5 Best Ankle Weight Exercises to Strengthen Your Calves and Glutes 

Ankle weight exercises are an effective way to sculpt your lower body. (Image by @prosourcefit via Instagram)
Ankle weight exercises are an effective way to sculpt your lower body. (Image by @prosourcefit via Instagram)

Ankle weight exercises are some of the most effective ways to tone your lower body, especially calves and glutes. They're is suitable for people of all ages and provides a convenient way to practice strength training exercises anywhere.

Adding weight to your workout is a no-brainer. While dumbbells are the go-to option, using ankle weights has its own benefits. These wearable weights are portable and can be used to level up your exercise and sculpt your muscles as well.

From injury rehabilitation to adding a small amount of resistance, an ankle weight easily straps around your ankles. That enables you to have a good range of motion without stressing about having to pick up or put down dumbbells or other free weights. So, are you curious to add this useful wearable weight to your workout routine?

Ankle Weight Exercises to Tone Calves and Glutes

Here's a look at five ankle weight exercises to tone your calves and glutes:

1) High Knee

This exercise targets your glutes and helps improve your lower body flexibility, power and speed while strengthening your hip flexors.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • With your feet at a hip distance, stand upright, and keep your arms at your sides. Attach ankle weights to both your ankles.
  • Raise your left knee high till it reaches your chest.
  • Lower it down, and lift your right knee.
  • Start alternating the movement as fast as you can.
  • Keep your core muscles engaged throughout the exercise to support your spine.

2) Kickback Sumo Squat

This exercise engages your glutes, calves, hamstrings and quads. Unlike standard squats, kick back sumo squats aims at toning your glutes and inner thighs. Adding an ankle weight significantly enhances the resistance.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Position your feet wider than your shoulder width, and keep your toes turned outside.
  • Tighten your abs as you lower your body, and bend both your knees.
  • Continue to lower your body as low as you feel comfortable.
  • As you return to the starting position, do a quick back kick.
  • Alternate back kicks, and continue the exercise for the desired number of reps.

3) Bicycle Kick

Bicycle kicks are a great lower body exercise that targets multiple muscle groups at once. The targeted muscles include glutes, calves, quads, hip flexors, hamstrings and abs.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Start by lying down on the floor. Keep your feet on the ground. You can keep your hands beside you for additional support.
  • Bring your knees to your chest while extending a leg in front of you.
  • Breathe easily, and bring your knee back to the start.
  • Extend your other leg straight in the front, and bring it back.
  • Perform the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

4) Mountain Climber

Mountain climbers are among the best cardio exercises that can help elevate your heart rate to a good level. Moreover, this exercise boosts strength, blood circulation and flexibility of the muscles.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Distribute your body weight evenly on your hands, and get into a push-up position.
  • Lift your right leg, and raise your knee to your chest.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat the motion with your left leg.
  • Increase your speed as you continue to alternate your legs.

5) Side Leg Lift

Side leg lifts or hip abductions are calisthenic exercises that help strengthen your glutes, quads and calves.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Keeping your back straight, stand on your right leg, and focus on keeping your body balanced.
  • Keep your left leg slightly bent.
  • Lift your opposite leg off the floor as high as you can.
  • Lower to the start, and continue the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

When Should You Avoid Ankle Weight Exercises?

Do not use ankle weights if you have:

  • hip or knee pain.
  • recently had any kind of surgery in the lower part of your body.
  • had any injury, and your physical therapist doesn't recommend it.


Whether you aim to build strength, muscle endurance or flexibility, ankle weights are incredibly versatile and can be used for almost every exercise you perform. However, don't use them while running or jogging, as they can lead to joint and tendon stress. Also, make sure to consult a physical therapist before incorporating this wearable weight into your workout programme.

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Edited by Bhargav