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10 Leg Exercises With Ankle Weights For Strong & Sculpted Legs


10 Leg Exercises with Ankle Weights to Get a Crazy Burn

Glam up your leg day routine with these top 10 ankle weight leg workouts:

  1. Leg Lifts: Tones your outer thighs and glutes.
  2. Donkey Kicks: Gives you a glute pump.
  3. Fire Hydrants: Works your inner thighs and glutes.
  4. Standing Leg Curls: Strengthens and sculpts your hamstrings.
  5. Leg Extensions: Targets your quads.
  6. Glute Bridge: Gives you a glute burn to grow your booty.
  7. Squats: Adds resistance to your regular squats.
  8. Lunges: Amps up the resistance in your regular lunges,
  9. Calf Raises: Gives you a good burn in your calf muscles.
  10. Inner Thigh Lift: Helps you get toned inner thighs.

Leg Lifts | Donkey Kicks | Fire Hydrants | Standing Leg Curls | Leg Extensions | Glute Bridges | Squats | Lunges | Calf Raises | Inner Thigh Lift | Benefits | Key Takeaways | FAQs

If you want to strut in any room with your legs stealing the spotlight, then this is what you need to do – add some remarkability to your routine and switch it up to ankle weight leg workouts!

With just this tiny addition of weighted ankle straps, you’ll get a burn that’ll make your legs wobble post-workout. The best part is, you can do ankle weight leg exercises at home, the gym or even during your lunch breaks at work.

And the end result? Those toned sculpted legs you could only dream of!

If you’re ready to take your leg days to the next level, then add these 10 amazing leg exercises with ankle weights to your training schedule!

Get sculpted with these 5 exercises for lower body at home.

1. Ankle Weight Leg Lifts

Working your glutes maximum, glutes medius, glutes minimums, hip abductors, core muscles and lower back muscles all at once, this exercise is almost a full body workout. The best part is – you can add this exercise to your bubble butt workout routine to achieve that rounded, peachy booty you dream of.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Make sure you’re wearing high stretch workout leggings to get a full range of motion during your movements.
  • With your legs fully extended, lie down on your side on a yoga mat.
  • Keep your legs stacked up on one another with the weights strapped around your ankles.
  • Keep your lower arm under your head and your front arm ahead of your body to balance yourself.
  • With your toe pointed outwards, lift your top leg slowly using your saddle bags and glutes.
  • Once you’ve hit a comfortable height, pause for 2-3 seconds, then bring your leg back down while controlling your movement.
  • Switch sides to complete on your other leg as well.

Switch up to lower body band workouts to level up your resistance training without weights.

2. Ankle Weight Donkey Kicks

If you’re doing a legs and booty workout at home, then donkey kicks with ankle weights should dominate your routine. This exercise works your glute maximus, glutes medius, hamstrings, lower back muscles and your core stabilizers. From top to toe, this exercise engages all the right muscles to give you strong and toned legs.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • In a ‘donkey’ position, get on all fours, making sure your arms are aligned with your shoulders and your knees are aligned with your hips.
  • Keep your spine straight and neutral, and your core braced.
  • Making sure there’s a 90° bent in your knee, lift one leg upward as if you’re trying to reach the ceiling.
  • Controlling your eccentrics, lower your leg again.
  • Throughout the movement, avoid arching your spine or pushing your upper back too far upwards.

For a better understanding of this exercise, learn how to do hip extensions correctly.

3. Ankle Weight Fire Hydrants

Perfect for improving your hip mobility as well as stability, this exercise works your abductors, glutes and stabilizers. This exercise is perfect for achieving toned legs and a lifted, well-rounded booty.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Just like hip extensions, you need to be on all fours for this exercise as well.
  • Fasten weights around your ankles.
  • Keep your back neutral and your core engaged while you’re in this position.
  • With a 90° bent in your knee, lift your knee outwards to your side, as high as you can.
  • Pause with your leg outward before lowering it again, making sure you’re mentally engaging your glutes and hips.
  • Avoid swinging your hips, arching your lower back or pushing your upper back too far up during this movement.
  • Once you complete a rep, switch to the other leg.

