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Like a lot of us during these last two years, I had to trade in weekly in-person sweat sessions for online classes in the comfort of my own home. While it was a bummer not being able to attend my favorite gym and yoga studio, I found it exciting to try out new workouts via YouTube and stock up my at-home gym equipment, which included a pair of Bala Bangles.
I think it’s fair to mention I have a background in personal training (and even received my barre certification as one of my quarantine bucket list items) so working out is something I enjoy. The pandemic served as a sort of a challenge for me to keep my fitness level up while even improving and strengthening my body in a new way. Pre-pandemic I had been taking regular HIIT and boxing classes in which I literally beat up my body for the past few years. So because I was working out in a smaller space with minimal equipment (and because my cortisol levels were already jacked up thanks to the world being on fire), I switched over to a more low-key and low-impact approach to my aging body, which included incorporating a lot more barre and dance cardio in lieu of punishing high-intensity workouts.
I have a pretty lanky body that doesn’t put on muscle easily. Strength training is important to me. Not only because of the benefits it brings to the body — like increasing metabolism, preventing injury, improving bone health — but, let’s be real, I want Jennifer Lopez arms. Back in 2019, I was a regular at a “pump” class where I would be lifting about 30 to 50 lbs. for an hour. It was only after an entire year that I was finally seeing some muscle definition, but that’s after lifting some heavy weight. When I received the Bala Bangles, which weigh 2 lbs. each, I thought, “Cute, but what are they going to do for me?”
And while it’s true that my seven-pound cat weighs more than the Bala Bangles combined, I soon discovered that it’s not really about how much they weigh it’s more about how the Bala Bangles are used that makes the most difference when it comes to toning and definition.
As the website suggested, I used the Bala Bangles on both my wrists and my ankles depending on the exercise when I needed a little extra kick of resistance training. For instance, my dance cardio workouts really ramped up when I started adding the Bala Bangles to my wrists. All of a sudden those “easy breezy” ballerina arm moves instantly became harder. No longer was I just flinging my arms around willy nilly. Oh, no. I could feel my shoulders burning in all the right ways as I constantly raised my arms up and down during the routines. They provided a nice dose of resistance strengthening, toning my arms as well as around my abs as I did certain movements. A few months later, I can see more shoulders and ab definition and I have a tiny bicep muscle that I’m sure will increase to J. Lo levels in no time.
Likewise when it came to seat work during my barre classes, strapping on the Bala Bangles to my ankles added that welcomed burn in my glutes (IYKYK) as I performed donkey kicks and hydrants. Suddenly all the moves that I thought were getting too easy for me became tougher and made it difficult to finish an entire set. As a result my “peach” has become fuller and perkier like a proper dancer’s body, which is exactly what I wanted (J. Lo is a dancer after all).
I’m not the only one who’s been satisfied with the results of my Bala Bangles — more than 1800 reviewers on their website have given them a 4.8 star rating.
“As someone who now consistently works out from home (my regular gym closed during Covid), my Bala bangles have helped me to change (at the very least, spice up) how I work out,” one reviewer wrote. “It’s crazy how the addition of 4-6 lbs. increases my heart rate and the overall resistance of my workouts.”
Another reviewer remarked on the sleekness of the Bala Bangles, which are both functional and fashionable, and come in a variety of different colors. “I think it’s important to invest in things that bring you joy. For me, these weren’t just functional and adding an extra little challenge to my workouts, but they are so pretty and fun and bring me joy while using them! Added bonus :).”
And we aren’t alone with fangirling over the Bala Bangles. According to Forbes Magazine, by the end of 2020, Bala grew by 10x within the year and collected $20 million in revenue.
Of course, those who are looking for more strengthening rather than toning might be interested in purchasing heavier dumbbells and kettlebells. Personally, I offset my light toning days with a day of heavier weight training. While they are pretty high in price for a light pair of weights (a pair of 1 lb. Bala Bangles cost $50 and a set of 2 lb. weights cost $65), I think they’re a great addition to low-impact workouts and will come in handy when we can travel again and can bring our home gym with us.