How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Lightning Bolt Exercise

The Lightning Bolt is an energy pose that gives your body the get-up-and-go it needs for a strengthening yoga-with-weights workout. It strengthens your legs; it develops range of motion in your shoulders, hips, and pelvic girdle; and it helps you develop balancing skills. Get ready to feel a surge of energy as you do this exercise.

Pick up your hand weights and follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your legs below your hips, holding the weights above your head with your arms straight and the palms of your hands facing one another.

    This is the starting position.

  2. Exhaling to a count of four, bend your knees and squat as you lower the weights to the floor in front of you.

    As you bring your arms down, keep them straight, and make sure your hands remain facing each other when the weights reach the floor. Your gaze should follow the movement of your body. Look down as you squat, following the weights with your eyes. Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down as you squat for support.

    Be careful not to lean too far forward with your knees; sit down into the squatting position.

    Squat halfway if you’re not ready to go all the way down. If you feel any stiffness in your shoulders, you can take your arms only halfway down as well.

  3. Inhaling to a count of four, push through your feet and rise to the starting position.

    Rise slowly and make sure your palms continue to face one another. Concentrate on pushing the ground away from your body, and look up with the weights as you rise.

Be patient. Don’t “fall down” as you squat or “jump up” when you rise. Control the rise and fall of the weights, and focus on your breathing.

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

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