The Benefits of Hand Weights, Wrist and Ankle Weights, and Exercises
If you’re not one for going to the gym and doing machine exercises, or if your schedule is too packed to fit in time for free-weight routines, you might think all hope is lost. Luckily, there’s a way to get a great workout without having to devote a huge chunk of your day going to the gym or paying for a monthly membership you may not use. Hand, wrist, and ankle weights are a great way to get your resistance fitness training in, even if you’re just looking for a little more exercise, there are an infinite of workouts you can do with these handy weights as well as give you even better results. Just going about your day to day in Vancouver BC while wearing wrist or ankle weights can be enough to start getting a decent workout.
These hand weights are basically mini dumbbells that come in a variety of weights shapes and sizes. These usually range from 1 to 25lbs and are extremely easy to carry the lighter weights. If you like to go out for walks, jogs, or a fitness hike to get some cardio in, you can get an added upper body or lower body workout using weights when you exercise by carrying a pair of weights with you when you go. The natural movement of your arms plus the added resistance from the weights helps build muscle tone in your arms and upper body.
Another great benefit to using these small weights is you can essentially perform any exercise that uses dumbbells or barbells using smaller hand weights as well. If performing exercises with these weights, you’ll want to do a higher number of repetitions, as the main goal is going to be muscle toning. The fact that the weights are so light means you won’t be building massive muscle with them, making them ideal for toning and shaping muscle without overexerting yourself or wearing yourself down. Keeping proper form when doing any exercises with hand weights are also important if you want the best results without injuries.
Beginner Hand Weight Exercises:
Bicep or Arm Curls
When performing arm curls, start with the weights at your sides, palms facing inward. Keeping your shoulders in line, slowly bend your elbow and bring it slightly in front of you, bringing your hand up towards your shoulder and rotating your wrist clockwise so your palm ends facing upward and slightly towards your shoulder. Lower halfway and hold the position for one to five-count, then ease your arms back down to its starting position, reversing the motion. You’ll want to do anywhere to 15-30 reps per set depending on what feels comfortable. You should feel a slight burn by the end of it, but nothing too unbearable. If you want to superset with another exercise you’ll add to your results do between sets, and do 2-3 sets each workout.
When doing chest presses, start on your back and extend your arms so that your elbows are in a 90-degree angle with your torso, and your hands are in line with your shoulders. Push your arms upward extending your arms straight forward, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Stop and return to your starting position hold for 1 to 5 seconds before pressing back up. Do about 10-20 reps per 2-3 sets each workout with this chest exercise.
For back rows, you’ll want to start on your stomach leaning on a bench keeping your chest off or the edge of your bed, letting your arms hang down in front of you. While holding the weight, pull your arm(s) back until your elbow is at 90-degrees and your hand is in line with your hip. Hold the position for one count, then ease your hand back down to the starting position.
These exercises are great for beginners and work most of the muscle groups in the arms and chest area. If you’re looking to try something a little more advanced, superset in a Chest Pull Over.
Chest Pull Over
The Chest Pull Over is great for working your lats, pecs and your triceps. Start on your back with your arms extended up over your head, hanging off the edge of a bench or wherever you’re laying down. From there, raise the weight up and, keeping your arms relatively straight, bring them straight up over your chest to 90 degrees to floor. Return to starting and hold the position for 1 to 5 count and bring the weight back up. You’ll only want to do maybe 10-20 reps to start since this workout hits a lot of muscles that aren’t usually hit through your day to day activities.
Ankle and Wrist Weights
These weights are a great way to improve the results you get from your normal exercise routines or just doing your normal daily activities. You’ll want to start light, since adding too much weight can put an excess strain on your limbs and joints. Having these weights will passively work your muscles as you walk, bike, do chores, and just go about your business, and you can also use them to help improve the effectiveness of other normally weight-free exercises. These exercises are usually full-body core exercises. Full-body core exercises that work best with using ankle and wrist weights are:
- Jumping Jacks
- Bicycle Kicks
- Leg Lifts
The added weight will help add some extra resistance to all of your movements, forcing your muscles to work harder than they’re used to. When using ankle and wrist weights always remember to keep track of your body, and don’t push yourself too hard or power through an exercise just to get it done. Ease into things and go at your best workout holding perfect form. The extra weight can end up carrying your limbs further than normal so control your movements, which can lead to injuries like strained muscles, torn tendons, and in severe cases even minor dislocations and fractures.
If you’re not a fan of doing more traditional exercises, simply wearing weights while hiking or performing other types of activities can also help. This includes things like yoga, martial arts, sports like soccer, track and field, baseball, and basketball, as well as cycling, and rollerblading.
Don’t wear weights 24/7
While wearing weights can certainly help your muscles tone and help you burn off some extra calories, you’ll want to give your body a break at some point. Don’t wear weights 24/7, since you might risk overtaxing your body and it could lead to injury. Also, don’t wear weights while you sleep. You don’t get enough physical activity while sleeping for them to have any real impact, even if you’re an active sleeper, and they could pose a health risk as you have no real conscious control of your body’s movements while asleep.
If you’re in the Vancouver BC area and are looking to get into better shape but don’t have the time for the gym, it is definitely worth looking into hand, ankle, and wrist weights. They can provide that little bit of extra resistance to help tone your muscles without having to completely rearrange your schedule for it. I can teach you how during a personal training session package