and ankles, these weights are made of steel encased in a comfortable silicone design and feature eight color options and two weight options. Bala Bangles are a great choice if you’re looking for a stylish way to add a bit of extra resistance to your workouts.

Pros: 

Stylish, sleek design in a wide variety of colors.

Cons: 

The two pound weight limit may not be heavy enough for all users.


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Best Ankle Weights for Comfort: Gaiam — Restore Ankle Weights

Restore Ankle Weights

Key info:

  • Size of band: Not listed
  • Weight options per ankle: Five or 10 pounds
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Adjustable: Yes

While some ankle weights feature bulky weight plates or material that isn’t comfortable to wear for long periods of time, the Gaiam Restore Ankle Weights were specifically designed with comfort in mind.

A special anti-chafe neoprene helps keep your skin comfortable, even during sweaty workout sessions, and the hook-and-loop design allows users to customize the fit.

Some of the negative reviews said that these weights couldn’t be tightened enough to stay on smaller ankles, so if you have smaller than average ankles, you may need a different pair. The lightest weight is five pounds, which is a bit heavier than most, and may not suit beginners.

Pros:

  • Comfortable material designed to minimize chafing while sweating.

Cons: 

  • The weights may be too big for some, and five pounds may not be light enough for beginners.

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Best Smart Ankle Weights: MIRROR — Ankle Weights

Up to $700 off; 50% off The MIRROR hardware

Ankle Weights

Key info:

  • Size of band: Not listed
  • Weight options per ankle: One or two pounds
  • Material: Not available
  • Adjustable: Yes

If you like smart workouts and use a MIRROR in your home workouts, you’ll love the Mirror Ankle Weights.

MIRROR tracks your movements to help ensure you’re using good form and these ankle weights are designed to pair seamlessly with your Mirror device, allowing it to track every movement.

They’re not the cheapest weights, and if you don’t have a MIRROR home gym, you’ll likely be paying for features you won’t use. But if you do work out with a MIRROR device, these ankle weights are a no-brainer to help you track your workouts.

Pros: 

  • Integrates with the MIRROR to easily check your form while exercising.

Cons: 

  • The high price is due to the smart features, which you won’t be able to use without a MIRROR home gym.

Up to $700 off; 50% off THE MIRROR hardware

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Best Wrist and Ankle Weights: Fitness Gear — Ankle Weights

5lb Ankle Weights

Key info:

  • Size of band: Not listed
  • Weight options per ankle: Two to five pounds
  • Material: Not available
  • Adjustable: Yes

While the ankle weights are mostly used on the ankles, as the name implies, many users also like to wear them around their wrists.

If you’re going on a walk or taking a workout class, adding weight to your wrists increases the difficulty without fatiguing your grip by making you hold heavy weights. The Fitness Gear ankle weights feature adjustable resistance levels, a reflective trim for safety during evening walks and an easy hook-and-loop closure system that allows you to easily secure them to your ankles or wrists.

Pros:

  • Adjustable weights and a reflective band for added safety.

Cons:

  • The weights may not be as comfortable as neoprene or silicone options.

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Best Ankle Weights for Women: Henkelion — Adjustable Ankle Weights

Adjustable Ankle Weights

Key info:

  • Size of band: 13-inches x 7-inches, or 14.4-inches x 7.4-inches
  • Weight options per ankle: Two, three, five or 10 pounds
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Adjustable: Yes

With removable weights to easily adjust the resistance, a secure velcro closure, and a wide variety of colors, the Henkelion adjustable ankle weights are versatile enough to be used for nearly any training goal.

They’re available in four weights, and the lightest weight also features the smallest band, perfect for smaller individuals.

The only downside is the comfort factor. The manufacturer suggests wearing clothing underneath the weights to avoid irritating the skin, which may be an inconvenience during hot summer workouts.

Pros:

  • These adjustable ankle weights allow users to add up to 10 pounds per ankle.

Cons:

  • The material may be irritating, as the manufacturer suggests wearing clothes underneath.

