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How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Press Exercise

The Press is a yoga-with-weights exercise that borrows from weightlifting and from yoga. Your arms get the same workout you get from a bench press (without all the grunting you hear in a gym), and you get the benefits of a yogic leg raise. The exercise develops stamina and endurance, power, and strength; opens your groin; and stretches your hamstrings.

Grab your hand weights and ankle weights to do the Press. When you’re ready, follow these steps:

  1. Holding the hand weights, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet off the ground and your elbows bent and to the side of your shoulders.

    This is the starting position. Raise your forearms above your shoulders, and raise your legs above your hips. You look like an upside-down table. The bottoms of your feet should be perpendicular to the ceiling.

  2. Exhaling to a count of four, simultaneously lift your head, hands, and feet toward the ceiling.

    Imagine that you’re pushing a heavy object away from your body with your arms and legs. Engage your belly muscles as you lift.

  3. Inhaling to a count of four, return to the starting position.

    Keep your shoulders squared. Don’t drop the weights; gently lower them.

Repeat this exercise six to eight times, take a rest, and then do six to eight more repetitions.

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