Experts weigh in on pros and cons of latest TikTok workout accessory

Social media influencers are popularizing wrist weights, making them the latest fitness trend by claiming they can take workouts to a new level. But do they make a difference?

“After seeing how toned that girl got from wearing her Bala Bangles while doing everyday tasks, I HAD to get them! I love fitness products like this that make working out convenient throughout the day,” one TikTok user wrote in a video caption.

These sleek accessories, typically weighing 1-3 pounds, are designed to be worn during everyday activities and are available on Amazon and from brands like Bala Bangles.

While many users rave about wrist weights for making fitness more accessible throughout the day, experts caution against expecting miraculous results. Susane Pata, a trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, told Health while wrist weights can challenge arm and shoulder muscles, they have limitations. For significant strength gains, she recommends progressing to heavier weights like dumbbells.

Although consistently using weighted cuffs likely won’t help build large muscles, it can improve cardiovascular health and muscular endurance, according to Health. The added weight might also help increase the number of calories burned during exercise and everyday activities.

“Using the bangles adds a bit more resistance to whatever movement you’re doing,” Emily Claman, a fitness specialist, told the publication. “Forcing the muscles to work harder can elevate the heart rate to help increase calorie burn and muscle activation.”

However, weighted cuffs might not be suitable for everyone, especially those with preexisting arm or shoulder injuries. Anyone interested in trying wearable weights should first get clearance from a health care provider.

Wearable weights should be properly adjusted so they sit comfortably on the wrists (or ankles) and are best suited for low-impact activities like walking and yoga, according to Pata. “Wearing them during fast-paced cardio workouts can strain shoulder and arm joints,” she cautioned.

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