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Best Ankle Weights for Walking: CAP Barbell — Ankle Weights

Adjustable Ankle Weights

Key info:

  • Size of band: 19.29-inches x 7.87-inches
  • Weight options per ankle: Two to 10 pounds
  • Material: Polyester
  • Adjustable: Yes

While any ankle weights can be used for walking, the CAP Barbell ankle weights are specifically designed for extended walks.

Each adjustable weight can hold up to 10 pounds, making these the perfect pair of ankle weights to add significant resistance on long walks. Many find that lighter ankle weights don’t provide enough resistance after the first few weeks, so we like that these grow with you, allowing you to add up to five, two pound weights to each ankle.

They’re a little on the bigger end, and may not work well on the wrists, but for adding resistance to your legs for long walks, the CAP Barbell weights are a perfect size and hold more weight than the average pair.

Pros: 

  • Each weight holds up to 10-pounds, which is heavier than many other options on the market.

Cons: 

  • The 19.9-inch product length is longer than most, and may be too big to use on the wrists.

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Best Ankle Weights for Glutes: Sportneer — Ankle Weights

Adjustable Ankle Weights

Key info:

  • Size of band: 4.7-inches x 2.5-inches
  • Weight options per ankle: One to three and half pounds
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Adjustable: Yes

When training the glutes with ankle weights, you want to make sure you start light.

The movements that isolate the glutes, such as leg raises and leg kicks, often target smaller, stabilizer muscles. If the weight is too heavy, it’s very difficult to perform the movement with proper form.

The Sportneer ankle weights know this, and each weight can be adjusted from one to three and half pounds, allowing you to perfectly match the weight to your strength level. The high-quality D-ring attachment keeps the weight from sliding around, perfect for any lower-body workout that involves a lot of leg kicking and swinging.

Pros:

  • Adjustable weights in small increments, and a breathable design that keeps you comfortable through any workout.

Cons: 

  • The three and a half pound weight limit may not be enough for stronger individuals, or those looking to use ankle weights for long walks. They’re only available in one color (black) so if you’re looking for a specific color, you’ll want to choose a different brand.

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Best Adjustable Ankle Weights: HealthyModelLife — Ankle Weights

Ankle Weights

Key info:

  • Size of band: 12-inches x 4.5-inches
  • Weight options per ankle: One to five pounds
  • Material: Not available
  • Adjustable: Yes

While many ankle weights include removable weights to change the resistance, HealthyModelLife makes our favorite adjustable weights on the market.

These weights are designed with extra padding to maximize your comfort during workouts, and the adjustable straps allow you to secure this to ankles or wrists of any size, even if you have smaller ankles or wrists.

Each weight can be adjusted from one to five pounds, making them an excellent choice for users of any fitness level.

Pros:

  •  Easy to use, and designed for comfort.

Cons: 

  • The brand claims they are designed by women for women, so men may not like the black and pink color theme.

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Best Ankle Weights for Running: P.volve — Ankle Weights

Ankle Weights

Key info:

  • Size of band: 6-inches x 5-inches
  • Weight options per ankle: One and half pounds
  • Material: Not available
  • Adjustable: No

Finally, we have weights that are designed for the runners out there. When you want to add resistance to your runs, you need weights that are secure, won’t slip and slide around during your run and have a breathable design to keep you comfortable.

Because running is a higher-intensity activity than walking, you’ll likely want to use lighter weights, to make sure that it’s not heavy enough to change your running form and increase the risk of injury.

The P.volve ankle weights are the perfect choice for a light, secure weight to enhance your runs. Each weight is filled with sand, rather than bulky plates, and features a secure strap to keep them in place while you train.

The resistance isn’t adjustable, but if you’re a runner, you likely won’t want to have unnecessary bulky weights on your legs anyway.

Pros:

  •  Comfortable, sand-filled weights with no metal plates.

Cons: 

  • They weights aren’t adjustable, and can’t be increased.

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What Benefits Do Ankle Weights Provide?

By providing a light resistance that follows your natural movement, ankle weights provide a safe, comfortable but still challenging way to increase the difficulty during your workouts.

When walking, the ankle weights provide additional resistance with each step, allowing you to work all of the muscles in your legs with each step.

And if you prefer a concentrated strength workout, you can perform a variety of exercises to target your glutes, hamstrings and various muscles in your leg, all with the extra resistance an ankle weight provides.

