How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Crow Exercise - dummies

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Crow Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

The Crow is a weighted version of a classic yoga posture that works your buttocks, your upper shoulders, your belly, and your legs. It stretches and conditions your hamstrings and calves and also works your spine. The exercise may seem difficult to do at first, but you can master it with a little practice.

With your ankle weights strapped in place, follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your feet touching or as close to touching as possible, and let your arms fall to your sides.

  2. Crouch down with your knees parted, put your elbows inside your knees, and rest your hands at shoulder width on the floor.

    This is the starting position. You should be squatting deep into your heels. Do your best to keep your heels down while you’re in the squatting position.

    If your knees bother you or you have trouble squatting, try squatting halfway. You can also try this exercise without ankle weights if they cause too much trouble for you. Always work at your own level of ability.

  3. As you inhale to a count of four, straighten your left leg and raise your right leg behind you.

    Push through your right foot like a swimmer pushing off the side of the pool. Don’t rotate your hips; keep them square. Be careful not to kick out your back leg.

    Support yourself with your hands and shoulders as well as your left leg, and sculpt your belly in and up for stability. Keep your supporting leg and your hands flat on the floor.

    If you can’t keep your supporting leg straight and maintain your flat hand position, bend your knee a little.

  4. As you exhale to a count of four, lower your extended leg and return to the starting position.

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.