(KUTV) Adding ankle weights to your exercise routine can have a variety of beneficial health effects such as improving balance by strengthening the ankles, toning the legs and the ability to burn more calories, says Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray.
Beck recommends that you complete the following routine twice a week in order to take advantage of all three benefits:
1) Snowboarder: Stand sideways with your left foot forward. Squat down as far as you can and touch the floor with your left hand. In one motion, jump in the air while switching direction so your right foot is now in front of you. Land softly, then squat down again and touch the ground with your right hand. Repeat this motion continuously until you do 5-10 reps per side. Complete 3 sets.
2) Jack Kicks: Stand with your feet together. Jump in the air and land with your feet greater than shoulder width apart. Jump again bringing your feet back together. Without bending your knee, raise your right leg out in front of you. Bring it back to the floor and repeat the jack. Then raise your left leg out in front of you. Complete 3 sets of 5-10 reps per leg in an alternating fashion.
3) Leg Extension Pulses: Sit in a chair or on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Extend your legs so your feet are now out in front of you keeping your legs straight. Return to starting position through the same arc and do 5 reps of these. On the fifth repetition, hold your legs straight out in front of you and pulse them up and down by engaging your hip flexors. Do 5 reps of these. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps total.