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How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Runner Exercise

This yoga-with-weights exercise is called the Runner because the starting position makes you look like a sprinter in the starting blocks and because you get the feeling of freedom and exhilaration that comes from running in an open field. The exercise strengthens your arm and belly muscles and develops your timing, rhythm, and coordination. The Runner also stretches out your hamstrings and works your legs.

Strap on your ankle weights and follow these steps:

  1. Start on all fours with your shoulders directly over your wrists and your hips directly over your knees.

    Spread your fingers wide for support.

    Make sure the inside creases of your elbows face each other. In other words, don’t turn your elbows out. If you’re limber, you run the risk of tearing a ligament if you turn your elbows out.

  2. Lean back, bringing your heels toward the ground as you draw your knees toward your belly and your buttocks toward your heels.

    This is the starting position. Your knees should be deeply bent. Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down for support.

  3. Exhaling to a count of four, straighten your left leg as you lift your right leg toward the ceiling.

    As best you can, keep both legs straight. Focus your eyes on your left knee and shin. Feel your spine stretching.

    Remove the ankle weights or wear lighter weights if lifting your leg up high proves too difficult.

  4. Inhaling to a count of four, lower your right leg and return to the starting position.

    Look forward as you squat.

Alternating legs, do this exercise six to eight times with each leg, pause to rest, and then do another six to eight reps with each leg.

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