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Add ankle weights to give your leg-lift routine a lift.
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Leg raises or leg lifts are a popular and effective way to develop the muscles of the outer thighs and buttocks. One sure way to give your leg lifts a lift is by adding ankle weights. This one simple modification will increase the intensity of your exercises, making them more efficient in creating strong, toned muscles. While there are many varieties of ankle weights on the market, the best ones should be comfortable, adjustable and easy to modify.
Give Your Leg Lifts a Lift
The American Council on Exercise professionals recognize the side-lying hip abduction as an effective exercise for building the muscles of the thigh and butt. As effective as this popular leg move may be, over time, muscles can accustomed to the same level of exercise. In order to continue to build a muscle, you need to work it harder. You can increase your repetitions or make the same move more difficult by adding resistance. Ankle weights do just that.
The Best Model Ankle Weights
To safely build your thigh and butt muscles, you want to invest in ankle weights that let you gradually modify the amount of weight you carry on each leg. Look for a model that holds up to 5 pounds per ankle in increments of a half pound. These weights will allow you to increase your intensity slowly and prevent injury. Look for ankle weights with velcro fasteners so you can adjust them for a comfortable fit.
Feel the Intensity Difference
Begin by adding just one half-pound weight to each ankle weight. Strap on the weights to each ankle so they are snugly secure but not tight. Then, perform your leg lifts exactly as usual. Do the same number of repetitions that you usually do and concentrate on good form. You should feel a difference in the abductor muscles running on the outside of your thigh, right up into your gluteus maximus muscles. It doesn't take a lot of weight to make a change in intensity.
Build to Five Pounds Per Ankle
Once you are able to perform all of your customary repetitions without sacrificing form, continue to increase the weight on each ankle, a half pound at a time, until you are carrying the full five pounds per ankle. Each time you add weight, you will be building the muscles of your thigh and butt a little more. You can expect some muscle soreness when you increase the intensity of your workouts, which is perfectly natural. Be sure skip a day between workouts to give your muscles a chance to rest and rebuild.