Versatile (can be used as ankle or wrist weights)
Sleek, modern design
Uncomfortable to wear on wrists with a fitness tracker (like an Apple Watch)
Don't stay on during high-impact exercise (like dance or running)
We put Bala Bangles to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
Like a lot of people, my living room doubles as my gym. And while I love a good at-home workout as much as the next person, you definitely need the right equipment to get the job done. (With only two pairs of free weights to my name, I can only do so much.)
Variety is key to avoiding a workout plateau, so while on the hunt for new ways to mix things up at home, I discovered Bala Bangles—the trendy wrist and ankle weights you've probably seen all over your social feeds. Read on to see how Bala Bangles held up during yoga, yoga sculpt, spin, and strength training and see if they might be the workout accessory for you.
BEST FOR: Low-impact exercises
USES: Wrist weights, ankle weights
Weight Options: 1/2 lb, 1 lb, or 2 lbs
Size Range: One size fits all
Material: Silicone covering, adjustable velcro strap
ABOUT THE BRAND: Bala Bangles exploded in popularity after debuting on Shark Tank in early 2020. Today, the Bala brand also makes dumbbells, sliders, and a "Power Ring."
What Are Bala Bangles?
Bala’s chic weighted bangles (which can be worn as wrist or ankle weights) come in half-pound, one-pound, or two-pound sets in a variety of colors and patterns. Two pounds or less might not sound like much, but that extra weight actually adds significant resistance to any exercise, making your workouts all the more challenging (and the burn all the more intense).
The bangles are the brainchild of Bala’s founders, husband and wife duo Natalie Holloway and Max Kislevitz, who started the company to create stylish, functional fitness accessories to intensify your sweat session. The bangles, along with other popular Bala products like the Bala Bars ($55/pair) and Power Ring ($85), became popular on Instagram for their utility and minimalist, jewel-toned aesthetic.
How to Use Bala Bangles
Bala Bangles are the perfect way to add an edge to any physical activity, be it an intense workout or your weekly trip to the grocery store. I fastened them to my wrists to work my muscles extra hard during yoga, and wore them on my ankles under my pants to intensify my daily stroll outside. The bangles are small and light enough that you can discreetly throw them on during everyday activities, but make enough of a difference during exercise that your muscles will be feeling it.
The bangles pair best with lower-impact exercise, like yoga, barre, Pilates, strength training, or walking. Wearing them during high-impact activity like running or plyometrics can put unnecessary stress on your joints, leading to muscle imbalance, poor form, damage to your connective tissue, or even injury.
Luckily, the bands are easy to take on and off. If you’re taking a fitness class or doing an activity that includes both low- and high-impact movements, you can pick and choose when to use your bangles. And as always, check in with a doctor or health professional before you add Balas to your fitness routine.
The Design: Modern and effective
Holloway and Kislevitz founded Bala with style in mind, and the bangles are proof of that. The stainless steel weights are wrapped in skin-friendly silicone, available in trendy colors ranging from marble, to sage, to melon. The weights are attached to an elastic band that you fasten to your wrists or ankles using a thick, secure band of velcro. The stretchy, breathable band holds its shape and can custom fit bodies of all sizes. If you have particularly sensitive skin and you're concerned about having a reaction to the material (especially since heat and sweat are involved), you can securely fasten Bala Bangles over the cuffs of a long-sleeve shirt or your leggings.
The Feel: Comfortable, and a single pound packs a punch
As someone who subscribes to the no-jewelry-while-exercising rule we all learned in middle school gym class, I’m not used to wearing accessories while getting my sweat on. And while it did feel foreign to essentially wear heavy bracelets during my workout, the bangles were super comfortable. The elastic band is soft, smooth, and stretchy. It holds its shape around your wrists and ankles without stretching out, so I never had to adjust the fit. I thought my sweat would make for an uncomfortable wrist or ankle swamp, but that wasn’t the case—the bands were breathable and didn’t irritate my skin.
The long velcro band that fastens the bangles to your body is form-fitting and secure—the weights stayed firmly in place on my ankles through hour-long HIIT spin classes, yoga sculpt, and low-impact strength training. Though I would only recommend the bangles for lower-impact activities that don’t involve much jumping around. Byrdie editor Holly Rhue seconds this sentiment: "I love wearing my Bala Bangles for lightweight sculpt classes, Pilates, and strength training workouts; they feel very secure," she says. "But during higher-impact classes like dance cardio, I've found that the velcro does start to get a bit loose. I'll find myself wanting to readjust them (or I end up just taking them off altogether)."
The Workout: Using Bala Bangles during yoga, spin, and strength
I tested my Balas with four activities: yoga, yoga sculpt, spin, and strength training. Each workout was one hour long, and I wore the weights on my wrists for all workouts except spin, when I wore them on my ankles. During my yoga sculpt and strength training workouts, I paired the bangles with light dumbbells to add weight without overdoing it.
Who knew one pound could pack such a punch? It was a slow burn, but after the first 15 minutes of exercise, I could already feel the difference. The weights force your limbs to work just that much harder at all times, which over the course of an hour or so makes a big difference. I particularly noticed the change when I wore the bangles on my wrists; my biceps, shoulders, and even back muscles were more engaged to keep my arms moving normally.
I preferred adding the weights to my yoga and strength training routines—the slower, gentler nature of those workouts allowed the extra weight to settle into my muscles so I really felt the burn. The slower pacing also allowed me to focus on maintaining good form while adjusting to the extra weight, so I felt like my joints were protected and safe. Spin, on the other hand, was a mixed bag. With the added weight, my form sometimes felt out of control during the faster-paced HIIT sections of class. That said, wearing the bangles during the slower, resistance-heavy parts of class made spinning more challenging without impacting my form.
At the end of my workouts, my muscles felt more fatigued and stronger than usual. Despite that extra weight on my limbs, my joints and bones felt secure and strong throughout the exercise. After nearly a year of repeating similar at-home workouts, the Balas added a welcome new dimension to my fitness routine that was simple, accessible, and effective.
Besides workouts, I wore my Balas around my ankles while going about my day: taking walks, going up and down the stairs, and playing with my dog. The bangles added a subtle edge that didn’t make too big a difference in the moment, but made my muscles noticeably more tired by the end of the day and slowly strengthened my legs over the course of a few weeks.
If you’re looking for an easy and effective way to safely take your workouts to the next level, Bala Bangles may be the tool for you. The bangles are as sleek and pretty as promised, and are easy to wear, comfortable, and just the right amount of weight to challenge your muscles without compromising your joint health and mobility. The bangles are the perfect addition to lower-impact forms of exercise like yoga and strength training, though leave your Balas behind if you’re going for a run or notice your form changing while you wear them.
- Product Name Bangles
- Product Brand Bala
- Price $49
- Weight 1 lbs.
- Color Charcoal