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The Simplest Way To Rocket Past a Workout Plateau? Add Bala Bangles

Saanya Ali

Art: W+G Creative
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Even if you’re one of 60 percent of Americans who think the pandemic has rendered gyms irrelevant, your at-home workout setup might be starting to feel pretty limiting after a year-plus of regular use. And what’s more, if you’ve been in a committed relationship with a single piece of exercise equipment or streaming fitness service, your strength gains could be seeing diminishing returns. “If you’ve been on the same plan or routine for roughly six months or more, it’s probably time to change things up,” Blink Fitness program manager Phil Timmons previously told Well+Good about hitting a fitness plateau. One easy way to do that, says personal trainer Danny Saltos, NASM, is to add wrist and ankle weights to your fave workouts.

Bala Bangles ($49) are one-pound weights that can be worn around your limbs to level up a bodyweight workout or to add a comfortable level of resistance to your day-to-day routines (because yes, walking the dog can be a workout, too). “Bala is designed to be additive to a workout that is already exhausting. These [weights] are going to make it incrementally harder,” Bala co-founder Max Kislevitz said while pitching the bangles on Shark Tank in 2020.

Bala Bangles

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Saltos says light wrist and ankle weights like Bala pair best with lower impact workouts such as yoga, Pilates, walking, or bodyweight circuits. “Like with most things in life, [Bala Bangles] are best when used in moderation,” explains Saltos. “Do not use Bangles for long walks or for an entire workout because they can place strain on ligaments, joints, and muscles, and using them too often could lead to muscular imbalances.”

Bala Bangles also score high points in the convenience category. “They allow you to target large muscles like the glutes, quads, or hamstrings without the use of clunky dumbbells or large gym equipment,” Saltos says. “I really enjoy using Bangles when traveling or for finisher sets, which typically use lighter weights for higher repetitions.”

Below, Saltos shares his 4 favorite exercises for incorporating Bala Bangles into your workout

1. High plank shoulder press

  • Start in a high plank position with the Bala Bangle on your right wrist.
  • Bring your right arm up, bending at the elbow like you’re doing a row, then punch it forward.
  • Return your arm back to starting position.
  • Repeat for 12 reps per arm for three sets.

2. Side-lying leg lift

  • Start by lying on your right side with your legs extended out straight and stacked one on top of the other.
  • Wearing a Bala Bangle on your left ankle, lift your leg straight up until you feel your muscles flex in your lower back.
  • Lower your leg back down to the starting position in a controlled fashion.
  • Repeat for 12 reps per leg for three sets.

3. Standing shoulder press

  • Stand upright with your back straight.
  • With a Bala Bangle on each wrist, press your arms above your head in a controlled motion until they are fully extended.
  • Pause at the top of the motion when your biceps are by your ears.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 12 reps for three sets.

4. Fire hydrants

  • Set yourself up on all fours with your wrists directly underneath your shoulders, your knees underneath your hips, and your core engaged.
  • Lift your left leg with a Bala Bangle around the ankle away from your body while squeezing your glutes and keeping your knee at a 90-degree angle.
  • Lower your leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 12 reps per leg for three sets.

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