Free Shipping over $150 (view details)

0

Your Cart is Empty

May 26, 2020 6 min read

You may have seen ankle straps laying around in your gym, but have you ever considered the benefits they can bring to your lower body? Incorporating ankle straps in your workout routine is simple, bringing many benefits like more defined legs, hips, thighs, and glutes. 

If you’ve been looking for a new way to get tighter, toned legs and abs then the six exercises we prepared for you are a fantastic start. Using ankle straps helps you increase strength, size, and definition to essential parts of your lower body and core. All you need is a cable pulley and straps. 

It’s important to point out that form is essential, just like any other workout. You shouldn’t simply strap on ankle straps and start wielding their legs around. Not to worry though, you’ll find all the essential information below for getting the most out of your workout. 

What are Ankle Straps? 

As implied by the name, the ankle strap is a strap that wraps around your ankle on one side, and on the other side attaches to a cable machine. Typically, ankle straps come in pairs and allow you to do unilateral exercises, but you can also use single ankle straps for single-leg movements.

Using an ankle strap on a cable machine requires a fair amount of core strength for performing leg exercises. That’s very different from a seated machine exercise. The biggest difference is the need to maintain your head, neck, back, and hips in alignment.

If you have trouble or experience hypertension through your lower back, it might be a good idea to do a few core-strengthening exercises, such as crunches or bicycle kicks, then begin working through the exercises below. 

Top 6 Simple Ankle Strap Exercises 

Cable Lateral Lunges

Traditional lateral lunges are a great way to train your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. When you mix it up and switch to cables and add in ankle straps, you get an exercise thatliterally kicks ass. Doing cable lateral lunges helps you maintain control and actively contract your glutes, ensuring you don’t exert incorrect muscles. 

To perform the movement follow these steps: 

  • Find a free cable machine with an adjustable pulley/height option
  • Adjust the cable pulley by moving it to the lowest height available 
  • Attach an ankle strap around one of your ankles (let’s pick the left for now)
  • Hook the ankle strap to the carabiner attachment on the cable pulley 
  • Stand so that your right shoulder is facing the cable machine (the opposite leg you have the ankle strap on)
  • Take a wide step with your left leg, flexing your knee into a lunge
  • Repeat the process for each leg as many times as you’d like (suggestion: 20 lunges for each leg for 4 sets)


Standing Cable Leg Extensions

This may be a little complex at first, but it’s an awesome alternative for when all the leg extension machines are taken and you HAVE to get your quad pump in. This also works the VMO muscle (vastus medialis oblique) which is a part of your quad that supports knee function.

To perform the movement follow these steps: 

  • Find a free cable machine with an adjustable pulley/height option
  • Set the cable pulley/lever halfway up the cable machine 
  • Find an upright bench or something that will help you stabilize yourself (to prevent over-exertion) 
  • Place it about two feet away from the machine (or close to your stance position)
  • Attach the ankle strap to one of your legs (pick your favorite)
  • Walk to the starting position, facing the opposite way from the cable machine
  • Get into the starting position which is to have your feet together
  • Bend the leg that’s attached to the cable behind you, creating a 90-degree bend at the knee
  • Return your leg to starting position while contracting your quads and VMO
  • Try not to allow your foot to touch the ground as you perform the move
  • Perform all repetitions on one leg first, then switch to the other leg and repeat (suggestion: 20 repetitions per leg for 4 sets)


Standing Cable Hamstring Curl 

Next up, the exact opposite muscle group as the previous exercise, the cable hamstring curls will utilize ankle straps to condition your hamstrings. This exercise is a great transition from the Standing Cable Leg Extensions because your stance and movement will be the exact reverse of what you just did.

To perform the movement follow these steps: 

  • Find a free cable machine with an adjustable pulley/height option
  • Adjust the cable pulley by moving it to the lowest height available 
  • Stand facing the cable machine and select your desired weight
  • Attach an ankle strap around one of your ankles (let’s pick the left for now)
  • While standing, hold onto the supporting beam to for stabilization
  • Get into the starting position which is to have your feet together
  • Bend your left leg (that’s attached to the cable) behind you, creating a 90-degree bend at the knee (contracting your hamstring)
  • Perform all repetitions slowly and on one leg first, then switch to the other leg and repeat (suggestion: 20 repetitions per leg for 4 sets)


Cable Hip Abductors 

Giving some attention to your glutes and lateral quad muscles, the cable hip abductors are designed to shape and tone your backside. This exercise is another great way to really connect with the muscle you’re working — and you’ll feel it almost instantly. 

To perform the movement follow these steps: 

  • Find a free cable machine with an adjustable pulley/height option
  • Adjust the cable pulley by moving it to the lowest height available 
  • Attach the carabiner cable to your ankle strap and attach straps to one of your ankles
  • Your shoulder should face the machine while the outside leg is weighted 
  • Starting position is to have your feet together while holding the cable machine to stabilize yourself
  • Keeping your weighted leg straight, liftout to the side until you reach 45-degrees
  • Perform all repetitions slowly and on one leg first, then switch to the other leg and repeat (suggestion: 20 repetitions per leg for 4 sets


Cable Crunches

Switching things up to give your legs and glutes a short break, try cable crunches with ankle straps. The weighted crunches are a great exercise to get a good burn for tight and toned abs!

To perform the movement follow these steps: 

  • Find a free cable machine with an adjustable pulley/height option
  • Adjust the cable pulley by moving it to the lowest height available 
  • Attach the carabiner cable to your ankle straps and attach straps to ankles
  • Lie flat on the floor and keep your feet together (you can also do this on a flat bench, just adjust the pulley position
  • While your back is on the floor, move hands under your head and lift your legs from the ground (like a standard crunch) 
  • Bend your knees and perform the crunch, emphasizing the leg movement
  • Stretching the leg increases difficulty because of the weight of the cable pulley
  • Perform all repetitions slowly (suggestion: 20 repetitions per leg for 4 sets)

 
Lying Cable Hamstring Curls

Lastly and staying in the same area and similar position as the previous exercise (convenient, right?) cable hamstring curls provide an amazing mind-muscle connection. The biggest benefit in performing lying cable hamstring curls, versus the standing option, is that you use both legs at once for maximum hamstring definition. 

To perform the movement follow these steps: 

  • Find a free cable machine with an adjustable pulley/height option
  • Adjust the cable pulley by moving it to the lowest height available 
  • You can perform these flat on the ground (face down) or on a bench, just adjust the position of the pulley
  • Attach the carabiner cable to your ankle straps and attach straps to ankles (if you only have one strap, do single-leg curls)
  • Starting position is to have your legs straight out in (like a line from your head to your toes)
  • To contract, move your legs towards your glutes, hold, and slowly move back to starting position (suggestion: 20 repetitions per leg for 4 sets)

Conclusion

What do you think? The exercises above provide a good mix to get tighter, toned legs and tighter abs. By using ankle straps you increase strength, size, and definition to essential parts of your lower body and core.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Squat with Pauses
Top Squat Variations and Their Importance

September 22, 2020 7 min read

Read More
Sandbag use in MMA
Top Benefits of Fitness Sandbag Training

September 17, 2020 5 min read

Read More
Knee Wraps in Navy
Here’s Why You Need Knee Wraps

September 09, 2020 5 min read

Read More

Subscribe