Ankle weights strap easily onto your legs.
Lifting weights isn't limited to grabbing barbells or dumbbells with your hands. With the right equipment, you can also lift weights with your legs. The easiest way is to do this is to wear ankle weights, which you place around your ankles and then secure using the attached Velcro strips. You could also hold standard free weights with your feet for some exercises.
Strengthen Your Legs
Wrap an ankle weight onto one or both of your legs and sit on a chair or the edge of a bench. Bend your knees at right angles and let your shins hang down naturally. Flex your knee to raise the weighted leg until it's straight, but not locked. Lower your leg slowly to the starting position. To work your hamstrings, stand straight with an ankle weight on one leg as you hold the back of a chair for balance. Flex your knee to raise the weighted ankle behind you until your shin is roughly parallel with the floor. Return your leg under control to the starting position. Perform the thigh exercises with both legs.
Tone the Abs
Just because you attach weights to your legs doesn't mean you can only work your legs. To target your abs, for example, place a weight around each ankle and lie face up on a bench with your hips on the end and your legs in the air. Hold the sides of the bench and extend your legs so they're parallel with the floor. This is the starting position. Keep your legs fairly straight and your torso still as you raise your legs until they're perpendicular to the floor. Lower your legs slowly to the starting position.
Assume the starting position for a rowing crunch by sitting on the edge of a bench, leaning back a bit and extending your weighted legs forward at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. Simultaneously move your torso forward to an erect position and pull your knees as close as possible to your chest. Lower your legs under control.
Wearing ankle weights while you walk -- whether you're outdoors or on a treadmill -- can be risky as well as potentially beneficial, depending on how you use them. The weights help strengthen your lower-body muscles -- particularly the hamstrings, quads and glutes. The American Council on Exercise notes that walking with ankle weights between 1 and 3 pounds increases your heart rate by three to five beats per minute and increases oxygen consumption, which means the weights increase the exercise intensity for greater calorie expenditure. However, the weights can also strain your joints and leg muscles and can cause an injury as a result, especially if they alter your normal walking mechanics. Pay close attention to your form if you walk with ankle weights, and limit the weights to 3 pounds apiece.
Holding Weights with Your Feet
If body-weight exercises become too easy you can sometimes add intensity by holding weights with your feet. To perform pullups, for example, assume the standard position by hanging from the bar. Have a training partner place a dumbbell or hand weight in between your feet and then squeeze your ankles together to secure the weight. Perform your pullups as you normally would.