Strengthen, sculpt and tone with this barre-inspired ankle weight workout! This fusion-style workout combines the muscle-building benefits of high-rep strength training with the mobility and core strengthening benefits of barre. Option to perform with just your bodyweight, or add ankle weights for an extra challenge.
Adding ankle weights to your workout routine creates additional resistance during each exercise. This increased resistance helps to strengthen and tone your leg muscles, arm muscles and core. Ankle weights can also be beneficial for improving balance and stability and increasing cardiovascular endurance.
Are Ankle Weights Actually Effective?
Yes! Ankle weights are one way to build muscle through progressive overload. If you typically perform bodyweight exercises, incorporating ankle weights is a great way to increase the resistance and intensity of the exercise, leading to increased muscle definition.
Should I Do Ankle Weight Exercises After An Injury?
Ankle weights can be used to help regain strength and mobility after some injuries, such as leg and knee injuries. They can also assist in injury prevention by strengthening the muscles around the ankle joints, knees, and hips, which can provide greater support and stability during physical activities.
Begin in a kneeling push-up position, both knees on the ground and hands stacked under shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Then, keep your left knee on the ground as you lift your right leg, extending it backwards. Keep your right leg straight and point your toes to engage your glutes. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your right toes.
Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest towards the ground, elbows falling back towards your hips. Engage your core to protect your lower back.
Then, press evenly through your fingers to push back up, straightening your elbows and returning to starting position.
Reverse Lunge, Front Kick and Cross-Body Punch
Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, shoulders, back, abs and core.
The balance challenge created throughout this movement targets the core and many small, stabilizing muscles throughout your body.
How To Do Reverse Lunges and Cross-Body Punches
Start standing, feet hip-width apart and stacked under shoulders.
Step back with your left foot, both knees bent at a 90-degree angle to form a reverse lunge. Your front thigh should be parallel to the ground. As you step back, punch your left arm across your body, performing a cross-body punch with your left fist.
Then, press through your front right heel to stand tall, kicking your back left leg forward in front of your body as you stand. Left arm returns to your side.
As you kick, punch your opposite arm (your right arm) across your body, performing a cross-body punch with your right fist.
Then, step your left foot back into a reverse lunge, returning to starting position.
Modification: Reduce range of motion, tapping your moving leg back rather than performing a full reverse lunge.
Standing Side Leg Raise
Targets: Gluteus maximus (the largest glute muscles), gluteus medius (side butt muscles or outer glute muscles), inner thighs, outer thighs, obliques and core.
How To Do Standing Side Leg Raises
Start standing, feet hip-distance apart. Shift your weight into your right foot, slightly bending your right knee.
Brace your core, then squeeze your outer glute to lift your left leg out towards the left. Left toes are pointed. Range of motion is less important than core stability and muscle engagement.
Then with control, lower back down, tapping your left toes on the mat to return to starting position.
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