Not everyone is going to be able to afford to ball out on a pair of MonkeyFeet, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the benefits of this unique training stimulus.
Shipping costed me a fortune since I’m outside the US, so it’s understandable to be looking for some cheaper alternatives.
Or perhaps you own a pair of MonkeyFeet but are travelling and simply don’t have access to them…
In this article we’re going to take a look at the 6 most practical and affordable MonkeyFeet alternatives, so you can train those hip flexors and hamstrings in virtually the same manner.
None of these alternatives are anywhere near as effective as the MonkeyFeet, so be sure to check out my detailed review to see if I can convince you to make the purchase anyway!
Also note that I have a 10% discount (code can be found in the above review article) if that softens the financial blow a little!
By simply using a piece of rope and a little ingenuity, it’s possible to create a very rudimentary yet elegant MonkeyFeet alternative.
Huge shout out to Andres Rodriguez (@andrestrains) for coming up with such a clean solution.
Concerns Over Effectiveness With Heavier Weights
While this approach likely works fairly well if you’re using relatively light weight, I’d be concerned with how well it holds together when a longer dumbbell is being used.
The extra weight as well as motion from movement may eventually cause the knot to come loose or completely undone which could potentially be quite dangerous mid set.
Still, if you’re only planning on using relatively light weight, this might be a viable alternative for you to try!
Needs Some Planning Ahead
Unfortunately if you’re just looking around at home or at the gym for a MonkeyFeet alternative, chances are you won’t stumble upon a piece of rope the perfect length or thickness.
You’d probably need to get a piece of rope from a hardware store ahead of time.
The best thing about the rope method is that it’s extremely portable. Carrying a tiny piece of rope around in your gym bag is going to be far more practical than carrying around some MonkeyFeet, that’s for sure!
2. Mini Band
You can also strap a dumbbell to your shoe fairly well by using a resistance band, namely a mini band.
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get a dumbbell onto your foot as it requires no tying or cinching and is probably the most effective method on this list!
You can grab a set of the Perform Better mini bands used in the demonstration here.
These minibands only work really well for lighter loads of around ~15lbs.
If you’d like to use heavier weights, you’ll have to get a slightly thicker mini band. Below is a demonstration using 40lbs.
In order to support this much weight, go for one of the green Rogue Shorty Monster Bands which will support up to 40lbs quite nicely as demonstrated above.
I’m a pretty big fan of this particular alternative because of how easy it is to use the bands.
You should be able to move more than enough weight with this method.
The weight stays remarkably flush to the bottom of your foot using this method, but with particularly heavy weights you could expect a slight bouncing effect as you move the weight.
Perhaps a more reliable alternative to the rope is to use a regular trousers belt.
This should be virtually impossible to come undone once it’s cinched.
I actually think this is one of the better options on this list!
4. Nordic Strap
Another very simple option is to use a strap to secure the dumbbell to your foot.
This is a decent option if you’ve got a quality strap that’ll actually secure the dumbbell without coming loose.
If you use discount code “JUMPSTRONGER” you’ll get 10% off too!
5. Ankle Weights
Ankle weights are actually my least favorite solution to the MonkeyFeet problem.
I’ve tried these exercises before and they simply do not work amazingly well.
In my experience, the weight would slip and slide up and down my ankle, even when fastened as much as possible.
If you were to do very slow and controlled reps, I’m sure this type of hip flexor exercise would be fine, but if you’re intending on driving that leg up with any degree of force, it will be very awkward.
If you’re going to do any sort of leg curl, you can also expect the ankle weights to slide around quite a bit and it’s a really yucky feeling!
It’s one of the worst workouts you can have, but likely better than nothing so if you’ve got some ankle weights, give it a go and see how it feels.
6. Tri-Flexor – Better Than MonkeyFeet!
Although the MonkeyFeet works great, there’s a new product in town which I believe is far superior, the Tri-Flexor by Freak Athlete Essentials.
The Tri-Flexor is a combination between a MonkeyFeet and a single leg tib bar…
However it can do a lot more than the MonkeyFeet and it’s the same price.
If you’re ever going to invest in a piece of equipment for ATG/knees over toes training, be sure to check out my full Tri-Flexor review so you can get yourself 10% off!
What’s The Verdict?
At the end of the day, if you’re only doing MonkeyFeet style workouts every once in a while, any of these alternatives will probably do the trick reasonably well.
My favorite cheap MonkeyFeet alternative by far is to get one of the 65lb resistance Rogue mini bands for $15 and use that to secure dumbbells to your feet.
It’s the quickest and easiest way by far and is possibly even easier than using MonkeyFeet!
If you’re doing regular hip flexor accessory work (1-2 times a week or more) or want to use this approach to train hamstrings, I’d strongly recommend just biting the bullet and getting a pair of MonkeyFeet or a Tri-Flexor.
They’re worth it from a convenience aspect alone if you’re doing plenty of knees over toes/ATG type training.
Plus you can save 10% using my link above.
If you’re super strong and want to move some serious weight, it’s probably going to be the best option by far.