Channel your inner diva and treat yourself to a Stiletto workout this Valentines Day!
High heel workouts are more than just a fad. They challenge your sense of balance, activate your stabiliser muscles (abs!) and work on toning your legs and lifting that derriere! As a dancer, I remember practising salsa for hours in heels under the unforgiving eye of my Italian dance professor. He always told me to wear heels as soon as I woke up in the morning to improve my posture and sculpt my core.
Would you dare?
The following workout consists of seemingly basic moves. We have all done squats and lunges before but they’re exponentially harder when you’re trying to balance in heels. The stilettoes also force you into a constant calf raise, thereby sculpting the legs. After the following routine, your abs will be on fire, your legs will shiver and you might be sore for a day or two. Let’s get started!
Put on your stilettoes, feel confident and practise your best runway walk for five to six minutes. Play some good music to get you in the mood!
Plié Squats (10 reps, 2 sets)
Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and toes turned out. Bend knees and lower your torso, keeping your back straight and abs tight. Activate your inner thighs and glutes as you return to standing. Feel like a ballerina and stay as upright and elegant as possible.
To increase the challenge, add a bicep curl as you squat.
Alternating forward Lunges (10 reps on each legs, 2 sets)
Stand tall with your back straight and core engaged. Take a large step forward and lower your body toward the floor. Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge. Push off front leg to rise back up to start, and repeat on the other side. Add weights if you want to increase the burn! These will challenge your balance like never before!
Romanian Deadlift to Row (5 reps. 2 sets. Use light weights with heels)
Bring your feet hid-width apart and stand tall. Lower the upper body by bending at the hips. Keep the back and arms straight as you lower. Slide the dumbbells down the thighs and shins. Push the hips back and slightly bend the knees during the descent. You will feel an amazing stretch at the back of the legs (hamstrings). Pause and preform a row with the arms. Now lower the arms and return to start to repeat.
Side Plank with Leg Lifts (20 sec hold with 10 leg lifts. Repeat on the other side. 1 set)
Come into a side plank by placing your right arm underneath the shoulder. Now align the right leg with the wrist, forming a straight line. Bend the left leg and place it behind the right leg for balance. Reach the left arm up to the ceiling. Hold the side plank for 20 seconds and then add 10 leg raises, balancing on the right arm and left leg, as the right leg is lifted and lowered in a controlled fashion.
Crab Hold with Leg Extension (Static hold for 20 sec. 10 alt. kicks. 1 set)
Come into sitting with wrists underneath shoulders and back straight. Bend both legs to 90 degrees and bring your heels directly underneath your knees. Now lift up into crab. Activate your posterior chain as you press your glutes up to achieve a flat back/table top position in your crab hold. Either maintain the position for 30 seconds or add on by kicking on leg up to the ceiling and alternating for 10 reps. Ideally your pelvis will stay stable and hips remain squared as you alternate the legs.
Take off your heels and spend a minimum of 10 minutes stretching and foam rolling.
Disclaimer: This fairly advanced regime is ONLY for seasoned gym-goers. Perfect your squats and lunges in sneakers before adding heels! Avoid with back or knee pain/injuries. Avoid with osteoporosis.