Sweating for the Wedding: Legs

Unseasonably warm winter weather is part of the package when you live in Central Texas. I’m sure we all end up in short sleeves and skirts much more often than our neighbors to the north do during the winter months. That’s why it’s important we remain diligent and focus on leg exercises year-round. As I prepare to don a short gold sequin dress at my rehearsal dinner the night before my wedding, I find myself increasingly focusing on my legswhen I exercise. The moves listed below are easy to do in your living room and don’t require any fancy equipment.

Dancers Shape owner Jennifer McCamish advises doing each of the top-three leg exercises for 30 seconds to one minute with perfect form and repeating each once more if you’re able.“These three exercises will give you the ‘shrink wrap effect’ for long, lean dancer legs,” she says.


Mini First:

To begin, touch your heels together and rotate your toes outward two to three inches. Now that you’re in mini first position, raise high up on your toes, and bend your legs so they make a diamond shape (keep heels squeezing together). Grab a chair or another structure for support. McCamish says “draw your navel back to your spine to ensure your lower abs are engaged and your shoulders stack right on top of your hips while keeping your ribs knitted together.” Maintain that contraction and position as you rotate your thighs back, and dip one inch and lift one inch repeatedly. Mini first is a wonderful workout to create lean sculpted thighs.



This isn’t your run-of-the-mill calf raise. Assume the same foot position you did to begin mini first with your abs engaged and shoulders in line with your hips, and place your hand on the back of a chair or another object for balance. Straighten, or lengthen the back of your knees by pulling the quadricep high off the knee cap so they feel supported and not jammed or locked back. Begin to roll up and down on your toes with control – avoid popping up to your toes. “You should feel a contraction in your inner thighs and a lift and squeeze wrapping under the tush.” When done correctly this is anexcellent overall leg exercise that targets, glutes, quadriceps, inner thighs and calves,” McCamish says.



Lie flat on your back, and rest your arms next to your hips. Exhale your breath, and knit your rib cage together so your ribs aren’t popping out. Begin to roll your spine off the floor one vertebrae at a time beginning from the tailbone. Once you’re in bridge position, do small pulses while lifted without letting your hips touch the floor or your ribcage disconnect. If you’d like to make this move more challenging, McCamish suggests squeezing a small ball or a rolled towel in between your knees while you pulse. This exercise is great for your glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs.


About the Author

Crystal Conde is an Austin-based writer with more than a decade of experience in the journalism industry. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism in the magazine sequence. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, going to movies and concerts, and spending time with her fiance, Patrick, and her dachshund mix, Saffron.