If you’re looking for a great lower body workout, hiking with ankle weights is a great way to go. Not only will you get a good cardio workout, but the added resistance of the weights will help to tone and sculpt your legs and butt.
Ankle weights are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most sporting goods stores. They typically come in 1-pound or 2-pound weights, but you can also find 5-pound weights if you’re looking for a more challenging workout. When choosing ankle weights, make sure to get ones that are comfortable and won’t slip off while you’re walking.
So, if you’ve been wondering how to add a little extra oomph to your hiking workouts, read on to find out how to do it with a pair of easy-to-use ankle weights.
Should You Hike with Ankle Weights?
Hiking with ankle weights can be a great way to increase the intensity of your workout and get better results. However, it’s important to remember that this is an advanced workout method and isn’t recommended for everyone. If you have any joint pain or other injuries, it’s best to avoid hiking with ankle weights until you’ve healed completely or consulted with a doctor.
Some benefits of hiking with ankle weights include:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Increased calorie burn
- Toned and sculpted legs
- Stronger glutes and core
How to Hike Safely with Ankle Weights
Now that you know whether or not hiking with ankle weights is right for you, it’s time to learn how to do it safely. Below are some general guidelines and safety tips to follow when hiking with ankle weights:
Don’t try to go too hard, too fast. Start by wearing the ankle weights for a short hike around the block. Slowly increase the distance and time you wear them as your body adjusts.
If you’ve never worn ankle weights before, don’t jump into a long hike right away. Anything that’s new to you should be approached slowly and with caution.
Warm up first
Before putting on your ankle weights, make sure to do a proper warm-up. This will help prevent injuries and prepare your muscles for the workout. A simple warm-up could include walking for 5 minutes followed by some light stretching.
Stretch out your ankles, hamstrings, and calves before and after your hike. This will help to keep your muscles loose and prevent injuries.
Listen to your body
If you start to feel pain at any point during your hike, stop and rest. It’s important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to injuries.
If you start tripping over yourself or your ankle weights feel too heavy, it’s time to take a break. The great thing about ankle weights is that they are just as easy to take off as they are to put on!
Choose the right terrain
When you’re first starting out, it’s best to stick to flat, even terrain. Avoid hiking uphill or downhill until you get used to the added resistance of the weights. Avoid any rough terrain that could make you trip and fall.
As you get more comfortable hiking with ankle weights, you can challenge yourself by exploring different types of terrain.
Wear the right shoes
Make sure you’re wearing comfortable, supportive shoes that won’t rub or chafe your feet. Hiking boots or trail runners are usually good options.
Secondly, you’ll have to take into account the height of your shoe or boot and where you’ll place the ankle weights. Some shoes may be too high and cause the weights to rub against your Achilles tendon, which can be painful.
Don’t use them all the time
Hiking with ankle weights is a great way to mix up your routine and challenge your body. However, it’s important not to use them all the time. Give your muscles a break by hiking without the weights every once in a while.
Does Hiking with Ankle Weights Help Tone Legs?
Yes, hiking with ankle weights can help to tone your legs. The added resistance helps work your muscles harder, leading to more toned and sculpted legs.
Essentially, what’s happening is that your muscles are adapting to the increased workload. This adaptation process is what leads to muscle growth and definition.
However, keep in mind that you won’t see results overnight. It takes time and consistency to see results.
If you’re looking for even more of a challenge, try wearing weight vests or backpacks filled with rocks or sand. This will help to work your leg muscles even more for the ultimate hiking workout.
How Much Weight Is Too Much for Ankle Weights?
For beginners, I would go with a 2-5 pound weight. If you’re already comfortable with ankle weights, then you can go up to 10 pounds.
But again, no matter how strong you think you are – It’s important not to start out with too much weight. The reason is that your body is not used to the added resistance around your ankles. As I said, your body will always need time to adapt to something new.
Start with a lower weight and gradually increase it over time as your body adjusts. And always make sure to warm up before putting on the weights!
How Long Should I Wear Ankle Weights?
When you first start out, only wear ankle weights for short periods of time – about 20 minutes. This will help you get used to the added resistance without putting too much strain on your muscles.
As your body adjusts, just like with increasing the resistance, you can gradually increase the amount of time you wear the weights. Again, just make sure to listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
What Is The Best Ankle Weight For Hiking?
The Sportneer Adjustable Ankle Weights are some of the best ankle weights for hiking because they’re comfortable, completely adjustable, and affordable.
These weights go up to 5lb on each ankle, so you get a total of 10lb of resistance. The straps are universally-sized to fit all ankle sizes.
There are five sandbag pockets that weigh roughly 5 lb each, so you can add or remove weight as needed. This makes them perfect for both beginners and advanced hikers.
Overall, the Sportneer Adjustable Ankle Weights are a great option for hikers who are looking for an affordable and effective way to add resistance to their nature workouts.
Hiking with ankle weights can help tone your legs and give you a great workout. However, it’s important to start out slow and gradually increase the weight and time you spend wearing them.
Have you ever tried hiking with ankle weights? Let me know in the comments!