I’ll keep it honest up front: I’m no workout guru. But even I know Bala bangles are on most millennial women’s must-have list when it comes to functional yet chic workout gear. I like to give the long story short of my blog posts to you at the start, so here it is:
Bala bangles are absolutely the most attractive ankle weights (and wrist weights) I’ve seen on the market. What makes Bala stand out as a brand really is their design mixed with their function. That said, you can achieve the exact same function with other weights at a lower price. Will they be as cute? Nope. Will they work just as well? Absolutely.
If you want even more details about my experience using the Bala bangles, stay with me. We’ll dive into the pros, cons, usage, and more. Hopefully this blog post review helps you decide if Bala bangles are worth it – and if you’ll be adding to cart!
I am a recent graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and am now officially a certified holistic health coach. Being a health coach doesn’t mean I’m where I want to be with my own health. It just means I’ve studied how to get there – and how to help others get there.
I grew up as an athlete, dancing and playing soccer all throughout my childhood and high school. As soon as I hit college, that all stopped. I never kept up with any of my athletics and it was mostly my every day collegiate life that kept me relatively fit (lots of walking around campus!). As an adult working a corporate job – wellness went out the window. I spend most of my day in front of screens and little of it with natural movement. I also have a heavy penchant for, well, ALL food. My love of food knows no bounds.
I’m also not a gym person. I’m probably not really even a group workout person. I don’t find myself increasingly motivated by the presence of others or even by a live instructor. Because I don’t find much personal joy in working out, it’s more of a task I need to schedule rather than look forward to doing. After bouts with reformer pilates, SoulCycle, and more – I’ve truly found that home workouts are what work best for me. Home workouts allow me to squeeze my movement in wherever it makes the most sense for me.
I’ve attempted the SWEAT workout app in the past with little success. Transparently it was the burpees that got me. I hate jumping around. There was something about the jumping that made me absolutely miserable.
SWEAT recently announced their new Low Impact program. No, this isn’t an ad – I’m a real life paying customer. I’m currently on week 3 of this new program and have actually been (gasp) really consistent with it. I find the exercises not easy, but approachable. Despite the program being labeled as low impact, I haven’t found it to be a breeze. The program is challenging and does actually make you sweat – but without all the jumping around.
The other thing I love about the SWEAT app is I can do it anywhere, any time. Whenever I have the spare time on my calendar, I break out my essentials kit of all my workout gear and get to work. SWEAT doesn’t require the use of machinery or any uncommon supplies – typically all you need is a space to workout, a chair, and weights. I will admit this is where the Bala bangles come in handy because they’re portable and make training on the go much easier.
Obé is accessible via app or even occasionally on your smart TV. We have the Samsung Frame and I’m actually able to do my Obé workouts through our TV. Obé is different from SWEAT in that you don’t select from a specific program, but rather can attend various classes of all types either live or on demand. From cardio dance classes to sculpt classes, Obé has plenty of options to choose from.
Few Obé classes “require” weights the same way SWEAT does, but having ankle or wrist weighs on hand can help level up your workout. This is where having the one pound Bala bangles can absolutely come in handy, as they add just a tad extra challenge to things like dance or sculpt classes.
It’s absolutely my dance background, but I do love a good dance cardio style class. Dancing around can really get your heart rate up and burn calories! There are so many amazing FREE dance cardio videos on YouTube you can follow. YouTube is honestly such an amazing resource in general when it comes to home workouts because there are thousands upon thousands of videos – and none of the workouts come at a cost to you. I’m personally a really big fan of going down the search rabbit hole for dance cardio videos to some of my old 2000’s favorite songs, or maybe even a Disney themed dance cardio workout here and there.
You haven’t truly lived until you’ve workout out to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan.
Ankle and wrist weights again come in handy here to help level up a dance cardio workout. The Bala bands are easily strapped on to add a little extra challenge as you’re grooving away to musical hits.
Bala bangles are essentially ankle and wrist weights designed to inspire – not just perform. The Bala team didn’t want their weights to necessarily look like weights, but rather be designed in a way where the user felt they could wear them virtually anywhere. Bala bangles come in three different weight options: 0.5 pounds, 1 pound, and 2 pounds. The 1 pound option seems to be the most common and prices in at $49-$55 depending on the color. All Bala bangles are made with stainless steel wrapped in silicone, which makes for workout equipment that actually feels comfortable to wear.
If Bala sounds familiar – you may actually know the brand from Shark Tank! You can watch the Bala bangles Shark Tank episode here.
To me, the big pro of Bala bangles really is in their design. Bala is a luxury product in a typically no-so-luxury category. Most weighted bracelets don’t look like actual bracelets – they look like strapped on sand bags (usually because they are). Bala bangles are basically designed for that perfect social media photo. They’re honestly about as aesthetic as it gets.
I am a big believer in that your space can be a huge motivator or de-motivator. Honestly sometimes cute workout clothes or gear really can make you look forward to your workout – just like a cute office set up can make you feel at ease when working!.
The bangles Bala makes are definitely comfortable to wear. The elastic and velcro straps are easily adjustable to fit most body types and stay secure throughout the entire workout. If anything, I frequently have to remind myself not to strap them too tight – there’s no fear of them slipping off so there’s really no need to strap on too tight.
The bangles can easily be worn both as Bala ankle weights and Bala wrist weights. This versatility makes them honestly very easy to use and potentially worth the cost per wear – since you can wear them as both wrist and ankle weights.
