Kick it up! See the fat-burning, lower-body exercises that help the Radio City Rockettes keep up with their six shows a day
Get Strong, Sexy Legs Like a Rockette
1 of 7All photos
Think of lean legs and the Rockettes instantly come to mind. Naturally long limbs aside (you must be at least 5' 6"), those women work for their physiques! From November to January they perform up to six 90-minute shows a day, and during the off-season they practice 36 hours a week. "We strength-train to help increase our endurance, prevent injuries, and stay stage-ready all year long,” says Melinda Farrell (left), a Rockette since 2002 and an assistant choreographer for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She designed this plan (based on the performers’ actual workouts) to tone every lower-body muscle while getting your heart rate up to burn more calories. (After you master these leg workouts, keep toning them with this Lower-Body HITT Workout.)
How it works:
Three times a week, do 2 or 3 sets of each move in order; rest up to 1 minute between sets.
A resistance band.
Photo: Getty Images
2 of 7All photos
A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent. Bend forward from hips and place elbows on knees with palms together.
B. Straighten legs, then bend knees.
Do 10 reps.
3 of 7All photos
Works: legs, butt, and core
A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and elbows bent, hands clasped in front of chest. Step right foot back and to the left, and squat.
B. Rise up as you lift right knee to hip height in front of you, toes pointed and touching left knee, and extend arms out to sides. Return to starting position. (Want more lower-body workouts? Try these 6 Butt Exercises That Work Wonders.)
Do 12 reps; switch sides to complete set.
4 of 7All photos
A. Stand with heels together and toes turned out, and place hands on hips with fingers pointing toward floor. Lift your heels, rising up onto the balls of your feet. Lower to starting position. Do 8 reps, then jump feet out to shoulder width, feet parallel. Rise up onto balls of feet and lower.
Do 8 reps.
5 of 7All photos
Works: legs and core
A. Stand with feet together, knees slightly bent, and place hands on hips with fingers pointing toward floor.
B. Jump up as you kick left leg high, toes pointed. Return to starting position and immediately repeat on opposite side to complete 1 rep. (If you love this exercise, try this dance-inspired At-Home Barre Workout.)
Do 8 reps.
6 of 7All photos
Works: butt and outer thighs
A. Tie a resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees, and lie on your left side with knees bent and legs stacked, left arm extended and right hand on floor in front of chest.
B. Keeping feet together, lift right leg. Return to starting position.
Do 12 reps, then switch sides to complete set.
7 of 7All photos
Works: legs and butt
A. Tie a resistance band just above your ankles, and stand with feet together and hands on hips, fingers pointing toward floor. Extend right leg in front of you, foot flexed.
B. Then bring it to the right, and finally, behind you. Reverse motion to return to starting position to complete 1 rep. (Now, focus on your hips and thighs with The Best-Inner Thigh Exercises of All Time.)
Do 10 reps, then switch legs to complete set.