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Question about ankle weights

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Canadian_gym_mom

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May 26, 2011
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In another thread someone asked about uptraining and also asked about ankle weights, and Bog and a couple of others said no weights at this age. I wanted to start another thread just on the topic of weights.

DD has been at 2 different gyms and even from age 6 at the other gym the girls wore ankle weights for some of their conditioning (rope climbs, leg lifts, stair runs, etc.). Not all the time but would do one or two sets with them on.

Same at her current gym, but she is 8 now and they wear them for some of the conditioning, but also they wear them for kip drills and split jump drills as well. And maybe other things, I have no idea. They will wear the weights and do a bunch of kips in a row, where you do one and swing down and right away do another one, like 10 times of something. Then they take them off and do it again without them.

Soooo, is this always a terrible idea? Thoughts and reasoning behind them?
 

emorymom

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Oct 10, 2008
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My daughter uses them only for vault because she does not have a good heel drive. They are only 1lb each. She is about 4'9.5" and 80 pounds. I can't see that one pound each on her feet is going to hurt for just one skill if it gives her awareness of what she needs to be pushing.
 

SuperGirlmlm

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We only use them for one thing, sprints and sometimes vault. If we don't have good enough heel drive, then we will do them with a weight onto a block with a springboard. Sometimes we do block jumps, but not that often.
 

Moxiegrl83

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Our gym's team uses ankle weights/wrist weights, during conditioning occasionally. Team is L4 and up. Pre-team, which my little one is on, has not used any type of weights. I had no idea that kids using weights could damage growth plates and cause a host of other injuries.
 

Canadian_gym_mom

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OKAY. So then my next question would be, how to approach a gym that uses weights and tell them my concerns?

I have never had experience with a gym that doesn't use them so I had no idea it was so bad. And at what age would anyone say it is appropriate to use ankle weights?

I appreciate all the feedback btw. It's what I love most about this site. :)
 
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BlairBob

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As a parent, you can basically complain unless you can get a Sports PT/Dr to back you up. Even then you could be talking to a brick wall.

I've heard while it seems to sound like a great idea, that it isn't in action. Last gym owner said after the HC started doing it they were getting all sorts of minor issues and injuries building up before they stopped.
 

iwannacoach

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Most coaches want to do the right thing for the kids. The problem is........most coaches never took anatomy and physiology, kineseology, or physics. Many are coaching from their own personal experience as a gymnasts, and if they were able to benifit from ankle weights and similar aids, they'll be hard to convince otherwise.

I've never really considered ankle weights. It just seems if you're trying get more strength and power in your movement to allow you to move your body easily and train awareness.....Well I just think since the body is the medium through which gymnastics happens, there is no benifit in altering weight distibution, and placing an extra load on your hip flexors/extensors, low back, shoulders, elbows.........

And get me into a conversation with anyone who believes a weight on your ankles teaches you how to improve heel drive, then sit back, get out a good book and a cup of coco, because you gonna be there for either a long time, or a very long time, because it's hard to convince any of us that we've not just found the "holy grail" of heel drive.......

Look at it this way....you want legs go up.....you put legs up. Now you learning how to move your body, not silly weight!

CanadianGymMom would please find to get me vwodka. I sink I see ice bag on ankle, it vwery good for..how you say thes in your country...I hear someperson say grey goose?;)
 

Moxiegrl83

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What about those resister band things? I've seen our gym use those too. Can those cause issues as well?
 

ALgymMom

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Nov 2, 2011
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Thera bands are great! My DD had to do exercises with those at physical therapy & at home so I would think they are ok :)
 
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bookworm

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My daughter got a hernia shortly after a new coach started at her gym and decided that "weights were the answer" to all...her surgeon looked at me like I had 3 heads when i told him about the weights..since the repair , i have never had a problem telling any coach that my kid will never be wearing weights again, case closed.
 
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Quadqueen

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DD's gym uses bands as well, to do leaps and such...?
 

dunno

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My daughter uses them only for vault because she does not have a good heel drive. They are only 1lb each. She is about 4'9.5" and 80 pounds. I can't see that one pound each on her feet is going to hurt for just one skill if it gives her awareness of what she needs to be pushing.
actually, even 1 lb. on each foot increases the risk of a back injury tenfold. and for kip drills, if the weights are up at the top of the thigh near the crotch this is good. the lower you have the weights from this position increases the risk of over-articulation of the lower spine by about 47769995864663697 times and will certainly lead to a low back injury. good way to "pop" those pars right off the spine. geesh...
 

gymnastbeth

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The only time we ever really use ankle weights in my gym is to do "gravity splits" for straddles. Laying on your back, legs in straddle, letting the gravity/weights pull down the split. I presume this is ok?

Although when I was really young, 5 or 6ish, my coaches had me do TONS with ankle weights. Leaps, leg lifts, whatever. I don't go to that gym anymore though. Now that I'm a lot older I have recurring hip flexor issues, I wonder if that could be the real reason why?
 

dunno

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The only time we ever really use ankle weights in my gym is to do "gravity splits" for straddles. Laying on your back, legs in straddle, letting the gravity/weights pull down the split. I presume this is ok?

Although when I was really young, 5 or 6ish, my coaches had me do TONS with ankle weights. Leaps, leg lifts, whatever. I don't go to that gym anymore though. Now that I'm a lot older I have recurring hip flexor issues, I wonder if that could be the real reason why?
yes, that is okay to do.:)
 

LemonLime

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Jul 16, 2007
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When my daughter was 7 years old, her teammate's kneecap broke in half while wearing ankle weights for running during top training. She was a Diamond athlete and retired from gymnastics. Legs and backs are not built for running with ankle weights. Resistance training is great, but running with ankle weights is not resistance training.
 

dunno

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i always love hearing from you ^^^:)
 
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