It is straightforward that wrist weights offer some benefits but a question is whether they are enough to tone your arms and build muscle in other areas.
Toning your arms comes down to losing enough body fat and making your arm muscles stand out a bit more. Wrist weights do work to a small extent for the first part. In terms of actually building muscle, there are conditions.
Whether wrist weights will help you build muscle or not depends on your current strength, the exercise you do, and how heavy your wrist weights are.
If you can do an arm movement more than about 30 times in a row without your muscles fatiguing while wearing wrist weights, you will barely build any muscle.
That means walking with wrist weights can help you improve arm muscle endurance but you won’t really see any growth and strength increases if you can walk more than a few minutes with them.
On the other hand, resistance training wrist weight exercises with enough weight can many individuals build a nice amount of arm muscle mass and in turn, tone their arms.
In short, wrist weights can help you tone your arms if they are the right weight and in combination with the right repetitions, sets, nutrition, and rest.
Do wrist weights build muscle?
To really grow and strengthen muscles you have to put them under enough pressure. This starts a variety of internal processes that can make them stronger in the long term.
As a general rule, if you can do a movement more than 30 times in a row without your muscles fatiguing, it will not be challenging enough for the goals above.
So while wrist weights do cause changes, these changes do not always include building muscle. Whether wrist weights build muscle depends on things like your strength level, the weight you use, your nutrition, and your rest.
Some of the benefits of wrist weights include that they come in different weights and can be used in different movements.
Resistance training beginners who use heavier models for exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises, etc. could build a nice amount of muscle with wrist weights.
Keep in mind that as you get stronger, you have to increase the weights you use to keep seeing progress. Good adjustable wrist weights can be helpful if you plan to do a lot of different exercises and plan to progress a lot.
What muscles do wrist weights focus on
Even if you get the muscle growth part of toning your arms by doing things like wearing wrist weights while walking, engaging your muscles more can still offer valuable benefits.
More specifically, keeping muscles active can help with flexibility, slow down the process of becoming worse, and improve endurance.
Wearing wrist weights will mostly engage your biceps (front upper arm), triceps (back upper arm), deltoids (main shoulder muscle), and scapular muscles including the trapezius (muscles around your shoulder blades) more.
You can also work some of these muscles specifically with certain exercises. For example, bicep curls work your biceps. Shoulder presses work your deltoids, triceps, and trapezius.
Similar to resistance training exercises you want to keep increasing the challenge of your wrist weight workouts and sessions as you get fitter.
If you can wear wrist weights all day without any issues, you likely want to give actual resistance training exercises and more challenging cardiovascular workouts a try to a safe extent to get extra health benefits.
Do wrist weights help you burn fat
The second part of toning your arms is losing enough body fat around this area. Something to note first is that you generally can not focus fat loss on a specific area.
Secondly, to lose body fat overall, you have to make it so your body requires more energy than is coming in from food. By doing this, your body starts using up energy stores like body fat to make up for the difference.
One way to get closer to this situation is moving your body more intensely than your regular daily activities for longer periods of time. Generally speaking, intense activities require more energy.
Wearing wrist weights makes it so your body burns just a few calories more than usual. That means you can consider them to help you burn fat. Potentially around your arms if that area is next.
However, you want to keep in mind that wrist weights are no miracle tool. To see a lot of fat loss progress you also want to implement other positive changes, potentially in lifestyle areas besides exercise.