How to Wear Ankle Weights to Build Bone Mass

How to Wear Ankle Weights to Build Bone Mass
Bone density is directly related to the stress applied to the bone. When you don't apply stress to your bones by bearing weight with them, the bones respond to the lack of stress by reducing in density. Exercise provides the necessary stress to keep your bones healthy and encourage your body to devote energy and nutrients to continue building up your bone mass. One of the ways people attempt to build bone mass--particularly in the legs and hips--is with ankle weights.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Two ankle weights
Step 1
Stand in an open doorway facing one of the door jambs, holding the jamb with one or both hands to provide balance while exercising. With an ankle weight attached around each ankle, stand firmly on one leg while slowly lifting the other up and out to the side. Raise as high as you can or to a 45-degree angle--whichever is lower--and hold the leg at its peak position for three to four seconds before slowly lowering it to the ground. Repeat this 8 to 12 times for two or three sets with each leg. The stress of the ankle weight will help build bone density in your legs and hips.
Step 2
Lie down on your side, placing your arm or hand underneath your head for support. Place both legs together in alignment with your back, with one leg resting on top of the other. Slowly lift your top leg toward the sky, keeping it straight. Go until you reach a 45-degree angle or until you can't go any farther, then slowly bring the leg back down in alignment with your back. Repeat this 8 to 12 times for two or three sets with each leg.
Step 3
Swing your leg with an ankle weight to help build bone density. Stand in arm's reach of a counter, wall or other stable object and place your right hand on the object. Raise your straightened left leg forward and across the middle of your body in a diagonal--the toes of your left foot should be straight out in front of the toes on your right foot. Slowly bring the leg back across your body and behind it, continuing out and away in a diagonal. Do this slowly enough so that you are putting strain on your muscles and bones instead of letting the momentum of the ankle weight swing your leg like a pendulum. Keep your back static and try to swing from the hips. Complete this swinging motion 8 to 12 times for two to three sets on each leg.

Tips & Warnings

Some people run with ankle weights to provide added weight. While this does result in a more difficult workload, ankle weights can corrupt your running mechanics, increasing the risk of injury and causing unneeded stress on your joints, particularly the tendons and ligaments.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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