Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in July) to help us to dis-spell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.
QUESTION: I have always longed to have “dancer’s legs”? Are there any leg exercises that can re-create those for those of us who haven’t had the years and years of formal dance training?
According to Mary Helen Bowers (Natalie Portman’s trainer for “Black Swan”), “ballet targets the smaller muscles that you don’t often use.” Instead of working the quads it works the inside and back of the leg. A few of the basic exercises would be the plié squat, the releve calf raise, and jumping exercises.
– Standing with your feet slightly further than shoulder width apart point your toes outward.
- Bend at the knees and press your weight through your heels as you lower yourself until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Make sure you keep your upper body straight and never let your knees go forward past your toes.
- Pushing through your heels, raise up to the starting position and repeat.
Releve Calf Raise
- – Place your heels together with your toes and legs pointing out to the sides.
- Squeezing your hips, thighs and butt tight and press through the balls of your feet as you slowly raise your heels up so you are balancing on the balls of the feet. Hold for a few seconds and slowly lower. Repeat.
These are a bit more tricky and should only be performed if you have no injuries and have mastered the above movements.
The Plyometric Plié
-Starts out the same as the Plié Squat.
-Once you get to the bottom of the squat raise back up and spring into the air from the balls of your feet. You don’t need to spring very high. Repeat.
The Plyometric Releve Calf Raise
(Performing a releve in ballet means that you raise your body up on your toes)
– Starts out the same as the Releve Calf Raise, but once you get to the point where you are balancing on the balls of your feet you want to bend slightly at the knees and spring up. Again, there is no need to spring high.
- After you land back on the balls of your feet lower your heels to the ground and repeat.
In addition to these exercises you’ll want to incorporate a good cardio workout. Yoga and Pilates are also great ways to create long lean limbs.
Audra will be answering your fitness questions every Monday. If you have questions you’d like answered you may email her at Audra@intraffik.com or send to email@example.com. To see if your questions have been addressed check out past “Ask Audra” Column Entries here