Back in high school I asked my parents for ankle weights as a Christmas present. This was the first piece of fitness gear I owned and even though I loved using them I didn't really know what the best ankle weight exercises were. I used them for all the wrong exercises...
At one point I even tried wearing them all day as I had seen one of my summer camp counselors do thinking this was a great strategy for sculpting a sexy lower body. My counselor was obviously clueless as well since all this did was make my legs extremly fatigued and not much else hahaha! Fast forward 25 years when I started using them again to rehab my hip bursitis and I had to do tons of research on building powerful healthy booty muscle....
I can now confidently say from 5 years of using them correctly that they are one of the best pieces of fitness gear for sculpting a sexy curvy butt, a slim waist, a strong core AND lean toned legs. Below are some of the best ankle weight exercises along with workout tips and tricks to help you get the most out of this inexpensive yet effective piece of fitness gear.
There are endless types of glute kickbacks (also known as hip extensions or rear leg lifts) you can do with ankle weights. The most common are from hands and knees with bent or straight leg but you can also do them laying on your stomach, on your side with legs bent and turned in as well as standing bent over AND while doing lunges, squats, stepups, even downdogs!
The variations of ankle weight kickbacks are endless and for best results you should vary them as often as every 2-4 weeks. If you're not sure how be sure to look thru all 4 YBFF plans at exercises that involve lifting the leg behind you or to the side. You can add ankle weights to any of these moves. This includes moves you do with bands which gives you a nice break from the bands. The video and pics here show a few version.
Once you build some glute strength and stability you can try more advanced types of hip extensions that require more core stability such as single leg bridges with elevated foot plus leg extension or glute kickbacks from a deep a step up balance or from a deep curtsey lunge.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, walking is not the best use of ankle weights nor is any type of jumping. Step ups, lunges and squats with leg lifts are fine but higher impact activities even just walking can place a lot of wear and tear on the ankles, knees, and hips.
Other exercises that may not be a good idea with ankle weights are planks, ab moves such as bicycles or V ups. A majority of people just don't have the core strength or stability for this and will most likely just train dysfunction in the hip flexors and strain the back.
Some moves that may be fine if you have the core and glute strength and stability for them are downdog kickbacks, standing knee raises, and back laying single leg lowers. My big booty bounce workout video shows these and many of the others moves in this article too.