How to use Bala bracelets, the popular celebrity workout accessory that took over Instagram
They’re all over TikTok, Instagram, and maybe on your friends’ wrists and ankles: Bala bracelets. They’re exactly what they look like, bracelets that look like a big, chic bracelet, so they don’t even look like a workout accessory. But they’re, in fact, just that … and very useful once you put them into action. If you’re wondering how to use Bala bracelets – which celebrities from Reese Witherspoon to Maria Sharapova have also gotten into – it’s actually pretty straightforward. You can simply wear them around the house throughout your day or incorporate them into your existing workout routine, whether it’s cardio, dancing, yoga, or your daily walk or run. And you can choose from one or two book versions. There is literally something for everyone here.
Married couple Natalie Holloway and Max Kislevitz came up with the idea for the versatile accessories in 2018 and shipped each pair themselves from their Los Angeles garage for two years. âWe were inspired to create Bala Bangles initially because we wanted a way to really control the intensity of the workout,â Holloway told TZR in an email. “We realized that extra resistance could do this and we knew wrist and ankle weights existed, but for some reason they weren’t as popular as they were in the 80s. . ” She said they knew they had to redesign them for the modern world. âSo we sketched the idea out on a napkin right away,â she says. âWe immediately realized there was a huge gap in the market and got to work! “
After an appearance on Shark aquarium in February 2020, the rest is, as they say, history. Seemingly overnight, bracelets became social media gold, adopted and photographed by celebrities and influencers. âI am amazed at the popularity on a daily basis – I still can’t believe it,â Holloway says. âAt first we would say, ‘If only we could sell 10 pairs of Bala bracelets a day! Flash forward three years and we are approaching our millionth pair.
Perhaps the key to the success of Bala Bangles lies in their ease of use as well as their ability to double as a chic accessory. Flo elkins of FLO Life Fitness, based in Los Angeles, says they’re more convenient and less distracting than the light dumbbells that are often used during exercise. âBala bracelets can be used to add extra resistance to many workouts and for functional training of the elderly,â she told TZR in an email. âWhen you add them to strength training, they can be beneficial because you don’t have to hold the weights themselves. Additionally, their mild nature can add additional burn to slow exercise, high intensity exercise, and / or isometric exercise.
Want more advice on how to use these bracelets wisely so their purpose serves beyond Instagram? Coming up, some pro tips on how to incorporate Bala bracelets into your regular fitness routine.
Bala bracelets for walking, running and all the rest
Daily exercise, from walking to yoga
Bala bracelets serve as an add-on to most workouts, Holloway explains. âPersonally, I like them for my daily walks with my dogs,â she says. âAnother idea is to add them to a yoga class – you don’t have to wear them the entire class and can put them on and take them off, depending on your comfort level, but just adding this book will do a difference in your flow. âTo add sweat to your daily run or hike, wear the bracelets around your ankles to create some friction.
Karisa Karmali, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Self-love and fitness, claims that Bala bracelets are fantastic for all fitness levels, especially for adding challenge to bodyweight-based movements, such as arm circles. âI would make sure that the amount of weight selected (whether it’s one or two pounds) is heavy enough to challenge you,â she told TZR in an email. But she cautions that adding even subtle weights on top of any workout can add up quickly, so you can start with a whole pound first.
After you add the Bala bracelets to your wrists, she says to stand up straight with your arms outstretched to either side, parallel to the floor. Then move both arms in circles of five to 10 inches. In terms of reps, it depends on the person and the fitness level, but starting with 15 reps is a good challenge, she explains.
Front shoulder elevation
When you have Bala bracelets on your wrists, Elkins suggests incorporating them into the front shoulder raises. âStand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides,â she says. âThen raise your outstretched arms to shoulder height in front of you, palms facing down to the floor. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Side shoulder elevations
For another shoulder workout, you can try side shoulder raises with the bracelets on your wrists, Elkins says. âStand with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your arms from the sides of your body to shoulder height with your palms facing the floor,â she explains. “Repeat 10 to 15 times.”
Hanging arm presses
For the above-arm presses, once you have the Bala bracelets on your wrists, bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle with the palms facing forward and the hands facing the ceiling, Elkins explains. âRaise your arms above your head, then bring them back to the starting position,â she says. “Repeat 10 times.”
A fairly easy way to incorporate Bala bracelets into a leg workout is to use fire hydrant lifts, Elkins explains. With the bracelets on your ankles, “start [in a tabletop position] on the hands and knees with a neutral head, âshe explains. âThen lift one leg bent to the side. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
For another ankle workout, Karmali says adding Bala Bangles to V-ups is good workout. You do this by lying on your back and extending your arms behind your head. (Make sure to keep your feet together and toes pointed.) Keeping your legs straight, lift them up while lifting your upper body off the floor, creating a V-shape with your body. (Keep your core tight while reaching your toes with your hands.) Next, slowly lower your upper body and legs down to the starting point. âV-ups need to be slow and steady, so two sets of six with decent form is a good place to start,â she says. “And if a full V-up doesn’t work for you, it’s possible to lift your legs lower and do a half-V-up.”
When using the ankle bracelets, glute bounces are another optimal exercise to do, Elkins explains. “Start [in a tabletop position] on the hands and knees with a neutral head, âshe said. âThen kick your leg straight back, parallel to the floor, and focus on contracting your glutes with each rep. (You can also bend your leg toward the ceiling at a 90 degree angle and push the leg continuously toward the ceiling.) Repeat 15 times [before switching to the other leg]. “
For one-legged deadlifts, with the bracelets on your ankles, start with your feet a little less shoulder-width apart, Elkins says. “Lean forward at your waist and lift one leg behind you, âshe adds. âThen extend the same arm towards the ground like a pendulum. Make sure your back remains flat and parallel to the floor, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Ready to put these moves into action? Shop for the Bala bracelets below, along with the brand’s other famous IG fitness products.
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of the sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.