How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Side Bow Exercise

The Side Bow is an excellent yoga-with-weights exercise for people with unstable hips and pelvises — especially women — because it loosens and relaxes the front of your body, your hips, and your pelvis and stabilizes and strengthens those areas as well. The exercise also stretches your spine and works your quadriceps, buttocks, and abdominal muscles.

Strap on your ankle weights and follow these steps:

  1. Lie on your right side with your legs extended, resting on your right forearm for support.

  2. Bend your left knee to a 45-degree angle, with your foot behind your buttocks.

    This is the starting position. Keep your hips squared; don’t shrug your shoulders or let your upper shoulder roll forward. Make sure your right hand stays on the floor for support.

  3. Exhaling to a count of four, press your left foot away from your body in a slow-motion donkey kick.

    Push backward as hard as you can with your thigh and hip, not your knee. Feel your leg muscles working as you move.

    If you have too much trouble pushing, try doing this exercise without ankle weights.

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

To get a good stretch when you’re finished with the exercise, reach back and grasp the leg you just worked out with your hand. This stretches out your back and the quadriceps muscles of your leg.

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

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