Sport is an activity to maintain a healthy body and increase stamina and self-performance. In doing sports, many techniques can be done either with or without tools.
One of the tools that can be used to improve exercise results is foot weights or ankle weights. As the name implies, this weight device is attached to the leg to provide additional weight for maximum exercise.
What are Foot Weights?
As already mentioned, foot weights are attached to the feet for a specific purpose. Weights are not only found on the feet. But there are also weights for other body parts such as the hands, arms, or stomach.
There are several types of foot weights in fitness centers or those sold in the market. It is usually found in the form of mini-packs filled with sand or metal attached around the ankles, then tied with rope or velcro. The visuals of this tool also vary according to the brand.
We can also make alternative foot weights using simple materials by using plastic or containers filled with sand then tied to the feet with a rope or other binding. But if you don’t want to be bothered and want something that is more durable, then you can buy the foot weights at a sports shop or online shop.
These weights are generally available in sizes of 0.5 kg to 2 kg. You can choose the size of the weight according to the needs and abilities of the feet.
Weights can be used for walking, jogging, or other sports activities. The right sports movements can make maximum use of this tool.
Foot Weights Functions
Functions and benefits of foot weights in brief for fitness and health purposes are as following:
- Gives additional weight to the legs, so that they burn more fat and can build muscle in the legs.
Foot weights are also applied for rehabilitation in people who have had a stroke.
It is used to train the elderly to walk.
In sports, this tool is simply attached to the ankles then used when doing exercises. It’s just like jogging but with foot weights on your ankles.
That way, the body will gain additional weight. This additional weight causes the body to expend more energy so that it can sweat more.
Based on a study conducted by Fatina in 2015, training using foot weights can have a big influence on the quality of a taekwondo athlete’s kicks. Although research is still needed on this matter, the use of foot weights in sports is considered quite effective.
How to Use Foot Weights
Using a foot weight when doing exercises can be an option to enlarge leg muscles or maximize fat burning. But we need to choose which foot weights specifications are suitable for use.
It is highly recommended that you ask questions and do training in advance at the fitness center to find out which foot weight is suitable. The most important thing is to know the capabilities and limitations of the body so that you can choose the right weight measurement for the foot weights.
Foot weights can replace the use of fitness equipment such as dumbbells. It can also be used for mild to moderate sports activities. It is recommended to use foot weights for only short periods. In addition, these foot weights are combined with sports movements.
Keep in mind that the use of foot weights incorrectly can cause injury. Injuries can occur due to sports movements that are not carried out in accordance with the use of foot weights. It is advisable to wear a foot weight when doing aerobic movements, not movements that rely on speed (especially if you are running fast).
This is because foot weights use the muscles in the front of the thigh instead of the back of the thigh which can lead to muscle imbalance if the movement is too heavy or too fast. In addition, foot weights pull on the ankles, so that if you do too heavy a movement it can cause injury to the tendons, back, and hips.
So the most important note before using foot weights is to know the limitations and capabilities of the body in order to use the tool properly and get the desired results.