Set-up: Stand tall with feet hip-distance apart, hands beside shoulders and palms upturned, weights in hands. Engage abdominal muscles by pulling your navel toward your spine.
Beginners: focus on good form; no weights.
Intermediate: 3 to 5 pounds.
Advanced: 5 to 10 pounds.
Step 1: Send your hips back toward the ground behind you by pushing your body weight into your heels. Hands stay beside shoulders.
Form check: Make sure your knees do not push over your toes; keep your chest up, look straight ahead and keep your abs in tight.
Step 2: Engage your abdominal muscles and drive through your heels (squeezing your buttocks/gluteus) to push back up to a standing position. Engage your abdominal muscles and then press the weights straight over head (shoulder press).
Repeat Step 1.
Repetitions -- Beginner: 8-15. Intermediate: 15-20. Advanced: 15- 25.
Form check: Be sure to keep your abs contracted, especially when pushing the weight overhead. Be careful not to look at your knees when you stand up. Always keep a slight bend in your knees.
Jeanette Jenkins, founder and president of the Hollywood Trainer, is a fitness instructor at Crunch and Sports Club L.A. For more information, this exercise is demonstrated on the Hollywood Trainer Ultimate Cross Training and Pilates DVDs at www.thehollywoodtrainer.com.