So your child is taking dance lessons, and then it happens. The dance teacher asks you to look into getting ankle weights. But what are the best ankle weights for dancers, and how do they help with dancing?
Ankle weights are small weights that you wear on your ankles to increase your dance moves’ challenge.
They can make it harder to move across the floor, making it more useful for toning and strengthening muscles.
If you’re new to ankle weights or looking for a new pair, here is a guide that will help you find the best ankle weights for dancers.
Please note that we are not trained to give medical advice. Please consult with your doctor if you have concerns before purchasing and using any equipment for your dancer.
The Top 5 Ankle Weights
|Item||Different Weight Options||Price||Prime||Buy|
|Top||BalanceFrom Go Fit Fully Adjustable Ankle Wrist Arm Leg Weights||Yes||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|Bala Bangles - Set of 2 (1lb Each) | Adjustable Wearable Wrist & Ankle Weights | Yoga, Dance, Barre, Pilates, Cardio, Aerobics, Walking | Charcoal||No||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|Henkelion 1 Pair 6 Lbs Adjustable Ankle Weights for Women Men Kids, Strength Training Wrist Weights Ankle Weights Set for Gym, Fitness Workout, Running, Lifting Exercise Leg Weights - Each 3 Lbs Pink||Yes||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|El Toro Speedwraps Starter Set (5, Medium)||Yes||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|Top||Fitnessery Ankle Weights (2 Pounds x 2) - Ankle Weights for Women and Men - Wrist Weights for Women and Men - Leg Weights for Women and Men - Arm Workout Exercise Weights - Ankle Weight||Yes||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
The BalanceFrom Fully GoFit Weights is an affordable, adjustable, and durable ankle weight.
It’s an excellent choice for those looking for a weight that can be used anywhere and is comfortable to wear.
These weights are available in different weight levels for you to choose from: 1-lb pair, 1.5-lb pair, 2-lb pair, 2.5-lb pair, 3-lb pair, 4-lb pair, 5-lb pair.
There’s also an option for an adjustable weight with removable 1.5-pound packets if you want to adjust weight without owning several pairs.
Your comfort is top of mind with a neoprene exterior, reinforced stitching, and moisture-absorbing material inside.
Perhaps one of the best things about this product is that it comes with a two-year warranty making these a worry-free purchase.
- 2-year warranty
- Moisture-absorbing material inside
- Fully adjustable
- Different weight options are available.
- Aggressive forms of use have sometimes resulted in the seams splitting open and sand spilling out.
2. Bala Bangles
These weights are probably the most aesthetically pleasing on our list, and that’s for a reason. They are made to look like a cute bangle you might wear on any given day.
The weights are made from stainless steel bars coated in smooth silicone. The bars are then bound with an athletic elastic and velcro closure.
- Steel bars provide the weight vs. sand.
- It comes with a travel bag.
- Higher price range than other options
The Henkelion Adjustable Ankle Weights make working out while wearing weights a breeze.
The pair of ankle weights have separate weight bags so you can adjust to the weight you need.
Plus, the ankle weights themselves attach and adjust easily with velcro straps to hold and prevent sliding.
The breathable cotton material increases air circulation, absorbs moisture and sweat quickly, and provides a comfortable fit.
Henkelion Weights offer the following weight sizes: 2lbs, 3lbs, 5lbs, 8lbs, and 10 lbs. Each weight bag weighs in at 0.4 lb.
There are also a variety of colors available with options for the various sizes.
- Easy to adjust with velcro straps
- Multiple color options
- Different weight options with removable weight bags
- Breathable cotton material
- Superior quality for a great price
- Adding the weight bags back in can be a hassle.
- Isn’t odorless
This starter set includes two compression wraps, two 1 lb training inserts, and a mesh carrying bag.
The ankle wraps are made with Dri-FIT material that wicks away sweat and moisture while keeping you fresh and secure.
Another great thing about this brand is the anatomical fit with a stretch material that provides you with a comfortable feel while staying in place.
One downside to the El Toro SpeedWraps, however, is they require a higher upfront cost. They are generally the most costly option on our list.
But as mentioned, dancers and dance parents everywhere are recommending them to other dancers in need.
- Dri-Fit material
- Comfortable anatomical fit
- Easy to add or remove weights
- Loved by many dancers
- Higher cost than other options
The FITNESSERY Ankle Weights are known for their quality, but they also include a lifetime money-back guarantee.
So if for any reason you no longer like the weights, you get your money back.
These ankle weights are made with “rock-solid durability,” so you never have to worry about your leg weights not holding up.
FITNESSERY ankle weights are made of premium anti-chafing neoprene fabric designed to provide maximum breathability while providing exact weight distribution.
With 360 degrees of equal weight distribution, these ankle weights create an optimum environment for exercise and recovery around your ankles and wrists.
They are built using reinforced double stitching and secure silver reflective trim for evening workouts outside.
Perhaps one of the best things about this product is the extras.
When purchasing a set of ankle weights, you also receive a mesh travel bag and two free eBooks:
- 100 Ankle Weight Exercises for a Toned Body
- How to Get the Most From Your Ankle Weights
The Fitnessery ankle weights accommodate different weight needs and levels of training one may have and makes sure the quality remains excellent even after years of use.
