Move of the Week: Beautiful Legs

December 3, 2008 Updated: October 15, 2009
Try this 'beauty legs' routine for a nice long, lean look. (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times )
Try this 'beauty legs' routine for a nice long, lean look. (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times )

We all want great looking legs. Women tend to carry more weight in their legs and bulk up there if they train incorrectly. This series, although great for some men, is designed for women to beautify and create a long, lean look for their legs. It is a series that was inspired by Joseph Pilates and created by Kathy Grant, Pilates master teacher.

Instructions:

Lie on your side with your head resting on your hand (with the elbow bent) or on your upper arm (stretching your arm above your head).

Align your ears over your shoulders, and shoulders over your hips as if you were standing upright.

Pull your shoulders down, away from your ears, making your back muscles active.

Place your top arm on the floor in front of your chest for added stability.

Draw your navel toward your spine.

 (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
(Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
Flex your feet. Reach out through the heels. Without letting your hips move, raise the top leg, leading with your heel, up about one foot off the floor. Then raise the leg another half a foot and finally raise it as high as it can go without lifting your hip. Return it to the start position and repeat ten times.

From the start position cross the top foot on the floor in front of the bottom leg. Grab your ankle with your top hand. Lift the bottom leg up about half a foot off the floor and then as high as it can go. Repeat this inner thigh exercise ten times.

Repeat the entire series on the other side.

Things to watch out for:

Make sure that your shoulders and hips are evenly stack on top of each other. People tend to roll forward or back in this position. Try not to.

It is easy to let your stomach and back muscles relax in this position, but it is crucial that you keep them engaged to provide stability for your spine and hips.

People tend to want to look at their legs while performing this exercise. Avoid doing that because it knocks off your alignment, potentially straining your neck or back.

Options:

Everyone has a different bone structure. You need to adjust your legs so that your hipbone is comfortable. If your hipbone is jutting into the floor or the mat too much, you may place a small pillow or folded towel under it.


If you feel very stable while performing this exercise, advance the challenge by placing your top hand behind your head.

To make it even more challenging, perform while wearing ankle weights.

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