You may have seen people exercising with bands around their wrists or ankles lately. No, they’re not bringing back the neon leg-warmer look à la 1980s Jane Fonda. They’re most likely jumping on the latest fitness trend and giving their workout a boost with weighted wristbands or ankle-bands.
“Weighted ankle and wristbands can be a great way to add small amounts of resistance to your training, or as part of rehabilitation when dumbbells aren’t suitable,” says personal trainer and expert in women’s health and fitness, Tom House. “They are most effective when your grip strength isn’t up to much so holding weights is problematic.”
So, which exercises should we use them for? “They’re great for arm exercises, such as bicep curls or tricep kickbacks; some rotator cuff exercises like internal and external rotations; and shoulder exercises such as presses, shrugs and lateral raises,” advises Tom.
He has a word of caution, though: “I wouldn’t recommend them for running or day-to-day wear, as the extra pressure on the joints and muscles can lead to injury, and more dynamic movements can be risky as the temptation to over-compensate with certain muscles, joints and tendons due to lack of control can readily lead to injury.”
Though these weighted ankle and wrist bands have been around for some time, they’ve undergone a recent revamp, largely thanks to the very millennial-friendly aesthetic of Bala. Their Bala Bangles ‘are stylish weighted bands that turn movement into muscle, amplifying the fitness benefits of just about any routine’, according to their website. And with their matte finish and pastel pink, peach and mint green hues (among others), it’s easy to see why they’re flying off the shelves and into our Instagram feeds.
We’re on board with anything that will elevate our workouts and help us see results faster (mainly because that means we can spend more time on the sofa in front of Netflix, right?) These are some of our other favourite weighted ankle and wrist bands to really level up your workout.