Ankle weights?

Good Karma

Well-known member
I read an article about improving your foot speed, single or double bass pedals by using ankle weights.
The theory is, the faster you get with the weights on once you remove them you're even faster.
Has anyone ever used this method and does it actually improve your foot speed or is this just BS article?
My thinking......it would you hinder your mobility 🤔
Thanks for the feedback, I'm just curious
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
Gene Hoglan has been doing this for decades. While he's not.the fastest guy out there, he got the nickname "The Atomic Clock" for a reason. It's the same theory as putting weights on a bat to warm up before you're up to bat in baseball.
Give it a try and see if it works for you.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Been there, done that. Yes it helps. You can also hurt yourself with ankle weights. If your ankle weights rest on your foot/ankle, it can damage your ankles. The weight pushes down from gravity as your ankle moves up. The soft tissue in there doesnt like this. Make sure your weights strap securely to your calf, not rest on your ankles if you do this. I learned the hard way.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
It's like any form of exercise. The more resistance, the harder you have to work. The result is stronger muscle development. It ain't rocket science.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Seems to me that the pressure needed to puch down a small spring on a pedal would not be enhanced by work with ankle weights. It's like swinging a weighted bat before batting in baseball. After the first swing with a regular bat any felling from the heavy bat is gone. There is also evidence that using ankle weights can be harmful to your achilles tendon. Springs are not that strong.
 

Good Karma

Well-known member
Been there, done that. Yes it helps. You can also hurt yourself with ankle weights. If your ankle weights rest on your foot/ankle, it can damage your ankles. The weight pushes down from gravity as your ankle moves up. The soft tissue in there doesnt like this. Make sure your weights strap securely to your calf, not rest on your ankles if you do this. I learned the hard way.
Thanks for the tip
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Maybe it helps a certain kind of playing, idk. Lots of people get good at playing the bass drum by just practicing. To me there's a finesse thing to managing the physics of the bass drum pedal and your leg that is not just a matter of developing muscle.
It works pretty well for double bass heel up. As you lift with your ankle, it works your legs. Once you get into ankle, swivel, and heel toe it doesnt help. For slower leg stuff it helps. It's like walking vs walking with 25 pounds. Do it for a week then lose the weight, the walk becomes easier.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I tend to agree with Todd on this topic. While ankle weights might, used properly, render certain benefits related to strength and conditioning, their inclusion doesn't mimic real-world playing conditions. Regular practice would seem more beneficial to me. Strength alone isn't the catalyst of pedal excellence. Finesse and control are factors of equal import.

Note: I'm not a double-bass drummer. Maximum endurance has never been my aim on pedals.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Speed is way more muscle memory and control than strength. To play fast, you just have to keep going faster and faster while maintaining clarity. I can't see how weights will have any positive impact. I've read other places where drummers will play with fat, heavy sticks to get faster, but all I've ever felt with that is my regular sticks feeling awkward and the thicker ones causing me joint pain. Time and practice has made me way faster than "magic fixes".
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Maybe it helps a certain kind of playing, idk. Lots of people get good at playing the bass drum by just practicing. To me there's a finesse thing to managing the physics of the bass drum pedal and your leg that is not just a matter of developing muscle.
Pretty much this.

If you are newer and trying to building pure leg/calf strength there may be some benefit - but how your legs and feet move are just as much about technique as your hands - and strapping on weights changes everything about balance fulcrum and all movement to an extent. That doesn't develop fast twich muscles - which are much more useful for the finesse required to move a bass drum pedal in a non-stomp kind of way.

Maybe once a week for endurance sake - but certainly not daily.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Seems like using a sledge hammer to tack in a finishing nail. Hoglan always has on those big boots that must help distribute the weight and he use to be an unusually large fellow (so those weights not that much of an addition to his large mass). If I was wearing tennis shoes I think I'd hurt myself. I try to do more natural motion exercises-I remember agonizing with shin splints as a runner till I became more conscious of warming up my muscles and stretching my soft tissue-though inert they are temperature dependent and frequency/time dependent viscolelastic -so the tendon isn't just an inert connector from muscle to bone but acts like a spring at times and then is stiff at times such it enhances and conserves muscle activity motion-you get more bang from the buck biomechanically That's why the definition of a tendon in dictionary's are often screwy with "a stiff but flexible" or a "flexible and stif" LOL It's all dependent on time, etc. Maybe find a more natural means to build those core muscle groups without weights. I don't do weights anymore or suggest people use them-though I lifted for years. But I wouldn't be adverse to trying it to see what happens-modest weights and lots of reps might be great.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
Weights may be good for raising the initial speed and power, but creating more muscle spindle activation from the brain due to extra weight doesn't equate to repetitive muscle contraction speed.
practice makes speed.
Practice allows a smaller portion of your brain to allocate signals to the muscles and send a clearer signal for the binding and release of calcium.
 

Rhythm666

Well-known member
Got that tip from Gene Hoglan when i met him at a metal festival and i was working on my double bass speed back then. Worked for me back then.
 

GOOSE72

Well-known member
I will probably never attempt this, It was just something I read.

Listen man speed is the last thing anyone needs to worry about. I had a friend that used those and it damaged a nerve in his ankle and foot. Relax and play Easy like Sunday morning by my man Lionel Richie.
 
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