Get the balance and strength you need to rock sexy stilettos with this sculpting and stretching plan
It's hard to feel attractive when you're wobbling in your shoes—and the more often you sport those spikes, the greater the damage they do to your body. Women who regularly wear high heels walk with their feet in a perpetually flexed position, which shortens their calves and strains their legs. This results in stiffness and pain, plus ups the risk of injury. But you don't have to lay off the Louboutins!
"Strengthening your core, butt, and legs will help ease some of the pressure that these shoes put on your ankles and back," says Carol Johnson, a Stiletto Strength class instructor at Crunch gym in New York City, who designed this plan. It will also improve your posture and stability, making it easier to walk in high heels. Crank out these moves three times a week and you'll be struttin' your stuff—comfortably—in no time.
How it works: Do 1 set of each move in order without resting in between. Repeat the entire circuit twice more.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Heel Prep
Stand with heels together, toes turned out, and hands on top of a Body Bar placed lengthwise a foot in front of you. (If you don't have a bar, place your hands on your hips.) Bend knees out to sides.
Lift your heels.
Press into the balls of your feet as you rise up. Reverse motion to return to starting position.
2. Raise the Bar
Lie on your left side with legs stacked slightly in front of you and arms extended overhead. Place a Body Bar diagonally over right ankle (or do the move without a bar), flex your feet, and turn your toes out.
Keeping your heels together, crunch right shoulder and legs toward each other, lowering right arm toward right leg. Return to starting position and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.
10 per side
3. Side-Lunge Passé
Stand with feet together, and hold a Body Bar at shoulder height in front of you with palms facing the floor. (If you don't have a bar, place your hands on your hips.) Lift right knee to hip height in front of you and move the bar to the right.
Lunge to the right with right leg as you move the bar to the left. Return to starting position and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.
10 per side
4. Pop Twist
Stand with feet wide, toes turned out. Clasp your hands at shoulder height in front of you, palms facing away from you and bend elbows out to sides. Lift left heel so you're on the ball of left foot. Bend knees as you rotate torso to the left. Rotate back to center as you extend legs. Repeat, keeping heel lifted the entire time. Switch sides to complete set.
10 per side
5. Down Diva
Get in plank position and push your hips up toward the ceiling so your body forms an inverted "V" shape, head aligned with spine. Bend right knee as you lower left heel to the floor. Switch feet, bending left knee as you lower right heel to the floor, to complete 1 rep.