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

How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Straddle Exercise

By Sherri Baptiste, Megan Scott

The Straddle can improve your health and physical performance whether you like to walk around the block or enjoy mountain climbing. This yoga-with-weights exercise loosens and expands the range of motion in your pelvis and legs, opens your groin, and conditions and tones your back. The pose also builds abdominal strength and works your biceps. The benefits it gives your groin help in both walking and climbing.

Throughout this exercise, don’t cave in or round your back or shoulders. Doing so may strain your back.

You need both hand weights and ankle weights for this exercise. After you’re locked and loaded, follow these steps:

  1. Sit on your buttocks with your legs spread apart and the ankle weights resting on your inner thighs.

    Putting weights on your inner thighs helps anchor your hips. The hand weights can rest on the floor behind you; don’t worry about them just yet. The tips of your toes should be facing the ceiling.

    If you happen to be flexible, you may be tempted to open your legs too wide, but be careful. You can injure yourself during the weightlifting part of this exercise if your legs are too far apart.

  2. Roll the fleshy part of each buttock and thigh out from under you.

    To do this, pull your belly in, lean to one side, reach around your hip, grasp your buttock and inner thigh with your hand, and move the flesh to the outside. Do this for each buttock. You should feel your “sit bones” and your tailbone pressing down into the floor.

    Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down for support, and flex and press into all four corners of your feet.

    If you have discomfort in your back and you begin to slouch your shoulders, your back muscles may not be ready for this exercise. Just move your legs a little closer and find your natural seat. You can also tuck one foot in or sit on a rolled-up mat or towel.

  3. Pick up the hand weights and curl them so that your triceps are parallel with your shoulders.

    This is the starting position.

  4. Inhaling to a count of four, extend your arms to form a T position with your head and torso.

    Align your shoulders over your hips. Your palms should be facing upward.

  5. Exhaling to a count of four, lift the weights back to the starting position.

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