When the MonkeyFeet first came out, they were groundbreaking and quite simply the best product on the market when it came to hip flexor/hamstring training.
Nowadays, there’s several other superior products that do a far better job, so much so that I’m no longer recommending MonkeyFeet at all.
In this article we’ll take a look at several of the superior products in the category as well as a few dirt cheap alternatives.
The Tri-Flexor from Freak Athlete Essentials is what I consider to be a far better version of the MonkeyFeet – and I’ve personally tested both products.
Think of the Tri-Flexor as a combination between a tib bar and the MonkeyFeet.
You can not only do knee raises (hip flexors) as well as leg curls, but you can also do several different variations of the tibialis raise using this device.
It’s waaay more comfortable to use in my opinion and is far more varsatile.
I’d strongly recommend checking out my full Tri-flexor review to see this thing in action and to get a sweet discount!
USE DISCOUNT CODE “A1ATHLETE” TO SAVE 10% AT CHECKOUT.
2. Solo Tib Bar 2.0
The next best MonkeyFeet alternative is the latest Solo Tib Bar from TheTibBarGuy.
This thing is very similar to both the Tri-Flexor and the MonkeyFeet.
It has a clamp on the bottom which allows you to pick dumbbells up using your feet, in exactly the same way the MonkeyFeet does.
The padding on this tool makes it a far more comfortable ride than the MonkeyFeet, so it’s well worth looking into if you were considering the MonkeyFeet.
USE DISCOUNT CODE “A1ATHLETE” TO SAVE 10% AT CHECKOUT.
Both of the above products are fairly expensive, but the Omnistrap is a really affordable MonkeyFeet alternative worth looking at…
Essentially it’s just a strap that attachs a dumbbell to the bottom of your shoe.
These things are way more affordable than the MonkeyFeet at less than half the price, and performs the exact same function.
By simply using a piece of rope and a little ingenuity, it’s possible to create a very rudimentary version of the Omnistrap.
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!
While this is a super cheap, novel solution, I think you’d be far better off just spending the $30 to get yourself an Omnistrap!
5. Mini Band
You can also strap a dumbbell to your shoe fairly well by using a resistance band, namely a mini band.
Again this works in exactly the same way the Omnistrap does.
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get a dumbbell onto your foot as it requires no tying or cinching.
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.
Definitely a little more finnicky, but might be worthwhile if you didn’t want to go for the Omnistrap.
7. 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.
I recommend the Mr. 1NF1N1TY X Shogun Nordic Strap which is easily the best Nordic strap on the market.
If you use discount code “A1ATHLETE” you’ll get 10% off too!
8. Ankle Weights
Ankle weights are actually my least favorite solution to the MonkeyFeet connundrum.
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.
What’s The Verdict?
While the MonkeyFeet was a cool product when it first came out, I don’t think it’s worth the investment anymore.
There’s simply too many other great options on the market, like the Tri-Flexor or the Omnistrap.
I think you’d be crazy to buy a MonkeyFeet nowadays knowing about the alternatives we’ve discussed above!