Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Exercise Your Legs Like a Dancer

While we weren't all born with the legs of a prima ballerina, we can definitely get our leg muscles looking leaner with a simple exercise — the plié!
Pliés are great because you can do them anywhere — the only thing you might need is the back of a chair, to hold on to for balance. In addition to working wonders for your thighs, butt, and calves, pliés help improve your posture and alignment. There's a reason dancers do them so much — they're a miracle exercise! To get an even more effective workout, I encourage you to hold small dumbbells while you plié. This will work your arms and will increase the resistance of your body as you bend and lift.

To start, begin in ballet's second position, with your feet wider than hip width apart and your toes turned out. Pull your abs in toward your spine. If you choose to use weights, hold them in front of your thighs or at your hips. Now, inhale as you bend your knees and lower yourself (plié), bringing your knees out to the sides. Exhale as you press through your heels and inner thighs to rise. Repeat, and hold the down position of your last repetition for as long as you can, trying to open your knees outward as you do so.

Go on, achieve the legs you've always wanted. They're only a plié away!

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