The quickest way to turn any move into an ab workout is to engage your core—this much we know to be true. But the quickest way to do the same thing for your arms and legs, sans dumbbells? Add a set of wearable weights.
While the term “wearable weights” may have you thinking of a ’90s infomercial starring Richard Simmons, hear me out. Strapping some extra pounds to your forearms and ankles is the most no-brainer way to up the ante on everything you do… whether you’re using them in the gym or simply while sitting at your desk. “In addition to being discreet, the added light resistance burns an additional 25 to 30 percent on your current level of activities,” says Vicky Waterman, founder of Wearable Weights, a brand that makes seamless-looking wraps that add weight without any bulk. “Most weights are placed in the hands or lay on the joints, which isn’t the safest option, but with these, the weights are equally and proportionally distributed across the entire arm or leg.” So unlike with dumbbells, having these wrap-around weights are meant to provide your muscles an even burn throughout the targeted area without having to change positions or exercises (like you would when holding actual weights).
The products available through Wearable Weights ($129) come in three sizes (S/M, M/L, L/XL), and hold one and a half pounds each. They slide onto your arms like a pair of fingerless opera gloves (or ankles, à la footless compression socks), and tighten with velcro so that they don’t budge during your workout. They’re heavy enough so that you feel the difference, but not so heavy that it makes doing your usual activities impossible. Put them on during yoga to add some oomph to your Warrior I, during a run to really get those arms and legs pumping, or at the beginning of spin class to make every tap-back-clap-combo into a bicep burner. Or, for a real no-effort-at-all arm and leg workout, wear them for a walk around the block—you’ll be amazed at how quickly they light your muscles up.
For an easy way to integrate wearable weights into your routine, try this plyometric HIIT series, which will work your entire body and get your heart pumping: