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

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Dancer Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

Dancing is a full-body activity that requires physical and mental prowess. The yoga-with-weights Dancer is no different. This exercise helps you develop focus and concentration as it strengthens your biceps, legs, and shoulder girdle. It also allows for a greater range of motion in your shoulders. You’ll feel uplifted and stretched like a dancer as you do this exercise.

Take your time with the Dancer. Think of it as a slow dance, not a salsa. If you’re patient, you won’t lose your balance.

Grab one of your hand weights and follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your feet below your hips, your toes pointing forward, your arms hanging down at your sides, and your right hand holding the weight, palm facing backward.

  2. Bend your left knee, and reach back for your left foot with your left hand and grasp it.

    This is the starting position. Bend your right knee ever so slightly, and make sure that all four corners of your right foot are firmly on the floor for stability. To stay balanced, draw your belly in and up for support, and keep your chest and trunk lifted.

    If you can’t hold your foot, try holding your pants leg. You can also do the exercise with a bent knee or in the standing position.

  3. Inhaling to a count of four, lift the weight in front of your body and then above your shoulder, keeping your arm straight, as you extend your lifted foot behind you.

    Move your leg straight behind you; don’t lift it to the side like a dog at a fire hydrant. Don’t hurl the weight; raise it gently in rhythm with your breathing.

  4. Exhaling to a count of four, lower the weight to your side, and return your lifted foot to the starting position.

    Make sure your arm stays straight as you lower the weight in rhythm with your breathing.

Repeat this exercise six to eight times on your right leg, taking a short rest between repetitions, and then do six to eight repetitions on your left leg.