How is your week? I am pretty happy, that I finally feel rested and I can be back to working out the way I know. 😉 Next week I will share with you what I did with my workouts during the last month and a half and some of the conclusions I made for myself.
This week I chose to answer the questions about running and walking with ankle weights and if hip thrusters are appropriate for a main lower body movement. Here is my opinion. I’d be glad to read yours, so leave your comments below!
Hello, Ines. I was searching through the internet, but I did not find good information about walking and running with ankle weights. What is your opinion?
Back in the days when I was a basketball player, I was really wrong about the appropriate training methods, when it comes to increasing your vertical jump or improving your speed. I remember that ankle weights, was my “daily accessory”. I used to walk with them, train with them and I fooled myself that I was gonna achieve great things.
Nowadays my opinion is so different. For me adding ankle weights, while walking or running, does more harm, than good.
The reasons about it are as follows:
Often times athletes use ankle weights with the mere goal to improve their speed, but in reality it turns out the opposite way. The reason is that ankle weights limit the range of motion and change the natural gate. This interferes with the proper mechanic of the movement and leads to compensating in other places through your body.
The weights limit the gate, because they make the muscles to work harder in order to “move” the weight, which tires them faster and forces them to make shorter movements in a desperate try to compensate.
Besides that ankle weights, put more stretch to the connective tissue. This is a result from the fact that legs are supposed to bear the weight of the body through the bottom and they are not used to bearing the excess weight on the ankles. When you run or walk, the weight of the ankle weights, causes over stretching of the connective tissue, because the tissue is forced to cope with additional force, that it Is not accustomed to deal with.
Just give it a thought. When your feet are in contact with the ground, the muscles keep your body stable and carry the weight. When you have ankle weights and you take your feet off the ground, the muscles on your legs do not perform a movement, that will bear the weight and in reality it will “hang “on your knee joint.
Ankle weights increase the impact of the force, with which your body is supposed to deal for every step you make. This force is being absorbed by your ankles, knees and hips. The increase of the impact of the force, increases the force that your joints and your back are supposed to absorb.
There is one more point of view. Especially when you keep in mind the way, most people run, i.e. with bad technique. When you put ankle weights, because of the bigger effort, which is required in order to take your feet off the ground and the bad running technique, you are loading more your quadriceps, and you fail to activate your posterior chain. Thus, this is just contributing for the increased imbalance between your anterior and posterior chain and increases the risk of an injury!
Ines, I am following you and Bret Contreras. You are something like the woman version of The Glute Guy- The Glute Girl. And I wanted to ask you something about the hip thrusters that you love doing. Could they be incorporated as a main leg exercise?
This message definitely made my day.I love Bret Contreras( check out HERE) and I really love focusing on making my posterior chain stronger and even though most people think that the triceps is the most beautiful muscle in the body, in my opinion nothing looks better than strong, well shaped posterior chain.
When it comes to hip thrusters, as a main leg exercise, it really depends on your training program, as well as your goals.
Personally I always include one lower body movement that is predominantly for the anterior chain and one that is for the posterior chain. Thus, I could say that hip thrusters are my main lower body movement for the posterior chain in a particular training session. But I wouldn’t be pleased if hip thrusters were THE ONLY lower body movement in my workout.
Usually I workout following the 5×5 protocol, but when it comes to hip thrusters, I’d rather take some weight off and do 3-4 sets of 8 reps. I like the results I am achieving with my glutes and hamstrings, when I do 8 reps.
Besides that hip thrusters might be a tricky exercise, if you do not perform it properly and if you use too much weight and a really low rep range, you are more likely to cheat on the proper technique.
Some of you challenged me to do the pistol squat from lying position, so there we go 🙂