The Internet Made Me Buy It: I tried the viral weighted bangles spotted on everyone's Instagram feed
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I consider myself a fairly active person, and while cardio and HIIT may not be my favourite methods of moving, I do my best to stay active four to five days a week with a combination of yoga, pilates and ballet.
Before the onset of the current coronavirus pandemic, I’d mix up my fitness routine with a blend of in-studio and at home workouts, but for obvious reasons I’m sticking with online-only classes these days. It wasn’t until I signed up for a barre class online last fall that I realized I was missing out on some key equipment.
Fed up with using mismatched cans of soup instead of light handheld dumbbells, I began my search for one to two pound weights that I could use for high-rep exercises, which led me to Bala Bangles.
SHOP IT: Free People, $62 ($49 USD)
What are they
A chic upgrade to the standard set of fitness equipment, Bala Bangles are the modern alternative to bulky sand-filled weights. They feature weighted bars attached to an elastic band, which velcros into place on your wrists or ankles to use while performing pretty much any exercise you like. One of the biggest draws is that they come in a rainbow of fun colours, and also have the added benefit of adding weighted resistance to your every move.
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Once I spotted them online, I began getting ads for the brand and saw them in countless Instagram photos, which only helped cement their status at the top of my wish list. Too pretty to pass up yet a definite splurge in terms of their cost, I put them out of mind and told myself I’d only ever click “buy” if I found them on sale.
A post shared by Park Sisters (Joanna & Grace) (@exercisewithextrafries)
Finally, after stalking them for months online I found the Bala Bangles included in Indigo’s Wellness Event, saving me 20 per cent on my purchase, thus ensuring that I’d never have to go back to weightlifting with soup cans ever again.
I ordered the one-pound weights in Blush (like any good millennial would) and was happy to find that these weighted bands were just as stunning in person as they are online. It’s rare to find fitness equipment that genuinely looks good, and while it may not matter to some people, I’m a firm believer that if something is enjoyable to look at, there’s a much higher chance that I’ll actually end up using it.
The bands’ silicone exterior is super soft to the touch, and the elastic easily stretched to fit both my wrists and my ankles when I first tried them on. It did take a little trial and error to find the best placement, but once I arranged the weighted bars evenly and found the happy medium between too loose and too snug, I was ready to put them to use.
At just one pound each, I wasn’t sure that I would notice much of a difference in my workouts while wearing the Bala Bangles. Boy, was I wrong. Five minutes into a lower body routine, I was already feeling a burn that was way more intense than even the toughest instructors could inflict without them. My upper body also got a huge boost from wearing these bangles during a yoga flow, and I’m excited to keep them in my fitness routine to see if there are any results over time.
Like I mentioned, I’m usually not one to opt for a high intensity workout like running or boxing, but I wouldn’t recommend these bands for those kinds of workouts anyway. They do move around a little bit while they’re in use, and I could see that becoming a distraction while you’re trying to focus on your form.
That said, I’d wholly recommend adding the Bala Bangles to any lower-impact workouts, from hikes to yoga to pilates for an extra oomph that still leaves your hands free. They certainly live up to their near perfect 4.9 star rating, and are a great addition to any home gym, especially if you’re in a small space.
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