The aesthetically pleasing design of the bangles also adds to their versatility. These aren’t ugly workout bracelets you’d only want to wear in the comfort of your own home – these are workout weights you could take to studio classes and feel good about wearing them. The Bala bangles even come in a little zip up travel bag to make them easy to store on the go.
The absolute primary con to the Bala bangles is simply the cost. Spending $50+ on ankle and wrist weights is steep. There’s really no way around this fact: the Bala bangles are overpriced for what they are. It’s incredibly possible to find ankle and wrist weights for 1/5th the cost of Bala. And the reality is that alternative weights will achieve the exact same functional effect: leveling up and adding challenge to your workout.
If you’re really just after a set of weights to get the job done – you do not need Bala bangles in your life. You can easily find functional weights available for a much lesser cost.
On the Bala website the bangles are currently only offered in three weight options (half pound, one pound, and two pounds). When perusing alternative weight options online you’ll find quite the range (3 pounds+). Bala’s limited weight range may make them less functional for some people. For example, if you’re a regular when it comes to working out and actually need more of a challenge, the three pound bangles may not be enough for you.
Unless you’re trying to strap two sets to both your wrists AND your ankles? Seems aggressive.
Honestly if you’re a relative beginner like myself, the current weight range Bala is working in is just fine. My Bala’s are the 1 pound weights option and while I was fairly skeptical at first about them adding enough challenge – they surprisingly do! It’s true I’m no athlete. But I definitely found adding an extra pound to each arm made my SWEAT app arm day just a tad more miserable. Like, in a good way.
I’m sure you can find a Bala bangles Amazon knock off – just like you can find many a knock off on Amazon. If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll know I’m VERY anti knock offs and my belief is that dupes shouldn’t look exactly like the item they’re inspired by (merely serve a similar function).
Yes, there are loads of other ankle and wrist weights on the market. No, none of them will look quite like the Bala bangles.
You can, of course, order your Bala bracelets directly from their website. If you’re simply hoping to support the brand, this option is great. If you’re after the best deal, I’d be taking another route…
You can find Bala bangles on the Nordstrom website here. Currently Nordstrom carries the bangles in six different colors. Personally I think Charcoal (like a jet black color) is the most versatile and durable (least likely to show wear) of all the shades.
One reason to keep an eye on the Nordstrom Bala page is because Nordstrom does have the occasional sale. Couple that with Nordstrom’s day in, day out free shipping – and shopping from Nordies is kind of a forever win.
The Bala bangles at Anthropologie currently come in seven colors. Anthropologie, like Nordstrom, does have the occasional sale to keep an eye out for. Anthropologie also may have colors Nordstrom doesn’t carry, as both the retailers will choose to stock colors they see being most popular with their clientele.
YES – I can confirm you can find Bala bangles on the pre-loved market! I actually bought my own Bala weighted wristbands on Poshmark for a mere fraction of the full price cost. We’re talking less than half the full retail price – and they’re in perfect condition and came with the little zip travel bag.
I’m a huge fan of shopping pre-loved in general. There is just so much waste every day on this planet, so giving items second life in homes with people that will actually use them is a practice we all should be preaching. Not only does buying second hand help save the planet, it helps save you money. Suddenly owning those fancy $50+ is a possibility that doesn’t have to come with shopping guilt – because you don’t have to pay the full price.
Worth is a tricky question to answer in general because every person will assign value to items in a different way. Those of us who are more practical and/or frugal might find the Bala bangles to be excessively overpriced. Those of us who just love the aesthetic and get joy from using them each work out will say absolutely the bangles are worth every penny.
To me – I’d only buy the Bala bangles on sale at Nordstrom or Anthropologie OR I’d buy them pre-loved on a site like Poshmark. I personally find spending multiple tens of dollars for weights cringe-worthy. But hey, that’s just me.
Besides the bangles that started it all, Bala makes a whole host of other workout gear.
I picked up some classic looking three pound dumbbells ages ago when I started the SWEAT app the first time. They’re pink and more attractive than the average set of weights – but like, they’re still dumbbells. They’re not particularly aesthetic.
Bala translated the exact same design aesthetic from their bangles into the dumbbell world with the Bala bars. The bars are currently sold in a three pound increment in a whole host of colors. Bala claims the bars are better than dumbbells not because of their look, but because their design is more balanced and ergonomic.
Bala bars are currently priced at $55+, so not too terribly far off from the bangles.
The Bala Power Ring is a 10 pound weight in the shape of, you guessed it, a ring. Bala claims this ring shape makes it ideal for 75+ movements (presses, holds, swings, etc). I could definitely see how gripping this ring shape would make it feel more natural to do, say, a Russian Twist.
The Bala Power Ring is currently priced at $85+. I’m not exactly well versed in the average cost of a 10 pound weight…but this seems like a lot to me. Although I’ve got to admit the design is intriguing.
The Bala Beam is a 15 pound weighted beam. This weigh is designed for movements like presses, curls, squats, and more. The Beam actually isn’t on sale yet, it’s currently on preorder for a whopping $99.
If you’re concerned about your weights getting a little icky with sweat, Bala does make a Fresh Gear Spray to keep your items clean. I typically choose to do a casual cleaning with soap and water rather than invest in a separate spray, but if you’re someone who travels a lot or is on the go this spray is incredibly convenient to use.
I’ve loved using my Bala bangles – especially since I snagged them at such a great price. Do you own the bangles or another Bala product? Let’s chat in the comments below.
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