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How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Chair Exercise

The Chair is a total-body yoga-with-weights strengthening exercise that particularly benefits your shoulders, arms, and legs and also exercises your buttocks, abs, and hamstrings. As you do it, press into the ground on all four corners of your feet as you raise and lower the weights.

You need hand weights for this exercise. When you’re ready, follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your feet below your hips, your toes pointing forward, and the weights held at your sides with your palms facing inward.

    This is the starting position. Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down for support.

  2. As you inhale to a count of four, sit on an imaginary seat, and slowly raise your arms above your shoulders until they align with your ears.

    Raise your arms in front of your body, keeping your palms inward. Imagine that a chair is behind you and you’re touching it with your buttocks.

    If your knees bother you, don’t crouch as far; take your tailbone down and pull your belly in more. You can also raise your arms only to shoulder height if you have trouble lifting the weights.

  3. As you exhale to a count of four, stand up and slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Be patient as you do this exercise — let the rhythm of your breathing lift you up and lower you down. As long as you focus on your breathing, you won’t throw the weights upward. Inflate your body as you breathe in, letting the intake of air raise your arms as if someone were blowing you up like a balloon.

Repeat this exercise six to eight times, pause to rest, and then do another six to eight repetitions.

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