For those who don’t have gym access, ankle weights are an easy and safe way to get in a great workout no matter where you are. And if you do go to a gym—or have your own home gym—ankle weights are a good accessory to add to your existing workouts or cardio sessions.

The Best Use for Ankle Weights

Ankle weights are best used to target smaller muscles, like the muscles around your hips and glutes. You can do exercises like hip raises, bird-dogs and all sorts of low-impact movements to target your leg muscles. If you practice yoga or pilates, ankle weights can add resistance and increase the challenge.

A light ankle weight adds just enough resistance to increase the challenge, as these are often smaller muscles that don’t require massively heavy loads to get stronger.

And if you’re not doing dedicated strength workouts, simply adding the weights before a walk or hike is a fantastic way to add low-impact resistance, similar to walking with a weighted vest.

What to Look for in a Pair of Ankle Weights

The most important factors to consider are comfort and weight. If you’re just getting started with ankle weights, choose the lightest weight possible.

The muscles you’re training with ankle weights are often smaller muscles, and you should start with a lighter weight to be safe. Most ankle weights range between one and five pounds; be careful using heavier weights as they may cause too much strain and end up hurting rather than helping your exercise routine.

Remember, ankle weights are designed to add light resistance to walking, hiking, or strength training in the smaller muscle groups in your legs and hips. If you choose a pair that’s too heavy, it may alter your form too much during cardio, and be difficult to use when strength training.

There are different styles as well, including adjustable ankle weights that allow you to add or remove weight. Consider how you’ll be using them, and what sort of resistance you’ll need.

If you’re going to be wearing these on long walks, you’ll want lighter weights, and if you’re using these for strength workouts, you may wish to consider an adjustable set that can go a little heavier as you get stronger.

Cost

A good pair of ankle weights should be very affordable, so don’t feel you need to break the bank to get a good pair.

Our guide will help you suggest the best pair for any training goals you have, and aside from the Mirror smart ankle weights, all of the options on our list cost less than $55, with many under $30.

FAQ

How heavy should ankle weights be?

With ankle weights, you should always start very light, and work your way up. Ankle weights will change your body’s movement patterns, and put extra strain on smaller, stabilizer muscles, so it’s best to start light and get used to them.

Do ankle weights actually work?

Absolutely. If you’re looking to add resistance to increase the challenge of cardio workouts or build and tone smaller muscles in the glutes and hips, these are perfect. They may not be heavy enough to build significant muscle all over your body, but they’ll certainly increase the intensity of your current workouts.

Will walking with ankle weights tone my butt?

Walking with ankle weights will help you burn more calories, which may lead to a reduction of fat in the glutes. And if you’re doing exercises like hip raises, you may be able to strengthen the muscles in your glutes. They’ll help tone your butt, but you should still mix in strength training with bigger movements, like squats and deadlifts.

Does walking with ankle weights build muscle?

This may build a little bit of muscle, especially if you’re new to walking with ankle weights. But eventually, you’ll get used to the weight, and walking is endurance, not strength training. You’ll improve your fitness levels, but likely won’t build significant muscle.

Does walking with ankle weights help lose weight?

Weight loss requires burning more calories than you consume, and walking with ankle weights burns more calories than walking without them. So, if you’re following a proper nutrition plan while walking regularly, ankle weights could increase your calorie burn over time and speed up weight loss.

Are ankle weights better than resistance bands?

It depends on what you’re looking for, as they are two different things. Ankle weights add resistance to lighter strength exercises and cardiovascular training, while resistance bands are generally designed for strength training exercises.

Should I wear ankle weights around the house?

This isn’t a bad idea, but be careful to start slow and not overdo it. Any new stimulus can cause fatigue and soreness, so if you’re going to wear them around the house, be sure to take breaks and avoid wearing them all day long.

Final Thoughts

Ankle weights are great pieces of equipment to amp up your next workout, and with our guide, you can find the perfect pair to get started using ankle weights right away. Whether you’re running, practicing yoga or taking a workout class, adding ankle weights will bump up the resistance, helping you get even more out of each workout.

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.