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July 25th, 2009

Exersizes to Improve Your Catwalk

An article from the Boston Globe, “Catwalk no Cakewalk,” highlights a new trend in wearing pumps: working out. Of course, ladies have always known that a sculpted set of legs makes stilettos look sexy, but as writer Christopher Muller learns after taking a catwalk class, exercise also improves your catwalk.  By stretching and strengthening your feet, legs, and abs, you can even wear heels without killing your feet and back.

Podiatrists have long told us that wearing heels wreaks havok on the body.  Basically, human posture was engineered for flat-footed walking.  In fact, many argue that our bodies are designed to be used without any shoes at all.  (Just look at the barefoot running trend currently dashing across the nation.) Still, the truth is that many women who wear towering heels would feel more comfortable in their favorite pairs if they strengthened their core, legs, and back.  In other words, many women simply don’t have the strength or posture to wear heels well.  Slouching backs, hunched shoulders, and soft bellies are usually to blame for pump discomfort.  Poor balance combined with a weak body spells agonizing pain and less-than-graceful catwalks.

Here are a few tips for strengthening your catwalk:

Dayliner by Naughty Monkey

Dayliner by Naughty Monkey

Do Yoga and Pilates. Yoga and pilates strengthen your core and improve balance.

Roll the bottom of your feet on a tennis ball or golf ball. This stretches and strengthens your calves and the dozens of muscles in your feet.

Stand on one leg, and lift the knee on the other leg. A yoga pose, this exercise improves your posture and strengthens your core.  For the best results, keep a long spine throughout.  Lift the knee to the height of your hip.  Hold for 3-5 deep breaths on each side, and repeat several times.  To challenge yourself, kick the foot out– eventually, with plenty of practice, you’ll be able to hold your straight leg at hip level.

Kitty 6768 by Fornarina

Kitty 6768 by Fornarina

Avoid wearing the same pumps every day. Give your feet a break– don’t force them into the same pair of shoes day after day.

If you’re interested in learning more pump-up poses, contact your local personal trainer or pilates or yoga instructor.

Top photo by BitchBuzz.

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