- Lifetime Money-Back Guarantee
- Mesh bag and two eBooks included
- Durable and comfortable material
- Weight isn’t adjustable.
Things to Consider Before Buying Ankle Weights for Your Dancer
Is it safe to use ankle weights?
First off, we here at Dance Recital Gifts are not medical experts. So please consult with your doctor before using any fitness equipment.
Is it safe to use ankle weights? The answer is it depends.
A physical therapist has this to say when speaking on the subject to Havard Health:
“But Downey warns that it’s not a good idea to use wearable ankle weights while you’re walking or during an aerobics workout because they force you to use your quadriceps (the muscles in the fronts of the thighs) and not your hamstrings (in the backs of the thighs).
“That causes a muscle imbalance,” Downey says. Wearable ankle weights also pull on the ankle joint, which poses the risk of a tendon or ligament injuries to the knees, hips, and back.
But wearable ankle weights help exercises that target the leg and hip muscles, like leg lifts.
“The weight places a greater load on the muscle group being targeted. The muscles have to work harder to move this increased load against gravity, and in turn, this will increase strength,” Downey explains.”
Also, if your dancer is 13 years old are younger, using ankle weights can cause more harm than good if not utilized properly. This is because their growth plates in their legs are still developing – and putting stress on those areas can lead to injury.
We highly encourage dance parents to talk to their children’s doctor before purchasing and using ankle weights.
What does an ankle weight do for ballet/dance?
Your dance teacher may ask you to get ankle weights for the following reasons:
- Strength Training – The ankles are a delicate part of the body but one of the most important in dance. Strengthing your ankle muscles will help you develop into a stronger dancer.
- Stronger Dance Moves – Practice particular dance moves with an ankle weight on. Take the weight off, and then see how your body has adjusted. You will start noticing that lifting your leg in leaps, jumps, and other extension moves flows smoother and probably higher.
- Reaction Time – Can you adjust to your body’s extra weight and still hit your positions on every count? If you can, then doing your routine without the weights will result in a sharper reaction time.
What weight should we start with?
Most dancers will get the resistance they need at just 1 lb per leg. You may need to go up in weight as you get older, but since you shouldn’t be doing your whole routine with the weights on, one pound should be plenty.
When and how long should a dancer wear the ankle weights?
It is not advised that a dancer use wearable weights during a full dance class.
Rather, ankle weights should be worn during the low-impact sections of the class. Stretching, warm-up and light barre work or floor work are excellent areas to use your weights in.
Dancers should avoid doing leaps or jumps wearing weights unless their instructor is highly trained in preventing injuries.
What should you look for when shopping for ankle weights?
Dancers should look at the following areas when considering ankle weights:
Ankle weights are made up of multiple materials. The set might come with some fabrics that wick away sweat better than others and some that feel better on the skin. A great set of ankle weights has features for comfort and one that wicks away sweat to keep users from getting sore or slick, and weight sets that stay in place but are easy to take on and off.
You don’t want to buy any wearable weights that will be too clunky or get in your way when you move. Check the reviews to see if anyone had any significant sizing issues before purchasing.
Most ankle weights come in one of two types: Fixed or Adjustable.
Fixed means that the ankle wrap weighs a certain amount say 1 lb. It will always be 1lb. There is no way to change it besides buying a different set at an extra weight.
Adjustable weights mean that you typically receive an ankle wrap and a set amount of smaller weights that you can add or remove to the wrap as needed. These tend to be a bit price but are usually worth it in terms of saving money long-term.
Before shopping for ankle weights, set your budget. There are some excellent options out there on the higher end of the scale, and your dancer may want one to keep up with others in her/his class. But there are also some great options at a more affordable price point to consider as well.
When we talk about placement, we mean this: Will the ankle weight stay in place as you move around or sweat? Or will it start sliding around and become a nuisance? Be sure to check the reviews to see if anyone else had any problems with wayward weights before purchasing.
What other strength trainings or resistance training options are there for dancers?
Great question! Because using wearable weights holds some controversy in the dance world – with some adults alright with their dancers using them and other parents against it – it is a good idea to look at safer alternatives.
One of those alternatives is using resistance or stretch bands. It is considered safer as you are not adding weight to developing muscles. Instead, you are using your stretch band as more of a “wall” that you are pushing or pulling against.
You can check out our complete guide to the best ballet stretch bands for more information and product suggestions.
Another alternative is to as your dance instructor for ankle exercises you can complete at home with little to no equipment. They should be able to recommend a few activities to you with few problems.
If you want to get started right away, however, Dance Spirit teamed up with a physical therapist to show you a few moves:
The Best Ankle Weights for Dancers? Our Top Pick
Whether you’re a professional dancer or a beginner, ankle weights can help you improve your strength and muscle tone when used in the correct setting.
They are a great way to add resistance training to your warmup routine. They’re easy to use, easy to store, and they give you an extra challenge when you’re doing strength-training exercises.
Our top pick is the Fitnessery Ankle Bands for their affordability, life-time guarantee, and quality.
The extras like the bag and ebooks also helped clinch the top spot.
However, if you don’t mind spending the money up-front, then definitely splurge on the El Toro Speedwraps. They are used and loved at dance studios across the United States and beyond for a good reason.
They’re slim, stay put during class, and wick away sweat like the pro products they are.