Go for this power leg workout routine to get toned and sculpted legs.

4. Ankle Weight Standing Leg Curls

Standing leg curls is a great exercise for boosting strength and stability in your hamstrings. Whether your goal is to build strength or get gains, this exercise will help you achieve them. The best part is – it’s a great substitute for hamstring curls exercise that you can do at home.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your back neutral.
  • Retract your shoulders and puff up your chest so you’re standing upright.
  • Grab onto a flat surface such as a table or a chair for support.
  • With a slight bent in one leg, focus all the weight on your other leg and lift your knee, bending it backwards, bringing your heel close to your glutes as much as possible.
  • Controlling your negative, lower your leg down onto the ground.
  • Switch to your other leg to complete the rep.

Add standing legs curls with ankle weights to your hamstring workout routine.

5. Ankle Weight Leg Extensions

Building your leg definition and overall strength, ankle weight leg extensions are your ticket to those bulging yet toned quads. This exercise primarily works your quads while targeting glutes and outer thighs as secondary muscles.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • With your back neutral and flat against the surface, sit on a chair, seat or a bench.
  • Make sure your hips are at the edge of the seat and your legs have a 90° bent in them.
  • Your thighs should be parallel to the floor as well.
  • Controlling your movement, lift your leg with the weight strapped onto your ankle.
  • Make sure you fully extend your leg outwards and ahead – your toe should be pointing the ceiling.
  • As you lift your leg, contract your quad muscle to fully engage it and hold in this position for a few seconds.
  • Gradually lower your leg.
  • Repeat with your other leg until you’ve reached failure.

To work your quads in isolation, check out these 10 quad exercises.

6. Ankle Weight Glute Bridges

To target your lower body completely, the ankle weight glute bridge is a top-tier exercise. It works your hamstrings, quads and glutes all at once. Simultaneously, it works your core muscles and glute stabilizers as well.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • On a comfortable surface, lie down with your back flat against the ground.
  • Extend your arms by your side, making sure your palms are flat on the floor.
  • Tuck your heels towards your glutes – your fingertips should be almost touching your heels.
  • Brace your core and thrust your hips upward while making sure your back is neutral.
  • Avoid arching your lower back during the movement.
  • Pause once your glutes are upwards so you really feel the burn.
  • Slowly, bring your glutes back on the ground and push back again.

If you’re at the gym, you can also swap ankle weight glute bridges with hip thrusts.

7. Ankle Weight Squats

Squats are to leg days what bench presses are to your push days – essential. This functional exercise engages every muscle group in your lower body including your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. With ankle weights added, you get more resistance during your training, which makes this exercise even more dynamic.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed outwards.
  • Make sure to strap on ankle weights that are comfortably challenging for you.
  • Keep your hands by your sides or crossed in front of your chest – whatever is more comfortable for you.
  • Hinge your hips while maintaining a neutral back and start lowering yourself towards the ground.
  • Avoid extending your knees past your toes, making sure your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Pushing through your heels, rise back up so you’re standing straight.

If you’re not comfortable with ankle weights, you can also go for squats with resistance bands.

8. Ankle Weight Lunges

If traditional lunges aren’t challenging enough, welcome the ankle weight lunges into your leg workout. This exercise works your calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes all at the same time, making this a powerhouse move.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Wrap weights around your ankles and make sure its as heavy as you can lift.
  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart, brace your core and place your hands on your sides.
  • Then take a step forward, grounding your heel and making sure your toes are pointing forward.
  • Lower your front and back knee both, while keeping your working leg’s thigh parallel to the floor.
  • Your front knee should be right above your ankle – avoid extending your knee beyond your toes.
  • Once you’ve gone as deep as you can, push yourself back up with your heel.
  • Repeat on your other leg to complete one rep.

