Ankle Boots

Strut Your Stuff In A High-Heeled Workout

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It's a work-out that might make a podiatrist wince, but a new exercise routine is turning the gym into more of a catwalk. NY1 Health & Fitness Reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report.

Usually, most foot doctors tell us to stay out of high-heels. But a new class at Crunch Fitness, a place known for bringing the theatrics into exercise, encourages you not only to pack your sneakers, but throw a pair of stilettos into the gym bag too.

"For so many of our clients in New York – everybody this summer wore flat shoes... then all the sudden autumn hit and everybody thought, 'Oh my, I am back in my high-heeled shoes and I have to adjust myself have to how I am going to be able to walk around the city," says Donna Cyrus of Crunch Fitness.

In their 45 minute work-out called Stiletto Strength (which they call the ultimate work-out for urban women on the go), they say the goal is to actually help women re-train their bodies to wear heels: focusing on strengthening feet, ankles, heels, and core muscles.

"Most people move forward, because heels bring you forward," says Cyrus. "What we want to do is address that posturing and pull up your abs and really tuck under so you can feel taller, you look better and you're protecting your lower spine and back."

The class was actually developed with the help of professional dancers and podiatrists. And for the bunion-fainted at heart, not to worry, the major chunk of the class called "leg-work" of daily strength training exercises can be done in your sneakers.

But in the final part of the class, everyone straps on their heels to show what they can do in what they call full-on "work-it girl" mode.

"I'm used to dancing in heels as a professional dancer, I've spent most of my life in heels, so it becomes natural to us," says participant and professional dancer Ann Cooley. "But for everyday people, nowadays it's becoming the norm to have these really high heels and the pointy toes. So I think this class is brilliant."

Not only do they say that perhaps this class will help with some strength training, but maybe, more importantly, it may help bring out your inner diva.

"We're also teaching a little bit of attitude so you're not just feeling long and lean, but you're feeling a little spunky when you're walking down the street and giving yourself a little oomph there," says Cyrus.

"I don't think that wearing heels is going away any time soon. As we turn the pages of Vogue and Marie Claire, every single month we get more fashion trends put upon us to wear stilettos and high boots," says professional dancer Kylin Brady. "So definitely, this is a class that's not only going to aid in not only wearing heels correctly, but looking sexy and sassy and fabulous as we walk down the streets."

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