Ankle weighting effect on gait in able-bodied adults

H. B. Skinner, R. L. Barrack

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53 Scopus citations


Energy expenditure during ambulation was measured in 10 able-bodied subjects wearing symmetrically and asymmetrically added ankle weights. When a 1.82-kg weight was added to one ankle and then both ankles, baseline oxygen consumption per unit distance (0.148 ± 0.025 mL O2/kg/m) increased significantly by 7.4% (0.159 ± 0.025mL O2/kg/m) and 17.6% (0.174 ± 0.027mL O2/kg/m), respectively. The rate of oxygen consumption rose by 6.3% to 11.28 ± 1.57mL O2/kg/min and by 14.2% to 12.12 ± 1.75mL O2/kg/min, respectively, but only the latter increase was significant. When gait was analyzed using the same weight-addition protocol, velocity, cadence, stride length, gait cycle, and double-limb support time showed no change. However, asymmetric weighting decreased single-limb support time, increased the swing phase, and decreased the stance phase of gait in the weighted limb. The unweighted leg was conversely affected. Symmetric ankle weighting caused a significantly increase in single-limb support time for both extremities, consistent with previous data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-115
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990


  • Ankle
  • Energy expenditure
  • Gait
  • Oxygen consumption


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