I Tried Bala Bangles, the Internet’s Favorite Weights—Here Are My Honest Thoughts
Sometimes your workout just needs a little hands-free extra resistance. These weighted bracelets deliver in one- and two-pound increments.
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As a seasoned writer and editor in health and fitness, I’ve tried a ton of products over the years. There are plenty I’ve been impressed with, but many more that have ended up collecting dust in the garage until I’ve found a friend or charity to donate them to. So when I kept seeing internet famous Bala Bangles while reviewing the best gear for working out in small spaces, I knew I had to give them a whirl.
What are Bala Bangles?
Bala Bangles are weighted bracelets that can be worn on your wrists or ankles to add resistance to your workouts, walks, or household chores. They come in a set of two, with each bangle weighing one pound or two, depending on which variety you buy.
Bala Bangles have adjustable hook-and-loop closures to ensure a great fit that won’t compromise your movements. And, they have an updated and minimalist aesthetic that looks modern—these aren’t your grandma’s bulky ankle weights. I got mine in muted pink.
How We Tested It
I put my Bala Bangles through a variety of tests to see how they’d do under varying circumstances. I went for walks (first with them on my wrists, then on my ankles), used them during yoga, danced around the house to ’80s rap, and even did a little shadow boxing while donning my pretty pink set. Heck, I even wore them while folding laundry and vacuuming. Here’s how they fared:
Functionality: The Bala Bangles are incredibly easy to slip on and off at the beginning and end of your workouts, but also mid-workout if you’d suddenly like to add them in or remove them. There’s no down time, as it takes roughly two seconds to fasten or unfasten each one. Also, it’s really nice to have a hands-free option for adding weights, so that they don’t impede your range of motion or prevent you from using your hands like regular dumbbells will.
Comfort: I was initially concerned that they might irritate my sensitive skin or feel scratchy, but that wasn’t the case at all on my wrists. My ankles, however, were a bit less forgiving, sometimes rubbing in a way that forced me to stop and adjust them. They also left marks behind that took a little while to dissipate. As such, I wouldn’t recommend pairing them with bike shorts, and found them to be most comfortable when placed over everyday leggings.
Resistance: It’s amazing how adding a single pound to your arms or legs can really amp up the intensity of any movement. I noticed a slight increase in heart rate and felt a bit sore after the first few uses (as compared to doing strictly body-weight workouts).
Style: My take? OK: they aren’t exactly the cutest option on the market. Other brands truly look like bracelets you could pair with a brunch outfit or while running errands without getting strange looks. The Bala Bangles, however, definitely look like workout equipment wrapped around your wrists.
Hygiene: Yes, as you get sweaty, so will your Bala Bangles. Since submerging them in water is not recommended because it can ruin the elastic and hook and eye closure, I simply used a damp cloth with a natural cleaner. Good as new.
Bala Bangles Features
Jill Schildhouse for The Healthy
Bala Bangles are made of recycled steel that’s wrapped in soft silicone for comfort against your skin, and the ends have an elastic hook and loop fastener, so you get the perfect fit every time you use them.
They come in a variety of colors to match any workout attire, including charcoal, blush, sand, sea, sage, heather, shine, and even a pride rainbow. Each set comes with a color-matched storage/carrying case.
What we liked about Bala Bangles:
- Great for ramping up yoga, aerobics, boxing, walking, hiking, HIIT, Pilates, Barre, rebounding, and household chores
- Choice of one- or two-pound sets
- Easy to put on and remove
- Free shipping in the contiguous U.S.
What to consider about Bala Bangles:
- While they are sweat proof, they aren’t waterproof (don’t wear them swimming)
- Somewhat pricey, starting at $42 depending on the color and your choice between the one- or two-pound version.
What Other Reviewers Had to Say
At the time of this publication, Bala Bangles had more than 4,000 reviews on Amazon, with 90 percent of those rating the product at four stars or higher.
Verified purchaser LoveBug said, “It’s not often that I purchase exercise equipment and still use it after a couple of months; but this is one that I am happily using! I saw this on Shark Tank and took a chance on it.”
If you’re into Pilates and barre workouts, Lorraine S. said they’re the perfect accompaniment: “These weights are great for barre and Pilates classes. Easy to put on and off and just the right amount of weight.”
Denise Raider disagrees with my sentiments about the lackluster style: “They are the perfect addition to my workout and to my lifestyle. Just wearing them makes me feel like I am doing something rather than nothing. A bonus is that they are super stylish and they fit well!”
The Healthy @Reader’s Digest‘s eCommerce Deputy Editor has a pair of two-pound Bala Bangles. Megan Wood says, “I wear these around my ankles for easy added resistance while I walk the dog and definitely notice a difference in leg fatigue. They’re comfier over leggings than directly on the skin, especially in the bulkier two-pound version.”
Bala Bangles are one of those Shark Tank Products worth your money. You can use them just about anywhere, including while using a weighted hula hoop, to the grocery store, or while mopping your floors. They add just the right amount of extra oomph to workouts and chores—you’ll notice the additional exertion, but certainly won’t be begging for mercy. Think of this as a little gentle resistance and for a greater feeling of accomplishment to your activity.
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