To challenge yourself further, complete one set of curtsy lunges right after!

9. Ankle Weight Calf Raises

Often overlooked, calves are one of the most prominent muscle groups in your leg. And the ankle weight calf raises isolates your calves, giving you that toned look that athletes have.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • With ankle weights strapped on, stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • You can place your hands on a wall or hold a chair for support.
  • Make sure your bodyweight is equally distributed in both your legs and your legs are fully extended.
  • Push your body upward using the balls of your feet, letting your heels go as far upward as possible.
  • Throughout this movement, you should be focusing on lifting with your calf muscles.
  • Pause once you’re elevated, then lower yourself until your heels are touching the floor.
  • Repeat until failure.

For a complete workout, try these 10 calf exercises to get those athletic legs.

10. Ankle Weight Inner Thigh Lift

If you want that inner thigh gap, then make sure you add ankle weight inner thigh lift to your leg workout routine. This exercise specifically works your adductors, building your overall leg stability, strength and balance.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • With weights wrapped around your ankles, lie down flat on the mat.
  • Place your head on your arm to stay comfortable during the movement.
  • Keep one leg on top of another.
  • Maintain a slight bent in your top leg and put your foot ahead of the bottom leg.
  • Brace your core to activate your abs and gradually push your bottom leg with your inner thigh muscles.
  • Once your leg is fully elevated, lower it back to the floor, avoiding any shaky or sudden movements.
  • Repeat until you complete your set, then switch to the other leg.

For a complete resistance training program, add this exercise to your resistance band leg workout.

Benefits Of Leg Workouts with Ankle Weights

Several studies reveal the benefits of leg exercises with ankle weights. Some of the top benefits of doing ankle weight leg workouts include:

If your goal is to lose fat at home, consider adding this at-home resistance band full body workout to your training routine!

Key Takeaways

With these 10 ankle weight exercises, you can transform your leg days from regular to remarkable sweat sessions. Whether it’s toning your thighs or defining your calves, each exercise is a unique addition to your workout regimen.

By adding ankle weights to your routine, you’ll be able to ramp up the resistance in your training ritual, elevating your fitness journey effortlessly. So sling those weights on and lift your way into getting your dream legs!


Are ankle weights good for leg exercises?

Yes, ankle weights are great for leg exercises as they increase the resistance of your workouts, helping you sculpt and tone your legs more efficiently. With added weights, your legs will be doing more work as well. This increases your muscular endurance and overall strength. The added resistance effectively engages your calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes, helping you build muscle definition.

How do you tone your legs with ankle weights?

You can tone your legs with ankle weights by adding all kinds of different exercises in your routine. This means you need to add compound moves such as squats and lunges with ankle weights, along with some isolated movements such as leg lifts, inner thigh lifts, standing curls and leg extensions with ankle weights. With the strapped on weight, you’ll have more resistance in your training routine, engaging your muscles more and boosting your overall strength. However, you can only tone your legs with ankle weight workouts if your form is correct and your movements are steady and controlled. You also need to progressively overload through increased reps, increased sets or increased weights.

How heavy should ankle weights be kg?

The weight of your ankle straps depends on your fitness level. In general, it’s recommended for beginners to go for ankle weights that are 0.5-1kgs. As you gain strength and build endurance, you’ll be increasing the weight that continues to challenge you while maintaining the right form. If the weight is too heavy to lift, then you need to drop it and opt for weights that are more comfortable to lift

How to do leg raises with ankle weights?

To do leg raises with ankle weights, you need to:

  • Strap the weights around each ankle.
  • Lie down with your back flat on the ground and your palm resting on the floor.
  • Brace your core and push your lower back into the ground.
  • Gradually lift your leg to a 90° angle.
  • Without fully placing your leg on the floor, lower it to the max – then bring it back up.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

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