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

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Plow Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

A farming plow has only one or two specific uses: you plow the ground and plant your seeds. The yoga-with-weights Plow, however, serves many functions for your body. It loosens your lower back, extends your legs, releases your hamstrings, and exercises your abdominal muscles.

You’ll feel your spine and lower back stretching in this exercise. The Plow also reverses the blood flow in your legs, which is good for circulation and reducing bloating and water retention in your ankles.

Strap on your ankle weights and grab both hand weights for this exercise and follow these steps:

  1. Lie on your back with your legs raised straight, your feet and knees above your hips, and your hands at your sides holding the hand weights, palms turned downward.

    This is the starting position.

    Make sure your feet are yoga feet — they should be flexed and engaged, and you should be pressing into all four corners of each foot. At all times during this exercise, make sure your abdominal muscles, which help support your legs, are engaged.

  2. Exhaling to a count of four and keeping your legs straight, slowly lift your buttocks off the floor, and extend your legs so that your feet are above your head, not your hips.

    The hand weights act as anchors so you can stretch your back. Feel a gentle squeeze and lift in your buttocks.

    If you can’t extend your legs above your head, move them as far as you comfortably can. If you can’t straighten your legs, do this exercise with your knees bent.

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

Don’t bounce as you do this exercise; move your legs slowly and consciously as you focus on your breathing.

Do this exercise six to eight times, pause to rest, and then do another six to eight repetitions.